Simple Text Animation With Motion Blur: A Photoshop Tutorial

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Hi! Today I will teach you how to make use of the Motion Blur Filter to animate text in Photoshop and add a “speed” effect with this tutorial (PSD file available for download below). Please allow me to indulge myself by using my most favorite internet meme ever – The Dating Site Murderer. Naturally, before creating this I thought hard of a caption of my own. Here is my take on this meme:

Cue the laugh track! HAHAHAHA…

… hah…

Man, I’m so funny! Now that’s done we can move on to the tutorial:

Please note that the following tutorial is for intermediate Photoshop users so I apologize if I would assume here that you have some knowledge of how to do basic stuff like creating a text (You can ask me though in the comments section). The version of Photoshop that I used here is CS3 (my favorite) though the steps wouldn’t be too far for more recent versions.

Step 1: Layout all the layers of your animation.

In this GIF, I only used five layers: (Please ignore the Opacity value in the screenshot)

Here are the layers in the workspace by number:

You just have to position everything as shown above.

Layer 1 is of course, the Background.

Layer 2: I got the clean image of the Dating Site Murderer through a quick Google search. I also reduced its size for a smaller file size.

Layer 3 & 4: These are rasterized text layers. You can do this by right-clicking on a text layer and selecting Rasterize Type.

Layer 5: What I did here was I created a copy of Layer 4 and applied Motion Blur Filter to it with an angle of 90 degrees and distance of about 20 to 30 pixels.

Some might ask: How do you copy a layer?

In the Layer Palette (the Layer Palette is the little box, usually at the right hand side where all the layers are shown stacked up) drag the layer that you want to copy to the Create a new layer icon as shown below:

After copying I dragged the copied layer below the original.

Also: Where can I find Motion Blur filter?

Select the layer you just copied in the Layer Palette. In the menu, select Filter > Blur > Motion Blur… A small window will then appear:

You can then enter the values that I mentioned above as highlighted in the image here. Press OK to confirm.

Now that every layer is in place, we can…

Step 2: Animate!

First of all you have to open the Animation window. In the menu, select Window > Animation. Click the Convert to frame animation button located at the bottom right side of the window as encircled red in the image below.

Now we start animating. I’ll go over this frame by frame:

Frame 1

  1. By default there is a frame already made in the Animation window. Select this frame and hide Layers 3, 4, and 5 (please see the frame numbers above for reference). These layers are what we will be animating. If you don’t know how to hide a layer, simply click the eye icon at the left hand side of the layer to toggle its visibility.
  2. If you look at the first frame, a time value is specified under it:

    Right-click it and select 1.0. This is the delay before the animation moves to the next frame in seconds.
  3. Frame 1 should look like this:

Frame 2

  1. Duplicate Frame 1 by selecting it and clicking the Duplicate selected frames button below the Animation window (encircled red):
  2. Once the first frame is duplicated select Frame 2 and make Layer 3 (the upper text) visible.
  3. Change the delay of Frame 2 to 2 seconds:
  4. Frame 2 should look like this:

Frame 3

  1. Duplicate Frame 2 to create Frame 3.
  2. Once the second frame is duplicated select Frame 3 and make Layer 5 (the blurred text) visible.
  3. Using the Move tool, drag Layer 5 to the top of the page while holding the Shift key. It’s important to hold the Shift key to keep the vertical alignment of Layer 5 with Layer 4. Frame 3 should then look like this:
  4. Also, change the delay of Frame 3 to 0.1 second.

Frame 4

  1. Duplicate Frame 3 to create Frame 4.
  2. Once the third frame is duplicated select Frame 4 and use the Move tool to drag Layer 5 (the blurred text) to the center of the image:
  3. Make sure the delay of Frame 4 is 0.1 second as well.

Frame 5

  1. Duplicate Frame 4 to create Frame 5.
  2. Once the fourth frame is duplicated select Frame 5 and use the Move tool to drag Layer 5 (the blurred text) to the bottom of the image (perhaps slightly above the position of Layer 4):
  3.  Make sure the delay of Frame 5 is 0.1 second as well.

Frame 6

  1. Duplicate Frame 5 to create Frame 6.
  2. Once the fifth frame is duplicated select Frame 6 and use the Move tool to drag Layer 5 (the blurred text) a few nudges lower.
  3. Also, make Layer 4 (the unblurred text) visible. Frame 6 should look like this:
  4. Make sure the delay of Frame 6 is 0.1 second as well.

Frame 7

  1. Duplicate Frame 6 to create Frame 7.
  2. Once the sixth frame is duplicated select Frame 7 and hide Layer 5 (the blurred text) . Frame 7 would be the last frame of the animation:

  3. Change the delay of Frame 7 to 5 seconds.

Step 3: Test the animation.

You can test animation by clicking the Play button.

Step 4: Save the animation as an animated GIF.

Save your work for web. In the menu, select File > Save for Web & Devices…

Be sure to select GIF as file format and set the Looping Options to Forever as shown in the image below (encircled red):

And you are done! Congrats!

Below is the download link to the PSD file. I hope you had fun creating this as much as I had creating this tutorial. If you have any questions about this tutorial, ask away at the comments section.

The Dating Site Murderer Motion Blur Animation Tut (293)

About maca

Hello, my name is Karlo Macariola. I once dreamed to be a painter or an animator but when I typed my first line of code I immediately fell in love with programming. Today my passions are with web development and web design though sometimes I still withdraw to my first love which is drawing. DeviantArt | Twitter | Facebook
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One Response to Simple Text Animation With Motion Blur: A Photoshop Tutorial

  1. Manoj kumar says:

    Hello Karlo
    You have shared realy very interesting and funny thing :). Thanks…

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