How to Create a Gif in Photoshop – 7 Simple Steps

create a gif in photoshop

Ever wondered why there are thousands and thousands of animated gif files making the rounds online? Because people love GIFs over static images any day.

Statistics say that over 2 million GIFs are downloaded by 250 million users from GIPHY, more than 36 million GIFs are shared via FaceBook messenger and about 70 million GIFs are sent via Whatsapp every day.

We know it’s a massive number! That’s how popular GIFs are today.

Whether it is a lighthearted Good Morning message from your favorite character or an interesting way to show off your brand, GIFs are a powerful form of visual communication. If you haven’t leveraged GIFs to level up your marketing game yet, dig deep into this blog post to start making the most out of it.

What does GIF stand for?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. They are a string of images, pulled together frame by frame and given an animated effect. Invented by Steve Wilhite in 1987, GIFs are a hybrid between an image and a video. Unlike video files, they are easy to create and do a better job of striking an emotional chord with the audience.

Benefits of GIF

GIFs are not just entertaining elements that you can add to your posts to bring a happy smile to your audience’s face, they are a powerful tool to promote your brand. With the pain and effort it takes to conceptualize, produce and edit a video, GIFs are the best replacements to shoot up user engagements. That’s the major reason why most brands are harnessing the power of GIFs to gravitate their audience towards their audience.

Check out some of the ways you can use them to leverage your brand.

Use them to tell your brand story

Storytelling is an important part of brand building, especially when your target medium is social media. You need a different approach to cut through all the noises and find a way to engage with your audience. What better way to do that than adding animated GIFs to your branding strategy?

GIFs are the mid-ground between a dreary text and overly complex videos. They are a perfect mix to turn any ordinary brand story into an engaging way.

Many established and evolving brands such as, Stuart Weitzman, manages to perfect the usage of GIFs on their website. Their journey of persuasion and storytelling continues throughout the social media platforms, conveying all the right messages to their audience. Check out the finest guide for how to flip an image in Photoshop.

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Use them in your email marketing campaigns

Include them in your email marketing campaigns to increase the open and conversion rate.

Who are your buyer personas? From which demography are they from? What do they like the most? Try to find answers to these questions and include relevant GIFs in your emails. Some of the best ways to use GIFs in your emails are to,

  • Add a little motion to your Call-to-Action buttons (CTAs)
  • Add healthy humor to your message
  • Display multiple products all at once
  • Explain how-tos
  • Promote sales or discounts

You can include one in your next email marketing campaign to delight your target audience and boost your Click Through Rate (CTR).

Use them on your social media

Social media is the ultimate weapon that every marketer uses to build rapport with their audience. There is so much of a rat race that every business wants to win. The stakes to grab and hold the attention of the audience is higher than ever. More than static images, GIFs tend to do the job better. It not only appeals to the audience but keeps them engaged.

Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on animated gifs:

  • It shows that you are up with the current trend and resonates well with the audience.
  • It conveys emotions better than texts or static images
  • It increases the click-through rates
  • It can be shared easily across multiple platforms and among a wider audience.

Use them to engage your audience

Messages with visuals are perceived well by the users than plain texts. It increases the CTRs by 73%.Whether you want to spearhead a way to express your emotions, lean on to the recent trends, or increase the click-through rates, page views, and engagement ratios, GIFs can be your ideal partner. It makes your message more engaging and more human. Here are some of the ways you can boost user engagements through GIFs,

  • Add actionable CTAs – Well, you have a long crafted message ready to blast them to your audience and keen on persuading them to hit on the “Sign up today” or “Buy Now” buttons at the end of your message, adding animations to the CTAs can do the trick.
  • Launch your product or services: Stringing together the images of your products and featuring them all in one single GIF can shed a bright light on your product or service and give your users a crystal clear picture of what your product/service is all about.
  • Promote a sale: With a bright and blinking GIF, you can keep your audience’s attention on the special offer that you are promoting.
  • Fit for a quick demo: GIFs are an excellent way to give a quick demo of how your product or services works, like how Sprout Social did for their new feature launch.


How to create a GIF in Photoshop?

Creating GIFs is not rocket science. If you have access to Adobe Photoshop software (and a little patience), you can create animated Gif in a jiffy. There are many ways to create animated gifs. You could do that by loading a stack of images onto the software and adding an animation to them. You can also convert the full-form video file into a single-layered gif, or build one from scratch.

In this blog, we have created a simple yet engaging animated GIF in photoshop. We will take you through each step and help you in creating one for yourself.

Without any further swirl, let’s get down to the business!

Step 1: Set up the size and resolution

As a headstart, set up the document by choosing the right dimension and resolution. There are no standard sizes to follow when it comes to creating animated GIFs. You have the liberty to choose the one that fits well for the output of your animation.

make a gif in photoshop

Make sure to check on the color mode as well. The color mode should always be RGB since the animations are made specifically for digital screens.

making a gif in photoshop

We have chosen the dimensions to be 900* 596 pixels and the resolution to be 72 pixels for this sample project.

You can set the size for your gif file by clicking on the File > New > Preset details. Once you have chosen the required size and resolution, tap on the Create button.

make gif in photoshop

When you have the images ready and if you are planning on animating the images, then click on the Files > Scripts >>Load files into stack. You can import them all into a document, separate the images using layers and start animating them.

Step 2: Create frames

You should start designing the frames before you can transform them into a beautiful GIF. The more frames you use in your GIF the smoother the animation effect will be. There are three simple ways to create frames. One is to tap on the menu Window > Layers.

create gif in photoshop

The other one is to click on the small button seen visible on the Layers panel. You can also press the Shift key + F7 to start creating layers.

how to make a gif on photoshop

A word of warning when creating multiple layers for your animation is to give unique and easily identifiable names to each layer. It will help you to trace back all the layers efficiently.

Once you have all the layers ready, let’s move on to the next steps to create frame animation.

Step 3: Open up the timeline window

Photoshop offers two types of timelines; video timeline and frame timeline. The video timeline is where you can directly upload any video files to the software, define the key points for the in-between frames and convert it into an engaging GIF.

how to export a gif in photoshop

Whereas, the frame timeline is where you select the layers you created as individual frames and animate them into an engaging GIF. Since we are not going to convert the video files and intended to convert the layers on our Layers panel, we are going to skip the first timeline and go with the second one.

To open the Timeline, click on the dropdown menu, Windows > Timeline.

gif in photoshop

A Timeline window appears at the end of the screen. When you select Create Frame Animation option from the menu, a window something similar to the one you see in the screenshot below will appear in front of you. Select the down-pointing arrow that says Create Frame Animation on the menu.

make gif photoshop

Step 4: Make frames from layers

In Adobe Photoshop software, you will never be able to animate the background layer. You will have to convert each layer into frames before adding any animations to the file.

how to make gifs in photoshop

To make frames from layers, select all the layers of the files by going over the menu, Select > All Layers and then tap on the timeline menu icon on the upper right corner of the timeline panel.

how to create gif in photoshop

Choose the menu, Create a New Layer for Each New Frame and then Make Frames from Layers from the dropdown list. This will separate layers and convert them into individual frames for your GIF.

how to export gif in photoshop

There is an easy way to create frames without taking a trip through all the menus and options. Click on the down-pointing menu icon in the timeline panel and your frame will automatically be added to the timeline panel.

how to create gif in photoshop
create gif photoshop

Now that you have created frames for the animations, let’s move on to set the timers for each frame.

Step 5: Set the delay time and looping options

Setting up the time delay for each frame sets the tone for your animation. If you would like to create a stop motion animation file, then set long time delays for each frame. If you wish to create a smooth animation, then set short delays for each frame.

Based on the requirement, you can also set the time delay for a single frame or for multiple frames in an animation.

how to make a gif with photoshop

To set the time delay, click on the time menu found at the bottom of each frame and choose the amount of time you want from the menu.

Once the delay time for each frame is set, you can set the looping options for your animations. Click on the loop option seen next to the time menu and choose a specific number of times, once or forever to loop your animation. You can resize your image with simple steps, check out the guide on how to resize images in Photoshop.

making gifs in photoshop

Step 6: Preview your animation and iterate

Do you want to check what your final animation will look like? Make use of that Preview button. Tap on the Play button on the timeline window to run the animated frames.

You can make the last minutes changes if you want and export the final file for your use.

animated gif in photoshop

Step 7: Save and export it to GIF

Finally, we are here at the last step of successfully completing the animated gif. Once you have the animation ready, export your final file to GIF format. To do so, click on the menu File > Export >> Save for web legacy.

creating a gif in photoshop

An Export window will appear in front of you, where you can choose the type of GIF file you want under the Preset menu. Click on the Save button and export the final gif file.

Pro tip: If you are using the GIF online and want to minimize the file size, change the width height fields in the Image Size options.

create animated gif photoshop

And there you have it – the final animated gif that is ready to be shared across any online site. With some basic Photoshop skills and these simple seven steps, you can create a stunning animated GIF anytime. Check out All Time Design for top guides on designs. Check out how to remove the background in Photoshop. If you come across a corrupted or damaged GIF during the process, you can utilize the GIF Repair tool to fix the GIF or other JPG/JPEG files.

But if you are looking for robust and trendy GIFs that will increase your user engagement and RoIs for your brand, you can connect with our world-class design team. With their skills and expertise with the software, our designers will be able to deliver scroll-stopping animated GIFs within a day. Get started here! Check out when you need the Lightroom and Photoshop, the guide for you Lightroom vs Photoshop

March 29, 2022
10 min read
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