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. Sometimes I first delete some layers 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 part that says ‘Sharpen by notliketheothers’ and in the drop down menu, choose Action Options. Choose a Function Key. Now whenever you press that key, it should play the action.
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
Making circular gifs is pretty similar to making normal gifs. The way that I did it may not be the easiest or only way out there of course but per lizayzay’s request here, I’m going to explain it my way.
Of course you can choose whatever size you’d like but to show you, I’m going to open a new 500x200 file.
Choose the ellipse tool.
When making the circle, try to keep it within the parameters of the gif. Also remember to hold shift so that it will be perfectly circular instead of being more oval (unless of course, that’s the look you are going for).
I want to center the circle and I do so by using the transform tool (ctrl+t or cmd+t).
In the area surrounded by a red box above, this is where you can put in values to change the position of the shape. The first one is for horizontal positioning while the second is for vertical. Since my canvas is 500x200, my shape will be centered if I change the values into 250 and 100 respectively.
Now that that is all settled, you need to make the gif (you could make the gif before any of these other steps of course). So I make my gif. I don’t resize it or anything. Since I want to make the background of the final product transparent, I’ve found that I have to do all the coloring and saving and everything before I copy the layers to the window with the circle in it. Since my coloring layers include gradients and such, it looks wrong if I copy the frames into the window with the circle and then color the gif.
So basically, my point is, color the gif and save it. Don’t bother to resize or even worry about the gif exceeding the 500Kb limi. Just keep the number of colors at 256 when you go to save for web and devices. You’re going to resize the gif later to make the center of it fit in the area the circle is in so don’t worry about that now.
Now that you’ve saved the gif, open it in Photoshop. Select all the frames and then press ‘Copy Frames…’
Now go back to your first file with the circle in it and paste the frames there. While all your gif layers are selected, resize them. Don’t make it too small that you can see parts of the circle. Try to position your gif layers more in the center too so that important parts of your gif don’t get cut off later on.
While your circle is a shape layer, you can’t take the Magic Wand Tool and select it or the area around it. So right click on the shape layer and rasterize it. Now that you can use the Magic Wand Tool, press anywhere so that you can select everything but the circle. You could also select the circle and then press ctrl+shift+i or cmd+shift+i to invert the selection. Now you just have to erase the selection from each layer so that your gif will be in the shape of the circle. Select the first layer and frame and erase the selection. Then the second layer and frame and so on until you’ve done that for each layer.
Delete the background layer. Now your gif won’t have a background which means it will be transparent. And that’s basically it. Just make sure it works properly. Then save it and keep it within the 500KB limit. That’s all.
Here’s my result: