How To Create an Animated GIF in Photoshop

November 27, 2012

in Photography Tutorials, Photoshop

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs via Tutorial

Animated GIFs, also called cinemagraphs, are a great way to bring more interest to your blog. Today, Nicole Hansen, natural light photographer from Madison, WI is going to teach you how to create animated GIFs in Photoshop in this easy-to-follow photography tutorial.

Add More to Your Narrative Using Photo Animation

Nothing excites me more than coming across a blog that includes photo animation. Static image after static image, and then, BAM, photos that move! What a way to capture the essence of the day! This tutorial will show you how make your photos come to life.

Step One:

Obviously, the first thing you want to do is take 10-20 continuous photos. You do not want more than 20 as this will result in a file size that is too large for most blogs.

Step Two:

Once uploaded and saved to your computer, place them in their own folder. You do not want any other images from that day in this folder.

Step Three:

If you shot in JPEG skip to Step Five. Open up the RAW images in Photoshop. Select all the images and synchronize them. Adjust the photos as necessary and then with all the photos still selected, click Save Images and save them all as JPEGs.

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

Step Four:

Go to your image folder and delete all the RAW files [or move them to another folder] and keep all the JPEGs.

Step Five:

If you want your photos edited, now is the time to do some batch editing. Open photoshop, Go to File>Automate>Batch. Choose the folder containing your images, and select an action you want them to be edited with. [If you don’t use actions, be sure to edit all the photos with the same technique before proceeding.]

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

Step Six:

After each photo is edited, flatten the image, then save and REPLACE the JPEG. You only want one version of each photo in your folder.

Step Seven:

Now the fun starts! In Photoshop, go to File>Script>Load files into Stack. In the pop up window, select Folder and open the one that contains your images.

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

Step Eight:

Once your files have completely loaded, go to Window>Animation.

Step Nine:

Resize the file for your blog. Go to Image>Image size. I change my width to 850 and the resolution to 72.

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

Step Ten:

In the animation window there is an icon in the upper right hand corner, pull down the menu and select Make frames from layers.

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

Step Eleven:

Then after the frames load in your animation window, go to the same icon and select Reverse frames.

Step Twelve:

Go through and highlight/select all the frames. At the bottom of one frame it shows ‘0.1 sec’ with a down arrow to the right. Select the arrow, go to Other and type in 0.25 seconds. Make sure every frame is now labeled with 0.25 sec. At this point you can go to the first frame and push the play button. Pretty cool, right?!

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

Step Thirteen:

Now to save. Go to File>Save for Web and Devices. Look at the following photo, there are some items circled in red. Make sure you change those items to how mine are listed. The file should be saved as a GIF. Colors should be set to 256. However, most blogs only allow you to upload a file that is under 10M in size, so if it is larger than that you will need to change the color option to 128. Lastly, make sure the looping option is set to Forever.  Then select Save.  Now your file is ready to be uploaded to your blog!

Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

And here’s the final product:
Learn How to Create Animated GIFs for Your Blog via

As you can see, animated GIFs are an easy way to add life to your blog. Whether it be capturing a fireworks show on the Fourth of July, hairspray action while a bride is getting ready, or a family playing in a pile of colorful fallen leaves, you really can’t go wrong with giving this tutorial a try!

Natural Light Photographer Nicole Hansen Nicole Hansen is a natural light photographer in Madison, Wisconsin. She specializes in child and family portraits and has a strong preference for shooting stylized themed sessions. You can stop by her blog, see her most recent works on Facebook or follow her on Pinterest.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

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idie March 15, 2013

I’m really excited to make my first GIF, but something is going wrong. When I try to stack images, they show up in the layers area while they are loading, but when they are finished, they disappear. Has anyone else had this problem and does anyone know how to fix it??


Kindle Fire Coupons December 16, 2012

Great tips To Create Animated GIF’s.
Thank again…


Marten December 7, 2012

Great tutorial, thanks Just put up a Christmas greeting using animation. Also took the liberty of adding link to the tutorial on my blog.


jan kovitch November 30, 2012

How to Create Animated GIF Photos for Your Blog


Linda November 29, 2012

I pinned this. I can’t wait to try it but I’m really busy getting the blog ready for the 12 Days of Christmas – an event on my blog. :) Anyway, nice. Thanks, following you on Google+ and Twitter. Would love a follow back. Linda


May November 28, 2012

Thank you! I will definitely be trying this out!


Declan Mc Glone November 28, 2012

How to Create Animated GIF’s #photography


stacey November 27, 2012

this is SWEET! i’m testing it out on my blog TONIGHT! thanks!!


Christy Mildrum November 27, 2012

So cool Nicole!! Your blog post is awesome! Can’t wait to try this out! Thanks!


Patricia November 27, 2012

Yes, I agree, a tripod is a necessary if you’re using the individual photograph method. Even the slightest movement in the camera’s position will cause the entire GIF to move & jerk around. You could compensate by carefully lining up the images (pixel perfect) & then cropping the entire GIF or you could take HD video & lift images for the GIF from the video, which I find to be a more effective method.


Angie November 27, 2012

How cool is this?! —>RT @iheartfaces: How to Create Animated GIF's for your blog


Penelope Guzman November 27, 2012

How to make animated GIF's for your site! (tutorial)


Amy Jackson November 27, 2012

Can this be accomplished with PSE 11?


Andrea Riley November 27, 2012

Love, love, love this! :) I’ve always meant to try this out. Now, I’m inspired to give it a go. Thanks for the great tutorial!


Brian November 27, 2012

I’d suggest using a tripod too so it turns out less shaky.


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