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Layer Animation in Adobe ImageReady

Animating grouped layers to create a moving magnifying glass effect By Dave Nagel
A couple weeks ago we looked at one way to create a magnifying glass effect in Adobe Photoshop. The effect used Photoshop's "Group" feature to reveal hidden content between layers. Today we delve into Photoshop's companion application, ImageReady, to animate this effect.

If you haven't already, you can ready the original "magnifying glass" tutorial here. (My DMN subscribers can read the ad-free version here.) This tutorial will use the Photoshop file created in that tutorial, though it can apply to any Photoshop image that uses grouped layers to achieve a similar effect.

If you're still in Photoshop with your magnifying glass document open, go to the Tool palette and click the "Jump to ImageReady" button at the bottom, or simply type Command-Shift-M. This will open up your image in ImageReady while also leaving it open in Photoshop. Otherwise, simply launch ImageReady and open up the image from within that application.




Setting it up
Once in ImageReady, you might want to choose File > Save As, and save the image under a different name. Adding animation to the file will increase its size permanently, though it will still work just fine in Photoshop, should you need to go back and make changes there.

After you do this, open up the Animation palette. By default, you'll see a single frame showing the normal state of your image.



This will be the first frame of your animation, so position your layers how you want them in the first frame. For this particular example, we're dealing with several elements that have to work together. All of the elements of the magnifying glass itself must be linked together so that you'll be able to change their positions simultaneously while moving only one layer. (We linked these elements in the previous tutorial. If you have not done so, open up the Layers palette and click the "Link Layer" box next to all of the layers that contain elements of the magnifying glass, but not the layers that are being magnified. If you followed the previous tutorial, these include the beveled ring, the glass and, in my case, the text layers appearing on the ring--"2x Magnification" and "Nageloptik GmbH.")



You're also going to be moving around the magnified elements of this composition, so you'll want to link those to one another, but not to the magnifying glass elements themselves. In my case, these elements include a layer called "textnormal copy" and "paper copy." These are the magnified versions of my normal text and my textured paper background.



Now I'm going to position my magnifying glass on the edge of the image in Frame 1. But notice the problem?



The glass portion of my magnifying glass isn't over any of my underlying text (The layer called "textnormal"). Nevertheless, a portion of the magnified text (the layer called "textnormal copy") is showing through. So, in the Layers palette, I'm going to select "textnormal copy." And in the canvas window, I'm going to use the Move tool to move it out of view, lining up the left edge of the magnified text with the left edge of the normal text.




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