build an animated ad in photoshop cs4.

Tips for PhotoShop Elements

PhotoShop Elements is a cheaper option to PhotoShop. It will perform most of the tasks journalists require and only costs $79. The layers are built the same way, but the animation is done in the Layers palette.

photoshop elements layers

Make each frame into a layer

Merge all the layers except the main and secondary text by selecting them all (hold down the shift key). Then click on the top right corner of the Layers palette and select Merge Layers.

You will need 4 copies of this new layer (one for each frame). Click on the top right corner of the Layers palette and select Duplicate.  Repeat this step two more times.

Make a duplicate of the Main Message layer, keep the opacity at 100 and drag it down to just above the bottom layer. Shift-select the two layers and merge them. Rename the layer as Frame 1

Make a duplicate of the Main Message layer, set the opacity to 65 and drag it down until it's third from the bottom. Make a duplicate of the Secondary Msg layer, set the opacity to 35 and drag it down until it's fourth from the bottom. Shift-select the layers that are second, third and fourth from the bottom and merge them. Rename the layer as Frame 2.

Select the remaining Main Message layer, set the opacity to 35 and drag it down until it's fourth from the bottom. Make a duplicate of the Secondary Msg layer, set the opacity to 65 and drag it down until it's fifth from the bottom. Shift-select the layers that are third, fourth and fifth from the bottom and merge them. Rename the layer as Frame 3.

Select the remaining Secondary Msg layer, keep the opacity at 100. Shift-select the top two layers and merge them. Rename the layer as Frame 4. When you are done your layers should look like the ones below.

elements ad frames

You are now ready to animate. Go to the file menu and select Save for Web. select all the options below.

elements save for web settings

Animation delay: Use the play button to advance to each frame and set the delay for each frame.

There is a bug in the Mac version that prevents this from working. To get the delay, you will need to add layers (frames). For example, if you want a 2 second delay on Frame 1, you will need to duplicate the layer nine times. This will work but may make your ad very large when it's saved.