Creating a GIF/short animation using Photoshop is not as difficult as it seems. There are a lot of steps and Photoshop can be a little tricky if you’ve never used it before, but once you’ve created a couple of GIFs, the process becomes way easier!

What you’ll need:
-Photoshop (You can find a one-week free trial download from Adobe here!)

Step 0: Planning!

Because there are a lot of necessary tiny steps, it’s important to have an idea of what type of motion is desired. For example, if you want to make a hand wave, you’ll have to consider the motion of a hand waving. Will it move from left to right? Top to bottom?

Step 1:
First, I’ll approach an image with a simpler plan. I am going to use a still image that I’ve already taken, and add some movement overtop. I’ve decided that I want to add a word that remains still throughout the GIF: “Aaaaahhhh”

And…That I would like to animate some flames over my eyes.

I’m going to choose a photo of myself.

Step 2:
Alright, so now I’ll open Photoshop. (Go to file → open to select your photo.)

Step 3:
Now that I’ve uploaded my image, I’ll go to file → new layer.

By adding a new layer, I can draw over my image without creating any permanent marks. The layer is recognized as its own sort of whiteboard with the ability to draw over an image without any boundaries.