Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

Adobe Photoshop CS3 and no Image Ready? Animated GIF’s Part II

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.

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.

Fig. 2.

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.

36 Comments to “Adobe Photoshop CS3 and no Image Ready? Animated GIF’s Part II”

  • Losman44

    I’m haivng issues with getting CS3 animated gifs to work in GoLive.

  • Ian Hoar

    I have not used GoLive, but the editor you are using should have no effect on animated gifs.

  • how do i save the animation

    hello i made an animation tried saving as an animated gif but it would move please help me email me at:


  • jessica

    how can i save it??

  • Ian Hoar

    Use “Save For Web & Devices”.

  • Kevo

    hmm every time i try to save my animated gif it looks very pixilated and dry. got any suggestions?

  • patstome

    “hmm every time i try to save my animated gif it looks very pixilated and dry. got any suggestions?”

    i have the same problem! if i could save the original and not the “optimized” version everything would be great…

  • Wendy

    thanks for the post Ian!

  • pies

    tnx for the help men!

  • Johhny

    Thank you very much man i kept on saving it as a movie and it was pretty strange but thanks to you i know now thx

  • Sarah

    I’m having the very same issue that Kevo and Patstome are having!

    I can save the animated .Gif, but only the optimized version. It is very pixelated and just ugly.
    Could you tell us how to solve this and save in the original version?

  • albacore t

    i think you can save the original by tabbing over to it on the top left corner of the ‘save for web and devices’ screen. appreciate this blog post and especially the comment from ian about using ‘save for web and devices’ to save the .gif. i could not figure that out and it saved me a lot of time.

  • Saralectric

    Thanks albacore. 🙂 I’ve hit the “Original” tab every time I’ve tried to save it, but when I open the file it is always the one up version. I appreciate the response though.

  • paranoid

    hey thnx for the save tip……..really appricate that………….

  • 7crugrfx

    u da bomb pimpin…thnx for the answers to questions!!!…

  • Chris

    you know i’m so pissed at cs3. I’m trying to make a .gif out of a video and it wont work. when i load a video, it comes out all white. I think I need a plug in but can’t find htem anywhere, so far I can only upload a couple mpeg vids but thats it. I want to upload some other videos in other formats but I can’t! help?

  • Ian Hoar

    Hi Chris, You’re not alone, a lot of people are annoyed with the lack of a gif import which was always available in past versions. As for movie files you should still be able to import MOV, AVI, MPG, and MPEG under File / Import / Video Frames to Layers… I don’t have a lot of experience with this, but I’m assuming there may be limitations depending on codecs used in the video. Hope this helps a bit.

  • 349582

    Hey, I’ve tried all those steps, but when it comes to actually SAVING it, it won’t let me save as web and devices.. :/

  • elz

    i can’t save my gifs for web and devices either, thats in grey not black so i am missing a step somewhere.

  • Ian Hoar

    I’m not really sure why it’s not working for some people. I just double checked it with a two frame animation and it worked. Try using Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S to bring up the save for web dialogue. Yes that is a crazy shortcut for something many of us use everyday.

  • elz

    yea no.. im thinking it has to be a format issue. i ahve no idea though. im about to go into fireworks and see what i can do. i just got this cs3 and some of its crazzy

  • papa

    1) You get pixelated gifs because you’re probably using JPGs for each frame. JPGs support thousands of colours while GIFs only support 256. When the image is converted, any colours than the GIF can’t store isconverted to the nearest colour – hence the pixelation.

    2) [Alt] + [Shift] + [Control] + [S] is a great shortcut – use your little finger on the [Control], your thumb on the [Alt], index finger on the [S] and your ring finger on the [Shift] – not so crazy now eh?

    3) The best app (in the Adobe family anyway) to create animated GIFs is Fireworks. Get it. Love it.

  • Ian Hoar

    Papa, I use that short cut every day about 25 times, it’s still a lot of keys for such a common shortcut.

    As for using fireworks, that’s great if you own fireworks, but for simple animations Photoshop and Image Ready worked fine for years. I know that most likely Adobe wants the ability removed from Photoshop so people have to use Fireworks, but obviously a lot of people prefer using Photoshop for this if traffic to these two articles is any indication.

  • f0ru0l0rd

    Worst part, you CANNOT do this on a Mac. There is no entry place for *.*, and no selection for type.

    Way to go Adobe. Way to go.

  • Gorback

    Back to Photoshop CS2 – sorry nothing but problems…i need my imageready!

  • applemalc

    Hi, I was just trying to create an animated gif in CS3, when I found out as pointed out previously that imageready is no longer a part of Photoshop, however when I upgraded from CS2 – CS3 it didn’t delete my installation of CS2! Imageready CS2 still works fine, but none of the other packages do!! Bizarre!!, Check your hard drives to see if imageready is still there and working

  • Kathleen Bruno

    Forget animated gifs. How do I simply slice up a page in CS4 Photoshop with no Imageready? This really sucks that they get you dependent on it and then abandon it.

  • Ian

    You have had the ability to slice from Photoshop for a long time now. This functionality has not been removed.

  • Kathleen Bruno

    Not NEARLY with the ease that you can cut up, name and export with Image Ready. It is very difficult and time consuming with Photoshop.

  • Ian Hoar

    Really? I can’t really remember Image Ready that well now. It has been removed since CS2, but I don’t have any problems with slices in Photoshop CS3. If I had one wish it would be for layered slices like in Illustrator. Nothing like having to duplicate files just for multiple language slices. Would be nice for example to group your slices into French and English sections.

    Also save for web and devices will save all your image optimization settings, just remember to hit done or save.

  • Ped

    Abobe really needs to add this feature back into its latest version, its a step backwards if you ask me !
    The import movies is also not available in the CS4 64bit version… looks like im going to have to re-install CS2 !!!

    Yeah buy CS4 to have to revert to CS2 !! way to go Adobe !

  • Sonia

    just tried to open a animated gif in CS3 with the *.* and yep it works but.. the transparency is gone.. now what? Like a lot of programs seems they’re getting worse then better:-(((( does this problem exist in CS5 too? All that money and you end up with a useless thing..

  • Tiffin

    when I try to save the gif it’s not animated it sits on the last layer

  • Paipuru

    My option for “make frames from layers” is gray.
    I’m using CS5 on a MacBook Pro. I made layers, each with something different on them.

    I’m also having trouble drawing something new on each frame, without it doing it to every other frame, also.