Monday, November 5, 2012

Stop Motion Animation: Photoshop CS6

Before you begin, setup your camera on a tripod. Make sure the lighting is as even as possible (avoid hotspots with lamps that are too close) and that your camera is white balanced. Arrange everything so your camera can take in all of what you are drawing (you can crop later if you need to).

1) Draw, photograph, draw, photograph, etc.

2) When you are finished working import your photos onto your computer. For animation you don't need the photos to be particularly wide or tall (1024px wide by 576px tall for widescreen) and a resolution of 72 dpi is typically fine. If your images are all quite large the quickest fix is creating an action in Photoshop to resize and crop as needed and running a batch command. Make sure all of your images are in the correct order and in a special folder by themselves.

3) Open Photoshop and Click File > Open

4) Click the "Image Sequence" checkbox and and navigate to the folder of images. Click the first image in the sequence and then click Open.

5) On The dialogue box you see on the next screen click 10 Frames Per Second for the frame rate.

6) You will see a new document open with a timeline, a video group and a video layer that is your image sequence. This video layer can be dragged to other documents or you can drag other video layers into this document to edit multiple sequences together all in one Photoshop file.

7) Save your file before proceeding (and save often along the way)

8) Play your animation using the control bar in the Timeline panel. If it is too slow or too fast you can speed up or slow down your image sequence by clicking on the small play button in the upper right of your video layer to reveal the "Speed" setting.

9) You must drag the left side of your video layer to the left or right to accommodate for any new speed settings.

10) To Export your video click File > Export > Render Video. To Export your video as an animated GIF click File > Save For Web > GIF (note: loop settings in bottom right). Whatever you export as make sure to also save your Photoshop file to save all changes before closing the file.
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