New Tips and Tricks on Editing Videos on Adobe Photoshop | Softvire (2023)

Yes, Photoshop can edit video. It can also do much more. Such as, applying adjustment layers and filters to video (Even Camera RAW). You can stack layers, including graphics, text, photos and video. It supports animation and motion graphics and even 3D animation. Photoshop is like a mini Premiere Pro and After Effects all in one.

Video editing has been part and parcel of Photoshop since CS3 Extended. If you are running an older version of Photoshop, here is our tutorial on how to cut video using CS5 Extended.
Photoshop CC and CS6 are mostly the same when it comes to video features. Photoshop can read the following major file formats and more:
• .264
• MPEG-4
• MOV (QuickTime)

But before you begin creating or editing your videos in Photoshop, there are a few things you need to know. While there aren’t massive differences between using the tool for photo projects and using it to edit and create videos, there are some nuances to the functionality of each tool.

Like photography, video requires post-processing for best results, and the prospect of buying After Effects, Premiere Pro, and SpeedGrade just to get your toes wet is daunting for many photographers. What you may not know is that you already have a powerful video-editing program in Adobe Photoshop CC, or CS6 Extended. This is an easy way for photographers to play around with film without purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of software and is surprisingly effective.

New Tips and Tricks on Editing Videos on Adobe Photoshop | Softvire (1)

Below, we outlined what you need to know about the five major actions, as well as some notes on the limitations of the tool for video projects.

1. Open

It goes without saying, you should know what outcome you want when starting a project in Photoshop. The same goes for videos. You’ll want to open either a stack of photos for a time lapse or some video clips you want to splice together into a video.

2. Cut

The Timeline panel is what sets video projects apart from others in Photoshop. It works hand-in-hand with the Layers palette, so tools will be applied to both simultaneously. And just like layers, the one on top will be the only one visible.

3. Layer

This is just like every other photo-based project in Photoshop. The usual creative tools should be applied: Filters, Type, Blend Modes, you name it. Just know that it will be applied to the selected timeline as well. Create Groups, Clipping Masks, etc. on both.

4. Save

If you used Smart Layers, expect fairly large .psd files when saving.

5. Render

The final step is most likely going to be creating an .mp4 file. Go to File > Export > Render Video… Now select a preset or customize the settings to fit your needs. Be sure to always keep Color Manage on when in this window. Get some popcorn ready while you wait for your movie to render!

Some Limitations

Creating video in Photoshop is good for time lapse photography when paired with Lightroom or Bridge, but it will do just fine for short movies. Beware of its limitations, which include:
— Slow, especially when working on long movies
— Difficulties when applying audio (.mp3)
— Not great for special effects

Getting Started and Making Edits – Step by Step Guide

New Tips and Tricks on Editing Videos on Adobe Photoshop | Softvire (2)

Open up Photoshop and head to the Window menu. Make sure that the Timeline is selected, which will bring up the video toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, head to Window > Workspace > Motion to bring up the entire suite of video controls.

Now it is time to import the video file. Either drag a supported video into the Photoshop main window or click the filmstrip icon in the timeline and select “Add Media.”

Alternatively, for more precise control over the file when it comes to exporting, go to File > New. Select Film & Video from the drop-down menu and change to the appropriate values. Once the new document has been created, import the video file itself by going to Layer > Video Layers > New Video Layer from File.

The video will now be available for editing in the timeline. Like any traditional video editor, Photoshop lets you scrub through the footage and gives you some basic controls over audio. Note that if you playback the file within the edit window, Photoshop may drop the frame rate to keep displaying the footage in real time.

The next thing you may want to do before launching into the edit is to turn the video layer into a Smart Object. This will allow you to apply filters to the entire video image in one particular layer — even if there are cuts or transitions.

Choose the correct layer name and then select Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.

Once this has been done, any adjustments you make through filters will be reflected in all frames on that particular layer.

Now, you are ready to edit videos!

Editing video using Photoshop uses many of the same principles you may be familiar with when working with still images.

Depending on the camera and lens combination used to shoot your video, you may want to apply a lens-correction filter. Photoshop may be able to automatically detect what camera the video was filmed with. Head to Filter > Lens Correction, and Photoshop should auto detect the camera.

Note that Photoshop may not detect it if the video was created using a smartphone. If this is the case, you can apply corrections to the video image using the Custom tab in the Lens Correction window.
The controls are quite comprehensive, including the ability to add or remove a vignette, make adjustments for chromatic aberrations, or adjust perspective.

Videos can be split by selecting the scissor tool on the Timeline. This will cut the video in two at the position of the playhead. Like any other video editor, in Photoshop you can move clips back and forth to other layers on the Timeline.

Add in any extra audio files using the dedicated Audio Track layer. Click the musical-note icon to import music or other sounds. To make adjustments to the audio recorded with the video file, right-click on the appropriate clip, and then select the musical-note icon to adjust the volume or mute it.

Some basic filters will be accessible via the Adjustments layer palette in the workspace.

Options available include black-and-white, photo filter, curves, exposure, and brightness/contrast adjustments.
Photoshop will include these filters as a separate, nondestructive layer that you can toggle on or off using the regular layers palette.

Scene Transitions

Photoshop has some common transitions built in, such as fades and crossfades. These can be found in the Timeline toolbar, denoted by the split-square transitions icon.

Select a transition from the menu, then drag it on to the appropriate layer on the Timeline. Transitions can be extended or shortened by dragging the duration slider just underneath the video image on the Timeline. Alternatively, right-click on the transition itself to change the duration with more precise control.

To change the speed of a clip, right-click on the appropriate layer. Select “Speed” to increase or decrease playback speed using the slider or a percentage value. To slow down motion, choose a speed such as 50 percent.

Transitions can also be applied to audio. Again, to work with audio recorded with a video, right-click on the appropriate clip, and go to the musical-note icon. Apply fade-in or -out transitions where desired.

Text and objects

Photoshop lets you add text to videos using the same method as still images. First you will want to create a new video group so you can adjust the position of the text and placement over the clip.
Do this by selecting the filmstrip icon in the timeline and selecting “New Video Group.”

Select the text tool from the side toolbar, place the cursor on the image, and start typing. Photoshop places the text on a new layer so you can move it to the desired place in the timeline.
To add a transition to text, simply use the same method outlined above for the video image — just drag the transition over the text layer instead.
Adobe has detailed information on working with more complex motion on its website.


When your masterpiece is ready to go, head to File > Export > Render Video. Make any adjustments to Output File Type, or select one of the many Adobe presets to make a YouTube or Vimeo-ready short film. Make sure that “Adobe Media Encoder” is selected rather than “Photoshop Image Sequence”, or you will end up with a series of still JPEG images rather than a video.

When you are satisfied with the export settings, press Render, and let Photoshop make your movie.

Creating Unique Video Effects

Now that you know about the basics, let’s jump to creating unique effects in your films to make them more appealing when you publish them online.
If you’re familiar with Adobe products, then learning to edit video in Photoshop shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you open PS, you need to switch your layout to “motion,” which you’ll find in the top-right corner of your screen.

Once you’ve made this selection, a timeline should appear; click Create new sequence. We recommend doing most of your basic editing in Premiere — or whichever editing program you use — before dropping your video into Photoshop. This way, you can focus on adding effects rather than worrying about timeline work.

Once you’ve exported your sequence from your NLE of choice, import your video into the Photoshop timeline by clicking Add media next to Layer 1. Delete the default blank layer, and move your clip to the beginning of the sequence. Depending on the length and other specifics of your clip, you can set the two markers at the top as in and out points to focus on a specific section. This is particularly useful if you’re making small adjustments and want to analyze specific frames.

New Tips and Tricks on Editing Videos on Adobe Photoshop | Softvire (3)

As for other ticks, you can try the following effects:

1. Adding Color and Texture

The animation style and the visual effects in movies can leave us in awe and the good news is we can actually do that in Photoshop. To recreate some of the comic book-like effects, you can export each clip into PS and used different brushes to create shading and highlights.

By creating individual layers for each aspect of the image and then setting in and out keyframes, you will be able to track the different layers to the moving image. The result was a short sequence inspired by the film with my own unique twist.

2. Create Interesting Titles or Text Overlays

In Photoshop, the possibilities are endless, whether it’s creating unique shapes or adding textures to text or backgrounds. Using these tools to add your own personal details makes your work unique.

3. Use Animations to Add Emphasis and Interest

In order to make a still photo more visually intriguing, you can add a couple of different designs to emphasize movement and create a more stylized look. First, you can add a geometric outline to the subject that shifts with every frame.

There’s so much that you can actually do with your videos using Photoshop. So the next time you have a film to edit, try our tips above to see how Adobe can transform your videos into pro-grade films.

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