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Combining Multiple Gifs Together


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I've done a few signatures and what not that put together more than 1 animated GIFs playing at the same time. Someone asked me how I did it, so I thought I'd post it here. This is my process in Photoshop - it's pretty tedious, but if anyone knows a quicker/easier way to do it, I'd love to know how :hehe:

First of all, the number of frames in each of the GIFs you want to combine need to have a common factor so that they can loop neatly.

For example, Animation 1 has 50 frames:

post-19363-0-1446188022-98975_thumb.jpg

Animation 2 has 25 frames:

post-19363-0-1446188023-23658_thumb.jpg

These will work because I know Animation 2 can play through twice exactly in the time that Animation 1 plays through once.

Now I'm going to import all the layers from one document into the other, so they're all together. You'll find it easier to import the shorter animation into the longer one.

Select all the layers, then drag them onto the "Create a new group" button:

post-19363-0-1446188023-43278_thumb.jpg

Right click the group, and choose Duplicate Group.... Select the document containing the longer animation in the drop-down list and press OK.

post-19363-0-1446188023-53444_thumb.jpg

Now you've got all the Animation 2 layers in a group, sitting above the Animation 1 layers.

post-19363-0-1446188023-64195_thumb.jpg

Now comes the tedious part.

Basically you have to go through, frame by frame and cycle through each individual layer of Animation 2.

Frame 1, make the first layer visible

post-19363-0-1446188023-6848_thumb.jpg

Frame 2, make the second layer visible

post-19363-0-1446188023-70983_thumb.jpg

Frame 3, make the third layer visible

post-19363-0-1446188023-72655_thumb.jpg

...and so on. This might take you a long time if you're working with a large animation.

Here I've got to Frame 25, which is the halfway point of Animation 1, and the final layer of Animation 2.

post-19363-0-1446188023-75153_thumb.jpg

This is where Animation 2 will start its second playthrough.

Frame 26, make the first layer visible

post-19363-0-1446188023-76466_thumb.jpg

..etc, all the way to the end.

Because all of Animation 2 is in a layer group, I can manipulate it easily.

Here I've gone back to Frame 1, selected the group, and pressed Ctrl+T to transform the group.

post-19363-0-1446188023-77615_thumb.jpg

I've moved Animation 2 over to the left, now I'm going to apply a gradient layer mask to it, to reveal more of Animation 1 sitting underneath

post-19363-0-1446188023-80574_thumb.jpg

And that's it!

Final GIF:

post-19363-0-1446188023-81621_thumb.gif

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks so much for the tutorial don! :chicken: Here's just a little way to save time instead of going through every single frame over and over again to make them visible on top of one another. It definitely works on CS5 (Because that's what I'm using) and I'm sure it should work on earlier versions as well. :hehe:

1. Have both your gifs open in Photoshop in the animation workspace. Like don said, it's good if the amount of frames in each of your gifs is equal or are at least multiples of each other you don't get stuck with blank frames. For the sake of the tutorial, both my gifs have 12 frames:

Tut1.jpg

Tut2.jpg

Also, it's good to have all your frames grouped and linked in the "Layers" window of Photoshop. I know I don't have that on mine (I waited until later) but it makes the gif easier to work with.

2. Go to one of your gifs (It doesn't really matter which one) and go to the animation timeline where it shows you all your frames. In the top-corner of the animation timeline you'll see a little arrow sort of thing: click on it. That will bring up a list of options for you click on. Go sort of towards the top of the list, find where in say "Select all frames" and click on it:

Tut3.jpg

3. Good! Now all of your frames are highlighted in blue, meaning they are selected (I'd go through to make sure they're all selected anyway):

Tut4.jpg

4. Go back and click on the arrow in the top right corner of the animation timeline again. This time, when the list of options comes up, go towards and the top again and click where it says "Copy Frames":

Tut5.jpg

5. Ta-da! Photoshop has copied all the frames from that gif for you. Now, go back to your other gif. Select all the frames of this gif, as well. On this other gif, go to the top right corner arrow of the animation timeline that brings up the options list. Go towards the top and, right below where you clicked "Copy Frames", you'll see an option that says "Paste Frames...". Click on that:

Tut6.jpg

6. This will bring up a new window with a number of options. Let's go through them:

  • Replace Frames: Clicking this will paste the new frames on the gif and will play those frames instead of the ones already on the gif.
  • Paste Over Selection: Clicking this will paste the new frames on the gif and will play those frames at the same time as the ones already on the gif. The new frames will be pasted on top of the old ones, so you will see the new frames.
  • Paste Before Selection: Clicking this will paste the new frames on the gif and will play those frames before the ones already on the gif.
  • Paste After Selection: Clicking this will paste the new frames on the gif and will play those frames after the ones already on the gif.

Because we want both of our gifs to play at the same time, we'll select "Paste Over Selection". Also, make sure to check the box that says "Link Added Layers": This will link all your new frames together and make your life so much easier once it comes down to moving your frames and adding layer masks and what not.

Tut7.jpg

7. Ta-da! Now both your gifs are in one gif and are playing at the same time! And you didn't have to go through and make every single frame visible on top of the other one, saving you time and sanity!

Tut8.jpg

The rest is basically up to you. As far as my gif is concerned, I moved the first group of layers to the left and the second group to the right so you can see them both when they are playing; I added a gradient layer mask to reveal the group underneath and to get rid of that annoying line in between the gif groups; And I added a coloring and sharpened it for my own taste. But, like I said, after that, everything is up to you. Here's my completed gif:

Tut.gif

I hope this helps and makes sense! And don't be afraid to ask questions if it doesn't make sense! :rofl::hug:

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  • 7 years later...

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