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 Photoshop Animation
Frame by Frame Animation in Photoshop

To create a hand drawn animation using Photoshop Frame Animation

In Photoshop, open a new file and use the Preset - Film& Video

Change the size to: HDTV 1080p 29.97 - then change the numbers to: 960 x 540

Select Window menu - Timeline


Pull down the menu to select Create Frame Animation


Then click the Button to actually get into the Frame Animation


Make sure it is in Frame Animation mode - Animation (Frames)


If not - Animation Palette Menu - Convert to Frame Animation

You need to have your Layer palette open and work with both the Animation palette and layer palette


Different ways to animate using the layers:

  • Turn layers on or off for each frame

  • Move the layers - drag it around with the pointer tool

  • Change Layer Opacity in the frame - in the layer palette

  • Can select more than 1 frame and drag the layer around

  • Change Layer Blending Mode in each frame

  • Add a style to the layer

  • Steps to making an animation

  • Make new layer

  • newlayer

  • change opacity to 75 (this is used for onion skinning) - change it back later

  • draw on the layer

  • duplicate the layer and move the object or erase and redraw the object in new spot

  • - you can also make a new layer but you need to set the opacity to 75 again

  • repeat the previous step till you have a nice stack of layers
  • When all done, you can change the opacity back to 100 by selecting all layers and sliding the Opacity to 100

  • go to the Animation (Frames) palette and select the first frame

  • turn on or off the layers you want to be visible in this frame

  • Duplicate or Add New Frame (by choosing it from the right top menu) or by clicking the icon in the bottom of the palette

  • newframe

  • Turn off and on layers for each frame duplicated

  • When you click the duplicate icon on the bottom it will duplicate the single frame or the series of frames you select

    If you select more than 1 frame, it will put them after the last frame you selected

    To insert new frames in the middle (Tweening)
  • Select the frame that you want the frames to go before

  • click the Tweens Animation Frames icon in the Animation palette

  • Select Previous frames, type number of frames, and only select the parameter that you want to change

  • If you select:
  • a single frame it asks if you want to put the additional frames

  • two contiguous frames, it puts the new frames in the middle

  • more than 3 or more frames, it replaces the middle frames with the new interpolated frames using
    the outer frames as the ones to determine the tweening

    The tween options:
  • all layers will make inbetweens for all layers in the frame

  • selected layers makes inbetweens for only the selected layers in the layer palette

  • Pull down on the delay number to select a new time delay

  • To set the loop
  • Pull down on the menu with Once in it to select Once, Forever or Other...

  • Changing the order of the frames
  • Drag the frame to a new spot in the row of frames

  • Reversing the frames
  • Select frames (can select frames that are not contiguous)

  • Animation palette menu - Reverse frames

  • To delete frames

    • Drag the drag to the trash or
    • select the frame and click the trash or
    • Animation palette menu - Delete Frame

      Cut, Copy, Paste Frames
      Select one or more frames

      Animation palette menu - Copy Frame
      Select the frame to indicate where you want to paste it
      Animation palette menu - Paste Frame
      Tell it where to paste it, Replace Frames, Paste over, Paste before, Paste after

      Adding a new layer each time you make a frame:
      Each time you want to add a new frame it is helpful to have a new layer if you are drawing frame by frame animation
      Under the animation palette menu - select:
  • Create new layer for each new frame

    You can also turn on or off
    New layers visible in all frames
    all newly created frames will appear in all frames

    Increase size of frame view
  • Animation palette menu - Panel Options

  • Video Layer Animation in Photoshop:

    Video Demo:

    First start by creating a NEW document : File - New

    new cs6

    Use the Preset - Film& Video

    Change the size to: HDTV 1080p 29.97 - then change the numbers to: 960 x 540


    Go to the Layer menu - New - Layer (or command Shift N on Mac)

    Select that new layer and click the brush tool.

    Use the Wacompen to draw a motion path for your bouncing ball. Use a color that will contrast with the color of your ball.


    Draw marks to indicate the spacing on a new layer. Think about which of these are your keyframes.

    Keyframes are usually the extreme positions.

    motion path tics

    Go to Layer menu - New - Layer (or use the icon in the layer window) and draw a ball over the first Tic mark.


    I usually set the Opacity to 75 temporarily (then change it back later) so I can see through.

    Repeat this for each ball you need to draw - one per Tic mark. Don't forget to make a new layer for each or duplicate the previous layer and move it.


    Select Window menu - Timeline


    Pull down the menu to select Create Video Timeline if it is not set to this


    Then click the Button to actually get into the Frame Animation


    You will notice each clip came in the size of the timeline. To shorten them:

    Position the Playback head on the 2nd frame (you may need to zoom in using the Mountain icon)

    Click the Split the Clip icon

    split clip

    Delete the extra layers by selecting them and hitting Delete or Backspace

    split clip

    Move each layer to arrange them in the Timeline


    Can use Onion Skinning by turning it on in the Timeline pull down menu

    When done, Export your animation.

    File Menu - Export - Render Video


    Exporting the Final Animation
    File - Export - Render Video
    Name it
    Select where you want to save it (select folder)

    Click Quicktime Export - Settings
    • Video Settings
    • Compression:
      • H.264 = not animation compression for a good playback speed
      • Animation compression is good for archiving your work but the file size is big and it may not playback without skipping
    • Frame Rate = Current or 15 fps or whatever frame rate you want - BUT REMEMBER DVDs play at 29.97 fps
    • Compressor = High NOT Best
    • OK
    No Optimize for Internet Streaming

    Set size or use Document size
    You can set the range to render

    Set Frame Rate or use the Document Frame Rate


    Bouncing Ball In class exercise

    Focus on the path of action and timing

    Revised version due: Thurs Jan 17

    Principles of Animation