Category: Photoshop

Hopefully you’ve all seen my motion comic and trailer on Sevara’s website. I made these movies in Photoshop using the animation palette, and I learned what Photoshop can and can’t do. My next animation palette grumble for Photoshop CS6 – no ease and wizz that you have in after effects. In the animation below, the robot arm is at a standstill, then starts to move, then stops abruptly.

Ease and wizz would make natural motion automatically. What is ease and wizz? Basically, when doing animations, your objects or layers move from point A to point B. Ease and wizz allows them to move in a more natural and lifelike manner. As of now, Photoshop can move layers, but there are two speeds of motion – moving and not moving. There’s no other way to do it in Photoshop. I can do it manually, adding a new keyframe for every position so that the arm slowly starts then moves faster, then slows down before stopping, but that takes a dozen keyframes and looks unnatural.

The diamond on the left is the keyframe for MOVE. The one on the right is the keyframe for STOP.

That’s it. That’s all we get with Photoshop. STOP and GO. Aftereffects is lucky enough to have ease and wizz, which lets you move your objects in a non-linear motion, meaning that things can gradually start moving or slowly come to a halt. But in Photoshop we can only move objects or fade them in an out in a linear motion.

Not that Photoshop is a stranger to non-linear data. These are called curves, and we Photoshop junkies use them every day. Of course there is the curve layer, below, that is the staple of our photo editing.

Curves adjustment layer

But there are more curves hidden in Photoshop. Many of your layer styles have a contour option, which adds a curve (or non-linear effect) to that style. It has been part of Photoshop for quite some time, even though you might not known it was there.

And if you look at the layer style contours, there are all sorts of presets that you can use, or you can make your own contour and save it as a preset Cool! Photoshop has the mathematical muscle to do contour in pixels, and it can do ease and wizz in After Effects. If I were to add ease and wizz (motion contour) to the Photoshop CS7 animation palette, it might look something like this, with presets and custom contours.

If the Photoshop gods smile upon me, CS7 would have this!

That’s all for me today, join me next time as I look more at the animation palette, and how to make it better.