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  Coffee Cup Animation Part Two
Creating The Frame Images Continued

8. Click the "To Back" button on the toolbar to send it to the back of the stack, then click a color button to give it a fill. In this case I used 20% black for the fill.


Tip: If you want a transparent background for the finished animation, then set the background color to be the same as the background color over which it will be displayed. Then export each frame as a GIF image and select "Anti-aliasing" in the Bitmap Export dialog. You will see another dialog where you can set the background color to be transparent. This will provide a matte color which will blend the anti-aliased pixels into the background perfectly.

9. Your workspace should look something like the one below.

10. You are now ready to export the first frame image. Using the Pick Tool, marquee-select the frame.

11. With the first frame selected, your workspace should look something like the one below.

12. Next, click File > Export... to export the frame as an image.

13. In the Export dialog, choose the "Selected Only" check box. This will export only the selected objects as an image. Use a True Color file format. In this case I am using the Photoshop PSD file format. Give it a filename and click "Export". Save all the frame images in the same folder.


Tip: Name the sequence of frame images with the same file name ending with 1, 2, 3, etc. Many animation programs recognize files named this way as an image sequence. You can take advantage of this and load the whole frame sequence at once.
  Note: You don't have to save images in Photoshop format. This format is just my personal preference. You can choose any of the other true color raster formats such as TIFF or PICT or BMP. Just don't use a lossy format such as JPEG or a format that isn't true color like GIF (more here on color depth and true color). The reason is that when the finished animated GIF is created the color depth will be reduced to a maximum of 256 colors. You don't want to start with a limited palette. Rather, you want all the colors available before the GIF animation is generated.

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