Here is another tutorial on creating an animated GIF in Photoshop. This time, we will make a retro TV set from scratch and give it an animated distorted display. For this project, we will use lots of layer styles and smart filters and learn how to animate the distortion.
Source file (.PSD) is available for purchase at deviantART. Just click on the Download button at the bottom of this post.
- Created in: Photoshop CS3 Extended
Don't forget to Save (Ctrl+S) from time to time! Now on with the first step!
Step 1: Creating a new document
Create a new document (Ctrl+N). Set both the width and height to 400 pixels and leave the rest in their default values.
Step 2: Creating the body
Create a new layer (Layer » New » Layer… or Shift+Ctrl+N) and set the name to "body" then click OK.
Then we will use the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) for creating the body.
Once activated, go to the Options bar and set the tool to Fill Pixels and the Radius to 10px. If you want your corners to be rounder, use a bigger radius.
Next we setup the color of the body. Change the Foreground color to whatever color you want. I used #b10106.
Then on the canvas, create your rectangle as shown below.
Step 3: Adding a base
To add a base (or feet) to the television, duplicate the body layer (Ctrl+J) then rename the copy to "base" by double-clicking its layer name.
Now we need to change the base's color. Ctrl+click the base layer's thumbnail to create a selection (aka marching ants) of it.
Now set the Foreground color to black (#000000) then fill the selection with it by hitting Alt+Del.
TIP: A simpler way of setting the Foreground color to black is by using the shortcut key D. This will reset the Foreground color to black and the Background color to white.
Now you need to make the base slightly slimmer than the body. Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl+T) so that a bounding box will appear around the base. Hold down Alt (to resize it from its center) and grab either the left or right handle then drag towards the center as shown below.
Then using the Down arrow keys, nudge the base downwards until a tiny portion of it exceeds the body. Hit Enter to apply the transformation. And lastly, move the base layer behind the body layer (Ctrl+[).
To keep our layers organized, select both the body and base layers (Ctrl+click each of the layers) and group them together (Layer » Group Layers or Ctrl+G). Rename the group to "body" the same way we renamed our layers earlier.
Step 4: Adding the panels.
Now let’s work on adding two panels. One is for the TV screen (left side) and the other is for the controls (right side). Let’s just call them the left and right panels for simplicity.
Building the panels is quite similar to the steps we took in making the body. So for the screen panel, create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) above the body group and name it as "left panel".
Set the Foreground color to #807d7d. Switch to the Rounded Rectangle tool (U) and use the same settings earlier: Fill pixels and Radius set to 10px.
Then create the left panel as shown below:
Add another layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) and name it as "right panel". Change the Rounded Rectangle's Radius to 5px then create the right panel like so:
Step 5: Styling the panels.
Now let’s give some depth to the panels through Layer styles.
On the left panel layer, go to Layer » Layer Style » Blending Options… (or just double click the layer on the Layers panel)
Then apply the following settings:
So now we have the following effect:
Let’s apply the same style to our right panel. On the Layers panel, right click the left panel layer and select Copy Layer Style from the menu. Then go to the right panel layer, right click and select Paste Layer Style.
A quicker way is to hold down the Alt key while dragging the left panel layer’s fx symbol and dropping it into the right panel.
At the end of this step, you should have something similar to this:
Before we proceed into adding more layers, group the left and right panel layers separately. Click on the left panel layer and hit Ctrl+G. Rename the group to "left panel". Do the same for the right panel layer and name its group as "right panel".
Step 6: Adding the TV control panel.
Let’s work on the right panel group first. We’ll start by adding a panel for our knobs/switches.
Above the right panel layer, create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) and name it as "knob panel". Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and set it to Fill Pixels and the Radius to 10px. Change your Foreground color to #e5e3e3.
Then on the knob panel layer, create a rectangle half the length of the right panel.
Next is to add layer styles to the knob panel layer (Layer » Layer Style » Bevel and Emboss…) and use the following settings for Bevel and Emboss:
So now we have the following result:
Step 7: Adding the TV controls - Top switch
We’ll start by adding a switch for changing channels.
Above the knob panel layer, create three new layers (Shift+Ctrl+N) and name them as "bottom", "middle", and "top".
Now select these three layers by Ctrl+clicking each of them and hit Ctrl+G to group them together. Name this group as "top switch".
As you can see, our switch is divided into three layers. Let’s go to the bottom layer first.
Step 8: Creating the Top switch - Bottom layer.
The bottom layer will be a circular dial containing the TV channels, 1 to 13.
To create the circle, you will need the Ellipse tool (U). This is located together with the Rounded Rectangle tool.
Similar to the Rounded Rectangle tool, set the Ellipse tool to Fill Pixels. For the Foreground color, just use black (#000000).
So on the bottom layer, create your circle on the upper half of the knob panel. Hold down Shift so that you can create a perfect circle.
Next is to add the following layer styles:
Hit OK when you are done. Now, you should have something like this:
Step 9: Creating the Top switch - Middle layer
Next is the middle layer. The steps are actually quite similar.
The Foreground color to use is still black (#000000). Then on the middle layer, using the Ellipse tool (U) set to Fill Pixels, hold down Shift and create a smaller circle at the center of the bottom layer.
Then apply a Bevel and Emboss layer style with the following settings:
Here is what it looks like after adding the effects:
Step 10: Creating the Top switch - Top layer
Now for the top layer. This is the handle for the switch.
The Foreground color to use is still black (#000000). The Ellipse tool (U) should also be set to Fill pixels. This time however, you do not hold down the Shift key when creating the handle. The shape we will do is an elongated one.
So on the top layer, create your oblong in the center of your middle layer but make sure to stretch it such that it sticks out. Note that I just added a selection of the handle so that you can easily see it in the image below.
For the effects, simply copy the middle layer’s layer style (Right click » Copy Layer Style) and paste it onto the top layer (Right click » Paste Layer Style). Then apply the following changes:
So now you have something like this:
Step 11: Creating the Top switch - Adding the channel numbers.
The top switch is almost complete. Let’s just finish it off by adding the channels.
In order for the numbers to go around the shape of our switch, we first need to create a path for it to follow. For this, we will be using the Ellipse tool (U) but this time instead of Fill Pixels, set the tool to Paths.
Create your circular path around the middle layer. Hold down Shift so that you get a perfect circle.
Note: You do not need to create a new layer for paths like we do when using the Fill Pixels option. They have a layer of their own in the Paths panel (Window » Paths) but I won’t elaborate on this.
Now switch to the Horizontal Type tool (T).
Next, open the Character panel (Window » Character). Here you will see the adjustments you can make to your text.
For the text, I used a font called White Rabbit. You can use a different one if you want. Depending on the font you use, you may have to adjust the font settings used.
Note that using the Type tool will automatically create a new layer so make sure you are inside the top switch group and above the bottom layer before using it.
Now hover your mouse on the circular path you created. You should see the Type tool cursor change from having a square border to a slanted line. Once you see the slanted line, click on the path. This will enable you to have your text follow the path, thus having circular text.
After clicking on the path, start typing the numbers 1 to 13.
If you are wondering why my zoomed-up versions aren't so pixelated, it's because I first used 800x800 as my document size before resizing it to 400x400. 800 is just way too big!
If you are having a huge gap between your numbers like in the image above, try adjusting the tracking of the text. To do this, first select/highlight all the text or just click on the text layer in the Layers panel. Then on the Character panel, look for the symbol with the letters AV with a double headed arrow beneath it and increase the value to about 14 (adjust as needed -- for the 800x800 version I used 140).
Also, since we are using a dark background, it would be better to change the font color to white (#ffffff).
Now you should have something like this:
The dials’ position is a bit off so let’s adjust that. On the text layer, hit Ctrl+T to tranform it. Move your mouse outside the bounding box so that the cursor turns into a rotate tool (a curved double headed arrow). Click and drag your mouse around until you are ok with the position then hit Enter.
TIP: If you are not seeing a preview of your rotating text, cancel your transformation (Esc) then create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) – the name does not matter – above your text layer then select both the new layer and text layer (Ctrl+Click each of them) then hit Ctrl+T. Try rotating your text again and you should see a preview. Once you are done, delete the new layer you created (Right click » Delete Layer).
You can do the same for the top layer (the handle) and point it to say, channel 1.
After rotating both the text and top layers, we now have this:
Step 12: Adding the TV controls - Bottom switch
Creating the bottom switch is very easy now that we have our top switch. All we need to do is duplicate the top switch group then make a few adjustments.
On the Layers panel, right click your top switch group and select Duplicate Group. Enter "bottom switch" for the group name then hit OK.
After duplicating your group you will notice that there isn’t any change on your image. That’s because the duplicate is sitting right on top of the original group. So switch to the Move tool (V), hold down Shift (to stay aligned) then drag down the bottom switch group.
Now for the adjustments.
Go to your Layers panel. In your bottom switch group, delete the top copy layer either by right clicking and selecting Delete Layer (a warning box may appear so just click on Yes to confirm) or by dragging the layer to the trash icon on the bottom of the window.
Note: Layers in your duplicate group will automatically have "copy" appended to the original layer names.
And finally, let’s change the dial markings. Instead of using numbers, let’s just use bars instead. You can either use an exclamation point (!) like I did or the vertical bar/pipe symbol (|) or maybe try using dots (.). To change the text, just double click the text layer’s thumbnail in the Layers panel. This will automatically highlight all the text so that you can immediately type away. After changing the text, you may have to adjust the font size or spacing to fit it better.
The bottom switch is complete!
Step 13: Adding the speaker panel.
Let’s now work on the bottom half of the right panel. We will put the speakers in this area.
I suggest zooming in (press Ctrl+ repeatedly) in this step since we will be working with tiny strips. You can zoom out later on by pressing Ctrl- repeatedly or Ctrl+0 for the original size.
So inside the right panel group, create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) named "speaker panel" on top of all the other groups and layers. Group this layer (Ctrl+G) and name it as "speakers".
Now for the slits. Create a new layer above the speaker panel and name it as "strip". Then on this same layer, hit Ctrl+G to give it a group of its own. Call this group "strip" as well.
Set the Foreground color to black (#000000). Switch to the Rectangle Tool (U) and set it to Fill Pixels. Create a very thin strip across the speaker panel. You don’t have to fit the strip within the width of the speaker panel. This can be fixed easily later.
Here is where it gets a lot more fun. We now have to fill the entire speaker panel with these strips. Doing this manually could get very tasking. Fortunately, we can perform step and repeat in Photoshop – repeating the last transformation done on a layer.
Still on the strip layer, press Alt+Ctrl+T. This will duplicate the layer and enable transformation. Using the Down Arrow key, nudge the strip downwards. Notice that on your Layers panel, you now have a "strip copy" layer.
Hit Enter once you’re done moving the copy. To repeat this step, press Alt+Shift+Ctrl+T. What happens here is that Alt duplicates the layer. On the other hand, Shift+Ctrl+T (Edit » Transform » Again) repeats the transformation. So to fill the entire speaker panel, hit Alt+Shift+Ctrl+T until you reach the bottom.
As you can see, I now have 64 copies of the strip layer. This may be different with yours depending on how tall and thin your panel and strips are so don’t worry about that.
We don’t need to keep this many layers so let’s just merge all the copies into one. To do this, right click the strip group then select Merge Group (Ctrl+E). Now we only have one strip layer to work with.
Hiding the excess strips can be easily done through clipping masks.
Still on the strip layer, go to Layer » Create Clipping Mask (Alt+Ctrl+G). Alternatively, hold down the Alt key and move your mouse pointer between the strip and speaker panel layers. Click once the cursor changes to two overlapping circles.
This is useful in the event that you need to adjust or perhaps reshape the speaker panel. You won't have to worry about redoing the strips since they are only masked.
Step 14: Building the screen panel.
Now that we are done with the right panel, let’s head on to the left panel. Here on the left panel is where we will put our screen. But before we create the screen itself, let’s first add another layer to serve as the border.
Inside the left panel group, create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) above the left panel layer. Name this layer as "screen-box".
Switch to the Rounded Rectangle tool (U) and set it to Fill Pixels and its Radius to 10px. Then set the Foreground color to black (#000000).
On the screen-box layer create a smaller rectangle inside the left panel as shown below.
Next is to add a layer style on the screen-box layer (Layer » Layer Style » Bevel and Emboss) and apply the following settings:
After adding the layer style you should have an illusion of an empty box:
Now we can proceed to adding the screen!
Step 15: Adding the TV screen.
For the TV screen, we are once again going to use the Rounded Rectangle tool (U). Set it to Fill Pixels and the Radius to 10px. For the Foreground color, use #585858.
Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) right above the screen-box layer. Name it as "screen". Now create a smaller rectangle inside the screen-box like so:
Then apply the following layer styles:
We now have the screen looking like this:
Step 16: Setting up the screen's picture
Next is setting up the photo to display on the screen.
I suggest using this test pattern (500px) if you want to follow along with the settings used onwards. Otherwise, just pick any picture you want but be sure to use a size similar to your screen’s dimensions and it would be better if it is slightly bigger.
Open your image in Photoshop by going to File » Open (Ctrl+O).
Next is saving it as a pattern. Go to Edit » Define Pattern. Note that if your image is too big, you may not be able to convert it to a pattern so just resize it to a smaller one (Image » Image size... or Alt+Ctrl+I).
Rename your pattern if you want to. By default, it will take the filename. Then click OK.
We won’t be needing the image anymore so you can just close it (Ctrl+W).
Note: Rather than using the image itself, I opted for a pattern so that we can get a tile/wrap-around effect when working on the animation later on.
Step 17: Adding the picture to the screen.
Back to the TV.
Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) named "picture" above the screen layer. Hit Alt+Del to fill the layer with your Foreground color (the color does not matter).
To hide the areas of the picture outside the screen, create a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G).
Now we have to fill this layer with the pattern created earlier. To do this, add a Pattern Overlay layer style (Layer » Layer Style » Pattern Overlay).
Select your image from the pattern list (don’t click OK just yet).
Now we have to center the pattern to the screen.
With the layer style window still open, drag the pattern around your canvas until it centers on the screen.
Click OK once you are done adjusting the pattern.
Just to illustrate better the wrap-around effect we got from the Pattern Overlay, I used a different picture. Here is what it looks like without the clipping mask:
Step 18: Distorting the picture.
For the distortion, we will be using smart filters. Smart filters are editable and do not apply permanent changes to the layer unlike regular filters. You will see later on how this is useful when we add the animation.
To use smart filters, we first need to convert the layer to a Smart Object. So on the picture layer, Right click » Convert to Smart Object or go to Filter » Convert for Smart Filters.
Now we can add some distortion effects. Go to Filter » Distort » Wave… and apply the following settings:
So now the picture will be something like this:
Let’s add another filter to make it more distorted. We’ll be using the Displace filter this time. For this filter, you will need to get this displacement map.
Once you have a copy of the displacement map, go to Filter » Distort » Displace… and use the following settings:
After clicking OK, you will be prompted for a displacement map. Navigate to the folder of your displacement map and open it.
So now we have the following:
Step 19: Setting up the animation.
First you need to open the Animation panel (Window » Animation).
Note: For CS6 users, it is called Timeline (Window » Timeline).
We will be using frame animation so if you are seeing a timeline, make sure to switch to Frame mode. To do this, click the Animation panel menu » Convert to Frame Animation or just click on the lower-right-corner icon.
Once you are in Frame mode, set the Frame delay to 0.2 seconds and the Loop count to Forever.
Step 20: Adding layers for the animation frames
Now we are going to add more layers for the animation.
On the picture layer, press Ctrl+J six times to create six copies of it.
Select these six copies (Ctrl+click each of them or Shift+click the first and last layers) then hit Alt+Ctrl+G to create a clipping mask.
Next is to set all the duplicates’ visibility to hidden. On any of the selected layers, right click the "eye" icon, then choose Hide this layer.
Step 21: Adding the animation frames.
What we are going to do here is to create a frame for each of the picture copies. Since we have 7 picture layers, we will also have 7 animation frames. And for each frame, only the corresponding layer will be visible. The rest, will be hidden.
To create a new frame, go to the Animation panel menu » New Frame or just click on the Duplicate selected frames button on the bottom of the Animation panel.
When you’ve added a new frame, go to your Layers panel. Hide the "Frame 1 layer" (picture) then show the "Frame 2 layer" (picture copy).
Create another frame, then show only the "Frame 3 layer" (picture copy 2). Just repeat this step until you completed the 7 frames.
Step 22: Animating the distortion.
On the Animation panel, go to Frame 2. And on your Layers panel, go to the Frame 2 layer (picture copy). Double click the Wave filter so that we can begin modifying it.
Note: A message box may appear informing you that you won’t see the preview of the filters stacked above it. Just click OK.
On the Wave options, click on the Randomize button until you get an effect that is different (but not too much!) from the previous layer’s. You can also adjust the Wavlength and Amplitude Min. to blend it better. Click OK when you are done.
Next we will edit the Displace filter. Just double click it like we did earlier with the Wave.
Set the Horizontal Scale to a higher value, say 30, then hit OK. Once again, you will be asked to open the displacement map.
Move to the next frame and layer then modify its Wave and Displace filter settings. Repeat this step until you have completed all 7 frames. For the Displace’s Horizontal Scale, try alternating between high and low values.
This step is all about experimenting. You can go back to the previous frames and layers and adjust the filters as needed.
Also, you can test your animation anytime by hitting the Play button (Space key).
TIP: If your animation seems to lag, try zooming out to about 50% or lower.
Step 23: Filter settings.
The settings here may not be entirely the same with yours. Just play around with the options and have fun with it. But to give you an idea, here's something you can try to match with:
Here is what it looks like: (Note that I just lowered the quality so that the file won't be too large.)
Step 24: Adding the double image effect.
To amp up the distortion, let’s add a double image effect in the middle of the animation.
We will need to add extra layers however by default, new layers will appear on all frames. For this step, we only need it to appear on the active frame. To set this up, go to the Animation panel menu and uncheck "New Layers Visible in All Frames".
On the Animation panel, go to Frame 4. And on the Layers panel, go to its corresponding layer – which is picture copy 3 (you can easily identify this by looking for the picture layer with the "eye" icon visible). Duplicate this layer (Ctrl+J) then create a clipping mask on the duplicate (Alt+Ctrl+G).
Now change the duplicate layer’s opacity to 50%. Switch to the Move tool (V), hold down Shift (to retain alignment) then move the layer to the right until the overlap becomes noticable.
Repeat this step on the next frame (Frame 5) but this time, move the copy to the left and make the distance bigger.
Try playing the animation (Space) and adjust your layers as needed.
Step 25: Adding wavy lines
Now we will add wavy lines running across the screen.
Go back to Frame 1.
Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) named "wave" on top of all the picture layers.
Next, switch to the Rectangle tool (U) and set it to Fill Pixels. For the Foreground color, use white (#ffffff).
Then create a strip extending across the screen as shown below:
Create a clipping mask on the wave layer (Alt+Ctrl+G) and convert it to a smart object (Filter » Convert for Smart Filters).
Add a ripple effect to the wave by going to Filter » Distort » Ripple… and set the Amount to 350 and the Size to Large.
The next filter to use is Noise. Go to Filter » Noise » Add Noise… and set the Amount to 400, Distribution to Uniform and check Monochromatic.
Now set the wave layer’s Blending mode to Screen and Opacity to 35% (you may have to adjust this if you are using a different picture).
Duplicate the layer (Ctrl+J), mask it (Alt+Ctrl+G) and set its Opacity to 30%.
Using the Move tool (V), move both layers to the bottom edge of the screen. The wave layer should have only its top edges visible. As for the wave copy layer, move it all the way down so that it stays hidden.
Step 26: Animating the wavy lines.
Go to Frame 2. Using the Move tool (V) move the wave layer upwards so that it is fully shown. Go to the next frame and once again move the wave layer higher. Repeat this step until you completed all frames. For the last frame, position the wave such that only the bottom edges are visible.
Next is the wave copy layer. This layer will only be shown when the wave layer is halfway to the top. Go to the frame where the wave layer is in the upper half of the screen. On that frame, move the wave copy layer upwards, having only its top edges showing. Move to the next frame and repeat the steps as you have done with the wave layer.
Now we are done with the animation!
Step 27: Adding scan lines.
Just a couple more details and we are done with the TV screen.
Go to Frame 1.
Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) above the wave layers. Name it as "scan lines". Press D to reset the Background and Foreground colors to black and white if it isn’t yet. Now on the scan lines layer, press Ctrl+Del to fill it with the white Background color.
Create a clipping mask on the layer (Alt+Ctrl+G) and convert it to a Smart Object (Filter » Convert for Smart Filters).
Then go to Filter » Sketch » Halftone Pattern…
Set the Size to 1, the Contrast to 7 and the Pattern Type to Line. You can adjust this values later on if it does not work well with your picture.
Now set the scan lines layer’s Blending Mode to Overlay and lower the opacity to about 11%.
Step 28: Adding noise
And finally to complete the screen, let’s just add some noise to it.
Note that you should still be on Frame 1.
Above the scan lines layer, create a new one (Shift+Ctrl+N) and name it as "noise". This time, fill it with the black Foreground color by pressing Alt+Del then create a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G).
Convert the noise layer to a Smart Object (Filter » Convert for Smart Filters) then add a noise filter by going to Filter » Noise » Add Noise… Set the Amount to 42, the Distribution to Uniform and uncheck Monochromatic.
Next, set the noise layer’s Blending Mode to Screen. You can also lower the Opacity if you want to.
And we are done with the TV screen!
Step 29: Adding an antenna.
Just to complete our television, let's add the good old antenna.
Go to Frame 1.
For the antenna, create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) above the Background layer and name it "antenna".
Switch to the Rounded Rectangle tool (U). Set it to Fill pixels and the Radius to 80px. Set the Foreground color to #d8d8d8.
Then on the antenna layer, create a thin line above the TV like below:
Change the Foreground color to black (#000000) then add a small head to the tip of the antenna.
Switch to the Transform tool (Ctrl+T) to rotate and position the antenna behind the TV. Hit Enter when you are done.
Next is to add the following layer styles (Layer » Layer Style » Blending Options):
And we are done with the TV!
Step 30: Adding a background.
This step is optional. Depending on how you would use your TV, you may not want a background.
Select your background (Ctrl+A) and copy it (Ctrl+C). Go back to your TV document, jump to Frame 1 then paste it (Ctrl+V) just below the antenna layer. You may have to resize and adjust its position afterwards. Just use the Transform tool (Ctrl+T) for doing it.
To blend it better with the background, you can add layer effects to the body's base layer and antenna layer. When doing so, be sure to still be in Frame 1.
So we now get this result:
Step 31: Saving as an animated GIF.
To save, go to File » Save for Web & Devices... (Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S)
Set the file type to GIF (1). If you think the file size (2) is too big, you can reduce the colors (3) and/or adjust the image size (4). Lastly, to get a preview of your animation, just use the playback controls at the bottom (5). Once you are satisfied, hit OK and we are done!
Once you are comfortable with the steps, try using different values, shapes or colors. Just play with it and you can end up with awesome results.
The End! Hope you had fun doing this tutorial. If you have any questions or feedback feel free to put it in the comments below. I would also love to see your final results, just send me a link if you can!
Found this tutorial useful?
Show your support
Any amount is awesome!