Here’s an animated quote box tutorial that will get your Teachers Pay Teachers store up to speed. There’s a trend amongst teacher-authors to hack their quote box in favor of something more worthy of the large real estate space. Most people have managed to learn how to create a static image in that spot. I’m going to show you how I create what’s called an, “animated .gif” which is more advantageous for advertising your store products.
This animated quote box tutorial is a little more advanced than others I’ve done. It pre-supposes that you know how to work your way around whatever software you’re going to compose images in (i.e. Powerpoint, Illustrator, Photoshop). I use Adobe, so my tutorial will be based on static images I create in Illustrator and then open in Photoshop to animate. If you’re using Powerpoint or Photoshop, take the basic principles of what I’m showing you and apply it to that program. Then, pick up the directions from where I begin talking about animating your images in Photoshop.
Adobe Illustrator: Making Static Images
In this animated quote box tutorial, I will make 16 static frames (images) in total. The size of my graphic will be 452 pixels wide by 157 pixels high.
1) I begin by composing frame #4 because I’ve figured out that I can fit four images side by side; it’s easier to design what the final animation in the series of frames will look like and then work backwards from there. First, I designed my text. Next, I dragged in four product covers (all images are PNGs) and arranged them in an overlapping, every other pattern by rotating plus or minus five degrees. I save this frame and call it, “4,” meaning this is going to be what this panel of pictures will look like 4th in the line of 16 images in total.
2) Then, I delete the far most right image, saving the frame and calling it, “3.”
To continue, I repeat the same steps, making frame #2 and #1. I now have the first four frames in my 16 image layout. If you try to design going in chronological order (1…2…3 and so on), you might realize you’ve run out of space to fit everything.
3) Here’s where I save a lot of time: I can re-open my layout for frame #4 and drop in 4 new product covers without having to resize or rotate anything. I do this by using the link tool. First, I select the image I want to swap out using the selection tool. Then, I open the link palette and the image is already highlighted in that panel for me.
At the bottom of the window, I click the relink button and a pop up window appears and I’m asked to locate the image on my harddrive which I want to swap this image with. I navigate my harddrive to find the image and then select it, click “place.”
The new image takes the place of the old one. Since all my product covers are the same size, it makes swapping them out a piece of cake.
4) I repeat the same steps for the other three images in this layout until I’ve swapped them all out. Once I’m done, I will re-save the whole file and call it, “8” because it represents frames #4 – 8 in this series. Then, I’ll delete an image and call it, “7,” and so on until I have these four frames saved.
For this particular layout, I decided I wanted 16 frames in total, so I just kept copying frame #4, swapping out images and saving them until I had 16 in total.
Adobe Photoshop: Animating Your Images
Now that you have all your images you need to make your animated quote box, you’re going to open all the files up in Photoshop at the same size (452 x 157).
2) Once all the frames are opened in Photoshop, navigate to frame #2. Click on the layers palette. In the upper right corner of the layers palette, there’s a dropdown menu. Click it once and then select, “duplicate layer.”
The “duplicate layer” window will appear. Click on dropdown menu next to “documents” and select “1,” (your first frame). You just copied frame #2 over to another layer on frame #1.
3) Repeat the process for all the other frames until all 16 frames are on their own layers in your very first image (frame #1). If you look below, you’ll see that I’ve gone ahead and closed out all those other tabs with the other frames since I don’t need them anymore. NOTE: When you close them down, Photoshop will ask if you want to save your changes. Click “don’t save.”
4) From here, you may want to fiddle with the sharpness of your images. NOTE: If you chose to sharpen them, you’ll have to sharpen each image in the stack. To do this, select the layer so it’s highlighted (if you look above, layer 16 is highlighted, therefore it’s the only one I can do something to), go to FILTER >>> SHARPEN >>> SHARPEN. Once done, immediately go to EDIT >>> FADE SHARPEN. Play around with the settings until it’s to your likeness. Editing the sharpness will reduce the crunchy appearance of your images.
5) Now, let’s animate all these layers! Select WINDOW >>> TIMELINE. The timeline window will appear at the bottom of the screen.
6) Click once on the layers palette to close it. In the timeline window, there’s a dropdown that lets you select either “create frame animation” or “create video timeline.” Clicking on the triangle lets you make the selection. Make sure it’s set to “create frame animation.” It usually is by default so you might not have to do anything. Next, click directly on the button that says the words, “create frame animation.” You’ll see that dropdown menu will disappear and then the very first frame in your pile of frames will appear in the window below.
7) To get the remaining frames into the timeline window, click on the dropdown menu on the far right side of the timeline window (see the circled image in the above picture). A menu appears with several options. Click on “make frames from layers.”
Once selected, all the layers will appear in the timeline window.
8) Notice that the first one is already highlighted for you. Also notice the “0” at the bottom of that little box. That’s the duration that one image will be seen in your animation. It’s automatically set to “0” but let’s adjust that. You could do things the hard way and adjust each frame’s duration individually, or you could do them all together globally.
Hold down the SHIFT button and click on the very last frame, #16, to the far right. All the frames should be selected now.
9) To change the duration of all these frames, click on that little upside down triangle at the bottom of the first box on the left side (see the red circle below):
A dropdown menu appears. You can choose one of the pre-selected durations or click on “other” to come up with your own. You can put in half seconds if you wish in the form of decimals such as 2.5 seconds. I’ve gone ahead and selected, “2” because I find that to be an acceptable amount of time without being overly obnoxious.
Once selected, all the zeros turn into twos.
10) To preview your animated GIF, click on the “play” button (see the red square in the first picture of this step). Once you’ve found the desired length of time for each frame, go ahead and save it: FILE >>> SAVE FOR WEB. Make sure you select GIF from the dropdown menu. If you select JPG, your image will not be animated. It’ll only save one static frame.
And there you have it: an animated GIF of images you put together.
In this example, I used a series of product preview images that were uniform in size and shape. Your animated quote box GIF does not have to be like that. You could design several completely different images and stitch them together in Photoshop to animate them. I just find it easier and more cohesive to have the images be the exact same size. I have done some animated quote box .gifs for customers using both landscape and portrait images and they work out fine. Again, I just prefer the uniform size of all rectangles or all squares.
Once you have the animated GIF, follow the steps provided here (starting with step #2) to get your image posted to TPT.
I hope this animated quote box tutorial helps you out! If you have questions, feel free to ask.