Aug 19, 2015

How to Create a .gif and upload it to Instagram

In today’s episode, we show you how to create a before and after image in Photoshop.  After that, we show you how to animate it as an animated gif.  Then to top it all off, we show you how to upload your .gif to Instagram.


We start off with a normal .psd file.  We strip all of the adjustments off of the image until we are down to the original.  After that, we create a new layer within Photoshop.  On that new layer we go to Image—-> Apply Image.  From there you want to make sure your settings reflect the settings you see in the video.  Once you hit OK, you will get a copy of everything you see, on a new layer.  Now you have a before & after.  Next is adding the animation!


Since our final destination in this case is Instagram, we need to create a format that we know will work well for  the application.  After we have our desired dimensions, we have 3 layers to work with.  A background layer, an original layer of our image with no changes, and the final image with the changes we’ve made in photoshop.  Turning these layers on and off will help identify which is our before and after.  Now it’s time to animate our image.  We use the video timeline to create a frame animation.  Frame animation just allows us to create individual frames.  Now we click—> Make frames from layers.  Now we have 2 frames in our animation, the before frame and the after frame.  We set the duration to 2 seconds, meaning every 2 seconds the frame will switch from before to after.


Now that we have our frames loaded into our animation, it’s time to make sure our export settings are perfect.  We changed the duration of the timeline to forever.  So now the image we see will constantly shift from the before to after.


Next we show you how to email the file to yourself and upload the image to Instagram.  From there you can choose any filters or other options that Instagram offers.



user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image

    I enjoy every tutorial you make! But I had a question about this one. What is the difference between applying an image and a stamp visible layer? I mean, wouldn’t it be easier to make a stamp visible layer?

  • user image

    Hi Aaron!

    Have you tried to share the final video/picture using AirDrop? I guess it might not work with non-Apple devices but I like it far more than sending and receiving emails.
    Love your videos, and I have learnt a lot



  • user image

    Good stuff, as always.

    I edit on my computer and share on Instagram all the time, and I find dropbox to be easier than emailing something to myself. I can put the image/video in the dropbox folder and then choose Dropbox on my phone as the source from which to upload the content. As an added bonus, then it also doesn’t count against my gmail storage limit.

    And the guy who invented GIFs said the correct pronunciation is Jiff. But I think he’s wrong. Ha. The G is “graphics” which makes it Giff in my book.


  • user image

    How do you combine multiple different images into a Frame animation to post on a website. Simply how do you get ten different images to be 10 different layers in the same document so you can proceed to create a frame animation?

  • user image

    Thank you for the nice presentation! I have a Gif, i email it to myself, i see is from my mobile as GIF but when i share it in Instagram it is turned in a non-moving image! What’s going wrong?

    • user image

      It is because Instagram doesn’t allow gifs. That is why they said you need to make it a video instead to upload to Instagram.

  • user image
    L D Matte

    Phlearntastic !! Why can’t we do a Shift Option Command E for the merged layer instead of Apply Image? Just wondering.

  • user image
    Elizabeth Azen Andia

    Thank you!! After trying a number of apps to convert GIFs to video, this is the best solution. Great video.

  • user image

    Wao it’s so easy! Been looking for a while how to create a little video with images of my jewellery for instagram and all I found were apps that also gave me their logos (not good haha) so thank you so much for making this tutorial!

  • user image

    Now instagram allows gif, but I still don’t know how to upload it? Can you update this tutorial please ?

  • user image

    What format we have to use for facebook upload, video or gif?

  • user image

    This doesn’t work, at least when I try to upload the finished mp4 video via Instagram on Android. The weirdest thing is that when I select the video in the app, I can see in the preview it is moving, I can apply filter and it is still behaving like a video, but when I actually upload it, it doesn’t play, it just sits there – static, only one frame is showing, like a photo. Also, when the frames are just two, it is recommended to copy them at least two more times in the timeline before convert it to video, because the exported video doesn’t recognize “loop forever” and just shows before&after once. Anyone else have this problem? I can’t find a solution and I tried everything, even wrote to Instagram support, but no answer.

  • user image

    Instragram can see the mp4 that I want to upload but the “next” button is greyed out, so no way to upload it. Any ideas?

  • user image

    The video export to instagram does not specify or allow for looping. Guessing instagram already does that on the device. It stops after a few playbacks on the browser side and does not auto start like on mobile devices. Twitter allows for gifs… odd that IG does not.

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    Rafael Aviles

    Great tutorial, as always. One comment: rendering the video as you show in your tutorial produces a short clip where the frames are shown only once (there is no looping). Depending on where you show the video, it may or may not loop. In Instagram, looping is provided automatically (but the video itself cannot be longer than 15 seconds. On a browser, it may be shown once and not restart automatically, depending on the browser. One way around this is to duplicate the frames in Photoshop before rendering the video, as many times as you want them to loop. This way, even if the video only plays once, you see the frames loop. Just remember the time limitation in Instagram.