Create animated gif images in Photoshop CS5 or CS6

photoshop cs5 animated gif
Have you ever wondered how to make those cool images with animated content. The moving 'Hello' above is a simple example

Those images are called .gif files and here is how you can make your own using Photoshop CS5 or CS6

An animated file is made up of several static layers, so first you need to create the individual images that you want to appear in your animation. For our sample we have created a new file 60 pixels wide by 30 pixels high and then created layers with letters on them

animated gif stage 1

Once you have created the individual layers for your animation, you then need to tell Photoshop that you want to use them to create an animated gif image.

In Photoshop CS5: From the menu at the top click Window and then choose Animation from the drop down list.
In Photoshop CS6: From the menu at the top click Window and then choose Timeline from the drop down list

This will open a nifty little animation window at the bottom of the screen. In the top right hand corner of that window is a little grey click box. Click on it to see a new menu (see image below) and select the 'Make Frames From Layers' option.

animated gif stage 2

Now you have the layers as frames in the animation window and you can use the controls at the bottom of that window to set the duration each image will display. For our sample we highlighted all of the frames and set them to 0.5 seconds each. In the left hand drop down box we chose 'Forever' and you can see that the 'Hello' image keeps repeating in a loop. You can also choose to have your animated gif run only once or create custom settings. Experiment with all of the settings and you will see how versatile this photoshop feature is.

creating an animated gif in photoshop cs6

Once you are happy with your animation settings, choose 'save for web and devices' from the File menu and save your file as a .gif. Congratulations! You have now created an animated .gif file in Photoshop CS5 or CS6.

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