I figure out how to do things, then I forget.
Making a GiF in Photoshop CS6 from artboards created in Adobe Illustrator is one of those things that I have to relearn every few months. I always panic when I have to learn it again. This post is mostly for me, to help me remember. Unless this is something you want to do, just enjoy the pictures, especially the one at the bottom of this post.
Most of the GIF’s I’ve made have something to do with shape transformations. For instance, I’ve done a bunch with pentagons converging towards the center. I start with basic outlines then add effects. This post is about creating the gif from the artboards, not about making the images for the artboards. I leave that for you to figure out. But to give you an idea of my workflow, so that it makes sense for the rest of the post, here’s a screenshot of what one of my sets of artboards look like:
After I am happy with the Illustrator files I save, label and close my AI file.
Next, I open this Adobe Illustrator file in Photoshop. Since the AI file has lots of art boards. a box, which is labeled “import PDF” pops-up in the middle of my Photoshop workspace. Just ignore the reference to the pdf. Make sure the Pages option is picked. Pick your resolution. By default it’s at 300. Depending on my image, I sometimes can’t get a 300 resolution to save. I usually change this to 72.
To get ALL of the AI artboards to open SHIFt-CLICK the first and the last pages that are loaded in that little window. This will select all the artboards. Press OK (which I forgot to draw, but it’s in the lower right hand corner of the box).
Once the layers panel is full of your images you will need to close them. Oh, this is when I remember that I need to put a new file on my desktop, labeled New Gif. So make that now.
THEN CloseAll your files using the CloseAll command under the file menu. A menu will come up, you tell it to SAVE and check the box that says apply to all, pick that New Gif file you made to save the images in, and, one by one, they will go into the folder, and you have to press save for each image as it goes in.
NOW OPEN your new gif folder in BRIDGE. Bridge is a great program that is packaged with Photoshop. SELECT ALL the artboards. At the top of the Bridges workspace go to Tools>Photoshop>Load Files in Photoshop layers.
Now sit back and wait as the Photoshop’s layers are populated with the artboards.
Next, make sure the Timeline option in checked under Window. At the center of the bottom of the workspace there is a box. Choose then click on Create Frame Animation. One of the artboards will appear on the timeline. Open the fly-out menu on the timeline. Click: Make Frame From Layers (this is the 11th item on the list, and will only show up if Create Frame Animation has been clicked, not merely chosen).
The timeline will populate, probably backwards. If so, click Reverse Frames on the fly-out menu.
The positions of all these things that need to be clicked can be found in that drawing above.
The Gif is now basically done. The timing can be changed by clicking on the sec option below the frame. Shift click two frames to select everything between them.
NOW SAVING is a whole other thing.
Click on SAVE FOR WEB under the file menu. Choose the 2 (or 4) up tab on the upper left of the save box. On the right hand side of the save box JPEG will probably be in the second box from the top. Change this to GIF. Choose the file size you want to save. I usually pick the 2nd to the biggest file. Click Save, name your file and be proud.
Here’s the one I made last night: