How to Make Before and After Layers
The first step to creating an Animated Gif is to get the “Before” and “After” images. In many cases, the “Before” image will be an unedited photo. This will most likely be the Background layer of any Photoshop file.
Each change you make to an image should be on a New Layer, allowing for changes to be undone at any time. After adding many layers and Adjustments to an image, you are left with the “After” version. You will need all these changes to be visible on a single layer to make the “After” Layer.
Create a New Layer on the top of the document and navigate to ‘Image – Apply Image’. Choose “Merged”, “Multiply”, and make sure “Invert” is not checked. This will place a copy of your image onto one layer.
This is the “After” Layer.
Duplicate Layers to New Document
After creating the “After” layer, it is time to duplicate the “Before” and “After” layers onto a new document.
Create a new document sized for the Web. Image resolution will depend on where this image will live. For instance, if you want this image on Instagram, try a resolution of 1000x1000px.
After creating a new document, select both the “Before” and “After” layers from the original image and Click+Drag them to the new document. Be sure to select both layers when making any Adjustments, as you need them to be in the same place.
It is a good idea to turn both the “Before” and “After” layers into Smart Objects before transforming them in the new document. This will allow you to change Image Size without affecting quality. To turn the layers into Smart Objects, Right-Click on each layer and go to “Convert To Smart Object”.
Select Both layers and Transform them into place.
How to Create a Before & After Animation
Now that both the “Before” and “After” layers are sized correctly on the new document, it is time to create a simple Animation. Go to “Window – Timeline” to open the animation Timeline and click on “Create New Frame Animation”.
Use the “New Frame” icon to make Frames from the “Before” and “After” layers. Choose the Frame duration and how many times the Animation will repeat. In this example, we choose “3 Seconds” and “Forever”.
Be sure to hit the “Play” button to view the animation in the timeline.
Exporting for the Web
After the Animation is playing well, it is time to export it to the Web. Go to ‘File – Export – Save for Web’ and choose GIF from the drop-down menu.
Be sure to check the animation on the right side of the export panel to see if it is still playing well. When you are satisfied with all the export settings, click the “Export” button and choose a destination folder.
To view the final “Before & After” Animated GIF online, upload it to the desired website or open the image in Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox.
You are ready to show your work off to the world!