thesteppyone (thesteppyone) wrote in icon_tutorial,
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Animated/Transition Text Tutorial in Photoshop CS3

I've seen recently some questions on how to animate text and I just wanted to throw my two penneth in to see if I can help! So, my first tutorial is on how to make text animations/transitions like these...

and

made by yours truely, aka hardlybreathe

Animated/Transition Text Tutorial

Step 1:
Insert your text on your graphic and manipulate until it is how you want it. Like so...

Photobucket

I'd bear in mind that - for this effect - the transition layers are going to be bigger than the text you start with so I wouldn't have it right up close to the edges. Of course, this is personal choice!

Step 2:
Duplicate the text layer and then 'hide' one of the text layers by clicking the eye next to the layer in the layer toolbar.

Step 3:
Rasterize the visible layer by either command/right clicking the text layer in the layer toolbar or by selecting the layer and then going to the Layer menu, then Rasterize > Text.

Step 4:
This rasterized text layer is going to be the transition layer for this piece of text.
Make sure this layer is selected in the layer toolbar and then go Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.
(Depending on your personal preferences you can change the settings to something that you prefer, but I'll keep to what I use for this tutorial.)
Set the angle to 45 degrees and distance to 12 pixels. I find any larger and the text becomes too much of a blur to really notice and looks untidy.

Photobucket

Once that is done your layer should look something like this...

Photobucket

The second icon example at the beginning of the tutorial has the degree at 90 degrees. Again, totally personal preference.

Step 5:
Repeat steps 2 - 5 for the next piece of text you want to display. (I find hiding all other layers except the background(s) less confusing).
I'm a bit anal when it comes to text appearing exactly where the text before it disappoeared, so to aid my insanity, I duplicate the still editable text layer and replace the text with the next set of text I want to appear...

Photobucket and Photobucket

Keep repeating the text steps (2-5) until you have completed the phrase you wish to display in your graphic. If your phrase is long, it helps to keep your layer 'twins' together in the layer toolbar. Thankfully the layer toolbar is extendable!

Step 6: Animating
For CS3 (and I think CS2) users, open the animation toolbar by clicking Window > Animation. If you're using CS, you'll have to save the psd and open it in ImageReady. (I think the following steps will be similar for ImageReady if not the same, but don't quote me on that!)

The animation toolbar will appear with your graphic in the first frame on the bar, with any layers visible in the psd, visible on the toolbar. Use the eyes on the layer toolbar to make your first text layer and that one only, visible.

Step 7:
Add another frame by clicking the 'New frame' button, second button from the right on the bottom of the animation toolbar.
Make the first text layer invisible and then make the first transition layer visible. Repeat this step, but this time make the second text layer transition visible. Again repeat this step and have the second text layer visible.

I'd waffle on more about the repetitive nature of the frame duplication, but this graphic probably helps more...

Photobucket

In case that's not entirely clear the order for frames is...
Text 1 > Text 1 transition > Text 2 Transition > Text 2 > Text 2 transition > Text 3 transition > Text 3 > Text 3 transition... and so on until you're done. I'd really only recommend this tutorial for short pieces of text, any longer and you'll be going on forever!

I always end my text on the solid text as opposed to a transition, but this is personal preference.

Step 8:
Change the timings on the frame as above: 2 seconds for solid text, 0.1 seconds for transitions and then 0.5 for your blank frame at the end to 'finish' the icon. I prefer my icons to loop forever so I have the looping option set as such.

And you're done!

If you need help with saving icons optimised for web then click the link below, if not, I hope this was of some help to you! Feedback would be appreciated.

Click here to see the settings I use for all my LJ icons to make sure I'm under the 40KB limit
Tags: animation: animated gifs, animation: text effect, graphic effects: text, program: imageready, program: photoshop, tutorial: animation
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