Photoshop: Quick & Easy Animation Like a Professional
4.5 (68 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,411 students enrolled

Photoshop: Quick & Easy Animation Like a Professional

Become an animator by the end of today even if you "can't draw." Take your videos to new heights using Adobe Photoshop
4.5 (68 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,411 students enrolled
Created by Kristen Palana
Last updated 4/2020
English [Auto], Italian [Auto]
Current price: $139.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 5 articles
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Harness the power of Photoshop to make simple or complex 2-D animations.
  • Animate and draw directly over video clips to enhance or completely transform them.
  • Access a full array of public domain and royalty-free still image and video resources to use in your own unique projects.
  • Capture and animate complex movements with ease by using video as your guide.
  • Create stunning animations and video/animation combos that can be exported as stand-alone movies or brought into other programs to be combined with other 2D and 3D multimedia sources.
  • Make simple but powerful animated GIFS for websites or social media pages.
  • Nothing special is needed before taking this course except for an open mind and a willingness to play and experiment with Photoshop's animation tools. That said, those who have at least a basic familiarity with Photoshop will be the most comfortable getting started.
  • Free trials of Photoshop are available from Adobe's website.

Are you ready to take your videos to the next level?

This easy to follow course will help you make original, custom animations using Adobe Photoshop that look professional and can be used as stand-alone movies (without needing any other software) or in combination with other video, animation, and multimedia software programs for a full range of effects and purposes. FREE trials of Photoshop are available at Adobe's website.

In this course you will learn my very favorite animation and video rotoscoping techniques to create powerful multimedia projects ranging from laughably simple (think stick figures waving) to more sophisticated and complex (such as my own award-winning series of films screened internationally in film festivals and online since 2002.)

In this course you'll learn step by step how to:

  • Harness the power of Photoshop to create simple or complex frame by frame animations, with or without using Photoshop's timeline.
  • Easily turn a regular video into a stop-motion animated video by making simple frame rate adjustments.
  • Apply a full range of effects to your video to create animated elements or a stand-alone animation even if you CAN'T DRAW.
  • Coax Photoshop to animate objects and layers for you (without having to draw anything) by making position, size, and opacity changes, to name just a few possibilities.
  • Craft multiple effects at once to create more complex final animations by using multiple layers.
  • Capture complex movements by bringing in video, drawing right over it, and (optionally) throwing the video guide out so all that is left is your new animation with its sophisticated movements. (That's rotoscoping!)

I start from the very beginning using Adobe Photoshop. Free 30 day trials of Photoshop are available from Adobe's website BUT many of the techniques I show you in this course (such as frame by frame animation) can be achieved in virtually any imaging software combined with your favorite video editing program.

All of my techniques are explained so you will 100% understand how they work. You can then decide how much time you will spend on each animation which will then affect your end results.

What Students Are Saying:

"Loved this course! Kristen is very thorough in her instruction and shows multiple ways to accomplish the various tasks included in the animation process. She discusses everything from where to get video to drawing techniques and final presentation. This was a fun course and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning the basics of animation in Photoshop or a similar program." -Deborah Wojcicki


I'm a practicing award-winning multimedia artist and a former tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome (2006-2016). I'm currently a Visiting Associate Professor of Digital Media at the brand new American University of Myanmar in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). 

Since 2000 I've been teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately.

New bonus lectures and resources will continue to be added and timely advice will be provided in the discussion forum. I love to help and always respond to inquiries and discussions ASAP.

Please Note: All students who enroll in this course also will receive periodic free and discounted access to my other top-rated current and upcoming courses.

You have a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee with no questions asked so you have nothing to lose. I make myself available so you will have access to me if you have questions or need specific feedback along the way.

Empower yourself now by enrolling in this animating in Photoshop course and join our growing learning community! Click the "Take This Course" button in the upper right corner and let's get started building your animation, multimedia, and video skills today.

Who this course is for:
  • This is a great course for those already familiar with Photoshop but who have never used it to do anything with animation or video before.
  • This course is also useful for multimedia artists, animators, and video editors who have never tried adding Photoshop to their tool belt.
  • Beginners and novices to Photoshop can also benefit from this course as you are walked through the entire process of animating over video step by step.
Course content
Expand all 27 lectures 02:13:57
+ Welcome
2 lectures 04:29

I'll give you a rundown on what we will cover in the course and what you can expect to get out of it.

Preview 01:56
I'm a bit stubborn in the sense that since I got started teaching in a University setting, I still want to try and do a few things I would normally do in my offline classroom. That is, I'd like to know more about who you are, where you are from, and what you would like to get out of this class.
Introduce Yourself and Let Us Know What You Most Want to Learn
1 question

In this lecture I'll show you how and why I started using Photoshop as my go-to rotoscoping tool to help me create my award-winning animations and multimedia videos. This case study will give you an idea of how to use Photoshop in simple and complex ways so you can add this unexpected but powerful tool to your multimedia tool belt.

Preview 02:33
+ Setting Up to Animate in Photoshop: Tools and Resources
5 lectures 19:48

This lecture will provide resources for finding readily available royalty-free and public domain video that you can use in your projects.

Preview 03:26

Here is my big list from my website of 75+ Resources to Get FREE Images, Music, and Videos For Your Projects.

The images, music, and videos on this list are from the Public Domain or have Creative Commons licenses. Make sure to double check the terms on each site and for each image to ensure you are using them correctly. In some cases you may need to provide attribution (credit) to the creator (for many Creative Commons licenses), though for Public Domain works, no attribution is needed.

Happy Designing!

75+ Resources to Get Free Images, Music, and Videos For Your Projects

In this lesson we will go over what is needed to get started animating in Photoshop as well as go over a few pre-production best practices.

Setting Up to Animate in Photoshop: Windows and Tools

Here we will go over ways to import your video and get set up in Photoshop to animate and rotoscope. We'll also discuss what it means to bring in various HD, NTSC, and PAL video sizes and what this means for your final video output later.

Importing Your Video and Working With Different Video Formats

In this lesson we will adjust our frames per second and I'll explain what the different settings mean for your final video. I'll also explain what stop motion animation is and discuss two ways you can create a stop motion animation effect.

Make a Quick & Dirty Stop Motion Animation By Adjusting Your Frames Per Second

This quiz will test your knowledge of setting up video properly in Photoshop, copyright issues when using the work of others, and the stop motion animation technique.

Setting Up to Animate: Let's Review Important Take-Aways From Section 3
3 questions
+ Animating in Photoshop: Some Techniques You Can Try
9 lectures 58:06

In this lesson I will show you how you can start drawing right over your video as well as how to make a very simple frame by frame animation on top of your video. Use this technique to make simple or complex projects alike moving forward.

Preview 04:03

In this lesson I'll show you how to use Photoshop's onion skinning feature in its timeline to make a simple frame by frame animation. Patience is required for this technique if you would like to make something more sophisticated or complex.

Using the Onion Skin Options to Make More Decisive Drawings (Frame By Frame)

This is a simple way to get more seconds of animation for your efforts. I'll show you how to make an easy looping animation that only uses 3-4 images. This lesson is a little longer than the others, but if you invest a few minutes here you will save yourself hours, days, weeks, and months of work later by learning this simple trick.

Use the "Wiggle" Technique to Get More Mileage Out of Your Drawings (Looping)

In this lesson we'll put our feet up a little and have Photoshop animate some specific things like screen position, opacity, size changes, rotations, and styles for us. This lesson is a little longer than the others but it is jam packed with tons of ways to animate using Photoshop. Don't miss it!

Let's Have Photoshop Animate For Us (Position, Scaling, Opacity, Rotation, etc.)

In this lesson I'll show you the technique I use the most in my own work. This is the traditional frame by frame style of animation. It can be done with drawings or photographs only or together with video. In this lesson I'll show you how to rotoscope, which is essentially taking video as a guide, drawing over it, then putting the final drawings in a video timeline to get the final animated product. This lesson is a little longer than the others but I promise you will get a TON out of it. Have fun with this.

Rotoscoping and Animating the Frame By Frame Way (*The Essence of How I Work)

In this lesson I'll show you how you can turn your video layer into a Photoshop Smart Object and then apply filters and other special effects to it.

Please beware though that some filters and effects are extremely distracting and cheesy. Try to adjust each filter's settings to make them more subtle or consider just adding the effect to part of your video or one layer instead of on top of your entire final product. Your special effect should enhance, not take away or distract from whatever story you are trying to tell. We don't want to be watching your final work, engaged with your character, only to then suddenly think, "Oh! Page peel transition. Plastic wrap filter." Do you know what I mean? When in doubt, TAKE IT OUT. Less is more. :-)

Adding Filters and Other Special Effects to Your Video (For Good or For Evil)

In this lesson I'll show you how to get a painterly effect by using brush tools and effects over your video.

Turning a Video Into an Animated Painting With Brushes

Here I'll show you how to take your final video and export it into a video format that can be used by itself or later imported into other programs like Premier, After Effects, Maya, Flash, Final Cut, Avid, etc.

Exporting the Final Video From Photoshop

Post your experiments, drafts, animated messes, and final masterpieces here.

Show the Class Anything You Made Here

This quiz will test your knowledge on everything we have covered so far related to animation techniques.

Animation Techniques: Let's Review How to Animate in Photoshop
6 questions
+ Make Animated Gifs in Photoshop for Your Site or Social Media Pages
2 lectures 19:30

This is a lesson from my in-depth Web Design Foundations course, Web Snax: Super Simple Recipes For Easy Website Design. This lesson will walk you through creating your first basic animated Gif using Adobe Photoshop.

How to Create a Simple Animated Gif in Photoshop

This is a lesson from my in-depth Web Design Foundations course, Web Snax: Super Simple Recipes For Easy Website Design. This is a simple, cheap, and easy way to make a slideshow for your website or social media pages without needing to get into WordPress plugins or anything else. All you need are your images and Photoshop.

How to Create a Quick & Dirty (But Beautiful) Animated Gif Slideshow
+ Resources and Conclusion
8 lectures 29:50

Here is a quick cheat sheet you can refer back to that will help you with a few key points covered more in depth in this course.

A 1-Page Cheat Sheet You Can Print Out to Help You Remember a Few Key Points
1 page

Here's the first minute and a half of my new film in progress. My next step will be trying to see if I can get it down to under 15 minutes. It
covers 18 years in the life of one Indian American immigrant's experience before, during, and after her arranged marriage. It uses the techniques I cover in this course.

Extra: See My Current Animation in Progress That Uses These Techniques

Use these new custom brush tools in Photoshop to really get the textures  and look you are are going for. This is a case study on how I use  hundreds of brushes when animating in Photoshop, where I get them, how to change their settings, and how to get started using them. (*See blog post under the resources tab for easy brush installation instructions.)

New: How to Up Your Game With Stunning New Photoshop Brushes

Don't stop at making animations in Photoshop. Have a look at some of my  favorite FREE and intuitive tools that will have you making social media graphics, web sites, illustrations, and more. Get a taste of what is possible in under 10 minutes and be up and running ASAP.  [This lecture   comes from my full course, Skyrocket Your Creativity: 7 Easy Ways.]

Extra: 5 Easy & Free Tools That Will Free Your Creative Soul

This lecture is for budding filmmakers and animators who want to present their work in the best light possible to international film festivals and their judges. I'll give you a grand tour of must-use websites and social media platforms for getting those coveted film screenings and awards!

Top Social Media Platforms and Websites For Filmmakers and Animators

In this lecture are a list of links and resources to help you move on from here.

Resources, Links, and Where to Go From Here

I originally created this course to be a resource for my Ethiopian students to use before, during, and after my short 2 week intensive seminar. Have a look at what they created using many of the same techniques in this course.

Extra: Animation and Multimedia Student Work From Addis Ababa University

Thank you for taking this course. Here students will get a proper send-off and learn how to leave a rating or review to help others know if this might be a good course for them.

Thanks for Taking This Course. Please Review.
+ Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers
1 lecture 01:12

Students will learn more about my other courses, eBooks, staying in touch, and more.

Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers