Animated Smilies

In this lesson, we will go through the process of making an animated smilie. Are you ready? Then let us begin!

Step 1

Create a new image (CTRL+N). You can use any size you desire; I will be using 100×20 pixels. Remember to make the background transparent. Note that I will be using a white (#FFFFFF) background in this tutorial to make everything easier to see.

Create a new layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N) and name it "Body".

Step 2

Set the foreground color to white (#FFFFFF). Set the background color to the color you want your smilie to be. I will be using a soft red (#CD3D3D).

Select the "Elliptical Marquee Tool". Make a selection as big as you want your smilie, as shown in the picture below. Start from the right and pull to the left.

Making an ellipse

Step 3

Fill your selection using the "Gradient Tool". Use the following settings:

Selecting the Gradient Tool

Step 4

Give your smilie a nice outer stroke. Right click on the "Body" layer and select "Blending Options". Then select "Stroke". Pick a color that looks good along with the body of the smilie.

Giving the smilie an outer stroke

Step 5

Great! Now we are done with the body. Create a new layer and name it "Eyes". Using the "Pencil Tool", draw two eyes. Your smilie should look something like this:

Creating the eyes

Note: This image has been enlarged for better viewing.

Step 6

The following step is optional. In order to make an arm, follow the same steps used to make the body; except this time make the circle a lot smaller. To make a set of arms you place two small "balls" next to the smilie's body.

You can also use the same technique to make other body parts - legs, arms, etc.

Step 7

Now it is time to start working on the animation. Click the "Edit in Image Ready" button (SHIFT+CTRL+M) to move the image into Image Ready, where we will work on animating the smilie. If you have not read the first entry on basic animation, I recommend that you do so now.

Note: It helps to make your smilie and its body parts into a set. This makes it easier to move the whole smilie simultaneously.

We are going to make the smilie look to the right. Overall, it is pretty simple, but it will give you the basic idea of creating animated smilies.

If the animation window is not open, select Window -> Animation. Next, duplicate the animation frame.

Now we need to move the eyes so that they look to the right. Simply move the "Eyes" layer a bit to the right. When you have completed this, click on the "Tween" button. When it asks you how many frames to add, you can enter as many frames as you would like, depending on how smoothly and quickly you want the eyes to move. I will use just two frames, as I want the eyes to move fast.

Step 8

You can repeat step seven as many times as you find necessary. Basically, if you want your smilie to move around a ton, you will have to redo step seven more then once or twice. Last, go to File -> Save Optimized. Now you are done!

Here are a few examples of what you can make using the same technique:

Animated smilie example Animated smilie example Animated smilie example


  • Kudos for the long awaited update.

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Thu 20 Apr 2006 at 17:24