Creating GIF Animations with Photoshop (not Elements).


1. Create your individual frames first, named in sequence (1.psd 2.psd, 3.psd etc.), and have them all on your desktop or in the same folder.


2. Start Photoshop ("real Photoshop," not Elements). The icon looks like this:

photoshop icon


3. Select File-->Scripts-->Load Files Into Stack:

files scripts load files


4. Click browse and find the first file, then click once on it so that it's selected. Hold down the shift key and click the last file in your sequence--if you did this right, they should now all be selected. Then click open. You should see a list of all your files. Click OK:


 Photoshop will blink and flash and do a whole bunch of things by itself. After it stops (about 15 seconds later), you should have one image open--all your images have now become one image with many layers.


5. There should be a long, rectangular area at the bottom of the screen called the Timeline window.  Can you see it? It looks like this:

timeline window

If not, click Window-->Timeline:

timeline window menu


6. (You may not have to do this step.) If it doesn't say Create Frame Animation in the middle, click the arrow. Select Create Frame Animation from the menu.

frame animation pulldown


7. If you haven't already, click the big button in the middle that says Create Frame Animation:

create frame animation


8. Click the tiny menu icon on the upper-right of the Timeline window.

make frames from layers


9. From the menu that appears, select the one that allows you to make frames from layers.

make frames from layers


10. Click the tiny menu icon in the upper-right of the Timeline window again and select the one that reverses the order of the frames:

reverse frame menu


11. Change the interframe delay (the seconds) for each frame so that the animation doesn't go blindingly fast. I would suggest 0.1 for a fast animation and 0.2 otherwise. To do this, you click on the time at the bottom of the individual frames--you can't see it here because it's hiding behind the popup menu:

interframe delay]

Change the delay on the last frame to around 2 seconds (2.0) unless your animation is supposed to be continuous--that will give the viewer time to enjoy it before it repeats.


12.  Set the repeat to "loop forever" unless you have some reason that you only want it to play a certain number of times:

loop forever

13. Click the play button on the animation window to preview your animation. Press the stop button when you're done. Adjust the animation until you're happy with it:

play buttons


14. When you're done, click File-->Save for Web:

save for web AND DEVICES

A big window will appear. Click Save at the bottom, and save the animated GIF to your desktop (name it whateveryouwant.gif). You won't need to mess with any of the settings in that window; just click Save:



15. Try your animation by dragging the file you just saved into Firefox (or another browser).

drag and drop to play