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Adobe Photoshop for Cell Animation

CS3 Extended gives you more animation options By Ko Maruyama
A friend of mine asked me what to use for cell animation.  He had recently purchased a little application I never heard of, but he didn't like it.  What about Photoshop CS3Extended?  DOH! He had it.  Maybe you have it to.  Do you use it all?

There are so many features in Adobe's Photoshop CS3 Extended, I wouldn't be surprised if you don't use all of the tools packed in there, but at the same time - - you might want to know that they're ready to serve you.

Many people have upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended just out of habit.  Hmmm.. I'm a designer, and I need to upgrade - - I'll get the big package with all of the bells and whistles.

Did you know you can animate in layers, and use some simple keyframes for some basic properties of the layers?  And you can export as a QuickTime, AVI or FLV when you're done.   Here are a couple of simple movies to take you through the steps.

Click on the thumbnail images to open the movies in new windows.

The first step - getting down with Video Layers.  How to turn on Onion Skinning in Photoshop.  Oh, it's a button...

Second Step - Filling the ink.  Because these are individual layers, you can composite color on any other layer you like - animated or not.

The third step to animating cell style animation in Photoshop CS3 Extended is to Export.  Exporting Video from Photoshop CS3 is really easy.  You should know the proper codec that you're going out to, but for generic animation for source materials to compositors, Lossless is fine.

See how easy that is?  Now that you know you have it already in your Adobe Photoshop CS3 package, check it out, you might save yourself from trying to learn a pencil tool in a brand new application.


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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:video tutorial, tutorial, Photoshop, Animation , Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, ko maruyama, free animation lesson, cell animation, cel animation

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