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Glitter Help Tutorials
Tutorials for glitter graphics with comments, generators & more - free!

Tutorial #1 - Creating Animated Glitter Gifs

This tutorial was developed for Photoshop CS2 and Windows XP users, however, the steps to making animated GIF’s for most graphics programs will be similar, although the keyboard shortcuts & tools that you use may be different.

What is an Animated GIF?

An animated GIF is essentially a .GIF file that has two or more individual frames and is designed to play those frames at a set interval, thus animation. It is an extremely popular format for web site graphics due to its extremely small file size as well as it stability with a majority of web browsers and computer platforms.


For this tutorial, we will make an animated GIF for web use that will have a simple glitter effect. Options include variations in color, animation frame speed and more (see examples).


Step 1 – Create your Pattern.

Start a new file (Control N). Set your file size to 100 pixels by 100 pixels in an RGB colorspace. Having a graphic that is square in shape is important when you define the pattern in latter steps. Since this will be a pattern, a 100 pixel image size will be more than sufficient.

Select a background color. Since we are creating a glitter effect (with light colored “sparkles”) we will use a darker color so that the sparkles have some contrast against it. Use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the image with your selected color.



Next, add some pixilation to your image with the “Add Noise” filter. (Filter-Noise-Add Noise). This will add a shimmer effect to your animation. Set the amount to about 50% and select the Monochromatic check box. You can, however, experiment with any of these settings to suit your taste.


Step 2 – Create your Layers

Since we will be making a three frame glitter animation, you now need to the above process two more times. Create a new layer (Layer-New-Layer) and repeat the Paint Bucket / Add Noise steps using the same settings. As you create your new layers, name them sequentially – such as Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3)


Step 3 – Add “Sparkle”

Next, we will add some larger elements (larger cross or star shaped sparkles) to your animation. There are a variety of ways to do this, but the main point is to make them appear to grow larger in the animation sequence. For simplicity purposes, we will just make one sparkle – but to get a true glitter effect, you will want to make several and vary the sequence that they appear.

Add another new layer (Layer-New-Layer) so that you now have a total of four layers. Change your foreground color to while and select the Brush tool with a soft brush (Hardness 0%) at around 7 pixel diameter. On layer four, click with the brush tool to create a spot in a center.

Next, duplicate layer 4 (Layer-Duplicate Layer). You should now have five layers total. Select layer 5 and get the smudge tool with a 7 pixel soft brush. Set the strength to 75. Click and drag on the dot itself and drag up to give a smudge effect. Repeat this step for all four directions. Tip-By holding down the Shift key, your smudge effect will stay straight.

Now duplicate layer 5 and repeat the smudge steps, but increase the strength to 85%.

Step 4 – Merging Layers

Now you need to merge your sparkle layers to your original color layers from step 2. To do this, you will need to merge the sparkle layer to the background color layer. Select layer 6 and layer 3 (hold down Ctrl key to select multiple layers) and merge the layers (Layer-Merge Layer). Repeat this step for layers 5 and 2 and repeat this step for layers 4 and 1. You should now have three layers.

Save your image as a .PSD (Photoshop) document.

Step 5 – Create your GIF

Open the animation palette window (Window-Animate) and select “Make Frames From Layers” from the Animation palette menu. Each layer in the image will be converted to a frame in the Animation palette. Layer 1layer in the Photoshop image is Frame 1 in the Animation palette. You can click the play button on the Animation palette to preview your animation.

Save as a Gif file (File-Save for Web…). That's it!

Coming soon!
The next step in this tutorial series - How to Create your Own Glitter Letters - check back soon for details!



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