How to make wiggle GIFs in Photoshop

How to make wiggle GIFs in Photoshop

I often snap a bunch of similar shots when out taking pictures, and although usually I delete the duplicates, sometimes I catch a nice effect when flipping through the pictures quickly:

Ishim River
Winter along the Ishim Winter, Astana

I’m sure you’ve seen it, but ‘wiggle GIFs’ create a sort of vibrating stereoscopic effect by combining two or more pictures into one image. Having skimmed a bunch of internet tutorials to figure this out, I’ve finally sorted how to make my own GIFs. If you prefer videos, I recommend this one on Vimeo; if you like text (like I do), check my summary below. This is for Adobe Photoshop CS6/Windows; if you haven’t got that, just look around online for a free GIF maker!

Making Wiggle GIFs

1) Open photoshop. Go to menu File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack

3) Tick Browse and hold Shift while selecting multiple files. Tick Ok.

4) Adobe grabs your pics as a single file, with each image in a separate layer. Go to the top toolbar and select Window > Timeline.

5) Instead of creating a video timeline, use the drop-down arrow and select Create Frame Animation.

6) You only see one picture in the timeline below – don’t freak out. There’s a tiny image of an arrow pointing through three layers, below the bottom image. Click that button to see all layers.

7) Move the purple bars to all line up side by side on the top line.

8) Tick the 3 boxes icon (where the arrow/layers were) to go back to the main view. Change each image length to 0.2 seconds (or similar). Change “Once” to loop “Forever.”

9) Go to File > Save for Web. At top right, choose type GIF. Just below that, select Adaptive and Diffusion.

10) At bottom right, keep your largest side of the image below 800 px. Click Preview (bottom left) to see the potential GIF in a browser.

11. If all looks good, tick Save and select a name. Double-click your new GIF to see it wiggle in a browser!

Again, I recommend the UM instructional video on Vimeo if this isn’t clear. Kind of spastic, psychotic, and annoying? Yes…. but with the right picture (e.g. the one above, not the one below —ahh, my eyes!) it’s actually kind of fun! Find some cool examples from others here and here… and Happy Nauruz!

Nauruz Flowers in Astana
Nauruz Flowers for Spring, in Astana

Thoughts? Leave a note here!