Need an organic GIF? Try using Photoshop

flipbook-gif-creative-commonsAll staffs have a photographer who returns from an assignment with approximately 3 million photos.

If fact, you’ve probably remarked (while looking through said photographer’s SD card) that their work bears a striking resemblance to an animation flipbook.

Other times, your photog returns with a series of images that are mediocre at best and don’t do any kind of storytelling unless you see several of them in sequence.

Although you may want to reshoot the assignment or rely on the talent of your staff cartoonist, all is not lost. Photoshop can help!

There are plenty of web-based GIF programs out there that work well — Gifs.com, GIPHY, and the like. But sometimes, there is no substitution for old-fashioned, roll-up-your-sleeves organic GIF creation.

Especially if you have a series of your own images and would like more nuance and control than a web program can provide, this Photoshop GIF method could help draw readers and viewers to your publication.

Everyone loves a good GIF.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-11-21-06-amThe key is image selection. You want a handful of photos with enough variety between each shot but still with a clear sense that they are closely related in time. The second option is to build a short story with a set of somewhat related images that connect to have a greater meaning than they have by themselves.

Check out this easy-to-follow Adobe Photoshop walk-thru for how to do it. Pay special attention to the timings and the effects you can use as you put your images in order. (Of course, you can use this technique with actual video as well.)

There you have it: a Photoshop-crafted GIF that can work on your website, social media … or for embarrassment at staff social events.

Amanda Bright

Amanda Bright, PhD, MJE, is a journalism academic professional at the University of Georgia, Grady College. Before that, she was a journalism instructor and yearbook adviser at Eastern Illinois University, a scholastic journalism adviser for newspaper and yearbook in Mattoon, Ill., a member of the Illinois Journalism Education Association, and a professional journalist.

Amanda Bright has 12 posts and counting. See all posts by Amanda Bright

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