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Tutorial on How to Wave an Animated Flag in Photoshop

Updated April 17, 2017

Simple animations often are used on the Internet in banners and ads to attract the eye of the visitor. These animations range from complex to simple and come in many formats. While most animations are done using the newer Flash format, the older GIF animation format is still popular. GIF has the advantage of simplicity, since almost anyone can make one. For example, if you have access to Photoshop, you can easily make an animation of a waving flag.

Load an image of a flag onto your computer.

Start the Photoshop application. Select "File" from the menu and choose "Open." In the dialogue that opens, browse to and open the flag image.

Go to the "Layers" panel and right-click on the background layer and choose "Duplicate layer." Repeat this three more times so you have a total of five layers.

Go to the first layer and use the "Polygonal" selection tool to draw a selection around the flag. Right-click on the selection and choose "Warp." Use the handles to adjust the shape of the flag to make it appear like it is waving. Repeat this step with each of the other layers, make each a little different from the one before it.

Select "Windows" from the menu and choose "Animation." Go to the timeline at the bottom and click on the small drop-down menu in the upper right corner. From the options, choose "Make Frames from Layers."

Set the duration under each frame. Select "File" from the menu and choose "Save for Web or Devices." In the dialogue, make the file type "GIF" and click "Save." Name the file and click "Save" again.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.