Creating Animated Gifs Using Layers in Photoshop 5 and Gif Animator 3

 Part 2: Let's Add a Background!

toolbar Hey, let's add a background first!  Here we go.

Setting it up
The background, in this case, is a static image that is placed "underneath" the animation, just as if were a cel in traditional cartoons. This drawing is placed in a layer beneath each cartoon, and then the area which is not animated and is logically behind the animated action of the cartoon is removed from the foreground layer. My suggestion is to always use cool colors in a background, since they recede, and one then does not have to be worried about the positive space and negative space being confused.  I chose to use a shade of blue-green as the main color of my background.  That not only knocks the area back into its proper place, but gives the subsequent foreground a sense of being "lit" by a spotlight, as it were. Do this by clicking on the paintbucket on the lower-left of the toolbox.  Using this tool, click on each space as the illustration at the right shows.

Add a Layer
The next operation requires adding a layer on top of the background.  Leave it there for a minute and give attention to the base image.  Click on the "magic wand" tool on the toolbox (second tool on the right side).  Now select the white area of the background.  After a small portion of the white becomes highlighted, choose Select>Similar from the Photoshop toolbar at the top of the screen.  This selects all of the white in the image.  To top this off, press Shift+magic wand and choose a portion of the black lines. After this, once again choose Select>Similar to add all the black areas  to the selection. 

Coloring the Layer
Now move up to the layer just added, Layer 1, and then choose from the color picker  a shade of blue.  Reduce the opacity of the layer to around 75%.  Then fill the selection with the blue by choosing Edit>Fill>Foreground Color.  It should color the selection with a transparent dark blue.  Now comes the nifty part:  choose Ctrl+E.  That merges the base image and the layer (both layers must be visible and the selected layer must be Layer 1.    This completed background is placed beneath each layer and then the negative space is removed from each animated layer through the use of the magic wand, adding sections that are deleted through Shift+magic wand. Shift always adds to the previous selction.  This process is repeated for each layer.  Choose which section(s) of the animation is background, select it and then delete it.  The static background shows through.  After this is repeated for each layer, merge the paired layers.  The animation is now ready for coloring.


layer36.jpg (19079 bytes)

It's time to color!

WB01343_.gif (599 bytes)WB01345_.gif (616 bytes)


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