Animation Shop Hints And Tips - Beginners
Written For Paint Shop Pro 7 8 9 X
Paint Shop Pro XI X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 (Ultimate) Students Should Follow X’s Instructions
Removing Stray Pixels
Jumping Shadow Problems
Changing The Delay Speed
Transparency Halo Problems
Viewing And Sharing Animations
Select, Or Change The Canvas Colour
General Saving Animation Instructions
Download And Launch Animation Shop
Choose A Programme To Open Files With
File Format Problems And Error Messages
Background Colour, Transparent Or Opaque
Optimise Animations To Blend With Backgrounds
Change The Canvas Size - Exporting To Paint Shop Pro
Setting Preferences To Import Separate Animation Frames
Read About The 12 Basic Animation Principles Here
Click A Banner To Read More!
Click A Banner To Read More!
Click A Banner To Read More!
X8 & X9
Click This Text Link To Read My PaintShop Pro’s Workspace Tutorial
Jumpy Uneven Animations
When an animation looks jumpy, it is usually because the contents of each frame are not perfectly lined up with each other. You can use the Onionskin tool in Animation Shop to preview how each frame of the animation aligns with the adjacent frame. Clicking the yellow Onionskin icon will overlay a transparent copy of the next frame onto each frame. Another reason an animation could look uneven is because more transition frames are needed to smooth out the action. Export your frames to Paint Shop Pro to create some new
frame-layers with in-between movement.
Onionskin Preview temporarily superimposes a transparent overlay of frame 1 onto frame 2; frame 2 overlays frame 3; etcetera, for all frames. Zoom in to see how contents of one frame line up with the next, and use the Mover/Move Tool to make small adjustments to pixel alignment that may correct the jerkiness of movement. If major adjustments are needed, you may have to export frames to Paint Shop Pro to correct.
Clicking the Onionskin icon again will turn the overlay off; however, this can vary, depending on Preference choices - double-left-click the Onionskin icon to view
Setting Preferences To Import As Separate Frames
There are many tutorials that tell you not to set your Animation Shop Preferences to Keep layers as separate frames, saying Merge layers into a single frame is the only box you should ever tick. That is incorrect information. Corel would never include this option if there wasn't a use for it. You can choose either preference, both are correct, it just depends on the image you are creating at the time. Sometimes our preference is to have each (1) layer in our image become a frame in our animation or, (2) in another animation, we may want to change this setting back to Merge Layers.
(1) Keep layers as separate frames is a popular Preference setting because you can create layers and frames at the same time. This may not be suitable 100% of the time, sometimes there's a need to change back and forth. Check whether the tutorial you are working on calls for separate layers or merged layers. When the Preference settings are set to Keep layers as separate frames, Animation Shop will know, when opening a .psp file containing multiple layers, to keep every layer separate, each layer will then become a separate animation frame. Layer 1 = Frame 1, Layer 2 = Frame 2, so on, and so forth.
If you are using this Preference setting, but you still don't see all the layers you created in your PSP file, your file probably has some 'hidden' layers. If you close the visibility in Paint Shop Pro, for one or more of your layers, whatever is on those layers will not appear in the image you open in Animation Shop. You will have to close the file in Animation Shop, return to Paint Shop Pro, and edit the image file so that desired layers are All Visible. Save and reopen in Animation Shop.
(2) Merge layers into a single frame is the Preference setting you will use when you want Animation Shop to open your file with all layers merged into a single animation frame (a single layer).
Animation Shop’s Preferences can be found under File, Preferences, General Program Preferences. Under the Layered Files tab are the choices discussed in this paragraph.
Note that these options will be found in Animation Shop Preferences, not Paint Shop Pro’s Preferences.
Background Colour, Transparent Or Opaque
A lot of people experience problems with transparent backgrounds. They have followed instructions and selected the transparent background using the Animation Wizard; however, when saved, the background is an opaque colour. When all else fails, send the file to Paint Shop Pro to set Transparency, and start over.
Select Or Change The Canvas Colour For An Animation As Follows:
1. Choose Animation, then Animation Properties. The Animation Properties dialogue box will appear.
2. Select the Canvas Colour tab.
3. Use the Canvas Colour tab as follows:
Select the Transparent option to have a transparent canvas colour.
Select the Opaque option to have a non-transparent canvas colour. The current canvas colour appears in the colour box. Left-click inside this colour box to display the Colour dialogue box; right-click inside this colour box to display the Recent Colours dialogue box. Select the new canvas colour using either of these dialogue boxes.
Changing The Canvas Size - And Exporting To Paint Shop Pro
Because not all editing tools are available in Animation Shop, the program provides a way to export an animation file back to Paint Shop Pro to make your changes. When you save and return to Animation Shop, the file should automatically update. An example of this is when you want to increase the canvas size because this tool is not available in Animation Shop.
You can crop an image in Animation Shop to reduce the canvas size but you cannot increase the size of the canvas. This is not a problem when working with a new image, but sometimes you'll want to increase the canvas size of an existing animation because there's just not enough room to add text or something else to image. If you open an existing animation image in Paint Shop Pro instead of 'exporting' from Animation Shop, you will only be able to view one frame. If you edit that image to change the canvas size or something else, you will probably overwrite the animation and lose the frames that animate the image. Consequently, you must open the existing animation in Animation Shop first and then export frames to Paint Shop Pro.
To change the canvas size, first select all frames in your Animation Shop image. Then choose File, then choose Export Frames to Paint Shop Pro. In Paint Shop Pro, you should have the same number of layers in the image as there are frames in your animation.
If you only have one layer, you have forgotten to select all of the frames first.
In Paint Shop Pro, edit the canvas size as you normally would - then choose File, then choose Exit, and return to Animation Shop (this closes Paint Shop Pro). Alternatively, choose Edit then choose Update Back to Animation Shop - Paint Shop Pro 7 8 9 only, (which does not close Paint Shop Pro). This should update the animation frames to reflect your modifications. In other words, your filmstrip should now have a larger canvas size.
If this does not work, and the canvas size remains the same size you began with, the workaround is to break the link between Paint Shop Pro and Animation Shop, and save as a new file. (When a frame - or frames, have been exported to Paint Shop Pro, a link is established between Animation Shop and Paint Shop Pro. This link prevents you from altering the animation in Animation Shop until you break that link).
In Paint Shop Pro, after increasing your canvas size, choose Edit then choose Update Back to Animation Shop - Paint Shop Pro 7 8 9 only. This may - or may not update the frames with the new canvas size; however, it should leave the open file in Paint Shop Pro. If it has updated, good, if not, read on.
In Animation Shop, select File then Export Frames then Break Link With Exported Frames.
File Format Problems And Error Messages
If you are unable to transfer images from Paint Shop Pro to Animation Shop, and you receive a message saying This is not a valid PSP file, it is because the .pspimage file format used by Paint Shop Pro (starting with version 8), is not recognised by Animation Shop Version 3. If, when using Animation Shop, you try to open an image saved in this ‘new’ format, you will receive a Not a valid .psp image file error message. Therefore, when saving an image that is to be opened in Animation Shop, users of Paint Shop pro 8 9 X XI X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 must change the File Type to a format that is compatible with Paint Shop Pro 7 - as described below.
If you are using Paint Shop Pro versions 8 9 X XI X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9, select the Options button, (from the Save menu), then select Save as PSP 7 compatible file.
If you have updated Paint Shop Pro to version 8 9 X XI X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9, Animation Shop has been added as a file type. When you save, the Save As dialogue box will give you the option to change the File Type to Animation Shop (instead of saving as a Paint Shop Pro file type). In Paint Shop Pro X XI X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9, change the File Type to Paint Shop Pro Animation Shop (instead of saving it as a Paint Shop Pro Image).
In Paint Shop Pro, save this file as a Paint Shop Pro 7 compatible format (see the Save As Options, above), and then close it. Return to Animation Shop, and open the new file (with the larger canvas size).
Change The Delay Time (Animation Speed)
The Display Time controls the length of time (the delay) that each frame of your animation will remain visible. The larger the number, the longer it will display (resulting in a slower movement). Using a smaller number will create faster movement. Delay time is 1/100 of a second. To display a frame for a full second, the setting would be D:100.
The current display time is listed under each frame along with the frame
number. For example, F:1 D:20 is frame 1 with a delay of 20/100. If you don't see these numbers on your screen, you need to change your Preferences to show frame information. Select File then Preferences then General Program Preferences. Under the Frame View tab, tick the box to display frame numbers, delay time under animation.
To change the Display time, select an individual frame or select all frames. From the top
menu, choose Animation then choose Frame Properties, and change the number in the Display Time box. Selecting just 1 frame in an animation, and drastically changing the delay time, can create the effect of a 'stop action' - or create a quick movement, like a
A halo is created by pixels of the wrong colour appearing along the edges of your image. This often happens when using an image with a blurred drop shadow or when the original image was created with a different colour background than is currently being used. When saving and optimising your animation, try using different transparency settings to see if it eliminates the halo. Sometimes, selecting Blending the background colour of your page with the transparent pixels is the best option (under Partial Transparency). If the halo is appearing around a blurred drop shadow (or any area with graduated colour between opaque pixels and transparent pixels), it is partly because the .gif file format used for animations is not well suited to graduated colour. Try removing areas of graduated colour from your image, or using opaque drop shadows.
Removing Stray Pixels
When creating transparent backgrounds, you may notice that some of the colour within the animation, also become transparent. The best solution to this, is (when creating your
image/animation-frames in Paint Shop Pro), to always use a highly contrasting colour for the background.
For, example, if your animation is predominantly white, and contains no black pixels set the Transparency to Black.
Sometimes, when you try to replace the background colour of an image using the Colour Replacer tool, you will run into problems replacing the background colour without also changing some of the pixels in the image. First, experiment with the Colour Replacer’s Tolerance setting, to see if you can avoid effecting the image’s colour. Another solution is to use the Colour Replacer tool if there's only a few pixels that were erroneously changed. Then use the Paintbrush tool, (size 1), to touch up the pixels, one by one. You must be very careful when doing this, as any pixel changed in one frame must be changed in all other frames, so that every frame matches exactly; any stray pixels will blink when animated. It helps to Zoom in very close to your image.
Use the following Animation Preview button (in Animation Shop), to see if you have any stray pixels that bounce or blink.
Jumping (or blinking) drop shadows can be caused by areas of stray colour, or because the animated image does not blend with a transparent background very well. I am referring to shadows that bounce and jump around with the animation in an unnatural way. This is often caused by creating a shadow using the Drop Shadow Command. If you have an animation that changes position from frame to frame, using the Drop Shadow tool just doesn't work well. You can solve the problem by removing the drop shadow completely, or you can manually create a drop shadow that will change with each frame of the animation. This type of shadow will stick to your animation.
Viewing And Sharing Your Animations
Once you have created your animation, you will want to view it - or share it with friends and family. There are various ways of viewing your animation; however, bear in mind - you won’t be able to view it in Paint Shop Pro;- you will see the (still) frames only.
I have outlined your viewing and sharing options, below.
You can view your animation in Animation Shop by opening your animation onto Animations Shop’s workspace - and clicking the following View Animation icon.
You can send it to your friends via e-mail, and it will animate when the e-mail is opened - (it can be saved by right-clicking the animation, and from the subsequent drop-down
menu, choosing Save As).
You can view your animation by uploading it to a website, or forum - in your usual way.
Alternatively, you can utilise Windows Pictures And Fax Viewer to view your animation. To display your animation in Windows Pictures And Fax Viewer; locate your animation
file, and right-click it. Then from the subsequent drop-down menu, left-click Open With, then scroll the subsequent drop-down list, and left-click Windows Pictures And Fax Viewer - as illustrated below. Your animation will now display.
Note: Edit Windows View Images Option (Choose A Program)
If you cannot see Windows Pictures And Fax Viewer (or Animation Shop) from the
drop-down list; left-click Choose Program - this is located right at the bottom of the list. Then left-click Windows Pictures And Fax Viewer - or Animation Shop, now when you next want to display an animation - your option will be included in the drop-down list.
If you want all files to open with Windows Picture And Fax Viewer; (or Animation Shop, or a specific Paint Shop Pro version) mark the Always use the selected program to open this type of file box, below.
In future, whenever you double-left-click a Gif, Jpeg or animation, it will open in either Windows Picture And Fax Viewer or Animation Shop.
Important Note (If You Don’t See Paint Shop Pro).
If you cannot see Paint Shop Pro in the Recommended programs choices - (below left), you need to navigate to your main program folders, (Windows XP Here - Windows 7 Here): and locate and then left-click Paint Shop Pro’s Icon - as demonstrated in my screen captures below.
Once you have located Paint Shop Pro’s icon ; left-click to highlight it, and then click the Open tab.
Then click the OK tab.
Then click the Apply tab.
And finally, click the OK tab to save the change.
To resize completed animations, from the top menu of Animation Shop, choose Animation then choose Resize Animation. To resize your animation by 75%, set the following attributes into the subsequent Resize dialogue box, then click OK.
Wendi E M Scarth. Top of Page