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Animation in Photoshop

3D Animation: Photoshop can be used to import (as well as export) 3D models using the 3DS format via the 3D menu. They can be scaled, rotated, panned and lit if needed. All of these can be keyframed on the Timeline panel, as can cameras in 3D space too. However, you may need some additional Plug ins – similar to After Effects – and once you get into 3D you need enhanced hardware to cope with the number crunching, similar to recording video in HD as opposed to SD!

Another popular style of Animation in Photoshop is stop-frame animation. To do this you need to change the ‘Timeline’ panel from ‘Video’ to ‘Frame Animation’ and you will see a series of icons showing in the bottom left which allows you to add new frames, change timings, loop and tween. Changing the visibility, opacity and position of objects is then done through the Photoshop layers and this will be shown on the frame you have selected.

You’ll need to allow lots of time for this sort of effect, but once you have finished use the ‘Save for Web’ option from the ‘File’ menu to get your work out as an animated GIF (or HTML file), or ‘Render Video’ for a movie. Stop frame animation can also be achieved by filming on particular HD cameras and that’s good way of getting a long story cut into a shorter space – the camera takes one frame every so many seconds according to your requirements. You can then put that material in AVID and speed things up as much as you wish giving a similar effect.

Armature animation preparation is something quite unique. This is where you split an illustration of a character’s limbs onto separate layers in Photoshop to give more ‘flexibility’. Once done, save this as a PSD file. “Import” this to “Adobe Flash” or “After Effects”, to create your stop frame animations. Putting these layers in “After Effects” makes character animation more accessible on budget sensitive projects.




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