Learn how to animate this icon using only Photoshop Elements 2.0 (and ImageGrab to screencap)
Dial-up users beware: very image heavy tutorial (because I suck at explaining)
This is only my second ever tutorial so I apologise if I don't make sense. If you can't follow something or if I don't make it clear enough just let me know and I'll edit it =)
And if anyone knows an easier way to do this let me know too, hehe =)
For the first part of this tutorial I’m going to show you how to get the screencaps you’ll need to make an icon. The program I used is ImageGrab and it’s available to download for free here.
After you open ImageGrab click on the open file button then browse to the location of the video file you want to screencap. I decided to use a trailer for Spider-Man 2.
Go to the start of the part of the video you want to make a clip of and click on pause.
Click on the snapshot button
Change the settings to take a picture every 3 frames and then click on the start button
Once you’ve screencapped the clip you want to use, click on the button again to stop screencapping
Click on the stop button to exit the program
Okay, now that you’ve gotten the pics that you’ll need to make your icon open up Photoshop.
Go to File -> Open and select the screencaps you just took. They should have been saved to your My Pictures folder by default
To make it easier for any resizing/cropping that has to be done to the pics I’ve made them into one file with each screencap on a separate layer
I then decided to use this brush by meleada as my frame
The black area is 80x80 so I cropped and resized my screencaps to that size
In a seperate file to your screencap one, duplicate your frame enough times so that you have the same as the number of screencaps you’re going to use
With the bottommost layer highlighted in your layers palette use your magic wand tool to select the black square in the frame.
Click and drag the selection box over to your screencap file. Make sure the bottommost layer is highlighted in the layers palette and then go to Edit -> Copy.
Click on your frame file to make it the active file and then go to Edit -> Paste. It won’t look like anything has happened but if you look at your layers palette it should look like this.
Repeat those steps to transfer all the screencaps layers into the frame file, making sure to select the next frame layer up from the last screencap layer pasted in ie for your second screencap you’ll need to highlight the layer that has your second frame on it
And when you go to copy the screencap make sure it’s the second layer that’s highlighted in your layer palette
So your palette is looking like this
Once you’re done copying all your screencaps your icon and palette should look like this
Next we’ll be adding in the text part of the icon. I used this brush by deanandsam_grfx
To add it first we’re going to duplicate one of the frame layers twice again and drag those up to the top.
Fill the black squares in these layers with white
Create a new layer by going to Layer -> New -> Layer
Use the brush on this new top layer
Duplicate the brush layer 6 times and one of the whited-out frame layers 7 times. Drag them so that the frame and the brush alternate layers but with the frame layer on top (make sure you still have 2 frame layers between the last picture layer and the first brush layer). It should look like this
Select the topmost text brush layer and change the opacity to 25%
Select the next one down and change the opacity to 50%
The next one should be changed to 75%. The fourth one is left at 100% and the next three get changed to 75%, 50% and 25%.
You should end up like this
The next step is to make the picture dissolve too. For the last three picture layers white out the frame layer below them. (This part is very important, if you leave the black part in the layer the picture won’t dissolve.) Like this
Set the opacity of the topmost picture to 25%, the second picture to 50% and the third to 75%.
Repeat these steps for the very first three pictures on your palette too – white out the underlying frame layers and change the opacity with the bottommost at 25%, the second at 50% and the third at 75%.
We’re nearly done! Next the picture and text layers have to be merged with the frame layers. Highlight your first picture layer then go to Layer -> Merge down (or use Ctrl + e) It should look like this.
Repeat the merge down for every picture and text layer – there should be a blank frame layer before and after the text layers. Looking good
Once all the merging is done go to File -> Save for web
Make sure to check the boxes for animate and loop and decide what frame rate you want. I also decreased the amount of colours to get a file size that was LJ friendly. If you use a smaller frame you can get away with more colours =) Preview the icon to see if you like it.
Because the scene I took screencaps from is fast moving I used a 0.1 frame delay but it made the text go by too fast. I went back to my layers and duplicated the text and blank layers once more each. Like this
This time I liked it after I previewed it so I clicked on OK