Photoshop 101 – Simple Animation in Photoshop

August 26, 2009 • By

Did you know you could create simple animations in Photoshop? This is another one of those lesser utilized features. In versions previous to CS3 animation was handled in a separate program called Image Ready, but now the animation capabilities are included with versions CS3 and beyond! In this tutorial ill show you how to create some simple animations with bananas 🙂

Plan your animation

In this animation I’ll be using some text and an image of bananas. I’ll be making the bananas move on and off the screen, tweening (creating transitions between frames) and changing the positioning and color.

The Animation Palette and creating frames

Create a new document in Photoshop and open the animation palette by going to window>animation.

The animation palette has two views: Frame view and time line view. You can click on the icon on the bottom right (highlighted in pink) to toggle the views. We will be working on frame view today.

Create your images on separate layers. Animation is created by moving your images around to different positions in each frame.

Frame length

You an also change the time length each frame displays.

Creating a Tween

Create a new frame. Turn the banana text layer off and turn the banana image layer on.

Next create a new frame again. Click on the 2nd frame and move the bananas to the left of the screen so they are not visable.

Select the 2nd and 3rd frame and click the tween icon:

A pop-up box will then appear asking you how many frames to tween and what parameters to include. We have only changed the position of the bananas, but you can also use Photoshop effects, and opacity as well.

After the tween photoshop ads the frames to your animation. Click the play button to preview your animation.

Saving For Web

When you are all done go to file>Save for web and save it as a .gif file. Piece of cake!

So go ahead and go nuts! Be creative and spice up your animation. I spent just a few more minutes and created this ballet of bananas:

Download the PSD (ZIP)

What do you think?

Want to know how to do something in Photoshop? Have a question? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Tutorial written by  Niki Brown – author of The Design O’Blog and Daily Design Bits.  Follow Niki (@nikibrown) on twitter!