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How to Create Unique Effects by Editing Your Videos in Photoshop

Yes, you can edit video in Photoshop, but should you? Here are a few tricks you can pull off to quickly and easily add a little life to your projects.

Why would anyone want to do edit video in Photoshop when there are non-linear editing programs designed specifically for the task? Until a couple of months ago, I didn’t even know it was possible. However, editing video in Photoshop can be a creative way to add visual effects to your projects that your viewers have never seen.

In this article, we’ll break down how to edit video in Photoshop, and then we’ll dive into some techniques you can use for your own special effects.


Getting Started

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.

How to Create Unique Effects by Editing Your Videos in Photoshop — Getting Started

 

Once you’ve made this selection, a timeline should appear; click Create new sequence. I recommend doing most of your basic editing in Premiere f— 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.

How to Create Unique Effects by Editing Your Videos in Photoshop — Add Media

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.

For example, if you’re editing a photo, I recommend creating a new layer if you want to manipulate certain shapes or aspects of your image without changing the whole thing.


What You Can Do in Photoshop

1. Add Color and Texture

A couple of months ago, I saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The animation style and the visual effects left me so inspired that I decided to try to make my own 30-second homage to the film. To recreate some of the comic book-like effects, I exported 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, I was 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. (I made a full video about this process if you want to check it out.)

2. Create Interesting Titles or Text Overlays

How to Create Unique Effects by Editing Your Videos in Photoshop — Titles and 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

How to Create Unique Effects by Editing Your Videos in Photoshop — Animations

These images show two consecutive frames of a woman walking across the shot holding a baby. In order to make this more visually intriguing, I added a couple of different designs to emphasize her movement and create a more stylized look. First, I added a geometric outline to the woman that shifts with every frame. The three dots remain fixed in place and disappear as the subject overlaps with them. Inspired by a more illustrative, animated style, the half-moon shapes emphasize the subject’s movement and her swinging bag, creating more visual movement.


Cover image via Sony Pictures.

Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check these out.

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