Photoshop Elements 3 Tutorial
You can easily create an animated .gif in Elements and make it as plain or fancy as you want. The more complex and animated you make your animated .gifs will of course add bytes to the finished graphic. Keep it simple to keep the finished file size down.
First, open Elements 3 and draw a simple shape. This one is on a 100 x 50 pixel stage and is an arrow chosen from the Custom Shape Tool.
Duplicate the layer and simplify both layers by right clicking on each one in the layers palette and selecting 'Simplify Layer. Select the top layer in the layers palette and using the magic wand tool, click on the arrow. This will put 'marching ants' around it to tell you that it is the current selection.
Next, change the foreground color to a lighter shade and using the paint bucket tool, flood fill the arrow with the lighter color.
Elements will animate as many visible layers as you create if you save it as an animated .gif. Turn off visibility of layers that you don't want to be included in the animation before saving.
Select 'File | Save for Web' to bring up the Save for Web properties box. Select GIF as the format and make sure the 'animate' box is checked under the 'transparency' box. You can set the graphic to loop and change the timing of the frame delay. The default is 0.2. You can also toggle frame by frame or preview your animated .gif in your browser.
At the bottom of the properties box you can select which browser to preview the animation in. Click on the drop down to select or add your browser if it is not on the default list.
When you preview the graphic in your browser before you save it, you can see how it will look on the web and the properties are also listed of the graphic, including the byte size. Elements also gives you the code for cutting and pasting the graphic in HTML. Just copy all the code between the 'Image Ready Slices' comments to add your new animated .gif to your page.