Water Ripples

Video F/X MenuMaking water ripples is actually easier than you may expect. It is done with one of the effects found in the Video F/X menu on the Standard Toolbar, Mirror, which is found under Camera Lens.

A little extra... While you can make a passable ripple effect with Mirror alone, a bit of tweaking with something like Adobe's Ocean Ripple distortion effect will make it more realistic. Not everyone will have this filter, however.

You can download Harry's Filters from The Plugin Site and use the Warp filter with the Wonderland feature, set as shown below. X-Wave at 60, Y-Wave at 60, M and D Wave at 0, and Factor set at 255.

Harry's Filters

Using this filter is optional. Unzip it to the folder you have configured GA 5 to use for Adobe-compatible filters. If you have not configured GA 5 for this yet, go to the Standard Toolbar. Click File, Preferences, and select the Plug-in Filters tab.  If you don't have a folder for Adobe-compatible filters, then create one in Windows Explorer and extract this file there. Then select this folder in the Preferences Box. You will have to restart GIF Animator if you have it open. Preferences Box

For our tutorial, we're going to make the foreground of this dragon's lair a red, rippled pool... We will also be using our lasso tool for this project, so you'll get some practice with that, too.

Note that if you zoom in to use the lasso tool, make sure there is no scroll bar along the bottom or side of the workspace - this will make it impossible to finish your selection properly if you have to scroll the picture to get to all your picture. You may have to move around or shrink one of the toolbars or panels.

Dragon's Lair image

The easiest way is to narrow the object manager panel by putting your cursor just on the edge till the double-headed black arrow appears, then click & drag it over.

The first step is to open this picture, so you will have to right-click on the picture and save it to disk. Open it in GA 5 by clicking the Open icon yellow folderNew, open, save on the standard toolbar. Once we have that open, make sure this is selected in the Object Manager panel. You may want to zoom in a bit, as we're now going to use the Lasso Tool Lasso. Select the lasso on the tool panel.

We want to select the foreground lava goop, so we need to trace around the bottom. Click once at the bottom left to start, then click at each turn as we trace our way around to the bottom right, where we finish with a double-click. You should see something close to this on your screen. Note the dashed lines where I've traced out our foreground. This is the section we'll be animating for this sample.

Now go up to the standard toolbar and click the Copy button copy button. Now click paste paste button. This will create a new object on the object manager panel. This is the object we will need to make our ripples.


Go to the object manager and click the eye icon on our main picture so that it is no longer visible in our workspace. This is what you should now see. Now it's time to go up to the Video F/X menu and click on that Mirror effect... this box will pop up. We will pick black for the background, and 5 frames. Click OK.

mirror box

mirror preview A new box now appears. Down at the bottom you see a slide and box. Here we will adjust our settings. Note at the upper left the little control panel. The two diamonds are for your key frames. The left one is selected, as it shows red. This is our first key frame. Change the mirror size to 2 at the bottom. Next, click the right diamond so it is red. Now we can set the mirror size for the end key frame. We will set this at 6. Make sure the Direction is set at Horizontal. Then we click OK, and GA 5 generates 5 new frames and objects.

We now have a bunch of black space to get rid of and some tidying to do.

First, delete the first frame. Next, select the new first frame (that made sense, right?). Select the visible object in that frame. Now click the magic wand tool magic wand. On your workspace, click in the big black area, making sure you have the attribute panel set at connected pixels only. Now click the Selection Options button and select Make Selection Area Transparent.

screen shot

Click the Selection Options button again and choose select none. Repeat this process for all five frames and objects.

screen shot Once this is done, go to the bottom of your object manager and make the main picture visible. Then click the Synchronize Objects button synch button and make the big picture visible in all frames. Make sure the x and y offset an visibility boxes are checked. The source frame should be 5, with active objects only, and all frames check boxes selected. Click OK and have a look... we're getting close to the end!

Set your frame delay to about 10/100 of a second and have a look on the preview tab of your workspace. Make any adjustments you need.

If you are wanting to use the Ocean Ripple filter, now is the time. Select a "ripple object" on the object manager. Go to the standard toolbar and click Filter, then select Ocean Ripple. A box will pop up.

ocean ripple Set the ripple size and ripple magnitude to 1 or 2, depending on your preference. You can preview it in the box. Click OK when done. You need to repeat this for every object you want to apply the effect to.

If you are using Harry's Filters, refer to the settings given at the top of this page. You would find it on the standard toolbar under Filters, Harry's Filters.

Don't forget to also save as a UGA file in case you want to come back and do more editing.

Finished Animation

Speaking of editing, I did come back and add a little extra to the animation... some fiery breath and text.

dragon breathing fire

We're done the tutorial. I hope you were successful and had fun!

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

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longship bar

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