I've drawn an animation frame by frame in Photoshop Elements. Turns out I can't put it all together. Help?

A friend of mine needed an animated intro for a video of his. Being the generous person I am, I decided to make one.

This being my first attempt at animation, I stuck to (tediously) drawing out each frame in photoshop and saving each frame as a jpeg, not knowing what I would do with the surplus frames I would end up with afterwards. I am now stuck with an entire animation's worth of jpegs, and no way of animating them. Not only that, but the animation has to eventually come out as a .avi file, so my friend can stick it in the beginning of his video.

The jpegs are saved at a 1280x960 resolution, with 300 dpi. If anyone who knows a bit about animation could point me in the right direction (maybe in the direction of a free program or at least a trial of a not so free program), I'd really appreciate it.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    To actually compile your jpegs into the movie, I'd suggest using Monkeyjam if you're on a PC. It's free.


    AnimatorDV: Simple+ is also free.


    So is SAM Animation.


    If you're on a Mac, you could try Framethief or FramebyFrame.



    With any of these programs you can import your pics and turn it into an avi. You can also set the framerate of your video to match your friend's, and how long each image lasts onscreen (even as little as one frame).

    This amount of control will help your animation look less slow and less choppy. Keep in mind that most stop motion programs have a frame limit of around a 1000 or so, so if you have more images than that you might have to work it in parts and then put the avi files you've created together in a video editing program (like windows movie maker). If you have a decent video editing program like Adobe Premier or Final cut Pro, you can also import all your pics into the timeline and export it as video as well.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    What you need is video editing software (or flash), not animated gif software. You'll be extremely disappointed in the results if you do it in Photoshop (or any other animated gif supported software). For one thing, the filesize of the final product (with 10,000 frames) would be so huge you might need that 2tb drive to run it. lol (2) Photoshop limits your frame count to 500 I believe. (3) Gif format only supports a maximum of 256 colors, so there goes your HD quality. and (4). the longer an animation is, the slower it will run. It would lose gas as you got closer and closer to the end of the animation. So your 24 - 30 fps rate would be more like 1 fp minute -- or more with 10,000 frames -- as it got closer to the end.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well getting them organized and animated isn't going to be difficult. Using the animation in a video may be a tad problematic. Gif animations are created to run in emails and on websites. They are usually low resolution and small-sized. Elements won't animate files if they're too big. You can make yours and see how it works in a video - assuming you can find a gif to avi converter. The next time you get an overwhelming desire to do a good deed, use the open-source Synfig to do it;-)


    There are a number of other free animation programs floating in cyberspace.


    Open the jpgs you've created. If you've got more than 10 of them, don't open more than 6 or 7. Move the image that's #1 a little to the right (or left). click on the Move Tool, click on image #2 and drag it onto #1. Click on image #3 and drag it onto #1. Do this for all the images in your animation, drag them all onto #1. In the Layers Palette you'll see them all stacking up. Now for some tidying up. Right click on the first (the bottom) layer in the Layers Palette (Background) and click on Layer From Background - animations don't run if the first layer is locked and Background layers are locked. Before you do anything else save this file in psd or gif format.

    Next, let's resize for NTSC animation. The standard NTSC video frame size is 720x480 so Image>Resize>Image Size. For now leave the resolution at 300. Make sure the boxes next to Resample and Constrain Proportions are checked. Change the width in the top box (pixel units) to 720 if your images are landscape orientation or 480 if they're portrait. Hopefully the other dimension will by close to what it's supposed to be. If it isn't, tweak one or the other 'til the dimensions are as close as you can get them to 720x480.

    (For later, if needed: If NTSC sizes don't work, resize for normal gif animation. Image>Resize>Image Size. Uncheck the box next to Resample and change the Resolution to 72. Recheck the box next to Resample and, up in the Pixels box at the top of the dialog, change the width to something between 350 and 600 - whatever works for the design you've created. Click OK.)

    Let's animate: File>Save For Web


    I made a HUGE error in this screenshot: the box next to animate has to be checked. Select GIF format and the other boxes associated with it should change automatically. In the Animation section at the bottom, make sure "Loop" is checked. You can fiddle with Frame Delay after you preview. If you haven't gotten a message that the file is too big - yell "Yippee" and click on the Preview Button (#5). If it runs too fast, use a larger Frame Rate. When it looks like you want it to, click OK at the top and the Save As box will appear. Give it a different file name than the original (Jeff's Day Off becomes Jeff's Day Off Ani). Click OK and you're done.

    If you get a File Too Big message. Go back and decrease the resolution. Image>Resize>Image Size. Uncheck the Resample box, try 200 first and, if you need to, decrease resolution until you get something that works. Click OK. Please don't forget to save the file with a slightly different name after each change you make.

    If you get down to a resolution of 72 and it still doesn't animate, you're going to have to change the frame size. You can do that easily in the

    Save For Web window.

    Now, conversion...... Good News! If you have Windows, Windows Movie Maker will publish a gif animation to NTSC-AVI. I just tried it with one of my animations and it worked. Phew! Start>Programs>Windows Movie Maker Click on Import Media and browse to your animation. Drag it down onto the timeline. Over in the list in the left margin, the Publish To section. If you want to put it onto a friend's video, "This Computer" or DVD, etc. is probably your best choice. (In fact, you might be able to put your gif directly into the program your friend is using to edit his video.) In the next window that opens, select the third choice and choose NTSC-AVI and click OK.

    Note: the animation I used had a transparent background which was black when I played it on Windows Media Player.

    Good Luck!

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