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Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements >

Animated GIFs (Flip Books)


An animated GIF is made from a series of still images.

Do the following.


1) Make about twelve exposures of a scene with movement.

The camera should be on a tripod or stationary on a surface.

Open the Photographs

2) Open the photographs in Photoshop Elements.


If the photographs don't need any editing, jump ahead.

3) Edit the photographs as needed.

Make Composite Layers

A composite layer contains all of the layers of your photograph.

4) Do the following.

a) Deselect the eye icons on the layers you don't want to merge.

b) Make sure the top layer is active (highlighted).

c) Select > All.

d) Edit > Copy Merged.

e) Edit > Paste.

For other ways to make composite layers, go to Composite Layers.

Move the Photographs

5) In the Photo Bin at the bottom of your screen, double click the first photograph in the sequence.

Let's call this photograph #1.

You will move all of the the other photographs into the layers stack of #1.

6) Select the Move tool.

Do the following for each of the other photographs.

a) Double click on the thumbnail for the next photograph.

b) Click and hold on the large image of the photograph in the work area.

c) Drag it down to the thumbnail of #1 in the Photo Bin.

If you haven't already done so, go to Move a Layer.

When you're finished moving the eleven photographs, the layer stack will look like this one.

Layer 11

Layer 10

Layer 9

Layer 8

Layer 7

Layer 6

Layer 5

Layer 4

Layer 3

Layer 2

Layer 1


* #1

Resize the Photographs

Animated GIF files can't be huge.

You'll have to make the twelve photographs smaller.

7) Go to Image > Resize > Image Size.

8) Make sure all three check boxes are selected on the lower left side of the Image Resize window.


9) Enter, say, 400 px or 3 inches in the Width box.

10) Select Bicubic Sharper in the menu at the bottom of the Resize window.


11) Click OK.

Save for Web

12) Go to File > Save for Web.

13) In the Preset section, select:

• The GIF file format.

• Animate.

Use the default settings for the other choices.


14) In the Animation section:

• Select Loop to repeat the animation continuously in a web browser.

• Use Frame Delay to set the speed of the animation.

The value you enter is the number of seconds each frame (layer) is displayed.

You can enter a fraction of a second by using decimals.

Enter .5 for half of a second, for example.


15) Click OK.

Undo the Resizing

16) Undo the resizing by clicking the blue Undo arrow.

17) Then save the file as a psd.

You can reopen the file, and change the size of the file, as needed.

View Your Animated GIF

You view your animated GIF with a web browser, such as Edge, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Double click the GIF file to open it.

If that doesn't work, do the following.

a) Right click on the file.

b) Select Open With.

c) Select a web browser.