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Animated Bears Header
Animated Bears
     This tutorial was created for Photo Impact version 6 or version 7.

     I would classify this tutorial as INTERMEDIATE LEVEL, which assumes you have a basic knowledge of PI and its tools.

     You select the graphics that you wish to use, or you may get the image that I used here.  If the graphic that you use is a single non-merged graphic, then you will need to hit the Ctrl + D key to duplicate the graphic. Minimize one of the images in your PI. Then with the second one merge it (right click and select Merge All), so you will be able to work on it. The reason you want to merge it is so you can use the Lasso tool on it. The lasso tool won’t work on an active image.




Go to Standard Selection tool and select Lasso Tool.

Decide which part of your graphic that you want to animate.

For this tut, I chose the heads and the two arms.

Take your lasso tool and draw around the first head, including the ribbon.  To make it easier, you can use the zoom tool to make your image larger.

After using your lasso tool to draw around the head, right click and go to Convert to Object.

Now you should have 2 heads, one merged and one active, like the screenshot on the left.

Do this to all the heads.

Now move all heads to a new canvas.

Ok now do the same for the left arm. (We will use the left arm for both left and right animated arms).  Note:  go over a little of the foot and chest (see screenshot to the left).

Again right click and Convert to Object.

Move the arm off onto it's own canvas.

Note: if you wish to resize the bears at this time, just take all the parts and put them with the image of the bears. Right click, click on select all objects, then right click, select group. Now you can go to Transform tool and resize the objects together.  By doing this,they will all have the same proportions.

Ok now go to tool panel and choose smudge tool, or blur, or even go to paint tool. Make necessary repairs to your arm, to make it look like an entire arm (without the lines from the bear's belly and legs).


Like this picture shows, the new arm looks like one whole arm, with out the lines that were in it before (see screenshot above for the arm with lines).

Okay, here is what you should have on your workspace. 

Create a new transparent canvas for your bears.  Add your bears to this transparent canvas and center them on the canvas. Hit Ctrl + D on your  keyboard, and duplicate this canvas at least 6 to 8 times. Depending on how many frames you want for your animation.

This will give you the different frames you will need to make your animation work.

Remember the number of moves (frames) will also decide the size (kb) of the finished product.

Use your Layer Manager to lock your image in each frame, so as not to let it be moved (click the little lock in the layer manager to lock the image).  You want every frame to be exactly the same except for the movements you wish it to make.

OK here I have used 6 canvases.

Save one canvas as frame 1.gif. 

((Save each canvas as Gif format as you make them for use in the animation program. Do not delete them out of PI. You might want to come back and make some changes to that particular frame.))

For your 2nd frame, choose another canvas and make the bears active.  Erase the head of one or 2 of the bears, like this image shows.

Now go get the head, or heads that you wish to use and transfer them to the canvas.


((Note:  Just duplicate the heads and keep the originals on their own canvas.))

Now use your Transform tool to make head move from original angle.  Give each head a different angle. Or you can use the rotate – flip, Horizontally.  Save this as frame 2. gif.

Now go to the Path Drawing Tool and choose the round shape. Use the eyedropper to get a color to match the fur on the bear's head.  Make a round shape to cover up how ever many eyes as you wish.  Save this as frame 3.gif.

Continue changing each canvas and saving each as a new frame in gif format. 

Do the same thing with the arms as you did with the heads.

Raise or lower the arms, open and close eyes, turn heads, and so on.

Make each canvas different in some way.

OK we want to add an arm here where there is none. So take the arm you did earlier, duplicate, and bring it to this side.

Now go to Edit, Rotate & Flip, Horizontally.

Now right click and choose arrange/send to back to put the arm in back of the image.

Now use the transform tool to make the arm move.

Also erase the arm on the left side of your image so you can make it move also.


If you have done this now you can animate anything.  You can take almost any image apart, and animate it or make your own little teddies to animate.  The more you play with the animation movements the more you will see how much fun animation can be.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or to improve this tut. 


You are ready to go to the gif animator to animate your bears.  
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Linda J