Create Easy, Cool Graphic Animation

I needed to create a graphic for a STEM-Health Camp at the community college where I work, Rappahannock Community College, in Virginia.

I tried a few static images, but the graphic needed to show three elements of the camp:

Arduino coding

Robotic prosthetics

EKG heart rhythm simulation

Here’s how I created the final graphic:

The Coding section was a free video download from Pixabay. I had to convert the MP4 video to a GIF so I could add it to the other GIF elements.

I uploaded the MP4 to and it returned a GIF. However, I needed to convert that GIF to individual frames. Easy! Back to and converted the GIF to a ZIP file of individual JPG frames.

Next, I found again on Pixabay, a static graphic of a robotic arm. After changing the colors and removing some elements, I silhouetted the arm from the base in Photoshop.

Then, I create a 50-page document in InDesign. I use InDesign a lot for animations.

I placed individual frames from the Coding video onto pages in the document, then I created the EKG by adding a red line segment, page by page.

Next, the robotic arm. I added the arm and the base to a page, then Control-A to copy it all, Control-J to go to the next page and Shift-Alt-Control-V to paste in place. That’s important as the X and Y axes are the same from page to page, otherwise the animation may jump around.

Then, on each page I placed the robotic arm, I would rotate it just a bit on each page in sequence.

After all that, I export all as JPGs. Then, it’s off to Photoshop.

File >> Scripts >> Load Files Into Stack…

With the animation timeline active at the bottom >> Create Frame Animation.

Then Make Frames from Layers. Reverse Frames, and all the individual JPGs are arranged in the timeline. Then, it’s just a matter of selecting the duration that works best, sometimes one frame at a time.

Then, output the whole thing as a GIF, size it correctly, reduce the number of colors if you can to save on size, and there you have it!

Director of Communications and Marketing at Corning Community College in Corning, New York. Writer/correspondent for Google and Adobe certified.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store