In the past year, I made three complex animations for my comic book Sevara. You can find them all on the Sevara website, or this YouTube playlist.

Photoshop has some powerful tools, and combined with the animation palette, you can do some pretty cool stuff. Blend modes and masks with animation is quite awesome, to say the least. But…..

For this to be really effective, Photoshop CS7’s animation palette needs to have a few basic things.

First off, curved motion paths. As of right now, layers in photoshop CS6 can be animated in a bunch of fun ways. They can spin, grow, disappear, and even stretch (if you know what buttons to push). But the bottom line is that they can still only move in a straight line from point A to point B. I’m not sure why this would be, particularly since you can draw curves in Photoshop very easily with the pen tool.

It's not that hard...

What bugs me a thousand time more than the fact that Photoshop CS6 doesn’t have curved motion paths for animation, is that Microsoft Powerpoint DOES! And Powerpoint has had this for years. My Office 2008 can have objects fly in using a number of different curved paths.

As of now, CS6 is severely limited by not having curved motion paths. If you want to make an animated ball bounce around the canvas using CS6, you either have to do it frame by frame like in the old days (using the frame animation option), or add tons and tons of individual start and end points to make the object bounce realistically using the video timeline option. I believe that After Effects, another Adobe product, does have curved motion paths, right? So it can’t be that hard. Here it is on Adobe’s website:

Adobe, if you’re out there, please add curved motion paths to CS7. There’s more to Photoshop animation than just making text fade in and out, as you’ll see on the Sevara website. Then our objects will be able to do all sorts of cool stuff that they can already do in Powerpoint… without blend modes of course.

Join me next time when I go into more animation palette grumbles!

Curved Motion Paths Anyone? Animation palette grumbles, Photoshop CS6

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