How to Create a Before/After Animated GIF in Photoshop

On this video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn shows how to create a cool before and after GIF of an image that you can post to social media to demonstrate your editing skills (or anything else you want to show in this way).

First you need to get the “Before” and “After” images. In a lot of cases, the “Before” image will be an unedited photo (if we are doing a before/after edited GIF that is). This will be the background layer of any Photoshop file.

From here on every change you make to an image should be on a new layer. After all the editing has been done you are left with the “After” image. You will need all these changes to be visible on a single layer to make the “After” Layer.

Now, create a new layer on the top of the document and navigate to ‘Image – Apply Image’. Choose “Merged”, “Multiply”, and make sure “Invert” is not checked. This will place a copy of your image onto one layer – this will be the “After” Layer.

The next step is to duplicate the “Before” and “After” layers onto a new document. Start by creating a new document sized for the web (check out this chart for reference).

After creating a new document, select both the “Before” and “After” layers from the original image and Click+Drag them to the new document. Be sure to select both layers when making any adjustments, as you need them to be in the same place.

Turn both the “Before” and “After” layers into Smart Objects before transforming them in the new document. This will let you change the image size without affecting the quality of the video.

To create the animation go to “Window > Timeline” to open the animation timeline and click on “Create New Frame Animation”.

Use the “New Frame” icon to make frames from the “Before” and “After” layers. Choose the frame duration and how many times the animation will repeat. In this example, we choose “3 Seconds” and “Forever”. Be sure to hit the “Play” button to view the animation in the timeline.

This isn’t the first time that we have been looking at creating GIFs. If you want to create a simple GIF and do not want to use Photoshop – you can use online services such as giphy or gfycat to upload and share your own gifs. We also have other simple tutorials on the subject including “How to Turn a Video into a GIF in Photoshop” by Howard Pinsky and Bryan O’Neil Hughes “How to Create an Animated GIF in Photoshop“.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *