How To Make An Animated GIF In Photoshop 2022

Thanks to the rise of users on all social media platforms, things like photos or meme comments, emojis, GIFs, etc., have grown immensely popular. This way of communication has become so popular that instead of writing something, people simply look for a GIF or meme that seems funny or relatable and share it with all.

And nowadays, animated GIF has become way more popular than image sharing. But there is a catch!

You may not always find the right or relatable GIF when you need one. So the only best solution is to make a GIF yourself. And Adobe Photoshop is the best way to make them. 

And as you might have guessed, today’s article will tell you how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop. So hop on the wagon, and let’s take a ride to learn more about GIF making and how it can help grow your business.

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What Is An Animated GIF?

The full form of GIF is Graphics Interchange Format, a type of animated image file with movements. Another way of describing GIFs is that they are a series of still photos without any audio that move in loops. 

make Animation gif Photoshop

GIFs have an 8-bit format and can only show 256 colors. They usually appear grainy and do not contain any audio, and the content of a GIF moves in a loop. Moreover, a GIF can be of various sizes, as small as 1 MB and as large as MP4 format videos if you do not compress it. 

Sometimes, you can cut portions from any video and turn them into GIFs. But unlike video clips, GIFs do not require clicking on a PLAY button. They are instantaneous, meaning the GIF will keep playing on its own non-stop.

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How To Make An Animated GIF In Photoshop

Still, images are no longer fine, right? And you cannot always express everything using videos.

But GIFs are shortcuts and pretty amusing. Instead of sharing relatable memes, people now choose to use GIFs as a form of entertainment, a joke, and a way to celebrate occasions. And if you know how to make them, you can use them for personal and business purposes.

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So here is the step-by-step guide on how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop.

Step 1: Set Up The GIF Dimension

Even though the GIF size is not always a big deal, or even if it is only to share on a social media platform, it is best to use a size that will be suitable for all platforms. On the other hand, converting a large-size GIF into a smaller size will also reduce its quality. That is why it is best to set up the GIF size before moving to any other step.

To set up the GIF dimension, go to the top menu panel and select Image. From the drop-down menu, select Image Size, and a dialog box will appear.

Set up the GIF Height and Width as you require. But make sure to set the units to pixels/inch before you click OK.

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Step 2: Select Images

An animated GIF is usually created by using a series of images. So instead of selecting a single image or selecting them one by one, you need to use something more simple and quick. 

So start by selecting File from the top menu panel and select Scripts from the drop-down menu. It will open another drop-down menu and when it does, select Load Files Into Stack.

Once it opens the option to go to your device’s storage, browse through the system and find the images you want to select.

After selecting the images, press Ok. Then Photoshop will automatically load the images and will create a layer for each of your selected images.

But what if you do not have a series or sequence of images? What if you need to work with a single image to create a GIF? Well, things can seem slightly complex if you are dealing with a single image and want to add other images within it to create an animated version. 

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Step 3: File panel

Go to the File panel on top and click on it. Then select New from the drop-down menu. Drag and drop the image on the Photoshop project window.

You can also open the image by going to File and then Open to select the image from storage. If you want to use shortcuts, just press CTRL+O (COMMAND+O on MAC), and it will open the device storage.

If you want to add more frames within the image you selected, you must manually create a new layer for each frame. You can do it by selecting Layer from the top menu bar and New from the drop-down menu. And then again, select Layer from the next menu. You can also do it by selecting the Layer palette and then the Layer button.

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And no matter which method you choose, always make sure to rename the layers. Not only will it help you organize the frames according to your workflow, but it will also help you recheck the frames if needed.

Step 4: Open The Timeline Panel

You will need a keyframe to navigate through the GIF-making process. So the best way to do it is to open a Timeline window.

Unfortunately, you will not find or see the option by default or in any accessible option. So here is how you set it up.

Go to the top menu bar and select the Window panel to open the drop-down menu. And from the bottom of the drop-down menu, select Timeline to enable other options.

There you will find two options: Create Video Timeline and Create Frame Animation.

Step 5: Create Frame Animation

Let’s get to know what Frame Animation is to understand how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop.

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The Timeline Frame is the process of creating a frame-to-frame style mode to work on the animation for creating the GIF. You can add various effects, such as blinking and tweening text through the layers.

It will also allow you to adjust the layers whenever you need to rotate the texts, move the frames, or apply various filters or the frame’s time length.

And here is how you create the Frame Animation.

As soon as you click Create Frame Animation, Photoshop will automatically start creating a frame-by-frame mode. It will help you with adjusting the Timeline.

And once it is done, you will notice that your image sequences are laid out in a single frame. Here is where you will work on the GIF animation. 

Step 6: Create New Layers For Each New Frame

Before you start with the GIF-making steps, you must ensure that each image frame has its own separate layer. The perk of having separate layers is that you can edit the frames separately as well without altering any other frames or projects. It also helps you create a neater animation.

From the top menu bar, select the Select panel and click on All Layers from the drop-down menu.

Then locate the menu icon Timeline from the top right side of the window. After that, select Create New Layer for each New Frame option. And selecting this option will enable separate layers for each existing frame.

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Step 7: Make Frame From Layers

Go to the same menu from the Timeline window again. But this time, select Make Frame from Layers. It will now create a frame for each of the separate layers you previously got created in the Timeline.

And just like the previous layer option, creating separate frames will help you change or edit the elements of each layer and frame without altering others. But this step can be a hassle, and editing can become more complex if you have more layers and frames.

That is because the number of frames and layers will depend on the complexity of the animation you want to create.

Step 8: Set Frame Duration

Your animated GIF is almost set up now. But before moving to the final stage, you need to do a thing or two. 

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By now, you have all your image frames set up. But you must set up time duration to determine how long each frame will play out. If the frame duration is not set up, two things can happen.

  1. The GIF will play oddly or get stuck.
  2. It might not work at all.

Photoshop automatically sets each frame’s playing duration to 0 seconds. So you must change it according to how long you want each frame to play for because animation cannot play when it is set to 0. 

To set up the duration, click on each frame and then click the arrow icon. Then you can set up the frame duration for the animation. You can start by selecting a low playing duration, such as 0.2 or 0.5 seconds. You can always change it later if you need to.

Step 9: Set The Looping Option

An animated GIF can be on loop or repetitive. It means the animation or clip will keep playing on repeat. And using the looping option, you can set up how many times the animation will play whenever someone views or come across it.

Under the Timeline, you will find looping options that say, Once, 3 times, and Forever. You can choose any of these options. These are the pre-made options to help you quickly.

But you can also select Other and customize the setting per your choice. But most people would simply choose Forever, as GIFs are usually meant to play on repeat.

Step 10: Check Preview

Your GIF is ready to be saved. But before that, it is wise to check and see if the GIF animation turned out exactly how you wanted or requires any changes. Thankfully, Photoshop allows you to get the preview without requiring you to save the GIF, saving you a lot of extra hassles.

Animated Check Photoshop

To check the preview, all you need to do is click the Play button at the bottom of the Timeline window. In most cases, the GIF plays out successfully well. But if you think something is amiss, you can always fix them frame-to-frame using the layer options.

Step 11: Export And Save The GIF

GIFs require a different saving system than images or videos. Instead of using the Save or Save as options directly, you need to export the GIF. And here is how you can do it.

Go to the File panel from the menu bar and select it. Then select Export from the drop-down menu. When the next drop-down menu opens, choose to Save for Web (Legacy).

You can get the option directly by using the shortcut option by pressing ALT+SHIFT+CTRL+S (OPTION+SHIFT+COMMAND+S on MAC).

 Photoshop Animation

If you haven’t set up the GIF’s color and dimension beforehand, you can make changes from here. You can rename the GIF and click Save from the bottom of the dialog box to complete the saving process.

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How To Use GIFs For Marketing/Brand

Animated GIFs are now very popular on social media, websites, and blogs. They are also commonly used for brand promotion and various marketing purposes. So here are the aspects where you can use an animated GIF.

On Social Media

I believe Pinterest has been the very first social media platform to enable the use of GIFs. Still, now, GIFs are quite popular on Pinterest. And then Twitter enabled posting GIFs, which became a popular way to introduce brands and do marketing.

Then the biggest change happened when Facebook joined the party, and by then, it was the most used social media platform in the world. So now, using this platform and GIFs, companies have been doing marketing and promoting business.

On Websites And Blogs

Nowadays, almost all businesses and brands have websites. Customers or clients can learn many thighs about the company or understand tutorials with the help of animated GIFs there. So to help your website viewers understand your business or purpose more clearly, you can use animated GIFs in various sections of your blog or web post.

In Email

Have you ever considered using animated GIFs when sending emails to someone? Of course, you cannot send a GIF to tell your boss that you are sick or need a day off. But if you are sending out emails for marketing purposes, GIFs can be an excellent option instead of regularly attached images. Besides, it makes the whole thing easier and more fun.

As Marketing Campaign

If you are a part of a marketing campaign, GIFs can help you engage more people in a project. For example, various companies allow their audience to take part in their campaign to share their work. Then these works are shown as a GIF on social media platforms and websites. It is a very effective way to promote business.

To Express A Brand’s Personality

What type of business do you own? Would you like your customer or audience to get a better idea about your brand? You can try using an animated GIF to express what your company or brand is all about. For example, if you own a company that offers delivery service, you can use animated GIF that shows something similar.

For How-To Projects

Sometimes, it is easier to show how something is done than to express it with words. If you own a website or make social media posts regarding various tutorials, animated GIFs can be a very appropriate way to show what you are trying to tell your audience. You can make different GIFs for your step-by-step projects to demonstrate the idea.

Celebrate Special Moments

Nowadays, you will find ready GIFs to celebrate special days or occasions. From weekends and birthdays to New Year and Halloween, GIFs can come in handy everywhere. And talking about Halloween, you can certainly use it to spook people out.


GIFs are fun to make and share. But what makes them more interesting and popular is tier ability to grab attention and relate to certain contexts. So here are some tips to help you get more creative with GIFs.

  • The more image slides you use, the smoother transition the GIF will have. But you must also know that using more sliders can make the GIF appear slower and take more time to load.
  • Do not hesitate to get creative with the GIF’s size because there is no limitation. However, smaller size loads and works faster than larger files.
  • Be picky with colors when it comes to making a new GIF. Using less color will allow you to make GIFs of longer duration while they will still have a comparatively smaller file size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Adobe Photoshop is the best software there is for making perfect GIFs. You can rely on other software or automated applications, but Photoshop is always more effective and offers more customizing options.

Yes, you can convert any video into GIF animation using a converter. GIPHY is one such program, and you can also turn YouTube videos into GIFs using it. Just copy and paste the video URL on the empty box and adjust the slider to cut out the portion you want to convert. 

Final Verdicts

GIFs are fun to share and watch, even if it is showing a workplace demonstration. So whether you are working on an important project or just want to share something with your friends, knowing how to make an animated GIF on Photoshop is a big flex. And if you are a newbie, make sure to keep up the practice to keep making insane animated GIFs.

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