For a serious interface project, I needed to create a nice Please Wait animation. Here is the result - I think it turned out quite nice. Below you'll find that it is very easy to do.
Start with new document, let's backgound color be white. Important - document should be square (not required but will help us later).
Select Shape tool (U) to draw a little circle on top of document. You can of course use any other color from blue.
We want to have many circles within one shape layer. First we need to duplicate this circle. To do so, drag it down holding ALT key.
Nice! We have a shape layer containing two identical circles. Now we need to align them relative to each other and to document. First, select both circles using shape selector tool (A). You will notice that buttons on top toolbar are enabled. Click the Align Horizontal Centers button. Next, select Layer 1 (white background), link it with shape layer (notice the chain link icon next to shap layer), then select Move tool (V) and again, click Align Horizontal Centers button. The result - our shapes are perfectly aligned!
We need 12 circles, but we only have 2 now. Duplicating shapes is super easy - select them (dont forget about shape selector tool, A key), copy (Ctrl-C), Paste (Ctrl-V) and rotate (Ctrl-T). After you hit Ctrl-T, you will get some input fields on top toolbar. Find Angle field, and enter 30.
Now we need to make this shape fade". For this
It will be gradient layer with the following settings: - white - to - transparent - style: angle - angle: 75 (well, 77, nevermind :-)
OK we are done with the graphics, but how do we make it rotate? Very easy - instead of rotating entire graphics, we will only rotate the gradient. Now we need to create another document, where each layer will represent one animation frame. After document is created (make sure dimensions are the same), return to original document. select all (Ctrl-A), copy merged selection to clipboard (Ctrl-Shift-C), switch to new document, paste (Ctrl-V), then return to original document again. Then, select gradient layer, rasterize it (layer menu -> rasterize), and rotate entire layer 30 degrees. Then, well, repeat 12 times :-) Result - a new document with 12 layers where each layer is the frame of our future animation.
You can save original document and close it. Then, jump to ImageReady (Ctrl-Shift-M) and hide all layers except layer 1. This will be our first frame. In the screenshot, frame delay is set to 0.2 sec, however, i found it too long and changed it to 0.1 sec later.
Create new frame, then make next layer (layer 2) visible. Then, uh, repeat 12 times :-)
That's all. Now you can preview the result (Ctrl-Alt-P) and save it (Ctrl-Alt-Shift-S). I hope these little tips were useful to you.