Quickly making animations from Illustrator Layers

I produced comic like animations that should help explain the products of my dad's company eFlipchart better. I started off from the companies few small jpeg files, but decided to use Adobe Illustrator to modify and build off them.

The first question was: How do I create vector graphics from existing jpegs?

This is easily done using the live trace function under the options menu. I found a useful tutorial here Thanks a lot!

I created 30+ layers, each one containing the information for one frame of my animation. I named them 01_Intro, 02_SomeInfo, and so on. Next, I wanted to batch convert them into individual gifs, to then batch insert them into PowerPoint to create my animation with voice over. To save each layer as a gif file, I first have to make sure that all of the layers that I want to save are shown (Eyeball symbol in Illustrator). This may look a little confusing, since all of the layers are overlapping:

In order to export gifs from Illustrator, just like in Photoshop, I go to File > Save For Web and Devices.... Here, I have the option to save the individual layers (On the right hand side, there is a tab called Layers, which needs to be selected (see image below)).

Simply keep the default settings in the layers menu. Click save and specify folder location and prefix for the gif files. Illustrator will create a folder called "images" by default, in which it places all of the images according to the layer name. Hence it's good to numerate the layer names in Illustrator.

Next, I want to insert the gif files into PowerPoint to create a presentation, which I can manually adavnce, as I record my voice over it for the animation video.
And guess what, even PowerPoint has an option to batch import all of my images into different slides, of course in the desired order. Simply open a new PowerPoint presentation, go to insert>PhotoAlbum. I selected all of my images, then selected that I wanted to position one image per slide, and press OK. Et voila, now I can record my animation with a software such as Camtasia, and lay over my voice comments.


October 18, 2010 at 1:29 AM ISHFAQUE AHMED said...

From: Engineer Ishfaque Ahmed Baloch

Read this article if you want to learn more and more and wants to be expert in illustrator.


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