Creative House Calls with Matt Crump

Digital artist Matt Crump is known for surreal, minimalist photos suffused with playful candy colors. Watch the video below to meet Crump at his whimsically decorated home in Austin, Texas, where he demonstrates a simple technique for turning a static photograph into a vibrant animation like this one.

Step-by-step instructions are written out below the video. 


Start by opening a colorful photo in Adobe Photoshop CC. Go to Window > Timeline, choose Create Frame Animation from the dropdown menu, and then click on the button. Open the panel menu and ensure that the Create New Layer For Each New Frame and the New Layers Visible In All Frames options are deselected.


The first frame of the animation will be in the Timeline by default. Select the frame and click on the Duplicate Selected Frames icon to make a copy of it.


In the Layers panel, click on Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer and choose Hue/Saturation. In Properties, enter 20 as the Hue adjustment value to shift colors in the photo.


Back in the Timeline, make sure the second frame is selected, and click on Duplicate Selected Frames to create a third. In the Layers panel, with Hue/Saturation selected, type command-J to duplicate that layer. This shifts hues in the selected frame another 20 points.


Repeat the previous step as many times as you like. To achieve a perfect loop, Matt created a total of 18 frames. For a longer animation, you can select all the frames and drag them to the Duplicate Selected Frames icon.


Click on the Timeline’s play button to preview your animation. To change the speed, first open the panel menu and choose Select All Frames. Next, click underneath one of the frame thumbnails to set the time per frame. Use one of the default options, or choose Other to set a custom value. Matt used .17 seconds per frame.


To save the animation as a video, go to File > Export > Render Video. Adjust the options as needed, and you’re done! (You can also save your file as a GIF—learn more.)

November 26, 2018

Video producer: Erik Espera

Article text: Erica Larson