Here is the much requested tutorial I've created to show you how I make my dancing letters, seen on Instagram here!
For this tutorial I’m using an iPad Pro (10.5, 2017 version), an Apple Pencil and the Procreate App. You can use any iPad that can run the Procreate software and any iPad where you can use an Apple Pencil.
We’re going to create the animation right inside of Procreate so that is the only app that you’re going to need for this.
You’ll also want some kind of photo to draw over - you can use one of your own photos or you can find a stock image. It’s just good to make sure that there is some free space on the photo so that you’ve got a nice background area that you can draw over where you’re going to be able to see the text really well.
You want to use a photo that isn’t too busy or that has a section where it’s either darker or lighter or there is kind of less going on so you’ll be able to see your text better. You also need to decide on the text you want to use!
Ready? Let's dive in! Watch the video above for the full tutorial and then you can refer back to the action steps below.
Get your photograph onto your iPad, I like to use Google Drive as that's where I keep all my brand photos. Import your photo into Procreate and name your file accordingly.
When you're inside Procreate open up your photo, go into your layers panel and turn off your 'background' layer.
Each layer in our layers panel is going to act like a 'frame' for our GIF or video. Any layer that is switched on will be in our video. Layers are switched on when they are 'ticked' in the layers panel.
You'll be left with just your photo layer switched on.
Now you'll need to create a new layer by clicking the + in the layers panel. This is the layer we're going to draw onto, separate from our photo.
Choose your brush and colour, and now you can start to draw out your text or design.
Once you're happy with your design, you need to turn down the opacity on the layer you've just drawn. This will allow you to draw your next frame right over the top.
Create a new layer and draw over your previous layer. Keep it similar (that's why we left our previous layer visible) but not exactly the same. Variances in the text and drawings will give us the movement we want in the final video.
Once this is done, turn this layer off so you're still left with just your photo and first drawing layer.
Repeat by creating a new layer to draw over your first drawing again as many times as you like. 4 frames altogether works well, but you can do as many as you like.
Remember to turn off each new drawing once it's done so you're always drawing over your first drawing. This makes sure your text doesn't go too far off the original.
Once you have re-drawn your design enough times, open your layers panel back up. Turn all your layers back on (except for the layer called 'background', you don't need this).
Now you want to duplicate your photo layer enough times so each text/drawing layer has it's own photo layer beneath it. So if you have drawn on 4 layers, you'll need 4 photo layers.
Drag each photo layer so it sits below a text/drawing layer.
Tap on each text/drawing layer on the thumbnail and tap 'merge down' so that the text/drawing merges with the photo below.
You should be left with your 4 layers of text/drawing and photo. These are your finished video frames!
Now it's time to export your GIF or video. You can tap on the spanner icon in the top menu, then 'share' and choose animated GIF if you want a GIF file.
If you want to upload it to Instagram you'll need to choose Animated MP4 so that you're creating a video file.
Use the slider to reduce or increase the amount of frames per second and click 'export'!
And it's as simple as that!
Your video is likely to be below 1 second long, but Instagram loops it over and over so that it repeats your simple animation. If Instagram says your video is too short you can add more frames, or there are free websites to loop your video a certain number of times for you so you can download it as a longer video.
Let me know how you get on with this and please do tag me on Instagram so I can see your wonderful animations!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any trouble or to tell me what you would like to learn next!
Who am I?
Hello you! I'm Meg, a self-taught designer from Wales in the UK.
Back in 2014 I was working an admin job and hoping there was more to life. I decided enough was enough and in a few short years I talked my way into a graphic design role with no prior experience (just a serious work ethic!), went on to work freelance at design agencies, and later, set up my own business - Lemon & Birch.
I've always forged my own path and I'm here to make things just that little bit easier for you.