How to Make an Animated GIF with Photoshop

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March 28, 2018

How to Make an Animated GIF with Photoshop

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No matter how you pronounce it, GIFs are the internet sensation that never fail to get a laugh. They’re a great way to spark engagement, grab attention, and score some points on social media—in other words, GIFs make people feel like this:

how to make a gif

Making a GIF is another story. If you’re not familiar photo and video editing programs and the process of how to make a GIF, it can be a little overwhelming and cause you to do one of these:

how to make a gif

That’s why we’re here to help. There are many different ways to create a GIF, but nothing gives you complete control like Photoshop. So, if you want to learn how to make a GIF in Photoshop and turn some heads on the web, grab a video from our library, open up Photoshop, and follow this short and sweet tutorial.

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How to Make and Edit GIFs in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1. Import Your Video into Photoshop

After you open Photoshop, click File > Import > Video Frames to Layers. This will make it so that each frame in the video will exist as its own layer, making it easier to edit your soon-to-be GIF. For this tutorial, we used this clip of a man running and jumping on the beach.

how to make a gif

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Step 2. Adjust the Length of Your Video

After you import your video, a window pops up that allows you to adjust the length of your GIF. Adjust the in-point and out-point by dragging the markers underneath the timeline. You can also adjust the number of frames you want to import. The more frames you skip, the choppier the GIF will be. Importing every two frames will give it that authentic GIF feel, but no two GIFs are the same.

how to make a gif

Step 3. Adjust the Time of Each Frame

The next step is to adjust the speed of your GIF. You can do this by highlighting all of the frames in the timeline window within Photoshop and clicking on the scroll down button at the bottom of a frame panel. This setting is completely up to you, so pick whichever time works best for your project.

how to make a gif

Step 4. Set the GIF on a Loop

At the bottom of the timeline window, there is a drop-down menu that allows you to change the looping setting of the GIF. GIFs typically operate on an endless loop, so set the loop to “Forever.”

Step 5. Export your GIF

When you’re done perfecting your GIF, click File > Export > Save for Web and change the file type to GIF. From here you can adjust certain settings—like the lossy compression, dither, and colors—to make your GIF a nice, small size for uploading on the web. Adjusting these settings may lower the quality of the final product, but GIFs aren’t known for being high-definition, cinematic masterpieces.

how to make a gif

how to make a gif

You did it! You made a GIF in Photoshop—it’s time to throw your hands in the air and celebrate your new skills in the art of GIF-making.

how to make a gif

As you can see, making GIFs isn’t all that difficult, and now that you know how to create your own GIFs in Photoshop, you can customize your own to share with friends and family. Our library of royalty-free footage that’s perfect for making all of your GIF dreams come true. If you loved this tutorial and want more like it, read through our tutorial on how to animate vectors in Photoshop to create a different kind of animation, then explore our collection of Adobe After Effects tutorials to become a pro-level animator.

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Christopher Petow

Freelance Writer

Chris is a freelance writer and filmmaker from Florida. A student in the University of Florida’s telecom program, he writes about film craft, After Effects hacks, and the best gear for filmmakers in the field.