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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
In this movie, I'll show you how to take your Photoshop animation, which I'm currently playing inside Photoshop. And export it both as a QuickTime movie and as an animated GIF. I'll go ahead and tap the spacebar in order to pause the playback. And the first thing we'll do is create the QuickTime movie by going up to the File menu, choosing Export and then choosing Render Video. Next, you want to name your file whatever you want to call it, and then select a folder. And you want this option right here to be set to Adobe Media Encoder.
If you switch it to Photoshop Image Sequence, you're going to get a series of independent JPG files, which is not what we want. Then, you want to set the format to QuickTime. At least that's what I'm going to do. You can also create an MP4 file by choosing H.264, but as I say, I'm going to stick with QuickTime. And all the other default settings are fine. The preset should be animation high quality, the document size should be what it is, which is 1080 x 720. We want the frame rate to be 30 fps, so we don't drop any frames. The field order should be progressive, the aspect ratio should be 1.0. And we do want Color Manage turned on.
We also want to save out all the frames. So, once you've got all these settings ready to go, click on the Render button in order to render out that movie. Now, let's take a look at the movie in QuickTime, by going up to the File menu, and choosing Browse in Bridge, or press Ctrl+Alt+O or Cmd+Opt+O on the Mac. Now, I've gone ahead and saved this movie out in advance. So, I'll double click on it, here inside Bridge to open it in QuickTime. And then, I'll go to the View menu and choose Loop so the movie plays continuously.
And then, I'll go ahead and choose Full Screen, so that the movie not only fills up the entire screen but plays automatically as well. So, you now have a file that you can share with your co-workers, colleagues, friends, grandmother, whatever. I'm going to go ahead and press the Space bar in order to pause the playback and then I'm going to switch back over to Photoshop. Now, let's see how to create that animated GIF. You go up to the File menu and you choose, this time, Save For Web.
Which brings up the enormous safer Web dialog box. You might as well switch to the Optimize view right here, by clicking on this tab so that you can see just about all of the bird at once. And you'll be able to see even more if you reduce the file size and image size of 1080 by 720 is great for a movie but its pretty dawn huge for web animation. So, I'm going to go ahead and take the width value down to 720, the former height value and now the height value drops down to 480. And you'll see the image grow smaller when you press the Tab key.
Now, we don't want to save out this movie as a JPG file because we just get one frame. Instead, what you want to do us switch over to GIF and then you're going to get a progress bar because now the command really has to start working. Now, if I zoom in here you can see that we've got a terrific amount of banding going on in the sky, because the GIF format reduces the color pallet to, at most 256 colors. So, make sure colors is cranked up to 256. And then I recommend because we're more interested in getting rid of the banding in the sky than keeping the absolute colors inside of the falcon.
That you change the palate from Adaptive to Perceptual. And that's going to run another progress bar for a moment there. By default, your dither's going to be set to diffusion, but your dither value may not be cranked up high enough. So, go ahead and take that up to 100% like so. And that's going to get rid of a lot of that banding in the background, but not quite all of it. You're going to get even better results if you switch the style of dither from Diffusion to Noise. Which is the final option in the Pop up menu, and then notice that we get barely any banding at all. But we are going to end up with a bigger file, just so you know. Go ahead and turn off the transparency check box, because we don't have any transparency inside of this animation.
That's it, now I'll go ahead and zoom out and I'll click on the Play button so that we can see the animation play. Then the thing to bear in mind is the movie is playing back pretty quickly inside the Save for Web window but that doesn't mean it's going to play this smoothly inside of a web browser. The GIF format isn't really set up to have a frame rate the way QuickTime movies do, instead, frames just hang on screen until the next frame is ready to draw, and that typically is dependent upon the browser. And most browsers by default will play each frame for 10 100ths of a second. In other words, you get about ten frames per second during a playback, and to see that I'll go ahead and stop the Playback inside the window here. And then, I'll click on this down-pointing arrowhead, and if you're not seeing a list of your browsers, then choose the Edit List command. And go ahead and click on Find All.
And now we'll locate all the browsers on your system and then click OK. And next, I'll just go ahead and select the browser I want to use. Firefox will do. And then Photoshop will go ahead and hand the movie off as a temporary GIF file for playback inside of Firefox. And you can see that we are getting way slower performance this time around. So, now I should mention that this is generating a big file. This is almost 4 Meg, so this is an awfully big file to post on the web.
If you are interested in keeping the file smaller, then you would want to reduce the image size or reduce the number of colors. And that's how you export your Photoshop animation, both as a QuickTime movie and as an animatd GIF file.
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