Continued from part 1~
Step 11: Your gif should be okay at this point, but it will probably look like shit. Time to make it look pretty. This is where having some experience with photoshop layers helps a lot. The first thing I do with a gif is sharpen it. THERE IS NO LAZY WAY TO DO THIS THAT I HAVE DISCOVERED. IF THERE IS LET ME KNOW HOLY JESUS. I’ve made it as lazy as possible and it still takes some time. Select the first frame of your animation. While it is selected, go to your layers panel and select the layer that currently has an eyeball lit up to it’s left. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen. Select the next frame in your animation. Select the layer that has an eyeball next to it now. Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen. Repeat this for every layer on every animation frame.
The most lazy way to do this is to change your keyboard shortcuts in your Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts menu. The way I have it set up is that ‘select next animation frame’ is f1 and ‘last filter’ is f2. I hit f2, manually click on the layer that is visible (has the eyeball) and then hit f2. And then I do it furiously in a pattern to the song I’m listening to until every layer is nice and sharp.
Here’s what my gif looks like after sharpening:
Step 12: Your gif probably looks like shit still. Don’t worry! Time to change the levels to increase it’s awesome. Make sure your ‘adjustment layer’ window is open and click on the ‘Levels’ icon. Make sure the resulting layer created is at the top of your layers and move the sliders until the lighting in your gif looks better. Note if you have a larger gif and have to worry about gif size limitations, the lighter your gif is the bigger it’s size. This new adjustment layer will adjust all of the layer beneath it.
Gif update: Getting a bit better. Ho ho look at my drunken gay bbs.
Step 13: Looking less like shit but almost there! Time to change around the colors depending on where you want to go with the gif. I don’t really have a theme going with this gif because it’s not in a photoset but I still want to alter the colors a bit. Click on the arrow on the bottom left of your adjustments panel to go back to the main menu and hit the ‘color balance’ layer. Move the slider around on shadows, midtones, and highlights until you get it how you want it to look.
Step 14: Adding extra layers of color or gradients requires some creative judgement. I’ll just show you how I’ve been adding some colors to my gifs recently. Open up a new layer above all your other layers (including adjustments, in my case) and click on the brush tool. Change the hardness to 0 and the size to 300px or larger. Choose a color and paint on some colors or whatever you want. Switch the layer style to whatever you feel like in the layer palette and make sure to hit the the ‘Unify Layer Style’ icon if you want the layer style to persist on all of your frames. Hit the ‘Unify Layer Position’ to be safe, as well.
Gif update: Colors are pretty much how I want them.
Step 15: Time to add some text. Text can be a bit tricky sometimes. I decided on this gif I would like to have the text flashing for maximum heterosexual effect. Select your type tool and type whateva you want in a new layer above all your other layers. At least have it above your levels layer or else the text will get all choppy and ugly. Move it to where you want it on the gif and make sure to check the boxes above the layer to unify the text’s position and style. You normally want to hit ‘unify visibility’ as well but this one is flashing so it’s a bit different. Put any text effects you want on it by double clicking and fucking around with the menu until it’s how you want it. For a “blinking” text effect, select every other 2 frames in your animation window and uncheck the eyeball to the left of your text layer.
And we’re done! There’s a bunch of other shit you can do to gifs like transitioning between layers or adding pretty text effects or some shit but it takes some time and a deeper understanding of photoshop. If you want specifics on how I do something in one of my gifs or something feel free to send me a message and I’ll explain as best as I can!
Oh Arthur, you so silly.