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 Image Processing
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Creating an animated gif using PhotoShop/ImageReady


In the event that  you  are interested in making animations of comets or asteroids , here are the steps that I use.

Instead of combining your sub frames as you normally would do to create a single image, to create an animation, you will process each exposure separately. Do this using your favorite processing program.

             I happen to used Nebulosity 3. This version of Nebulosity allows you  to create a macro while processing an image and then play  that  macro back to process the remaining exposures. this gives you  consistency across all the subs.

            Once the exposures have been processed the way you want them, import them into PhotoShop. I'm still using PhotoShop 6 though I think these steps will also work for newer versions. Obviously if you  use PhotoShop to process the subs, you will be already there.

            When you  import the exposures into PS make sure that  you  have them labeled so that  you  can keep them in the proper sequence. You  don't want the final image jumping around but rather follow a nice steady path.


CLICK IMAGE to enlarge

            Now that  you  have the images in PhotoShop you  will want to create an image where each of the exposures is a separate layer.

  1. Make sure that  your layers pallet is open by clicking on WINDOW> Show Layers
  2. Select the first image by clicking on it.
  3. Click on IMAGE>Duplicate and give it a name, if you want. This will put the first image in as the background of the new file.
  4. Click the second image and press the CTRL and A to select the image for copying.
  5. Press CTRL and C to copy the image
  6. Click on the NEW file to activate if  and press CTRL and V to  paste it as a layer onto the new image.

            Do steps 4 thru 6 for each exposure.

            At this point you  should have all the exposures in layers in the new file as pictured above. Now it's time to build the animation.

            Click on the ImageReady button on the tool bar as shown above to launch it.

CLICK IMAGE to enlarge

ImageReady  should open up  and look something like  the above picture. You  will notice that the layers pallet is visible and your image has been imported into ImageReady.

To  create the animation click on the menu button of the animation pallet as indicated above. Then click on MAKE FRAMES FROM LAYERS. This will copy  the layers into the animation pallet.

You can click on the arrows on the animation pallet to view the animation. At this point I would put a bit of  a delay between each frame. In the above picture I have chosen a .5 second delay.

When the animation is set up  to your liking, all that  is left is to save the animation as a GIF. Simply click on FILE >SAVE OPTIMIZED AS...  . Choose the name of the file and location.

You can view the animation in your browser by opening the browser and clicking on your animation file and dragging it onto the browser window. Alternatively  you can right click on the GIF and select OPEN WITH and the select your browser. You can also copy it to your web site where visitors can view it on line.

That's all that  there is to it. Go out there and shoot some comets and asteroids.


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