My blog entry titled “Adobe Photoshop CS3 and no Image Ready? No animated GIF’s either?” has quickly become my most popular post to date. Many questions have led me to elaborate on how to create GIF’s in Photoshop CS3 on a PC and probably on a Mac. Why probably on a Mac? Well, since the Mac save and open dialog boxes do not allow you to use your own filters like *.* it is harder to work around the lack of an import animated gif feature. You could try importing it as a known file type like MOV, and then resaving it as a GIF, but I think this might make your timeline look odd and I haven’t researched this enough because I do not have access to a Mac at home. That said, I have tried it at work, and the timeline looked like a MOV timeline, not the GIF timeline, but I’m sure with a bit of fooling around you can get it to work. Feel free to post your solutions and elaborations in the comments section of this post. That said, the following on how to create an animated gif should pose no problems on a Mac or PC.
Basically a lot of the Image Ready features were copied into Photoshop CS3. If you go to the “Window” menu you will see the “Animation” window option. This will bring up the animation window. Fig. 1.
For a test create four layers in your layers window with the numbers 1 through 4 or whatever you like. Once you are done, go to the Animation window and click the fly out arrow. This is the little down arrow. See Fig. 1.
Now you should see a menu with several options. Select the option that says “Make Frames From Layers” You can see your layers are now frames in the animation window. See Fig. 2. You can still edit your layers the way you normally would. You can also tweak the timings in the “Animation” window.
Now there are better programs for animating GIF’s, but for those of us who don’t create animated GIF’s everyday this is a workaround which I use. That said Adobe may remove support for animated GIF’s all together in future releases, or maybe they will add an import animated GIF option. Hopefully the later, but I have a sneaky feeling as one poster said in my past entry on this topic that if Adobe wanted us to buy Fireworks to create animated GIF’s then the lack of support in Photoshop may be no mistake on their part. You can also always use Flash to create Animated GIF’s also, but a lot of people used Image Ready, and I hope they continue to support this feature in Photoshop. For quick and dirty GIF animation tweaks it was a great tool.