I’m basically going through my iTunes list and adding all the soundtrack songs I have that I play when I am writing and I can’t afford to have lyrics distracting me. :)
Here it is so far. 40 tracks atm. If anyone wants to make use of it. It’s set to play songs on random.
I’ve been asked several times how I make my gifs, so I thought I would take some time to write out what I’ve found to work best for eliminating colours but maintaining quality. :)
NOTE: All filters I’ve used are with the default settings (using Adobe CS5) unless otherwise specified.
Legend: CC - Colour Count | O - Original | E - Edited
- Sharpening: I’ve found that the best option is: Unsharp Mask + Sharpen Edges. (O CC - 612.2K | E CC - 633.3K (sharpen) OR 604.3K (unsharp + sharpen edges))
- Selective Color: (You’ve no idea how much it killed me to write ‘color’ rather than ‘colour’ xD, but that’s how the filter is spelt in PS) … *ahem* anyhoo, for selective colours I usually go down the list and slide the Black slider back and forth to see how much difference that colour makes. If it makes very little difference then I’ll drag the slider to the right to darken the gif as much as I can without distorting the picture.
(Example: Neutral I don’t touch much except to make a tad darker on occassion, because it’s throughout the whole gif, but colours like Cyan isn’t really necessary in this gif so I dragged it all the way to the right. You don’t see much change, but that doesn’t matter because it’ll still amount to fewer colours in the CC in the end because this step will darken those hardly visible-to-the-eye colours.)
Do this for as many of the colours as you can until you have something you’re happy with. Sometimes although it appears darker it’ll show the CC as higher than before, and when this happens I just duplicated my Selective Color layer until I got something I was happy with or until it started getting too dark.
For the gif example above I did this with Greens, Cyans, Blues & Magentas. (E CC - 621.9K (w/o selective color) | E CC - 602.2K (selective color duplicated 8x = 8 Selective Color layers))
Duplicated the layer 8 times, then …
- Hue/Saturation: Again, we start from the first colour in the list, Red. What I do is I gradually move the slider down (to the left) to mute the colours a bit. You don’t want to do it too much because you’ll have a very washed out GIF by the end, but just ever-so-slightly, enough we can rid some colours that will contribute the colour count at the end. I always add Vibrance to my gifs before I finish up, so if you feel your GIF is too bland after this stage you can always boost the colours up a bit more w/ Vibrance. (That does add to your CC quite a bit though, so be careful with that step.) (E CC - 602.2K (w/o hue & sat) | E CC - 488.4K (hue & sat) I usually go about as low as -20, but that’s just me.)
- Vibrance + Brightness/Contrast: Now this step, and probably anything else you add to brighten things after this step, will add to your CC. But if you do all the things above I find that it does cut down on your final colour count a good amount rather than just adding Vibrance and Birghtness/Contrast filters to your original (sharpened) gif. (O CC - 600.3K (w/o the above steps) | E CC - 471.8K (following the above steps)
Yes, the original + edits is more vibrant, but the colour count is also a great deal larger. I don’t use these steps all the time (depends on how big the GIF is or whether the scene is a bright one or dark one) but I have found it helpful to get past those horrid GIF limits without a pixelly-as-fawk finished product.
- Finished. Here’s a comparisson of the original (sharpened) and the final product after following these steps. Hopefully this helps you guys somewhat.
Yes, they’re all kissy gifs. I just noticed that. xD But hey, I’m lonely and have to live vicariously through others, so thats why I GIF a lot of kissing scenes. xD
Not as pretty as if I hadn’t done anything to them (because most of the colours were removed, dulled, or blackened) but it’ll do the trick when I need to get that blasted CC count.