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.
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.
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.
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.
Go to your image folder and delete all the RAW files [or move them to another folder] and keep all the JPEGs.
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.]
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.
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.
Once your files have completely loaded, go to Window>Animation.
Resize the file for your blog. Go to Image>Image size. I change my width to 850 and the resolution to 72.
In the animation window there is an icon in the upper right hand corner, pull down the menu and select Make frames from layers.
Then after the frames load in your animation window, go to the same icon and select Reverse frames.
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?!
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!
And here’s the final product:
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!
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.