Here are the two photographs this GIF was based on:
I've been seeing a lot of photographic looping GIFs lately so I thought I'd try my hand at making one. It's fairly challenging, but extremely satisfying once you get it to loop properly. So here it is! My first animated photograph.Here is a detailed explanation of my process:
I recorded a 5 second video clip of the rotating record using a Nikon D90 in 720P Video Mode. I then imported the video into Adobe After Effects CS5 where I isolated the 42 frames that made up a complete rotation and exported them as a series of PNG images. I imported the first frame into Adobe Photoshop CS5 and activated a new action recording; actions allow me to make changes and record them so that I can repeat them again on other photos with the press of a single button. After finding the appropriate colour correction and lighting adjustments, I saved out the image and stopped the action recording. After this, I created a batch file process starting with the raw exported photos from the 42 frame loop. With batch processing, Photoshop opened each of the photos one by one and applied the action I had just recorded on all of them. After each photo had been saved out, I reimported them all into After Effects as a PNG animated sequence. I reopened the first frame in Photoshop and made a transparency mask over it so that the record player's head, arm, and image background, were the only things visible; everything else was transparent and feathered where the solid and opaque areas met. I imported this Photoshop image into After Effects and placed it over the entire animation. With this applied, the record spun continuously but the turntable's head and arm never moved. To make them move a little, I reduced the opacity from 100% on the first frame, to 0% on frame 9, and then back up to 100% by frame 30 after a small gap of 0% opacity in the middle. This allows the record player arm to move up and down briefly and then smoothly fade back to its starting position without a loop jump. Once this was complete I exported the layers as frames in PNG format. I imported the frames as layers in Photoshop and selected the Animation panel under the Window menu. On the right side of the panel I selected the menu option, "Make Layers Into Frames." After reducing the total clip duration to 42 frames, I selected File > Export for Web & Devices and exported the image sequence as an animated GIF at 800x450 pixels.
And that about sums it up!Here is a downloadable desktop background: