How to Make Flash Animations in Photoshop CS

Written by erica dreisbach
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How to Make Flash Animations in Photoshop CS
(computer image by blaine stiger from Fotolia.com)

Adobe Flash animations are a great way to bring graphics to life, tell stories and get websites noticed. Flash animation is used in advertisements, on websites and in other forms of rich media.Adobe Photoshop includes the tools you need to create a simple Flash animation by rapidly displaying several still images called "frames" in sequence.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Photoshop CS3 with ImageReady or CS4
  • Text or a master image to animate

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Instructions

    Using Photoshop CS3

  1. 1

    Open your master image or text in Photoshop CS3.

  2. 2

    Make a small adjustment to the size and/or position of your master image, then save as an image file to a new animation folder. These images will be the individual frames of your animation.

  3. 3

    Continue making small adjustments and saving as new images until you've created all the frames of your animation.

  4. 4

    Click the "Play" button in the Animation toolbar to see your animation play. Use the Animation toolbar to adjust the number of times your animation loops and the length of time between frames.

  5. 5

    Export your animation as a Flash file by selecting "File," then "Export," then "Flash SWF." Select image quality preferences from the dialogue box that appears. Click "OK" to complete the export and create your Flash animation.

    Using Photoshop CS4

  1. 1

    Open your master image or text in Photoshop CS4.

  2. 2

    Open the Animation window by selecting "Window," then "Animation." Your master image or text will appear as the first frame of the animation.

  3. 3

    Add a new frame by clicking the "Duplicate Frame" button.

  4. 4

    Make a small adjustment to the size and/or position of the master frame, then click "Duplicate Frame" again. Continue making small adjustments to new frames until your animation is complete.

  5. 5

    Click the "Play" button in the Animation toolbar to watch your animation run. Use the Animation toolbar to adjust the number of times your animation loops and the length of time between frames.

Tips and warnings

  • You can preview your finished Flash animation in a web browser or with a free Flash Player.
  • The greater the variation between frames, the choppier your animation will be. Keep your animation smooth by making only very small changes from frame to frame.
  • This technique works best for rotations, scalar changes (getting bigger or smaller) and translations (moving around the screen).
  • Animation can be a tedious, time-consuming process. For complicated animations, consider using software specifically designed for animation, such as Flash or After Effects.

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