I'm working with animation timeline in Photoshop CS6. I would like to have a small circle layer expand / increase in size, but on the Layer-Timeline panel, these are the only options available:

  • Position
  • Opacity
  • Style
  • Vector Mask Position
  • Vector Mask Enable

How can I make a layer increase in size during my animation?

4 Answers 4


Starting from version CS6 you can animate the size of layers in photoshop. Just convert the layer to smart object, and position property will change to transform.

  • Smart objects have extreme performance reductions. In my case it's from 2 seconds up to 2 minutes. Just 3 layers now in a smart object.
    – John
    Oct 31, 2017 at 2:40

I don't think this is possible with the Timeline panel in Photoshop. I think the closest you can get is to use the Keyframe animation panel instead and manually scale the object in a duplicate layer(s).

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You may also want to look into using After Effects. After Effects will allow you to import your Photoshop layers into the composition. Then you can scale your object to your heart's content.

After Effects Quick Steps

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  • 1
    I've looked into this myself. Unfortunately you cant keyframe size in Photoshop. I ended up using After Effects. It's far superior to PS when it comes to animation. (Though PS still has its place) Dec 19, 2013 at 16:59

If anyone (like me) comes searching for answers here, let me tell you that there's another, way better solution to the problem! I don't know though if it's available to PS versions under CS6.

Go to Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object

This will replace the "position" line with the "transform" option. Now you can not only move your object, but also make it grow or shrink

PS: If you want to work more professionally, check out the After Effects demo, if it fits you style. This program will probably improve your performance.


In versions before CS6, instead of doing a timeline/keyframe animation to animate transformations (the 'transform' option does not appear for smart objects), you can use an option called 'Tweening' to more quickly create layered/frame animations.

You do not convert the layers to smart objects, and you have to have one layer for every frame of animation. The more 'smooth' your animation is the more tedious it is to animate (have to turn layers on and off for each frame to simulate objects moving and changing).

At the bottom of the animation timeline, when you are in the layered/frame mode there will be a button that looks like a series of circles, which is the 'tween animation' button.

First -Select the first frame and choose a 'delay time' - this will determine how smooth each frame of the animation will be between layers.

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Next, you add how many frames you want between each layer (I've already done this here, so there are lots of 0.1 second frames of the same layer which slowly become the next layer).

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Choose parameters for how the 'tweening' should work (e.g will it affect all layers, or just the ones you have selected). Once you click OK all of the extra frames will be added between each layer.

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