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Simple 16 steps to create GIF Animation using Photoshop

Animated GIFs are all over the internet. Almost any webpage on which you would land, you will come across animated images. Animated GIF is an intermediate state between static image and video. By alternating between a set of still images in rapid motion, a sense of animation is created in GIF.


GIFs(Graphics Interchange Format) can boost your marketing efforts significantly. Message sent across by GIFs succeed in drawing the attention of prospects towards your sales pitch. The emotional impact on audiences motivates them to share the smaller animations which further spread your brand’s message.


GIFs can be created with ease. Attractive animated GIFs can be created in Photoshop if you can invest some time on the program. Using Creative Cloud or previous versions, you can create GIF in Photoshop in few simple steps. You can also make GIFs with GIF animator programs.


Creating Animated GIF in Photoshop

Before starting, you can go through various GIFs to observe how the images transition quickly to create an illusion of motion.

When you are ready to begin, start by uploading your chosen images in Photoshop. All images that would be part of GIF should be kept in a separate folder. For uploading images, navigate to


  1. File -> Scripts -> Load Files into Stack


    Load Files into Stack
  2. Next, click on ‘Browse’ and select the files that would be part of GIF animation. Click ‘OK’.


    select the files that would be part of GIF animation
  3. For each selected image, separate layers would be created by Photoshop.


    It may be possible that the relevant images are not available with you. For this, you have to define Photoshop layers separately for every frame in GIF. For adding new layer, navigate to


    Layer -> New -> Layer


    creating seperate layers in  Photoshop
  4. Always name the layers created as this would facilitate their easy tracking while making the GIF. For naming the layer, navigate to ‘Layer’ panel located at the screen’s bottom right. The default name of layer is to be double clicked for typing in your desired name. After finishing, press ‘Enter’.


    seperate layer in photoshop
  5. After naming all the layers, you are ready to move further. Layers can also be combined to make them visible in single GIF frame. The ‘eye’ icon is present on the layer name’s left. Click on ‘eye’ to make the layers visible for merging. Now, only those layer eyes’ are prominent which have to be merged. For creating a new layer in Photoshop which will contain the merged layers, you have to press Shift + Ctrl + Alt +E in Windows or Shift + Command+ Option + E in Mac. Rename the new layer.


    The Timeline Window

    Navigate to the menu bar at top for choosing Window -> Timeline. With the Timeline on, different layers can be turned on or off for varying durations. This would cause the static images to behave as animated GIF.


    Timeline Window
  6. Timeline Window would be situated ay screen’s bottom.


    Timeline Window would be at screen’s bottom
  7. ‘Create Frame Animation’ would appear auto selected in the Timeline Window. If not, you can click the same from dropdown menu with header ‘Create Video Timeline’.


    Create Video Timeline in photoshop
  8. This option would change the appearance of Timeline Window.


    Create Frame Animation in photoshop
  9. Creating New layers
    You now have to create separate layer for every new frame. Get all layers selected by clicking on ‘All Layers’ from ‘Select’ menu located at the top of Photoshop window. After this, the menu icon on Timeline screen’s right is to be clicked.


    Creating New layers in photoshop
  10. Select ‘Create new layer for each new frame’ from the menu that drops down.


    Create new layer for each new frame in photoshop
  11. Select ‘Make Frames from Layers’ from the menu icon on right of Timeline screen. Upon clicking, every layer would be transformed into GIF’s frames.


    Make Frames from Layers in photoshop
  12. You have to specify the duration for which each frame should before getting switched to the next frame. You can do so from each frame’s bottom by clicking on the time and choosing the duration for which frame should appear. 0.5 seconds for each frame is ideal time.


    transformed into GIF’s frames
  13. From toolbar’s bottom, specify the iterations for which each frame is to be looped. You can choose anything between ‘Once’ to ‘Forever’. Repetition sequence can be customized by clicking on ‘Other’.


    Once’ to ‘Forever option in photoshop
  14. Click the ‘Play’ icon at bottom for previewing the GIF.


    play icon in photoshop
  15. Saving and Exporting created GIF
    Once the GIF has been created satisfactorily, you need to save it for online use. Navigate to top menu bar. Click File -> Export -> Save for Web (Legacy).


    Saving and Exporting created GIF
  16. Navigate to ‘Preset’ for selecting the type of GIF file you want as output from its dropdown. Color banding can be prevented in GIF containing gradients by selecting ‘Dithered GIFs’. ‘No Dither’ is ideal choice if the image carries an abundance of solid colors. You will also come across numbers (128, 64, 32 etc.) against GIF file. This is an indication of the preciseness with which colors of original image file would be preserved in GIF. If you increase the percentage of dithering, the colors would be precise and bright but file size would increase.



    Preset option in photoshop

    Clicking Save at window’s bottom would result in saving file in your device. The GIF can now be used for marketing or other purposes. Once uploaded, the animated sequence in GIF would plat out seamlessly and grab more attention.


    how to create a gif using photoshop

Creating GIF without Photoshop

A number of programs facilitate creation of GIFs easily. Some of the most popular ones have been discussed below.


  1. GIF Maker by Giphy

    Giphy is known for maintaining the most exhaustive animated GIFs’ library worldwide. Its GIF Maker is easy to use and comes free of cost. You can create animated GIFs from static images, links in YouTube, already created GIFs, and video files.


    For creating GIF, the video file has to be dragged and dropped. You can also specify the YouTube or other site’s video URL as well as URL of existing Giphy page. A series of images can also be uploaded for creating animated slideshow.

    After uploading the file, you would be directed to the GIF editing screen. For ensuring that the GIF’s file size remains smaller enough to be quickly loaded on social platforms, reduce the video’s duration to a maximum of six seconds. The program also allows addition of captions or drawings to the GIF. After creating the GIF, you may upload the same to your site or blog and add relevant tags to make discovery of your GIFs easier.


    Advantages

    The GIF Maker can be navigated and used with ease. Editing of GIF’s length can be done in simple steps. Start time as well as duration of GIF can be specified through 2 different bars. Stickers, captions and other features which can be customized are contemporary and useful. GIFs can be created from different sources.


    Drawbacks

    You cannot make the GIF private with Giphy’s tool. So, if you desire to keep GIFs confidential, you may have to rethink. Despite this, the tool is highly useful in creating attractive GIFs.


  2. GIFs.com

    This easy to use tool is available online. You can create editable GIFs from videos on Instagram, Vine and YouTube. Basic GIFs can be created free of cost. However, access to advanced features is available only on making payment. However, certain options offered by GIFs.com are unique to the platform. These include themed stickers and Instant Effects.


    To start with GIF creation, you have to copy paste the link of video which has to be transformed into GIF. The length along with starting and ending position of the GIF have to be indicated on the timeline located at screen’s bottom. You can then go about tailoring the GIF and can add various effects. Captions can be rendered attractive with customizable fonts. Once done, name the GIF and add tags to make it easily discoverable online.


    Advantages

    The platform is very easy to get accustomed to. GIF can be created within five minutes. All standard fonts are available for captioning GIF. You can also avail of advanced options to edit the GIF; for example, the sticker’s opacity can be changed.


    Drawbacks

    As a free user, you may not be able to avail of some important features like removing watermark from GIF, compressing and resizing the file, downloading original file to desktop etc. You need to be a customer to avail these. Also, the process of editing the length of GIF is not clearly spelt out. Certain features like Instant Effects do stand out but other paid features are usually available for free on other platforms.


  3. Video to GIF by Imgur

    Imgur allows conversion of video into GIF. You can easily and quickly create superlative GIFs but you may not be able to use fancy features like customizable fonts or themed stickers offered by other online tools.


    You have to specify the video’s URL which will be transformed into GIF. In the video preview section, you can choose the start time of GIF and can specify the GIF’s length or duration. Once done, you just have to press the ‘Create GIF’ button and the sharable and downloadable GIF would be ready.


    Advantages

    Imgur’s Video to GIF is one of the quickest tools for creating high quality GIF. Support is provided only for videos which have been uploaded over the internet. Just an .mp3 file won’t serve your purpose.


    Drawbacks

    Additional features to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your GIF is lacking in this tool. Options for customizing GIFs are limited. Dynamics captions, themed stickers, fun filters etc. are not available. Black is the default background of caption which compromises the visual feel of the GIF. The version is supported only for desktop. Despite these challenges, Imgur’s Video to GIF tool allows creation of simpler GIFs in really short time.


  4. Boomerang for Instagram

    Boomerang for Instagram is a mobile app. A sequence of images has to be provided. The images are stitched together and the resultant GIF can be played in forward and backward directions. You need not edit anything.


    After uploading the images, you just need to hold down the photo button for some seconds. The GIF would be created. After the GIF has been satisfactorily completed, the same can be shared from Boomerang on Instagram or Facebook instantly. You can also save it for uploading on other sites.


    Advantages

    The app is unique in the sense that it does not make the GIF to loop about but causes it to be played in forward and reverse directions. The app is fast and the process of creating GIF is very easy. GIFs can be shared on major social media platforms in just one click.


    Drawbacks

    Videos cannot be used for creating GIFs. No desktop or online version of this mobile app is available. The created GIF can be customized with fun filters, special effects, captions etc.


    The app is great for developing sharable GIFs of your business’s offerings.


  5. LICECap

    This free to use animated screen capturing tool helps in creating smart GIFs to support your marketing efforts. You can easily supplement your brand’s ‘How To’ marketing pages with GIFs created using LICECap. The use of products can be demonstrated using GIFs created by this tool.


    LICECap is available as a desktop app. When it is opened, a window will be displayed which can be adjusted for fitting the entire screen or only a part of the screen which needs to be captured. Once the window size is optimized, you have to press the record button located at the bottom right hand side. Specify your GIF’s file name. Next, you can go about interacting with the screen you would record. Recording can be paused midway for repositioning of the window, if needed. After recording has been completed, the GIF file is automatically saved by LICECap. The GIF can be used to enhance your content.


    Advantages

    You can create animated GIF in LICECap in real time which is not supported by any of the tools discussed above. You need not specify any URL or .mp3 files. The tool is super easy to use as you don’t have to specify the duration or length of the GIF. The maximum frames per second or FPS can also be specified which would optimize usage of CPU.


    Drawbacks

    The created GIFs can occupy significant space as the saved files are larger.


    LICECap is an effective GIF maker which can add firepower to your marketing efforts and can render content more dynamic.


Where animated GIFs can be deployed?

By now, you must have become proficient in creating attractive GIFs. It is time to know which major platforms support animated GIFs so that you can deploy them accordingly to complement your marketing strategy.


  • Facebook

    Since GIFs can be created easily compared to videos, they are being shared on Facebook more and are also very popular among audiences. Earlier, uploading GIFs on Facebook was a challenge as only sharable GIPHY link was accepted. This was inconveniencing common users and those who are not so computer savvy. However, Facebook has done away with this. You can search GIFs from Facebook directly and then upload or embed them to your post. Share links are no longer required.


    Open your Facebook page and post something. During the process of post creation, a drop-down menu will be displayed by Facebook. This menu offers option of adding video, image, tagging friends, checking in at some location and other functionalities. In this menu, you have to choose GIF option. Now, another drop-down menu would be displayed by Facebook which facilitates searching for GIF that matches your preferences.


    Once the GIF that perfectly reflects your mood has been found, you need to select it and the same would be spontaneously inserted into the Facebook post. The GIF after insertion in the post would be static in appearance. However, as soon as you publish the post, the GIF would appear animated. After describing the GIF with a classy caption, you can press ‘Post’.


    The aforesaid process of posting GIF is applicable for personal account in Facebook. For sharing the GIF in the business page of your brand, you have to first select a reaction GIF which you would prefer using on GIPHY or Google Images. Save the same in your desktop folder after downloading.


    Now, navigate to the business page of your brand after logging into Facebook. Start the Business Manager service. For creating new post, you need to scroll down a little inside the Page tab. After captioning your post, start dragging the saved GIF file on your desktop into the post on Facebook. Your GIF would be uploaded as video. During the process of uploading the GIF in the post, the GIF’s screencap won’t be visible as video thumbnail in Facebook. After everything is in order, you need to press ‘Publish’ to post your animated GIF within your business message.


  • Twitter

    In Twitter, GIFs can be attached to tweets in very easy manner. There are 2 ways in which GIF can be added to your tweet.


    In the first method, called drag and drop, you just have to drag the GIF file from desktop to ‘Compose New Tweet Box’. Once the GIF has been added to your tweet, the animated form of the GIF would be apparent instantly. Hitting Tweet would cause your post to be published.


    In the second method, you have to utilize the integrated GIPHY module within Twitter for searching the GIF to be added to tweet. In the ‘Compose new tweet’ section, click on the GIF option. Select the GIF to be inserted into your tweet by searching. Now, publish your post by hitting Tweet.


  • Content Management System

    Each content management system is unique. However, uploading a GIF to the site or blog irrespective of the CMS is same as image or video uploading.


Conclusion

MAP Systems is the leading graphic design services provider whose experts excel in offering Photoshop services and help in creation of cutting edge animated GIFs which instantly become showstoppers. Enhance the outreach of your business message with proficient support of MAP Systems. Making an animated GIF has never been so easy. Try now!




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