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Design Snack #4: Controlling GIF speeds

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One of the more common complaints I see about GIFs and Photoshop is: When I save them out, they play back too slow!

I cover a common cause of this problem and how to fix it in the video, but if you’re the reading type, read on—I’ve got you covered.

Finding the right speed for your GIF

One common cause of too-slow GIFs is this misleading little menu option in the Photoshop timeline: No delay.

no-delay

You might think to yourself, “I want my GIF to play super fast, so No delay sounds like the right choice for me!” And you wouldn’t be the first to fall for it, either.

But don’t do it—it’s a trap!

What you actually want to do is manually set your frame rate to something fast by clicking “Other…” and typing in, say, 0.03 seconds.

Then, to get an accurate preview of your GIF, go to File > Save for web…, save out your GIF, and preview it on your desktop. If you’re on a Mac, just hit spacebar to take a quick look. You can also preview your work by dragging it into a browser.

If it plays back too fast, too slow, or the file size is too big, just head back into Photoshop and make some tweaks. Want to perfect your GIF-making process? Check out our 7 tips for designing awesome animated GIFs.

Got other GIF-related questions?
Ask me on Twitter: @andyorsow

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Author

Andy Orsow
Designer and product marketer at InVision, resident GIF-ologist and video maker.

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