If you have made gifs before, then it’s likely that you have found out how tiring it is to sharpen them. You basically have to go through each frame/layer and sharpen all separately. Since I got tired of doing that too, I decided to try finding a solution.
You may have heard of a little thing known as ‘actions’. You can download actions, load them into Photoshop and press play. You then sit back as the action is applied to your file. Well this is the solution I’m providing; an action that will sharpen up to 500 frames/layers for when you are making gifs. I made it to sharpen 500 because when you import video frames to layers in Photoshop, it limits the number of frames to 500.
I know you’re probably sitting there, growing impatient. You probably don’t want to keep reading and would instead prefer you just download the action and start using it. I would love for you to do that but there are a few things you need to know first and so I advise you read this. First, check out my gif tutorial here so as to know how I make my gifs. This could be important if you make yours in a completely different way than I do. As long as you import video frames to layers like I do, this should work fine.
So after you’ve imported video frames to layers, you end up with a file that has a number of frames/layers that all need sharpening. I usually delete some frames that I feel are unnecessary but don’t do that if you want this action to work properly!
The way that I’ve made the action is this: it selects the first frame and Layer 1 then it sharpens. After that, it selects the second frame and Layer 2 and so on. This is why if you delete anything, it probably won’t work right since it needs to go according to the names of the layers. Don’t change their names and don’t delete any yet.
You may be thinking, “500 frames? But what if I only want to sharpen 100? Would it still work?” Yes actually, it will work no matter how many frames you have. Let’s say you have 100 and you apply the action. It will sharpen all 100 frames/layers and then an error window will pop up that states the following: The command “Select” is not currently available.
You have the option of continuing or stopping. There’s no point continuing because it will keep showing you errors since you don’t have another 400 frames for it to select and sharpen. So instead, just press stop.
And viola! It should have sharpened all the frames that are present.
It’s very important that the name of your layers be, “Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3…” and so on or else this will not work properly. I’m repeating this just in case you missed it above.
Anyways, you’ve waited long enough. Here is the action:
Download the file and save it anywhere you like. Then, in Photoshop, press on Load Actions in the Action window drop down menu. Load the action from wherever it is that you saved it.
I advise you add a shortcut key to the action so that you can just press that whenever you want to play it. Select the action itself (which is basically the part that says ‘Sharpen by notliketheothers’) and in the drop down menu, choose Action Options.
Choose any Function Key you please. Now whenever you press that key, it should play the action. (If you use a Mac, you have to hold the function key on your keyboard as well as the Function Key you’ve chosen for your action when you want to play it.)
Note: Keep in mind that it may take awhile for the action to be applied. It all depends on the number of frames/layers that you have (and the speed of your computer or laptop). Either way, no matter how long it takes, it probably won’t be as long as if you were to do the sharpening yourself.
Now, as far as I know, everything should work properly as long as you read the above. If for some reason, something goes wrong, then please let me know. I’ll try to figure out and solve whatever problem may arise. I really hope this does work for you though because I would love for everyone to never have to be annoyed by sharpening their gifs again :D