03-21-2011 09:24 PM
Govindira Galatea wrote:You can identify it by the fact that the line in which it is located begins with "input value".
Thanks! This was the spec of info I was missing.
03-24-2011 08:02 PM - edited 03-28-2011 04:40 AM
Since I was asked by the watermelon guy about the animated GIFs, here's what tools I use and a basic "how I did it".
For the vector graphics type like this one I use Ulead Cool 3D (vers 3.5 iirc)
Creating these ones is literally no more than picking the new image size, picking a font while adding some text, positioning it with the move tool, setting the desired number of animation frames, and then selecting whatever preset effects you like from the object, global, and transition effects lists. You can tweak them by adjusting their settings in the bottom detail window, and also by adjusting or staggering the effects start and stop times on the animation timeline. Can also add many more to it, like the combination one above which is simply a starting text with object style preset, adding a Global Effect->Fire, adding an Object Effect->Dance, adding an Object Effect->Explosion, and changing the ending position of my text at the end of the timeline to finish the falling effect of the explosion out of view. Added a white background because of the background here and exported it straight to a GIF animation. I didn't use transparent background, but it is an option as well. It's all pretty simple as the software does it all for you basically.
For the SL video-based ones I mainly used Fraps, Photoshop and Gif Animator 5, but I did also use AVS Video Converter 6 in place of editing timeline in PS because I like the timeline controls better than Photoshops.
These ones consist of shooting the source video with Fraps against a white backdrop. Don't plan on using much more than about a 5 second clip of your video as the end file size has to be kept down, and file size can easily spiral out of control if you're not careful. Open the resulting AVI video into Photoshop and 'box-select' the middle part you want to keep, keeping the selection about the same shape as the badges are (not size, just shape). Image-->Crop, then File-->Export-->Render Video and set to use the quicktime MOV format, also give it a new name. Close the video and open your new cropped one, Then Image-->Image Size and specify a final badge size (I used 150x198). Then again do File-->Export-->Render Video, set to the same quicktime format and give it another new name.
Next is chopping out the timeline segments before and after the section you want to use. For this you can use Photoshop as well (window-->animation to show the panel), instead of AVS VC 6 because the principle is exactly the same, although the specifics may be a bit different. AVS makes this very easy with 'trim start' and 'trim end' buttons in its built-in editor. In either one, the basic idea is to mark the video timeline from the very first frame(trim start) to the beginning of what you want to keep(trim end), and also mark from the end of what you want to keep(trim start) to the very last frame of the video(trim end). Same principle as cropping out a photo leaving only what you want. Once marked, you Export-->Render the video again (convert in AVS) to quicktime MOV format (AVS is quicktime, original size, 4000kbps). close programs.
Last step is opening the cropped, resized, shortened quicktime video clip in Gif Animator (or something like it). The software should import all the frames in order. There should be a max of about 80 frames for a final pic without using any compression/optimization, or up to a max of about 180 frames with lots of compression/optimization. Delete any frames you don't want or that might be duplicates, then shift-select them all and set their desired delay ( 3 / 100ths of a second is about right for 29-30FPS on the web ), lower makes it play faster. Use the preview to tweak to your liking and save it or export it as a GIF animation. It may be necessary to use the optimization wizard to reduce the final file size to get it in under the size limit here, but too much optimization can result in a very blotchy, ugly looking mess. That's why it's important to choose and use video clips that are shorter and can avoid having to use heavy optimization or lossy compression. The example animation above was a real short clip originally, but I duplicated all it's frames and reversed the duplicates order (added to the timeline after the original frames) so it plays more like a real looped animation. Many tricks can also be done by blending a few static frames that have a long delay (timer) with short chopped animated sequences added to it to create the effect of the GIF being much longer than it really is.
Have fun with it.
04-07-2011 11:23 AM
Thank you Suella. You rock!
(Wise words from Maddy)
05-01-2011 02:31 PM
Thanks for all the info!! Even with it, it took me a minute to get even close to something that I like lol. But I'm getting there!
06-12-2011 09:57 PM - edited 06-12-2011 10:09 PM
I had fun following your instructions and playing with images.
So no chance I can change that awful white blob that has Posts and Topics in it? I notice yours doesn't have that. I didn't pre choose any of the 4 background images they offered.
06-30-2011 05:41 AM
Thank you for this. I did use one of the prefab ones first.. But I was reading through the posts before I saved! and well now have the unformatted one I think..
Thank you and good Tutorial