I've applied the 'Oil Paint' Smart Filter to a layer in Photoshop CS6. I'd like to animate the filter's 'Angular Direction' from 0 to 360 degrees but I the keyframes in the "Style" lane of the Timeline don't seem to work for this.

Is there a quick way to achieve this effect? I have limited knowledge of scripting / batch actions in Photoshop, would that be a route worth investigating to achieve this effect?

  • 1
    I have faced this problem and the only solution I came to was duplicating the smart object for every keyframe, then changing the filter on each. It was a bit of work but it also has the benefit that the content of the smart object can be exchanged. Ergo, the file is very reusable.
    – KMSTR
    Jul 23, 2013 at 10:02

2 Answers 2


I suggest you do this in After Effects instead.

Photoshop may have animated features to make GIFs but it is not an animation program. Adobe's After Effects is what you want to use and you'll find that ANY effect you are trying to animate in Photoshop will not only take less of your time but will look, um... infinitely better in the end. Good luck.

  • Could you maybe explain how to do this in After Effects? It might be not as straighforward for a new AE user. Mar 2, 2014 at 7:38
  • Bart - I really can't as I'm basically telling you to use a new program but... if you open After Effects and see that essentially you have photoshop layers WITH a timeline... it's not that bad of a transition.
    – Brock Vond
    Mar 2, 2014 at 18:01
  • So you want to have the FILL of an object fill up like water? or you just want to animate the gradient FILL of an object... that's how i understand your dilemma and both of those are easy to do in After Effects... you'd want to search for a Tutorial about animating fill and stroke... you'll probably see one for TEXT but will apply to a shape as well just the same.
    – Brock Vond
    Mar 2, 2014 at 18:06
  • Also you could do a Google Search for the TYPE of animation you are trying to do in PS and just look for the tutorial in AE. You're bound to see someone doing what you wish to do... I just can't walk you through it cause I don't know exactly what you're trying to do but... AE's learning curve is shockingly low if you've used any other Adobe product mostly. Good luck! is there a StackOF for AE?
    – Brock Vond
    Mar 2, 2014 at 18:07
  • It's not for myself (I'm not the OP), I just pointed it out such that future users who find this question don't just get redirected to AE, but directly have a place to start. video.stackexchange.com is an SE site for video related question (that includes AE). Mar 2, 2014 at 18:15

If you're planning on using the animation solely on the web, it might be better to go with a format that's more web-friendly than video, such as Javascript or CSS animations, or animated svg. Upside is that these are usually lighter in weight, and thus faster to load, downside is that these can't always achieve the 'coolness' of video effects.

1. javascript

A first option for Javascript animations is coding it yourself using pure javascript, jQuery or an animation framework like GSAP. This gives you most control and flexibility, but you'll need to get your hands dirty.

A second option for Javascript animations is Edge Animate, an Adobe tool specifically made for animations on the web. Quite easy to use, no need to know a lot of code, and a lot of great tutorials available on the web. Downside is that EA produces a lot of files, which can make it hard to integrate into a website if you don't know any code.

2. css

CSS animations require you to know a bit of code, but are powerful, and easy once you get the hang of it. Upside: no need to use excessive javascript, which will keep your website payload down. Downside: not as powerful and flexible as javascript animations.

3. animated svg

SVG is a vector graphics format, so best suited for vectorial images (since you're using PS, I'm assuming that might be a problem). The upside of using an animated svg is that you can save it all to one file and just put it in your HTML like any other image. Downside: IE isn't playing along nicely.

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