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How To Make a GIF in Photoshop

How To Make a GIF in Photoshop

Photoshop is a powerful graphic design tool that allows users to create more than just still photos; if you want, you can create an animated GIF using a set of images or a video file. Here's a step-by-step guide to developing a GIF.

Step 1: Import the Images or Video

You can creating a GIF of a looping animation with still photos from a mobile device, point-and-shoot camera, or a DSLR. Keep in mind that images of higher quality will produce a better-looking GIF. To get started, load all the image files you want to use into a single layered file in Photoshop using the Load Files Into Stack function. 

If you prefer to make your GIF from a video file, Photoshop can convert the video frames into discrete layers. Import the video files using the Video Frames to Layers option. Short videos work best.

Step 2: Create a Frame Animation

Pull up the Timeline panel, which is located under the "Window" top menu. In the panel, select Create Frame Animation from the drop-down menu accessed through the panel's arrow button.

In the upper right corner of the Timeline panel, locate the menu icon. From the drop-down list, select Make Frames From Layers. The software will create individual animation frames from each of the layers.

Step 3: Finalize the Animation

You can use the Play button on the bottom of the Timeline panel to see a preview of the animation. Pressing your spacebar also initiates a preview. If the animation looks right, you can move on to Step 4. If it's playing backwards, click Reverse Frames in the Timeline menu.

Once you're happy with the way your animation looks, you can loop it by clicking the Forever button in the Repeat menu located at the bottom of the Timeline panel. Use Play or the spacebar to preview the looping animation.

Step 4: Export as a GIF

Now you're ready to convert your animation to a GIF. From the File menu, hover over Export, and then click Save for Web (Legacy). You'll see a menu allowing you to enter in the values for your file. In most cases, you'll choose GIF 128 Dithered for the Preset field, 256 for the Colors field, and Forever in the Looping Options field. The Image Size should be pre-filled, but you can change the Height and Width if you want to limit the file size. You may want to do this if you will be using the GIF online. Click Save, and verify the destination for your new file.

Photoshop makes it easy to turn photos or videos into an animated GIF. No matter what kind graphic design you're working on, Shutterstock's library of royalty-free images is a great place to start your project.
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