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How to Create an Animated Gif Using Photoshop

Create an animated profile picture, banner, or a simple short animation by using Photoshop to make an animated gif file.


  • Step 1: Start a new composition Open your images in Photoshop. Start a new composition by going to File, New, and then setting the image to your desired size.
  • Step 2: Unlock the background layer Double click on the Background layer in the Layers window to unlock it. Click Okay when prompted to change the background to Layer 0. Put each image in the new composition and Photoshop will create a new layer for each picture.
  • TIP: Set the color of Layer 0 to whatever color you prefer for the background of the animation.
  • Step 3: Add images to the composition Go to the first image you want to import, and double click the Background layer to unlock it. Using the Move tool, grab the image and drag it into your composition. Repeat for the remaining images; the composition automatically puts them on their own layer.
  • TIP: Resize the image by going to Edit, Transform, and Scale so that it fits the composition.
  • Step 4: Launch Animation window Launch the Animation window by selecting Window on the top menu, and then clicking Animate. The Animation window will appear at the bottom.
  • Step 5: Hide layers Specify which layers you want to see on the first frame of the animation by hiding the others. Hide a layer by clicking on the eyeball icon next to it in the Layer menu.
  • Step 6: Add new frames Click the Add New Frame or Duplicate Selected Frames button in the Animation window. As you add new frames, specify which layers to hide and show as the animation progresses.
  • Step 7: Adjust the animation Set the animation to loop by selecting Forever at the bottom left corner of the Animation window. Click Play to test the animation and adjust the timing by clicking the seconds under the frame.
  • Step 8: Save Save the animated gif by going to File, Save for Web and Devices, and selecting GIF. Test the animation by dragging the file into your internet browser.
  • FACT: Eadweard Muybridge invented the camera shutter in 1869, and photographed sequences of people and animals in motion.

You Will Need

  • Computer
  • Pictures
  • Adobe Photoshop

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