I know what you’re thinking. Why would I want to know how to make an animated gif? Didn’t that stop being cool in 1998? Absolutely. However, when used properly an animated gif can be a useful and entertaining tool in your Toon Boom arsenal. In addition, animated gifs are actually recognized by Google and Yahoo. Links inside SWF files continue to elude the search engines.
This Toon Boom tutorial is also provided as a free video lesson. (10 minutes)
Click here to watch it now.
The plan for creating an animated gif from Toon Boom is:
- Identify the frames in Toon Boom to be exported.
- Export those frames as individual images.
- Import those images into ImageReady.
- Cleanup, crop and resize the images.
- Export as an animated gif.
To complete this tutorial you will need:
- Toon Boom Studio (download free trial)
- Adobe ImageReady
Identify the Frames to Export
Locate the frames in Toon Boom that you plan on exporting to ImageReady. You need to limit the playback to just these frames, so make sure Free Playback is selected by going to:
Play > Playback Range > Free
Select the first frame to be exported then go to:
Play > Playback Range > Change Playback Start Frame
Make sure that the frame number entered in the box is the correct frame, then hit ok. Now you can select the last frame to be exported then go to:
Play > Playback Range > Change Playback End Frame
Once again, ensure that the frame number entered is correct then hit ok again. Now if you hit play you should only see those chosen frames appear in your animation.
Export Frames as Images
Now you can export the chosen frames as individual images by going to:
File > Export Movie
Tip: The animated gif will be easier to create later if you create a new folder to export the images to.
You’ll see a utility box come up, with several options. First, select the location to export the images. Next, make sure “Image Sequence” is selected from the Export Format dropdown menu. Export Type should have “Timeline Current Scene” selected, and Export Range should have “Free Playback Range” selected. Hit ok, and the images will begin exporting.
Import the Images into ImageReady
Open ImageReady and go to:
File > Import > Folder as Frames
Navigate to the directory where you saved your images and select ok. ImageReady will now import all of the images in that directory, in order by name. Fortunately for you, Toon Boom was smart enough to put the frames in numerical order.
Cleanup the Images
If there are any flaws in the images now is the time to correct them. Cropping and resizing to your needed dimensions is a good idea to keep the final animated gif at a reasonable file size.
Tip: If two of your frames are identical, make sure the frame is displaying one image twice instead of two images once. Limiting the number of unique images will help keep the file size small.
Export the Animated Gif
File > Save Optimized As
Use the dialog window to select a location for your animated gif, then hit “Save”.
You now know how to create an animated gif! Be sure to use this power for good. If you must use it for evil, please let me know so I can blog about it here.