Photoshop Animation Basics

In part 1 of our 5 part series we’ll learn how to create a basic looping GIF using Photoshop.
Download the Project File:
Enroll in the Photoshop Animation Series for Free:

Partial, Auto-Generated Transcript Below 👇

Amy Sundin (00:11): Hello, everyone. Amy here at School of Motion. Welcome to part one of our cell animation and Photoshop series. These five videos will give you a jumpstart into the art of doing animation, the old fashioned way. Real quick, we’d like to thank Wacom for being an amazing supporter of school of motion. And for making this antique a beautiful tool that makes this sort of animation much easier to do today, we’re going to cover the basics. We’ll install a Photoshop extension called AnimDessin and then we’ll see how to make a squiggle vision style GIF. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

Amy Sundin (00:44): All right, everyone. So let’s get started with frame-by-frame animation and Photoshop. So Photoshop wasn’t really made with animation in mind. So there’s an extension that we’re going to go and grab from the Adobe exchange that makes animating in Photoshop a lot easier to get to go up to a window and browse extensions online. And then you’re going to close Photoshop while we’re installing this, or it might give you an error. All right. So that should have brought you over to this Adobe ad-ons area. And once you’re here, you’re going to go down to the search bar and you’re going to type in Amin A N I M Dessin, D E S S I N. And that will bring you to the AnimDessin to extension. And you’re going to click on that guy and hit install, and that’s all you should have to do. It will automatically sync through your creative cloud account.

Amy Sundin (01:42): All right. So now that that’s installed, we can actually go back into Photoshop and start working on stuff. So the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to load that extension that we just installed and to do that, you just go to window extensions and I’m destined to, and that will bring up this little panel here. So the first thing we’ll open the timeline using this key here. Now, most of you haven’t even seen the timeline yet, but here it is, it exists. So I like to dock mine over onto the left side because I’m honest, antique and I have a lot of screen real estate to work with. Um, when I was on a normal 10 80 monitor, I actually just kind of kept at the bottom here. So just put it wherever it’s comfortable for you. And the other thing that I like to do is I like to tear off my layers palette because I do access this a lot. And sometimes I’d like to move it around the screen with me while I’m working.

Amy Sundin (02:38): So you can set up your workspace, however you want. I’m actually going to load a preset that I have saved off for myself. Okay. So let’s talk about frames here. This is the first very important step to being able to animate really cool stuff in Photoshop is we just need to know how to add frames and how the exposure time of those frames affects where animation’s going to look now, the best way to figure that out is to just kind of get in there and do it. So for those of you, with a free student account, I’ve created this Photoshop document that you can download. Now what’s up with these lines. So if you feel so inclined, you can actually count the lines and you’ll see that there’s 24 of them here. Or you can just kind of trust me that I didn’t screw this up.

Amy Sundin (03:22): And there are 24. Now we’re going to go over to our, in our timeline. We have this little dropdown menu here. We’re going to go and do set timeline frame rate. And if you look Photoshop defaults to 30 frames per second, well, we want to be at the animation frame rate of 24 frames per second. So one line for each frame. Now we’re actually going to start adding frames and we need 24 frames on ones to make one second of animation. So how do we actually start doing that? Well, you’re going to go up and hit new one frame exposure, and we’re going to draw a little ball here. But if you look it says I can’t do it. And that’s because the current time is outside of the range for the target layer, which is Photoshops fancy way of saying that our time slider here needs to be moved back.

Duration: 00:22:36