From Photoshop’s Main Menu, go ahead a choose a new file, by going to File > New:
- Preset: Use the pull-down menu to select “Custom”
- For HD 1080p enter:
- Width: 1920 pixels
- Height: 1080 pixels
- For HD 720p
- Width: 1280 pixels
- Height: 720 pixels
- For Foundation students (to integrate with iStopMotion and iMovie)
- Width: 960 pixels
- Height: 540 pixels
- Resolution: 72 pixels/inch
- Colour Mode: RGB Colour, 8 bit
- Background: White (or, you could choose Transparent or another colour if you wish)
- Important, under “Advanced” the Pixel Aspect Ratio should be “Square Pixels.”
Before You Create Animation, Set the Frame Rate
Go to to the Main Menu and select Window > Timeline.
Make sure to establish the following settings first (before you start a video layer):
Locate the pull-down menu at the far upper right-hand corner of the Animation Layer Window and select:
- Set the Timeline Frame Rate:
- 12 frames per second for double-frame animation
- 24 or 23.976 fps for single- plus double-frame animation
- Onion Skin Settings:
- Onion Skin Count: From here, you can select how many frames before and after you would like to set — for example, 3 frames on either side of the drawing you’re working on.
- To turn the Onion Skin on, go to the Animation Layer and select the Onion Icon on the bottom-edge of the Layer Palette.
- Animation Panel Options:
- Here, you can change the Timeline Units to Frame Numbers, or keep them at Timecode.
Create a Blank Video Layer for Subsequent Animation
Create an “Animation Layer” by going to the Main Menu > Layer > Video Layers > New Blank Video Layer. Photoshop will place the Video Layer in the Layers Palette. Doing so should also open a Timeline, although you can also call up to the Timeline by going the Main Menu > Window > Timeline.
To Proceed with Animation
Use the edit-line playhead to reach specific frames and draw /animate on the frames as you choose.
To flip your images, moving forward and back by a frame at a time, use either the:
- Left and right Curser Keys [ > ] [ < ]
- Or, the “Select Next Frame” and “Select Previous Frames” buttons, located at the bottom edge of the Animation Timeline
To Add, Duplicate & Delete Frames for Animation Timing
Go to the Main Menu > Layer > Video Layers, where you can then select:
- Insert Blank Frame (i.e., a hold frame for double-frame animation)
- Duplicate Frame
- Delete Frame
If you have chosen to animate a 12 fps, you would animate one move per frame. When you bring the file into Premiere or After Effects, you will then have to interpret the footage at 12 frames per second.
If you have chosen to animate at 24 fps, you would animate one move per frame and Insert a Blank Frame for each move. When you bring the file into Premiere or After Effects, you will then have to interpret the footage at 24 frames per second.