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Holiday Lights Animation

Karen Brockney

In this lesson, learn how to animate a string of holiday lights to blink

An animation is a series of still images that look like they are moving
when shown in rapid sequence.
In Photoshop Elements, you can create an animation from a series of

layers and show the animation on a Web site or in a Web-based mail

1. From the File menu, select New, then select Blank File.
2. Under Preset, select Web, then select 800 x 600. For Background
contents, select White. Click OK.
3. From the File menu, select Place. Then select an image of holiday
lights and click Place.
4. Move and resize the image as needed.
5. Press Enter when you are done.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 to place a photo or graphic in the project.
7. Select the Horizontal Type Tool. In the tool options:
a. Select a Font Family.
b. Select a Size.
c. Select a Color.
d. Check Anti-aliasing.
8. Enter a caption and check the green checkmark to finish.
9. Using the Move tool, move and resize the text as needed.
10. From the Layer menu, select Flatten Image.
11. Press Ctrl + J on the PC or Cmd + J on the Mac to copy the
background layer. Repeat until you have five duplicate layers. The
bottom layer will be the base layer. Other layers will animate 3-4
different lights.
12. In the Layers panel, double-click the background layer to rename
the layer to Base. Click OK.
13. Click on the layer name to rename the other layers as well: Layer
1 to Layer 5.
14. Click and hold, then drag down over the Visibility icons of the
top layer and layers beneath it, leaving only one layer visible above
the background.
15. Select Layer 1.

16. Select the Zoom tool. In the tool options, use the slider to zoom
in on the lights.
17. Use the sliders under and to the right of the image to move
around in the image.
18. Select the Dodge tool. In the tool options:
a. For Range, select Highlights.
b. Select a soft round brush.
c. Set the size a little smaller than the light.
d. For Exposure, enter 50%.
19. Paint over four scattered lights until they are brightened.
20. Select the Color Picker Tool. In the tool options:
a. Select 3x3 Average.
b. For Sample, Select Current Layer.
21. Click to select the light color in the center of a bright light.
22. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool. In the tool options, add a
Feather of 10 px or more, depending on the size of the light.
23. Click and draw a circle at the tip of the light. Move as needed.
24. Select the Paint Bucket Tool. In the tool options:
a. Select Paint.
b. Set the Opacity to 50%.
c. Select Contiguous.
d. Select Anti-aliasing.
25. Click within the circular selection to add a colorful glow to the
26. Using the same process, add glows to all four lights.
27. From the Select menu, select Deselect.
28. In the Layers panel, select the next layer up in the stack, Layer 2.
29. Click the Visibility icon to make that layer visible.
30. Repeat the same processes to illuminate four different lights.
31. Continue until all layers have three or four different lights

32. From the File menu, select Save for Web.

a. Select GIF as the output type.
b. Check Animate.
c. In the Animation section, under Looping Options, select
d. Set the Frame Delay to 0.2 seconds.
e. To preview the animation, press the play button.
f. Click Save.
33. Enter a name for the file and click Save.
34. The animation is only viewable through a Web browser. Upload
your animation to your Web site or blog to view it. You can also view
it in Google+ photos or send it to a Web-based mail account like
Gmail. At the current time, you cant view it in Facebook, Twitter or

Holiday Lights Graphic from Digital Field on Etsy