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dylan @dylan

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Photoshop Animation: part I

Posted by dylan - June 7th, 2014

edit: part II over here!

This ones for you animators and animatresses,

as promised in my latest animation, here’s that photoshop write-up. I thought it would just be one long post, but it ended up being a 5,000 word essay. Just wayyyy too long, so it's going to be broken up into several distinct sections: important people, getting started, my workflow, what I like & what I don’t like, and why it works for me. I'm also uploading a .zip file with all sorts of goodies for you guys. It's got a few of my PSD files, along with my current set of actions (which I'll explain in my next post). 

them files

Part I: people to follow & tutorials to check out

In this first post, I want to direct you to some amazing animators that you should be following and watching. They are all amazing indie-animators (and one studio) that are producing great content, and you should be watching it all happen.

Most of the pieces mentioned here were made in Photoshop, the others are just awesome in general. They really showcase the varied potential of using photoshop as an animation tool. These are all guys/studios that you should follow the vimeos/tumblrs/etc. of, cause everything they put out is amazing. The first three also happen to be some of the best resources for learning how to use Photoshop for animation. Here are the tutorials they have made, which I’m going to refer to later in these posts:

Alex Grigg - the most comprehensive overview of the three, he’s made three in-depth looks at the program and his process. It’s a good few hours of tutorial, but it’s honestly the best look you’ll find on the internet. If you only have one takeaway from this post, make it watching his second tutorial. It's seriously that good.

Charles Huettner and Caleb Wood - these two made a two-in-one tutorial on animation in photoshop. It’s only 16 minutes total, so it’s a bit easier to swallow than Alex’s vids.

With all that out of the way, it’s finally time to get set up using Photoshop as a tool for animation... Next time. Cause I think all this is enough to get you on the right track. Don't want to overload you. I'll make another post in a few days that goes into detail on what actions are, how they can shape photoshop into whatever kind of tool you'd like it to be, and what my own actions do.

Those files, once more:

should be fun,


That sounds,interesting.

I suppose it,does.

Thanks man!


damn PS seems to be a real pain to get used to, but the results look so beautiful, that it motivates getting around all of this confused broken timeline and shit... thnx for the links!

It feels like it would be a pain, but once you've spent a couple hours getting into it, it all just sort of comes together nicely

I remember trying the Alex Grigg tutorial when he released it but I found it difficult and tedious. It seems so forced but I guess it can work out if you adapt to this new work flow.

You know what? Fuck it, I might give this another chance. Thanks for the motivation. :)

Glad to help! I know the program won't be for everyone, but I think making it accessible to as many people as possible will help give Newgrounds a new look.

It definitely is forced, but Photoshop is such a powerful tool that I think it can handle the beating you have to give it for it to work

Awww C: you're awesome bae
Love you so much boo dont let them get to you always stay true to your dreams <3

thx lill boo, dun let them ever tell you that you aint nuthin special. Cause you special to me


The videos you've linked to are all amazing - I gotta try out animating in Photoshop some time. Thanks for making this post!

these artists have all been some of my biggest inspirations over the past year now, it's great to finally have a chance to put their names down and link to their works. Definitely give photoshop a try if you have the time! I won't have a chance to really delve into TVpaint until this fall, but from what I remember I didn't like its interface as much as Photoshop's.

I searched for stuff like this for months. Then i spontaneously decided to join Newgrounds. And right on my second day here, you hand all I was looking for to me on a silver platter.
Joining NG was the best decision of ma life. And I think I fell in love :3

I think you might be overselling some of that, but I'm glad to be of help!

This totally makes me wish there was a "favorite" button for news posts.