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How to Create a Gif in Photoshop

Have you ever seen those super cute photo gifs and wonder how they were made? I have written out a step-by-step guide on the easiest way to make these how to make them!

1. Planning

The most challenging part about creating a gif is remembering! I have gone to shoots with the intention of creating fun gifs, and completely forget to shoot for them. In order to create a gif that flows like a video, you will need no less than 30 images. This means you will be shooting at a very high rate over a few seconds. Your camera should have a "high speed" option for shooting. Before I shoot the gif, I give my couples a prompt. For the one above, I instructed them to run into each other's arms, pick up the bride, and give each other a kiss. If there is one thing a gif needs more than the amount of images, it's movement. You don't even need your subject to be running and jumping. You could have one person pull the other one in for a kiss, or have one person behind the other snuggling into the crevice of their neck. The options are endless.

2. Open Up Photoshop

Once you have taken a sequence of images, you will load them into photoshop using Scripts<Load Files into Stack

Then, select the sequence of images you want to use, then click "ok". For this GIF, I used 32 images.

GIF Tutorial on Photoshop

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

3. Load your Layers

Once your images are loaded into Stack, you will select the first file, scroll to the bottom, and hit shift as you click the last file. This will ensure all the files you load into stack are highlighted. You can also click them one by one while holding the Ctrl button. Once all images are selected, hit "ok".

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

4. Open the Timeline Feature

In order to create a GIF, we will use the Timeline feature in order to place the images in sequence. Go to Window<Timeline to add this feature to your workspace.

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

5. Create Frame Animation

You will notice the "Create Frame Animation" button located in the center of the timeline. Click this button and you will see the first image pop up on the timeline. After the first image pops up, click on the hamburger icon (the three stacked horizontal lines).

When the hamburger icon is clicked, the option to "Make Frames from Layers" will appear. Click this, and all the images from your layers will be loaded into the timeline.

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

6. Re-order the Images as Needed

If the images load in and they are out of order, you can simply drag the images back into the correct order by grabbing the image and dragging.

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

7. Change the Length of Each Clip

Once you have the clips loaded in the order you want them to show, you will change the timing of them. In order to change the length, click on the dropdown arrow to the bottom right of each image. I recommend to have each image set at 0.2 seconds. This will allow for a smooth gif, that isn't too fast or slow.

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

8. Export Media

In order to export this timeline as a GIF/video, you will go to File< Export< Render Video.

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

9. Choose Your Format

For the purposes of this tutorial, I exported my GIF in H.264 format, 25fps, and a size ratio of 1920x1080. This will export your GIF in a format that makes it easy to post on social media as an Instagram Reel, Story, or Post. You can also post this on TikTok, and it would follow their size requirements. When you export the video, you will notice black bars on the edges, however, when you upload the GIF to an Instagram or TikTok it will force you to re-size the GIF and it fits perfectly in their size requirements!

Depending on your use for the GIF, you may desire to change the size setting.

After naming your GIF and getting all your settings correct, click "Render" and you will be seconds away from viewing your first GIF!

GIF Tutorial in Photoshop

I hope this tutorial equips you with all the knowledge you need to elevate your social media feed through using GIFs!

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