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Tutorial: animating your blinky

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June 23rd, 2006, 04:12 AM
greenjeans's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Galveston, TX
Posts: 1,731
This is the basic tutorial for animating within Photoshop Elements (I specifically use 4.0)

We are going to familiarize you with the basics of using layers and putting them together to form an animation and also the basics of the main menus.
Here is the main menu; this is where you are going to find all your functions

And you are looking for a tool bar like this that has a layers palette

Step one: Create a new document: I should tell you that the size in the below examples are 150 px by 20 px

Step two: Create your first frame by adding pictures and/or text. You can add pictures by opening them in PSE and dragging them to the new document. Click on the hollow boxes around the edge to resize the image and press the shift key to keep it proportionate when you resize. Add text by using the text tool on the left hand tool box. Once you have all your elements for a frame you will see your layers show up like this.

Step three: Once you have all your elements together you can merge all the layers into one layer making your first frame. Click on all the elements you want to include in the frame making sure that anything you don’t want is not visible (no eyeball in the layers menu) by clicking on the eye in the layers palette and either select “merge layers” in the layers menu or “ctrl, shift, E” keys. When you are working with a blinky that has two layers for the dashed line, DO NOT merge them with your frames because of duplication issues. Leave those as a layer you’re not working on, or invisible (see below.) You will merge the dots with the background layer later.

Step four: If you are using the same frame for the blinky and the only thing moving is the dotted lines, you can just select “duplicate layer” or the “ctrl J” keys to make an exact copy. Otherwise go to the layer menu up top and select “new” and the “layer” or the “shift, ctrl N” keys. And again, add any elements you’d like to add to the new frame.
*NOTE* If, for example, you have a graphic and text that you are using and only the text is going to change (the graphic is going to be in all the frames) duplicate the graphic layer (ctrl J) and make the copy invisible before merging.

Step five: Once all your frames are put together and in order from bottom to top in the layers palette, you are ready to animate and save. Click on the “file” menu and select “save for web” as described here

Which will bring you to this menu

Here is the fun part, you want to make sure that it is a gif image and select “animate” and then “loop.” Select the frame delay you’d like and preview to check it and then save. Name your file and voila, you’re done!

Don’t fear, I know this is daunting and it can be overwhelming. Take it step by step, slowly. If I were to give directions on how to tie your shoes, you’d probably be overwhelmed but once you can do it, it’s easy. It’s the same thing here. I tried to be as thorough as possible so that it would be less likely that someone would need to ask questions and wait for an answer to get to the next step.

Here’s the basic outline
1. Select the document size
2. Add your elements
3. Merge them together
4. Create a new layer
5. Add your elements
6. Merge them together
7. Save for web/animate

If you have problems, please don’t hesitate to PM me

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