Select frames in Lightroom

Create animated GIFs using Photoshop

Oops I slipped
Oops I slipped

Last week’s blog I posted an animated GIF file showing the slipped runner at the Kambala. Since many have asked how it was done, here is the tutorial. You can check the final GIF above.

Select frames in Lightroom
Select frames in Lightroom

For this to work effectively you need series of photos which are relatively stable. Handheld burst shots I used worked well here. I selected 21 sequential shots and exported from Lightroom as layers to be opened in Photoshop.

Edit in Photoshop as Layers
Edit in Photoshop as Layers

This will export all the 21 files into that many new layers in the Layers panel on the right side of your workspace.

In Photoshop as layers
In Photoshop as layers

These individual layers will become the frames of the animated GIF.

Open Timeline Panel
Open Timeline Panel

Go to Window > Timeline to open the Timeline panel.

Choose Create Animation
Choose Create Animation

Click the arrow on the button in the middle of the panel and select Create Frame Animation. Then click the button to create a new frame animation.

First Frame is created from the first layer
First Frame is created from the first layer

Click the menu icon from the upper right corner of the Timeline panel. Click “Make Frames From Layers”.

Choose Make frames from layers menu
Choose Make frames from layers menu

This will convert all the layers in the Layers panel into individual frames in your animation. Click the Play button at the bottom of the Timeline panel (or press the Spacebar on your keyboard) to preview the animation.

Reverse the frames if playback is in reverse.
Reverse the frames if playback is in reverse.

If your animation is playing in reverse, click the Timeline menu icon again and select Reverse Frames.

Loopback animation option
Loopback animation option

Click the repeat menu from the bottom of the Timeline panel and select Forever. This will create a looping animation.

Change time duration between frames
Change time duration between frames

You can select all frames and change the time delay between frames. I used 0.2 seconds. Click the Play button at the bottom of the Timeline panel (or press the Spacebar on your keyboard) to preview the animation. If you are satisfied with results you can now export the animation as a GIF.

Export as animated GIF file
Export as animated GIF file

Go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)…

Save as animated GIF
Save as animated GIF

Select GIF 128 Dithered from the Preset menu. If you are using the GIF online or want to limit the file size of the animation, change Width and Height fields in the Image Size options. Select Forever from the Looping Options menu. Click the Preview… button in the lower left corner of the Export window to preview your GIF in a web browser. Click Save… and select a destination for your animated GIF file. Congratulations! You have just created your animated GIF. Post it online to show it to the world.

Oops I slipped
Oops I slipped

Note that you can also use this technique for any layered Photoshop file.

Change frame to video option on timeline
Change frame to video option on timeline

Here is a bonus. You can convert GIF to a video. Go to the lower left edge of the Timeline and click to convert frames to video tracks.

Now the animation can be exported as video
Now the animation can be exported as video

You can play around with various tracks and even add a soundtrack to the video. Once satisfied with the result, you can choose to rend Video.

Render Video
Render Video

It will be saved as an MP4 file on your hard disk which you can post it online to show it to the world.

Saved as MP4 file
Saved as MP4 file

Check the video I created below.

EXIF info - Taken : 13 January, 2018 | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

7 thoughts on “Create animated GIFs using Photoshop

  1. Wow nice simple and well explained. Is there an alternative to people like me who don’t have PS Doc ??

  2. I have been using LiceCap and I must say that it is a good tool. The gifs made by Licecap are quite huge in terms of size. Is there any way to resize the file itself maintaining the quality if GIFs?

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