Parallax Effect (Photoshop)

Similar to my ‘8-Bit Portrait’, I made a gif using Adobe Photoshop 2015, however with this gif I tried to incorporate the ‘Parallax Effect’. The parallax effect is when certain objects and landscapes are displaced in someone’s line of sight, for example when someone is looking out of the window of a speeding car and the landscape furthest away moves slowly however the things closest such as trees and roads move the quickest. The parallax effect can also be very useful for cinematography, the background tends to be blurred out and moving further away and the foreground tends to stay still. This effect is the new way of animating photos with out having to go into too many animation techniques, I had a go my self using Adobe Photoshop 2015.

The first step was creating a background on a portrait window. I decided to do a night sky as it tends to have very interesting colours and it can remind people of a nighttime drive. Once I had my star filled background, I enlarged it slightly as it would only be moving slightly across the screen. After that I made a few more layers and repeated that process, the layer on top however, I made much larger as it would be moving quicker across the screen. When i made the trees I got different shades of green and drew tree-like shapes but then I got the smudge tool (with a very small brush) and I made it appear that there were quite a few branches on the trees.

Once I had all of my selected layers, I opened the animation bar by clicking the tab Windows>  Timeline. When I selected that tool a small bar on the bottom of the screen would pop up and then I had to choose Create Frame Animation. I made 15 different frames as I only wanted to create a short gif to represent the parallax effect. Each layer I moved with a uniform set of numbers, the background I moved once per frame, the hilltop I moved twice per frame, the grey hill I move thrice, the closest hill five times and the trees I moved 10 times.

Following that I just added a few other details like tree on the hills, decreasing the number the further away the layer and I blurred the furthest one as it would give the impression that it is quite fair away.

Overall I am pretty pleased with how my gif turned out, I feel that I did well for my first attempt at the parallax effect and with practice I would hopefully become better. Something that I feel I could improve on this particular gif if making photo realistic and replacing the colours with photos, much like my ‘Photoshop Fill-In’ task.



As I got familiar with the parallax effect I decided to try this effect with images. However with my images I used a mixture of Adobe After Effect 2015, Adobe Premiere Pro 2015, as well as Adobe Photoshop 2015. To create the animated photos, I first launched them in Photoshop and separated the foreground and background using the Quick Selection Tool, once I had done that I launch the psd. file in After Effects and used a tool I had used several times before, the Puppet Pin Tool. Following that I put all the different clips together in Premiere Pro where I could see if I needed to alter the colour on any at all, which I did for the clip where the bride and groomsman were pulling the groom. This is a very similar step-by-step comparison to my ‘Warburtons Animation Task’.

Personally the first and third clip are the best because they seem so natural, where the other two do seem slightly distorted around the end. For example in the second image you can see the shadow of the bride’s shoulder going over the top of the lady, whereas the lady has no shadows- i could’ve blended them a little better. Furthermore the last clip with the child, he seems to move quite fast, it would’ve been better if his movements were a little slower. I feel very comfortable with this effect/ technique and I would be happy to use it in the future. You can see below the difference between the original images compared to what I had created them into.


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