Can I Animate Graphics in Adobe Photoshop?


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Pro Member
Yes you can and it's very simple to do. Much more simple than applications from years ago. I remember working with Adobe LiveMotion and Macromedia Flash trying to animate graphics. While Flash was much more robust than LiveMotion was, there were shortcomings in both. Today's software is much better at these types of things.

Animating graphics in Photoshop is the same as animating any other element while creating a video file. The nice thing is that you can export your animation as an MP4 file and then import that file as a video clip in a larger video project.

I recently wrote a post that discussed how to go about animating both a placed graphic as well as some raw text in Photoshop. If you'd like to read that post about animation, please do. Today's post here will be just a synopsis of what I authored there.

Basically, I took advantage of three (really two) animation options as I was working on my project. The first was scale, the second was rotation and the third was opacity. Before I did any of that though, I had to type out the text I wanted to use on top of the photo and I also needed to "place" an outside graphic file to use in the project as well. To write out the text, I simply used the Horizontal Type Tool and to place the object, I used the File > Place Embedded menu option. "Placing" is essentially the same as opening the other file and dragging it over as a layer. It saves time to place as opposed to the alternative.

If you'd like to see the final product of my little animation experiment, please take a look at this five second video.

Okay, the first thing I did was to size the placed graphic. I wanted both the text and the graphic to be situated nicely as if I were saving the file as a JPEG image. After that, I opened the Timeline panel by using the Window > Timeline menu item. Once that panel was open, I clicked the Create Video Timeline button at its center.

Since the graphic that I placed didn't have the Transform animation option available, I converted that layer to a Smart Object. I guess some types of files can't be transformed via animation. I'm not sure of the reasoning for this.

Anyway, after that layer was ready, I placed the keyframes and made the transform animation the way I wanted. As I was doing this, I was sure to rotate the image slightly because I thought that would add a bit of interest to things. When I was finished, I animated the opacity by adding Opacity keyframes. Basically, I wanted the graphic to fade out into nothing after it was almost finished transforming.

As for the text, you can see what I did there. I only animated the transform and opacity. I didn't rotate at all with this layer. So, I followed the same steps I took for the graphic animation and things turned out well. The text grew larger and then disappeared.

Again, I wrote a post on this topic that explains every step I took in great detail. You can view that post here:

Animating Scale, Rotation & Opacity in Adobe Photoshop

While this small project was limited in scope, it does give a fairly clear picture of what some popular animation options are when it comes to Adobe Photoshop. Do you have experience with this type of thing while using Photoshop? If so, please chime in down below. Also, feel free to ask questions. I love questions. Thanks!