Screensavers are more than just colorful images to have on your computer screen. They also serve the very practical purpose of protecting your computer screen from burn-in. This damage is caused when a screen is left with exactly the same image for too long. The result is an after-image burned into the screen that can be seen even on other documents or pages. While you can download screensavers, it's more fun to make your own in Photoshop.
Storyboard out on paper what you want your screensaver to look like. It could be made up of abstract shapes, or you might choose to use photos to create a screensaver. An important point is that the shapes or images need to move across the screen so that during the animation (screensavers are short animations) every pixel on the screen changes color at least once. Load any images or photos you want to use onto your computer.
Open Photoshop. Select “File” and click “New.” In the dialog that pops up set the pixel width and height to the same size as your screen settings. These can be found by right-clicking on your desktop, selecting “Properties” and clicking on the settings. Click “OK.” Now open the images you want to use in your animated screensaver and use the “Copy” and “Paste” function under “Edit” to transfer the images to the screensaver document. Referencing your storyboard, move each item just off screen.
Creating the animation
Select “Window” in the menu and click “Animation.” A timeline will appear at the bottom. Select the single frame and click on the “Duplicate Frame” icon. Select the second frame and use the “Move” tool to place the items where you want them based on the end of the storyboard. Now click on the “Tweening” icon. In the dialogue enter 28 to create a total of 30 frames. Select “File” and click “Save for Web or Devices.” In the dialog choose “GIF” and click "Save." You now have an animated GIF you can use as a screensaver.
- Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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