Adobe Photoshop is a tool that a great number of creative minds are familiar and comfortable with. While it isnt software package that has been built with animation specifically in mind there it has huge potential as an animation tool. The ability to control an aesthetic within the software gives a very hands on feel to the process and endless possibilities for your end result. I hope that this tutorial will help bridge the gap between designer and animator, beginner and professional.
Before you get started you’ll need a basic-intermediate understanding of Photoshop, as well as a copy of Photoshop CS Extended (Which you can download from the Adobe website here)
The layout of the tutorial-
Part 1 Getting Started-
All the key features that you’ll need to know in order to get animation out of Photoshop. These include an introduction to the animation timeline as well as the steps you can follow to export your animation.
Part 2 Clean-up, Colour and Creating Actions.
A step by step walk through for creating some the actions that will help you speed up your animation workflow – including creating colour layers, effective bucket filling and creating your next frame. It also touches on the use of adjustment layers.
Part 3 Extra Tips and Tricks-
A few extra tips and tricks to help you get started animating in Photoshop. These include using preexisting videos in your animation, better manipulating the timeline and how to export gifs from Photoshop.
If you are using CS6, a few things wont work exactly the same way for you. I'll make a revised tutorial at some point but in the mean time-
To get the timeline, go to Window/Timeline. This will open the new Timeline window. Then Click 'Create Video Timeline'. To change the frame rate use the small option button in the corner of the Timeline Window and select 'Set Timeline Frame Rate'. You can now longer change the duration of the timeline using a dialog box, but you can extend it by dragging on of the video layers past the default 5 second point.
There is no longer a PNG quicktime export setting which is a bit of a bummer. I have started using 'Photoshop Image Sequence' and PNG as my default exporting.
A big new feature is being able to import image sequences straight into photoshop as video layers. Try that out. Its Great!
Also a great new feature is being able to apply clipping masks to groups. Once you start finding uses for this you'll wonder how you survived without it. Its amazing.