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Using Photoshop for Video Processing

Did you know that the latest version of Photoshop allows you to edit full motion video? Here is a quick video tutorial on how to add a video filter to a video clip using Photoshop.

You can also follow these steps with the supplied screenshots:

The newest versions of Photoshop now support image editing on video files.  The only catch is you must have the extended version meaning Photoshop CS3 Extended, or CS4 Extended.  All of the creative suite bundles ship with the extended version.  Photoshop is a must have application for any video editor. Don't get me wrong, you'll still need your favorite non linear editing system such as Final Cut Pro or Avid to the majority of your video editing.


You can use Photoshop's extensive array of tools to perform color correction, and rotoscoping.  You can also use Photoshop's filter gallery to apply filters directly to a video file. It's easy to get carried away with Photoshop's ability to edit video files when you have the ability to create additional video layers, keyframe your effects, etc.,  That being said, you are probably better off doing most things directly within your favorite video editing software.   

I've found Photoshop incredibly useful when I need to process a video clip with one of Photoshop's built in filters.  You can easily create painted effects by using Photoshop's filter gallery. 


Processing video files with Photoshop is now incredibly easy.  In the past, it was quite tedious if you wanted to apply a filter to a video clip with Photoshop.  It involved a complex process of creating a droplet would run would a script to process an image sequence.  Now, it couldn't be any easier.  There is basically only one important step so you don't have to process each frame independently.

Here are the basic steps for applying a filter to a video file in Photoshop.

Step 1:  Open a video file just like you would open any other image format.

Step 2:  Navigate to the Window menu, and choose Animation.  This will reveal the animation window that looks like a timeline that you would normally see in Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer.


You can drag through the movie (frame-by-frame) by dragging the playhead indicator at the top of the window. 


You'll notice that things don't necessarily play in real-time.  If you press the spacebar or the play button, you can wait for Photoshop to preview the file to RAM.  Then you'll be able to see the movie in real-time directly within Photoshop.

Step 3: Convert the layer for Smart Filters.  This will allow you to apply a single filter to all the frames.  Doing this will limit some of the things you can do on the Smart layer, but you can always re-open the smart layer as a frame animation to make changes on invididual frames.


Step: 4:  Navigate to the Filter Gallery menu. 


Within the filter gallery menu, you can add filters and adjust the parameters for each of them.  You can also apply multiple filters to the same smart layer.


Step 5:  Navigate to the File / Export / Render Video menu. You'll need to wait for Photoshop to render the frames to create the movie file.




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Moving From Tab to Tab in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

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