In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll create a super cool colored wave animation. Check out the download link here to grab the free PSD full of colored waves pre-made for you to use. You’ll learn how to create multiple waves shapes and use the Timeline panel to animate vector masks to create a beautiful flowing effect. About the only thing I don’t cover is how to properly line these shapes up to achieve a seamless loop (I forgot to cover it in the heat of recording this video, my mistake!)
Dragging In The Shapes & Coloring Them
Create a new document sized 1400x100px and fill the background with the color #000a25. Use the downloadable color wave .PSD that I have available as a download up above this tutorial. Choose two or three colored shapes that you like and use the Move tool and drag them into the new file you just created. Go Select>All and animated all three shapes to the bottom and left sides of the document using the Move tool and it’s align buttons in the top control bar. Fill each shape layer with your desired color and set each layer to the blend mode Lighten.
Animate The Position of Vector Shape Layers
Open the Timeline panel (Window>Timeline) and choose to create a Video Animation. Select the little arrow just to the left of each layer/track name and click the little stopwatch icon next to “Vector Mask Position” and then move the little blue play head to the end of the timeline and go Select>All and grab the Move tool and use the align icons to align this layer to the right edge of the document. Photoshop will automatically create the animation between the beginning and end of your timeline and make the first colored wave move across the screen. Repeat that little process for each of the colored wave layers to complete the animation effect. Check out the video at the top of this post to see exactly how I make all of this work.
Export a Looping Animated GIF
Once you’ve created your animation in Photoshop, go File>Export>Save for Web (Legacy) and choose to save out a GIF with 256 colors. On the right side of this dialog box you want to make sure you choose to have this GIF file loop forever before you choose where you’d like to save it on your hard drive. TIP: Watch the video at the top of this post to see how I take this wave transition and use it in a simple Behance project to create a cool effect and also see all the little details that will help you create this effect even easier! Thanks for checking this out!