Sunday, 29 March 2015

Technique - Beacon - Photoshop CC animation using opacity

This animation of a lighthouse beacon appears to have 6 separate frames - but there are only 2. I have been able to create this - showing the interior of the beacon and the glowing lamp - because of a happy accident. I was able to capture the lamp before it was completely extinguished, while it still illuminated the beacon interior.

This is how I created this in Photoshop CC - together with the source pictures.

Firstly, the raw pictures. Note that I have not used the last - with the element completely black.

I opened the first (lit) in Photoshop CC and it became the background. I then copied the second into Layer 1.

I then created a frame animation with the second at 100% opacity for Layer 1 - for 2 secs.
For the second frame, I reduced the opacity for Layer 1 to 65% - for .2 secs.
For the third frame, I reduced the opacity for Layer 1 to 20% - for .2 secs.
For the fourth frame, I reduced the opacity for Layer 1 to 0% - for 2 secs.
For the fifth frame, used a copy of the third frame.
For the sixth frame, I used a copy of the second frame.

I chose not to use the the last picture, to avoid increasing the size of the final gif - and because it has insufficient interior detail. I slightly cropped and straightened the image.

I used the save for web option, saving it as a GIF 128 dithered at 480 pixels.

Peter Quinton
March 2015

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