How to Create Animated GIFs from Spin Photography

Marketers are always trying to discover new ways to maximize budgets and get the most out of marketing initiatives. Product photography is no exception.

Shooting products in 360° & 3D spin is an efficient way to create a collection of visual assets to leverage for other marketing materials.

In this post I’ll explain how to use Photoshop to quickly transform your 360° & 3D product spins into high-quality, custom GIFs— all in four easy steps.

1) LOAD FILES INTO STACK

To begin, have the entire spinset (collection of individual still images that comprise the 360° & 3D product spin) in a folder. To upload images into Photoshop, open Photoshop, select ‘File,’ then ‘Scripts,’ then ‘Load Files Into Stack.’ Then select ‘Browse’ and choose all the files within the spinset folder. Select ‘OK.’

Photoshop will then create a separate layer for each image you’ve selected.

2) CREATE FRAME ANIMATION

Select ‘Window’ in the top navigation, then open the ‘Timeline’ palette. This is called the ‘Animation’palette on older versions of Photoshop.

If you want to include a static background (like the logo I did with this Knife-Xpress GIF), create a top layer and keep it visible for the entire GIF.

Click “Create Frame Animation” to create the first frame.

Turn off visibility for all layers you do not want visible at the start of your animation.

Add new frames by selecting the ‘Duplicate Frame’ icon. It looks like a sheet of paper with a corner bent up at the bottom of the Timeline palette.

Add one frame at a time, and turn on the layers you want visible for each step in the animation.

3) ADJUST ANIMATION TIMING

Highlight all frames by selecting the first frame, hold down shift, and selecting the last frame. Adjust animation timing using the upside triangle icon shown below each frame. I recommened chosing no delay, 0.1 seconds, or 0.2 seconds for each frame. Keep delay consistent throughout the entire animation.

You should also adjust how many times the GIF loops. Set it to ‘Forever.’

4) SAVE FOR WEB

In Photoshop CS6: Select ‘File’ and ‘Save For Web’

In Photoshops CS3, 4, & 5 Extended: Select ‘File’ and ‘Save For Web & Devices…’

Confirm that the image type is set to ‘GIF’ and looping options to ‘Forever.’

And voilà! There you have it, a completely new visual asset to use in email campaigns, trade show videos, PowerPoint presentatoins and social media posts.

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