How to Edit Video in Photoshop - Become a Pro Editor in Minutes

With Photoshop CS6  you can not only edit your video but add professional special effects and titles as well.  Though nobody is going to be jumping ship from Final Cut Pro 7, Premiere or Avid to edit their feature on Photoshop's newly enhanced video engine here are a few reasons why you might want to give it try.  To edit video all you have to do is open the motion layout under windows/workspace/motion.

Creating video timeline

You then click the plus sign to the right of the timeline or simply drag the video into the window.   Either way the video now becomes a layer just as in a regular Photoshop document.  You can also view or add multiple clips in Mini Bridge which you can dock it to your timeline and navigate to your videos, stills or image sequences.

Adding videos from the timeline

Mini Bridge in video timeline


Photoshop will not only take in virtually any format from any camera but it will also set your video image size automatically just as if you opened a picture in Photoshop.  In fact you can combine a number of different video formats on the same timeline unlike some more advanced editing systems.  Once the video is in your timeline you just scroll to the spot you want to cut and hit the scissors tool;  it will cut the clip at that point. You can refine your edit by grabbing the beginning or ending of either piece you cut from your clip.  As you do you will see a small window popping-up showing the frame you are on.

Cutting and shortening videos

You can create a number of effects to blend one layer into another including layer blending and masking.  Here I created a mask around the planets layer that I animate as the video progresses, revealing fully the planets to the right.  

Combined video layers with mask

 You can even add a frame around your video as you would a picture which I animated at the very end.

You can make professional text effects that can stand up to any program effects artists use in Photoshop by animating text styles. In this video I clipped a "Garden" text layer to a water video; animating the layer styles and the position of the text.  To duplicate this effect, first create the text using any layer styles you wish i.e., bevel, outer glow, stroke.  Then clip the text to a water video layer in the layers panel by holding down option key and clicking on border between two layers.  When you see the arrow pointing down on the video layer you know the clipping mask has been created.  A clipping mask is a  handy technique to restrict the effect of an adjustment layer like levels, hue and saturation to a particular layer rather than the entire document.  You can also have one layer clipped inside another layer as we have done here.

Water layer clipped to text layer


Animate both layers in Photoshop CS6 by key-framing styles and position options.  

To create an extra level of control over the look of your video you can convert your video layer into a smart object by clicking the down arrow in the upper right corner of the layers panel.

Converting video layer to smart object in the layers panel

Then when you apply a filter such as a Gaussian blur you can use the mask to restrict  or customize the areas to which the blur applies.  Just as in a layer mask you can even use a gradient to have the blur appear gradually from edge to center.

Gaussian blur as smart filter with modified filter mask

Photoshop has long been the best program to clean up the color of your images, now you can do it with your video too!  Using adjustment layers like levels you can make a dull video sparkle. I used levels, curves and a warming filter to brighten up a cloudy day for the construction workers in this video. You can also animate these adjustments. The first two seconds start with no adjustments. Then at 3 seconds I add a levels layer- 5 seconds curves and then at 7 seconds I add a photo filter (warming).  At 12 seconds opacity of all adjustment layers (levels, curves and photo filter) is reduced to zero and the video looks washed out again.



Whether you simply cut and title your video or you make your first trailer, Photoshop CS6 can make any short video sparkle.




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