Updated November 4, 2018 

Basic Tweening - Tweening Transparency

Tweening is one of the handier functions of Ulead GIF Animator 5. "Tweening" is creating or updating the frames "in between" two main frames. You can tween one object to move it across your canvas, or tween the transparency of an object to make it appear to fade in and out. Or both at the same time...

ghostIn this tutorial, we will take an image and make it fade in and out. We will start with this image. Save the zip file to your hard drive, then unzip and extract the ghost picture to a folder of your choice.

When we're all done, we will have something like the image below:

Finished Animation

Now let's get started!

Open Ulead GIF Animator 5. Click the Open icon Open icon and open the little_ghost.psd file that you saved on your computer.

Duplicate Frame buttonframesNext, click the "Duplicate Frame" button on the Frame Panel. We now have two frames, both showing our little ghost on a black background.

We will now take the opportunity to tweak our frame delay - double-click Frame 1 to bring up the Frame Properties box. Change the delay to 50 (half a second), click OK. Double-click Frame 2, and change the delay to about 200 (2 seconds).

Next, select Frame 1 in the Frame Panel. Now go to the Object Manager, and click the ghost's eye icon to remove him from Frame 1.

uncheck the eye icon

Now we will use that lovely Tween button Tween button on the bottom of the Frame Panel. When you click the Tween button, a dialog box will appear. We must set the start frame as 1, and the end frame as 2. We will need to use "Insert frames" as our frame generation method. We'll try 8 frames, with a frame delay of 8.

Tween dialog, Frame Tween dialog, Objects

Click the "Objects" tab and select "All showing objects" and "Transparency." Now click "OK" to set the tweening in motion.

Frame Panel showing 10 frames

At this point, we have the ghost fading in, then abruptly disappearing. I would rather have him fade out of the animation. We have two options to do this:

  1. Add a new frame at the end of our animation, show the black background, and tween again from frames 10 to 11.

  2. Duplicate frames 2 through 9, reverse their order, and move them to the end of the Frame Panel (assign as last frame)

To do the first option:

For the second option:

Now time to Optimize and save our animation. Click the Optimize tab in the workspace and find the settings you want. I used Photo 32 for the one shown below.

Finished Animation

Save your animation by clicking the Save button in the bottom right corner of the Optimization Panel. It is also a good idea to save your animation in UGA format by clicking "File, Save As..." and selecting "UGA file..." If you want to edit your animation later, you'll want to open the UGA file to do so, as all your objects are preserved.

Here is another example of using tweening by transparency:
Stargate Atlantis animation

KISS logo with faces emerging You can do some other interesting things tweening transparency. In the example to the right, the text object is actually above the faces in the Object Manager, but it's merge method is "if lighter." Frame 1, the transparency of the faces is at 99. Frame 2, the transparency is set to 0. Tween frames 1 and 2, insert 17 frames. Duplicate those 17 frames, reverse the order, and move them to the end of the animation.

Lastly, here's what you get when you tween both position and transparency:

ghost moving from left to right, fading in and out

That's it, we are done!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something from it. Happy Animating!

For my tutorial on Ulead GIF Animator 5's basics, click the following banner...

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