This tutorial demonstrates how to make an animated snow globe. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto Photoshop Elements’ workspace. The snow is created with VDL Adrenaline Snowflakes. Install it into Elements Plugins Folder as demonstrated in my Install Plugins Tutorial.
Understand/Organise Element’s Workspace
There are different ways of creating animations, this tutorial utilises individual (duplicated) images, and does require a little organisation to keep the workspace neat and tidy.
You can step backwards at any time by clicking the top menu’s Undo Tool.
Open your Snow Globe Start Images onto Elements’ workspace Ctr/Cmd then O.
How To Open Multiple Images Onto Element’s Workspace
Photoshop Elements 8: from the top menu, choose File and then choose Open: - or simply drag and drop the images onto the workspace.
Photoshop Elements 8 and 9: first open the images onto Element’s workspace, (File then Open). Then drag each image onto the workspace from the Project/Photo Bin, As Illustrated Here.
Elements 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15’s images can also be dragged and dropped onto the workspace via the Project/Photo Bin. As Illustrated Here.
Now, open a New Transparent Blank File, and set the following attributes. This Transparent image will accommodate the snow globe, and will be cropped later.
Elements 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - Tool Options Palette positioned at the bottom of the workspace. Although the palettes have been redesigned the tools work in more or less the same way.
Then from the Toolbar, activate the Elliptical Marquee Tool.
And set the following New Selection settings into the Options Bar.
Then left-click and Shift-drag a Circular Selection Marquee over the snow scene image.
Left-click inside the Circular Selection Marquee and drag it to a different area.
Now, activate the The Move Tool .
Then press down the Ctrl Key. Then simultaneously Ctrl-drag the Circular Selection Marquee onto the transparent image.
This places a circular image onto the Transparent Image - as illustrated below.
You can safely discard the Rectangular Snow Image.
The size of your Circular Snow Scene represents the final size of the glass globe.
Therefore, now is the time to reduce its size - if you wish. To reduce its size, from the top menu, choose Image then choose Transform then choose Free Transform - Ctrl then T. Remember to Sharpen your image after resizing - Enhance then Auto Sharpen or Unsharp Mask.
Now, activate the Glass Globe Image, and then left-click over a dark area, (around the globe’s edge) - and drag the Globe onto the Circular Snow Image.
You can safely discard the original globe.
If the Globe and Circular Image become “stuck together” it means both Layers are active in the Layers Palette. To “unstick” them, ensure just the Globe Layer is active in the Layers Palette.
Now, activate the Glass Globe Layer.
Then from the top menu, choose Image then choose Transform then choose Free Transform - Ctrl then T. Now, by manipulating the tiny Repositioning Handles that are attached to the Transformation Bounding Box, Resize the Glass Globe so it precisely covers the Snow Scene Image.
You will find it easier if you activate the Snow Scene Layer, then apply the transformation box to it. Adjusting the globe, and the image - one at a time - will provide a better fit.
You can nudge the Snow Globe into position, pixel by pixel by tapping the corresponding Keyboard Arrows.
When you have arranged the glass over the globe to fit precisely, click the Commit transform tick to effect the change. Alternatively, tap your Enter/Return Key.
Now, left-click and drag the Snow Base onto the Globe Image. Then resize the Base - so it fits the globe, using the Free Transform Command. (Remember to nudge the Base into position using your Keyboard’s Arrow Keys).
If you are applying further objects, or text to your Snow Globe, then do so now.
From the Toolbar, activate the Crop Tool .
Then crop away the transparent space around your globe.
From the Layers Palette, click to remove the Visibility Eye Icons from the Glass Globe and Silver Base Layers: - this temporarily hides the Layers’ Visibility.
You should just have the Circular Snow Image visible on your canvas - as illustrated below.
Now is a good time to save your image as a PSD File.
It’s time to create three identical snow globes, therefore, from the top menu, choose File then choose Duplicate. (Click OK to the subsequent Duplicate Image dialogue box). Repeat this once more and you will have three identical images open on your workspace.
Make one or two further duplications, more duplications can create smoother animations.
From the top menu, choose Window and then Images choose Tile. (If necessary, navigate each individual image using their respective Horizontal and Vertical Scroll Bars).
Now, activate each Circular Image consecutively, and isolate each one with a Selection Marquee, by pressing down the Ctrl Key, then simultaneously left-clicking over each Circler Image’s Thumbnail, as illustrated below. (Alternatively, utilise the Magic Wand Tool to isolate the Circular Image with a Selection Marquee).
Just the active image will display the Selection Marquee.
Ensure the Circular Image is the active Layer.
It is time to apply the snow: therefore, activate the First Image - it should still be surrounded by a Selection Marquee. Then from the top menu choose VDL Adrenaline, then choose Snowflakes.
For a successful animation, you must apply uniquely positioned snowflakes inside each globe.
Therefore, activate image one and apply snowflake settings of your choice. (Remember to activate each Layer’s Circular Image before applying your snowflakes).
For personal snow effects - experiment with the settings.
Now, activate the second image and apply Snowflakes settings of your choice.
Now, activate the third image and apply Snowflakes settings of your choice.
When you are satisfied with your snow effect, remove the Selection Marquee from each globe - Ctrl then D. Then click to return the Silver Base and Glass Globes’ Visibility Eye Icons - this must be carried out to all three images.
Then Merge Visible each image’s Layers - Layer then Merge Visible.
Activate the Move Tool, and then press down your Keyboard’s Shift Key. Then simultaneously left-click and drag the second image onto the first image. Then drag the third image onto the first image. Your first globe should now have Three Layers, and each globe will have uniquely positioned snow. You can safely close Snow Globes Two and Three.
Now is a good time to save your image as a PSD File. And to Crop away extraneous transparent areas.
19/ Save Your Four-layered Image As An Animation
Now, from the top menu, choose File then choose Save for Web. From the subsequent Save for Web dialogue box, change the Optimised File Format to Gif. Then tick both the Transparency and Animate boxers. Now, change the Matte colour (it is presently set to White), to a solid colour that closely matches the page you will be displaying your animation on. Changing the Matte colour helps to blend your animation with its background. For example, if you are displaying your animation against a White Background, then set the Matte to Solid White.
(Animation) Frame Delay
In addition, for personal results, experiment with the Frame Delay tab.
Preview Your Animation
To see how your animation appears, click the following Preview In tab.
Animation Frame Delay
For personal results, experiment with this setting.
Click OK to save your animation to a Destination Folder of your choice.
Congratulations, your Animated Snowglobe is complete and is ready to utilise.
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