Create animated stickers in Telegram

Create animated stickers in Telegram

Step 1: Preparation

Animated stickers use their own image format, known as TGS, which at the time of writing can only be handled by Adobe desktop applications, specifically After Effects and Illustrator, so you will have to download and install them.

For the former, we will need a special plug-in, as well as a means to install it.

    1. The required plugin for After Effects is called Bodymovin-TG and can be obtained from the developer's official GitHub repository at the link above.
    2. Once the page is loaded, look for the block with the latest version of the plugin (usually the first one in the list), and then look for the link with the name bodymovin-tg.zxp and click on it.Save the downloaded file to any convenient place.
    3. Now we have to install the plugin installation tool for After Effects. It's called ZXPInstaller, the official resource can be found at the link below. To download the required version, use the button "Download for Windows"..Go to the official website of ZXPInstallerAs with the plugin itself, save the installer on your computer.

    1. Now activate the installer: open the folder where you have saved it and run the executable. The installation is done without user intervention. If you notice any errors during the process, the reason is probably an incorrect installation of Adobe After Effects, as the plugin manager checks for their presence on your system.
    2. After installing the companion tool, drag and drop the bodymovin-tg.zxp file into its main window. Wait for the operation to complete, and after notification from the utility, restart After Effects if it is currently open.

In this way, the preparation phase is concluded and you can go directly to the creation of the stickers.

Step 2: Create Stickers

Vector graphics are almost a prerequisite for TGS animation, so we need Adobe Illustrator.

    1. If you have enough artistic skills, you can draw the necessary images from scratch, fortunately Adobe Illustrator is quite beginner-friendly. Read more: Learn to draw in Adobe Illustrator
    2. We will use a simpler solution: a function called "tracing", which is designed to translate a raster image into a vector image. The first thing to do is prepare the sources for future adhesives and store them in a suitable folder. Then open Illustrator and select "Opened"..Through an interface "Explorer" navigate to the destination directory and start importing the image.
    3. Once the object is loaded into the application, select it with a single click of the left mouse button in the work area and locate the block in the right toolbar Block «Quick Actions»where is pressed "Image trail.".From the menu, select «High precision photo».
    4. Depending on the complexity of the font used, the tracking process can take up to a minute. When you're done, from the quick actions menu, select "Disassemble"..A list of objects recognized by the software appears on the image. Then use the button "Ungroup.".The transformation of the future sticker is ready. If you notice distortions in objects, or more distortions than necessary, use Illustrator's tools to resolve these issues. For example, you can merge contours using the corresponding panel on the right.

      Important! The technical requirement for animated stickers is not to exceed 64 kilobytes, so be sure to remove unnecessary objects or merge them.

    5. Once the image is ready, save it with "File". - "Save as".Select the folder you want to put the project in and make sure the format is set to "Adobe Illustrator (* .AI)", and then press "Save"..Next, the save configuration options will start. Here you need to make sure that the option The option «Create file compatible with PDF» is activated, and then press "OKAY"..

This completes the preparation of the individual sticker. If you are making a set, you will have to repeat the steps at this point for each of the sources.

Step 3: Animate the sticker

Now comes the crucial part: turn the sticker into an animated sticker.

    1. Launch Adobe After Effects and from its main menu, select "Composition". - «New composition».Configure the settings for the future animation as follows:
      • "Width". и "Altitude". - 512 by 512 pixels;
      • "Frame rate". - 30 or 60, the latter being preferable;
      • "Duration". - 3 seconds;
      • "Background color". - preferably white.

      The rest of the parameters can be left as default. Check that everything is correct and press "OKAY"..

      Important! The frame rate of all stickers must be the same - you can't put 30 and 60 fps animations in the same game!

    2. Next, drag and drop the vector image you created in the previous step into the workspace (marked on the screenshot).Import Options – "Composition"., "Selection of layers", "Document size"..

    1. After import, make sure the image occupies the entire workspace and right-click on it (PCM) and select the items "Create". - "Create shapes from a vector layer".
    2. A new layer will appear in the source panel with the name "Curves * file name *". The lower layer, from which the previous layer was created, can be deleted: select it with a single left mouse click (LMC) and press on the keyboard Fwd.
    3. Actual animation in Adobe After Effects deserves its own article, so here we will limit ourselves to a basic example in the form of image movement across the canvas. Click the arrow next to the curves layer and click the menu that appears. "Convert"..Also open this menu and check the option "Position"., thus fixing the first frame of the future animation.
    4. Now go to the timeline - it's the right side of the lower workspace. The blue arrow on it is the current location. Hover over, press and hold LCD KEY and drag the arrow slightly to the right.
    5. Now you have to set the anchor points for the future animation: go to the composition area (where the image is), hover over the image, hold down LCD KEY and drag it in the desired direction – this will be the start position of the animation. Then move to the right on the timeline to create the next anchor point and drag the image again.
    6. Repeat steps 6-7 to create at least eight points – this is the lower acceptable limit for eye-pleasing animation. To check the result, use the menu section on the right "Preview".: Expand and press the button to start playback.
    7. Once you have a suitable result, you will have to export it in the desired format: open "Window".where to select "Extensions". - «Bodymovin for Telegram Stickers».A separate export control panel will open. First of all, select the song you have created (check the box on the left of the corresponding line) and then click on the three dots. "The conductor of the orchestra" select the folder where you want to save the final sticker. Then click "Render".

      If you have done everything correctly and the 64KB limit has not been exceeded, the rendering will finish successfully and the program will notify you. To continue, press "Done" and close the plugin window.

      A file with a TGS extension should appear in the previously selected folder.

If you want to create more stickers, just repeat the steps above.

Step 4: Import stickers to Telegram

There is a separate bot to create your own set of stickers in Telegram - @Stickerswhich allows adding animations as well.

Read also: How to add your own stickers to Telegram

  1. The most comfortable thing is to download the stickers from the desktop client, which is what we are going to use. Launch the app, search for the bot name you want, and select the result marked in the following screenshot.
  2. Run the command /beginning to start working with the bot.
  3. A list of available commands and variations will appear, click / newanimated.
  4. Enter the name of the future set (both Russian and English letters can be used, but the latter is preferable).
  5. Now you can add the first sticker to the created pack by simply dragging the file from the folder to the dialog with the bot. A preview window will appear – check how the animation behaves, and then press "Send"..
  6. Next, open the smileys panel and select the one that should respond to the added sticker. Check if it fits you and click "Send"..
  7. The bot will ask you to add more stickers - the procedure is identical to that described in the previous step. When the set is ready, click the link "/to post".Next, you specify the pac to add the sticker to. You can also specify an icon (the main image of the pack), the procedure is similar to adding a sticker. If not required, skip this step by entering /suppress.
  8. The last step is to create a link to be able to share the stickerpack with other users. It must be entered only in English letters.
  9. Done - the bot will notify you that the set has been published and is available to all users who want it.

Publishing is the easiest step in creating animated stickers, as almost all the necessary procedures are done automatically.

We are glad that we have been able to help you with your problem.

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