Introduction: Animated LED Sign in Photoshop

Picture of Animated LED Sign in Photoshop

In this instructable you will learn how to make an animated LED sign in Photoshop. Dont worry ill give you the a PSD of the template in multiple colors. Oh Yeah I made this one for my girlfriend.

Step 1: What You Need. (Don't Skip This Step.)

You will need the following:

-The template pack below (red, blue, and green)
-Patience... lots of it.

Step 2: Plan

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You really don't want to make our message very long or you could be working for quite a while. My I love you thing took ~45 min but i had to make the templates and stuff. So plan on at least a half hour.

Step 3: Start Making Your Message.

Picture of Start Making Your Message.

To make your message you will be using mostly the paint bucket tool. First open up the template color of your choice and the dot color. Then load the lighter of the two colors with the eye dropper tool. Then you can start making your first letter. My first letter was an "I" so I put two dots on the top and bottom. Then save it as number 1.jpg or something like that. MOVE YOUR LETTERS TWO DOTS TO THE LEFT FOR EVERY IMAGE.

Step 4: Next

Picture of Next

Everyone you make save it as a different number. You will have to turn the lighter colored "LEDs" back to dark so load the darker color. To do that load the darker color in with the eyedropper and use the paint bucket to return them to the original state.

Step 5: Pre-Animation

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You should have 20+ images. Open them all in Photoshop. Then close and reopen the the template image. After its open go to the layer menu > merge visible. Find the image called 1.jpg (or whatever you named it) and press command(mac)/control(windows) + A to select all then command(mac)/control(windows) + C to copy it.
Then go back to the template image and press command(mac)/control(windows) + V to paste it as a new layer. Continue this for every image until you have all of the images in one side the template document.

Step 6: Animation

Picture of Animation

So now go to Windows > Animation. Then go to the drop down arrow and click make frames for layers. After that change the time to .2 seconds. Hit play and see if its how you like.

Step 7: Saving

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To save to to file > save for web. Then just hit save and it pick your location to save it. After its saved you may have to open it in a browser such as firefox to see the animation, so right click on the file and go to open with and chose your browser.


Thien-PhuongL (author)2015-10-26


robot+more (author)2010-06-29

great 'ible i used gimp and unfreeze to make mine

amjadur (author)2009-07-06


amjadur (author)2009-07-06


ander (author)2008-10-20

This is like drawing a screensaver frame-by-frame. It'd be immensely more practical just to write a program that lets you type in whatever text you want, then converts it to an animated GIF for you in any format you want. Are there no programmers on this topic? Only graphic artists? Just curious.

DrCoolSanta (author)2008-09-12

I aggree with the people that say that MS GIF animator, or any other for that matter will work just as good. After all you aren't using any special effects for the frames. And of course that will be much more easier, I mean it is quite easier to work with such stuff in ms paint and put them up in a freeware animator.

I'll show you something:

It has been some time since I made this animation, and of course I made this in ms paint. nothing fancy, but to make this in photoshop will be so difficult. I mean, yes photoshop is so powerful, but for effects that are so simple, there is no use using a complicated software compared to a normal software.
Yes I could have done that in PS, but then the effect would have been totally different. Much more close to reality.

sardines454 (author)2007-06-22

anyone know how to do the animation part w/gimp?

DrCoolSanta (author)sardines4542008-09-12

Do the same thing. And I mean the same thing. Make the frames in layers and export it to gif.

zachninme (author)2007-06-22

Why can't this done using Photoshop in Wine in Linux? It works! Or in GIMP....

theburn7 (author)zachninme2008-06-16

It works in gimp, try it out!

zachninme (author)theburn72008-06-17

I don't think you understood what I meant ;-)

theburn7 (author)zachninme2008-06-18

oh i did, i am just saying gimp will work, spread the word, yo

not sure if it works in GIMP cause i dont use it. I also dont use linux w/ wine so idk. If it works let me know though...

lookatmygrlyfont (author)2007-06-22

yes. thats what i mostly do.

Ora (author)lookatmygrlyfont2007-06-23

Have you gotten into Action Script 3.0 in the new flash?

theburn7 (author)Ora2008-06-16

The new flash 9 pro that comes with it has actionscript 3.0

lookatmygrlyfont (author)Ora2007-06-23

nope. havent used much flash yet. mostly dreamweaver and photoshop

daftpunkelectroma (author)2007-11-30

how do u put in the template in GIMP?

you select open with gimp

jdisco (author)daftpunkelectroma2007-12-21

Probably change the extension to .xcf

ac1D (author)2007-06-22

photoshop work with wine. if you want to do this, dont use photoshop. use microsoft with a free .gif images animator. lol!

lookatmygrlyfont (author)ac1D2007-06-22

hmm you barley speak english. um no photoshop is 100 times better than anything youll get from M$.

ac1D (author)lookatmygrlyfont2007-06-23

i agree with you, i totally agree. But, i dont want to be rude, but look.. your led are just little circle, no effect, nothing. This Really look like you used ms.paint. everyone could reproduce it in paint!

lookatmygrlyfont (author)ac1D2007-06-23

LEDs are circle. Well most of them. when you do better please tell me. Yes sure it needs work. I guess i should just delete this damn thing since everyone is hating on it.

ac1D (author)lookatmygrlyfont2007-06-23

i know they are circle. take a led and a battery. look at the led when its lighten, look directly at it. its not a flat blue color.

lookatmygrlyfont (author)ac1D2007-06-23

hmm i could add an effect to it to make it look glowing true true..

amywho (author)lookatmygrlyfont2008-05-01

just duplicate each layer. gausian blur. then blend the layers. ac1d... i'm assuming you did something similar?

Barley, noun: a cereal grass

egreen767 (author)2008-03-28

So awesome! I made one in photoshop elements.... took me like an hour

egreen767 (author)egreen7672008-03-28

You have to click on it and make it larger for it to work apparently...

very nice :)

killas (author)2007-12-29

whats drop down arrow? im using photo shop 7.0

led235 (author)2007-11-05

IT'S NOT FREE. you can BUY it for $29.95 or more.

munchman (author)2007-10-15

You can do this with this free software

sardines454 (author)2007-06-22

what photoshop ru using?

CS3 for Mac.

how much did u pay for cs3? isn't it like 600 dollars?

ac1D (author)sardines4542007-06-23

for this led sign , u can use paint, but if your new to graphic, dont get photoshop, try yourself with the g!mp and if it look serious, get photoshop. its what I did, and its what I guess monstly everyone do.

sardines454 (author)ac1D2007-06-23

i am not new to graphic design i just dont feel like paying $600 when i can gimp for free and it does almost everything the same!

Almost =(

Photoshop is better than GIMP. I dont think you can do Animations with the GIMP

Fenwick (author)lookatmygrlyfont2007-06-23

You can definitely do animations with the GIMP. You just have to do each frame as a layer and save as an animated GIF. Photoshop is definitely better than the GIMP, but the GIMP is free. You can do most of the same effects, it just takes more time. I'd support a download of the GIMP over pirating CS3.

lookatmygrlyfont (author)Fenwick2007-06-23

my cs3 is not pirated.

Fenwick (author)lookatmygrlyfont2007-06-24

I'm not saying that you pirated it, I'm just saying that there are a lot of people who are new to graphic design pirate CS3, where it would be a better moral choice to get the GIMP.

I wasn't trying to be critical, I was trying to convince others that piracy isn't necessary.

lookatmygrlyfont (author)Fenwick2007-06-24

very true though. you do have a point.

Ora (author)lookatmygrlyfont2007-06-22

Did you get the web design suite?

lookatmygrlyfont (author)2007-06-22

sorry for being rude :)

eh..maybe I shouldn't have said it so..abruptly?

naw its cool. yeah im sure thre are easier ways but haha. its cool dont worry.

lookatmygrlyfont (author)2007-06-22

so what i worked hard on it for my girlfriend so yeah.

Your way works too, I was just letting you know, that there is an easier way..geesh

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