programs; photoshop 7, adobe image ready, prism video converter, virtual dub
includes; cropping, screen caps
disclaimer; easy to follow (hopefully), but requires some knowlege of photoshop. very image and text heavy
notes; Its important (especially for beginniners) that you read all of the information, I know its a lot but I wouldn't type it if I didn't feel it was important and necessary to know. Once you get more familiar with the process it will be easier and you can ignore or blow through some of the steps but for the purpose of this tutorial I'm going to give you all the information I know.
You'll need these programs, or ones very similar that will achieve the same results:
A Video Converter
I use Prism Video Converter, its fairly easy to use and relatively quick. There are also plenty of online video converters to use if you don't want to download an actual program.
A Screencapping program
I use Virtual Dub. Its very easy to use and fairly quick.
^^ You only need these first 2 if you plan on making the screen-caps yourself, otherwise you'll just need the last 2
Adobe Image Ready
I don't know of any other programs that create .gif images, but its what I use. If you know of any, you can use those too, but this tutorial is dealing specifically with Adobe Image Ready so I won't be able to help you with any other programs.
I use Photoshop 7, I'm not sure that is really matters what version you have, this should still be able to work.
Now, if you are making the screen caps yourself follow the next 5 steps, otherwise you can ignore these
1. Download the videos you want, I typically download them from youtube, using keepvid, or keep-tube. Both work fine, but if you have problems or want to use something different, just google keep youtube videos and you'll find a lot.
2. Once your video has downloaded, you'll need to convert it to .avi, this is really important because Virtual Dub does not work with any other file formats. If you are using Prism Video Converter, click the green + add file(s) button on the toolbar, and select the file you wish to convert. Then at the bottom there is another tool bar with the output folder, and the output format. I suggest you make the output folder different from the folder the current file is in, because it won't change the name of the file only the file extension. Then select .avi for your output format. Should look something like this:
3. Unfortunately now you'll have to wait for the video to convert.
4. Once the video is finally converted, open virtual dub. Then open the video file you just converted. It should look something like this:
explanation of the buttons (only read this if you are using virtual dub)
There are a bunch of buttons underneath the time bar. The first 3 buttons are for you to playback the video, the first being the stop button, the second being the play button, which only plays the video in the left screen, and the third being the play button that plays the video in both screens. These aren't really necessary unless you just want to make sure the whole video is there. The next set of 4 buttons after that are similar to the buttons on a dvd player, the outer two buttons jump to the beginning and the end, respectively. The middle buttons rewind and fast forward the video, respectively, but only when the video is playing. The buttons with the key, I'm not really sure what those do so don't mess with them. The next 2 buttons with red and green on them break down the video by sequence of screen caps. So if you press the forward red and green button it shows each screen cap in progression, and stops at the next screen cap or scene change. The last 2 buttons are only if you want to use a portion of the video. So, if you only want to screen cap the first few scenes, then click back half arrow to start, and when you reach the point you want to stop capping, click the forward half arrow. I don't use this because I find it easier to find more moods per video if you cap the entire thing, but since this can be a lot more time consuming, its ultimately your decision.
Now we can move on.
5. Now we want to cap the video. Click file > export > image sequence. In some older versions, you might just have to click file > image sequence, it just depends.
You'll get a screen that looks like this:
Fill in all the boxes to your preference. I think the only one you don't have to fill in is the filename, it will just number each screencap but I find it easier so I can differentiate between the video files. This will also take some time depending on how long the video is/how many caps you are making.
Just a quick note when your images are finally screen capped, I find it best (if using the entire video), to divide the image sequences up by scene, and separating them into an entire folder because videos (specifically music videos) make at least 6,000 screen caps, and Image ready cannot open all those screen caps at once, so I find it better to divide each section up into parts and separate folders. Whatever works best for you is good, but just keep in mind that Image Ready will not open a large amount of files at once.
6. Now, that your file is finally screen capped, or if you have your screen caps ready, open Adobe Image Ready. Then once IR is open, click file > import > folder as frames . It should look something like this:
Now, to make sure that you selected the right caps, click the play button on the animation bar down below.
7. I decided that there are now some caps I don't want to use, so if you want to delete some extra caps, follow this step.
First, find the caps you want to delete, its better to delete ones at the beginning or end, obviously because they will mess of the sequence if you delete ones in the middle.. So find the first cap you want to delete, the while holding down the shif button, scroll to the last cap you want to delete and click it. It should look like this:
Then you can click the trash can button below the sequence to delete the images. Then you must also click on the layers bar located on the right side of the program and delete the caps from there as well. Now hit the play button in the Animation tab to make sure that you deleted the correct caps.
8. Now, we need to make the .gif into an appropriate size for a mood theme. Some standard sizes are 94 px by 40 px or 100 px by 58 px. Both will generate the acceptable amount of 28.8 kb, because livejournal only allows under 40kb. I prefer for animations to use 100px by 58px just because the image is moving and so in order to really see the said mood or emotion, so you sometimes need it to be a little bigger. So, how we can do it is one of two ways. You can't crop the image in adobe (well you can but it doesn't allow to set dimensions so its too difficult). So we'll need to move the image to Photoshop, and how we do that is by clicking file > jump to > adobe photoshop OR CTRL + SHIFT + M.
9. Now that were in Photoshop, you can have a chance to play around with the images, but first we'll need to crop. Click the crop button on the toolbar on the left. Now the top bar has 2 boxes where you'll need to put the dimensions of your new image size in.
Enter the dimensions you want to use in those to boxes followed by px. So, I'm making mine 100 px by 58 px.
10. Now you may crop the image however you see fit. Keep in mind that if the subject in your .gif is moving from one side to the other that depending on how you crop some part of them may be cut off, so make sure that you crop so that everything you want in the mood .gif will be displayed. Once you do this, to make sure you have it the way you want it, click back on to Image Ready, and hit the play button on the Animation tab again.
11. Now comes the customization. Click back on to Photoshop, and I'll show you all the things you can do that now you're image is cropped. You can skip these sub steps if you don't wish to do anything to your image
11a. Adding a new fill or adjustment layer.
Click the black/white circle at the bottom of the layers toolbox, and you'll get a whole menu of choices. Will work the same if you click layer > new adjustment layer then select your option. Well I want to do curves, so I'm going to select the curves option to brighten up the image a little. To do this, you have to select the image that is all the way at the top so that the new layer gets applied to all layers instead of just the first one (like in the image above). Then adjust the curves however you see fit. Repeat this step if you also wish to choose other options like selective coloring, brightness/contrast, levels, etc.
Unfortunately, I found out the other day that you have to sharpen each layer individually, whether sharpening it with the sharpening tool, or appyling a sharpening filter each image has to be done individually.
11c. Adding a border
This is fairly simple, all you'll have to do is select the layer at the top and then make a new layer: layer > new > layer or CTRL + SHIFT + N. The once you have a new layer, select all (CTRL + A), then choose a color you want to have for the border, then click Edit > Stroke. When the box comes up, set your Width to 1px, and for the location choose either inside or center, don't choose outside, it won't show up, then hit ok.
12. Now that you've made your changes, click the bottom layer in the layers tab of Photoshop before you go back into Image ready. And once back in image ready, it will process all the changes you've made from photoshop. Click the play button to review the changes you've made. If you aren't satisfied, in Image Ready you can click Edit > Undo update from Photoshop, and this will remove all the changes you made in Image Ready and Photoshop, and you can redo steps 9-11 if you need.
13. Now, back in Image Ready there are a few things you need to check before you can save your .gif. First is the animation speed. If you want the .gif to go at a fast pace, click on the first image in the animation tab, hold the shift button and scroll to the end of the sequence and click on the last image in the animation. Then directly below the image, click on the drop down box that will have X sec. Click the amount of time you want to delay in between each image. The higher the number, the slower your image will run. For moods, is typically best to set it to no delay so they are quick.
14. Now, once you've done that you'll need to select the drop down box that either says forever or once at the bottom on the animation tab.
Set that to forever, unless you only want the image to play once, but since for moods you want it to play repeatedly make sure that it is set to forever.
15. Now comes the best part. Once you've reviewed the changes, and are satisfied or made any final changes its finally time to save your .gif. You'll click File > Save Optimized As..., give the mood a name, and hit save. And thats it! You've made an mood. (unfortunately you'll have to repeat these step 131 more times).
Christina Aguilera Music Video Mood Theme - Lazy
I hope this was simple enough to follow, and easy to comprehend.
♥ Alexis Nicole
For more tutorials please check breathings!