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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a GIF must be worth a lot more. GIFs (pronounced “jif”) are fun, humorous ways for people to express joy, anger, and love while also showing off their pop culture knowledge.
Perhaps you’ve scoured the internet, looking for that perfect GIF but always came up short. You have the image in your head, and you’re just wondering if someone has already created and shared it. If that perfect GIF doesn’t exist, don’t worry.
Learning how to make a GIF in Photoshop is fairly easy and straightforward. Even if you don’t use Photoshop that often, there’s no need to stress out about it. So continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!
How to Make a GIF in Photoshop
Before you get into how to make a GIF, you’re first going to need a group of images. You can either screengrab frames from a video online or set up your own stop-motion photoshoot in order to get the perfect frames.
After you’ve got your images ready to go, get your computer and open up the latest version of Adobe Photoshop.
First, go to “Window.” This tab is on the main task bar.
Click on “Timeline.” When this is selected, a checkmark is going to show up on the left-hand side.
Then, click on “File.” From that same upper task bar, scroll down to “Scripts.”
Choose “Load Files into Stack…” Another window will then come up, titled “Load Layers.” Click on “Browse…”
You’ll want to choose your images. As we already mentioned, you should have multiple images in order for this to work.
In order to select more than one image, hold down the “Shift” key. Then, click “Open.”
If you took the photos on your own but didn’t use a tripod, then you can select “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images.” Do this before you click “OK” in order to exit “Load Layers.”
The application will then start the process of making a layer for each image that you uploaded. You can find these layers in the Layers panel in the bottom right corner.
Adding Layers to the Timeline
Now, it’s time to add these newly made Layers into your “Timeline” panel, at the bottom. Begin by selecting “Create Frame Animation.”
This can be found in the middle of the Timeline panel. One of your frames is going to show up inside of the panel.
After you do that, you’re going to expand what’s referred to as the “flyout menu” of the Timeline panel. The menu is made up of four horizontal lines. You’re going to find it in the top right of the panel.
Click on the menu and choose “Make Frames From Layers.” All of the layers that you uploaded are now going to show up inside of the Timeline panel.
At this stage in the process, your layers are now going to be referred to as frames. You want to make sure that your frames are in the order that you want them to be in when the GIF is run. Simply drag and drop the frames in the desired arrangement.
Once you’re satisfied with the order that the frames are in, you want to select all of the frames. You can do this by holding down the shift key and tapping the last and the first frames.
Now that all of the frames have been selected, you can go to any frame and click on the v-shaped icon at the bottom. Here, you’ll see “0 sec” on its left side. Select 0.1 seconds from the menu.
If you want to have a longer pause for each frame of your GIF as it runs, then you want to pick an amount of time that’s greater than 0.1 seconds.
If you want, you can set the looping cycle of your GIF to “Forever.” You can also limit the GIF to play only a certain number of times. You will see these different options just underneath the frames in the bottom toolbar.
It’s finally time for you to preview your GIF. You should see the words “Plays animation” pop up when you toggle the cursor over the play button in the bottom toolbar. When you’re satisfied with how your GIF appears, go ahead and save it.
You can save the GIF by clicking “File” in the top menu bar. Then, click “Export” from the pop-up menu, and then click “Save for Web (Legacy).”
If you need to, you can resize the GIF. Then, just click “Save…” and name your GIF. Then, click “Save” again.
You might have to resize your GIF in order to make sure that it’s compatible across various platforms. A max of 500 pixels for width and height is usually a good size.
The Importance of Knowing How to Make a GIF in Photoshop
GIFs can be a lot of fun. And their growing popularity and importance are obvious, as Apple and Android both give you the option to use them in their text apps. But when you can’t find a GIF that truly expresses what you want to say, it’s good to know how to make a GIF in Photoshop.
And even if you can’t find a good video to use in your GIF, you can always just take the GIF photos on your own!
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