Set Up | After Effects | Photoshop

Set Up

Files should be located in the WFD shared drive:
Web Services > Assets > Health Tips Gif Content

  • Download this folder.
    • "Preview Image": This is the image used for blog previews.
    • "Renders"*: This contains a library of rendered video gifs, that (at the time of writing this...) has all existing "HealthyERHacks" content.
    • "Working Files": This contains the After Effects project file, Domine Font**, and the Logo png.

*: This folder doesn't need to be downloaded to create the gifs. The video file might already be created. If so, download it and proceed to the photoshop section of this page.

**: Instal Font to System Library before continuing the creation process.

Adobe After Effects and Photoshop are required to create the "Health Tips" gifs.

After Effects

Brief Intro to After Effects

After Effects can be an overwhelming program. It's interface is very dense and it tends to be more apt to throw a wrench in your work than be helpful. I'll try to break down the different sections for you as simply as I can, giving you exactly what you need to know to finish new gifs. If you need more info, Youtube has a great community of After Effects creators that have tutorials for every skill range.

Tool Bar

Pretty standard fair of tools for video creation/editing. Located along the top of the page.

  • The only tool here you'll need is the pointer. It is the selected tool in the screenshot.

Project Manager

Located on the left side of the page. This window is used as a holding ground for all of your assets, compositions, and files within this particular AE project.

  • Think of projects as the working file itself. Compositions would be like Layer folders/groups in Photoshop/Illustrator, and double clicking on one will open it in the "Composition Manager" (See Next).
  • If the lotus logo is displaying as a error, (like an old TV color analizer): Right click the logo in the Project Manager. Select "Replace Footage" > "File" > then select the image you want to use. This will need to be done if the image is ever moved from the folder is was linked from.

Composition Manager & Timeline

This is the large window along the bottom of the screen. You edit the layers & layer timings for individual compositions here.

  • In the provided project, the "Health Tips Comp" should be automatically open, and only one layer should be unlocked. This was done intentionally to keep anything else in the comp from being edited accidentally.
  • If it isn't already, click and drag the blue tracking bar to the "20f" mark. This will allow you to see the text layer you'll be editing.


This is the large window in the center of the screen. This shows you what your project looks like similar to other programs like Illustrator and Photoshop.

Effects | Paragaph & Character Styles | Misc. Tools

The window on the right side of the screen contains collapsing tool sets that are more robust.

  • The only part of this that you might need is the Character Styles tab if the text changes fonts for some reason.

Note: If the screen seems to be missing any of these items, click "Default" along the top of the screen.

Creation Process

  1. Open the After Effects project file.
  2. Double click the unlocked layer name in the Composition Manager. This will select all text in the call out.
  3. Paste the wanted text. (You should be able to use the paste shortcut if you already copied the text.)
  4. Select the pointer in the Tool Bar
  5. Click the text in the preview once.
    • If you accidentally select it with a double click, just select the pointer again.
  6. Use enter to break the continuous line of text so it fits within the guidelines in the preview (Shift + up-x2/down-x2 should move the text 1 full line up or down (4 lines max)).
  7. Select in the program bar: Composition > Add to Render Queue. This should automatically add the tab "Render Queue" to the Composition Manager and switch to it.
  8. Set the export properties for the video by clicking on the blue text:
    • "Best Settings": This should not need any changes from the default.
    • "Lossless": Format Should be Quicktime if it isn't by default. Set the "Audio Output" dropdown to be Off.
    • "Health Tips": Set up your file name and save location.
  9. Click the "Render" button on the right side of the window.


  1. Open file with the import video to frames.
    • File > Import > Video Frames to Layers
  2. Make sure it is set from beginning to end, and click Make Frame Animation
    • The video file should load in, and the Animation tool should open up.
  3. Frame 1: Set the time(0.03) to 2.0 with the dropdown
  4. Frame 20: Set the time(0.03) to 5.0 with the dropdown
  5. Export the final gif.
    • File > Export > Web(legacy)
    • Make sure the export type is set to GIF
    • Set the Colors to 8.
    • Set the repeat to "Loop Forever"
  6. Click Save