Quick Introduction to Photoshop for Editing Your Still Images for Your Video

Understanding How Photoshop Operates Gives You Another Tool to Making Great Videos

Photoshop is a static image editor but is also part of the Adobe Creative Suite and as such allows you to have greater control over the still images you use in your videos. Understanding how to use Photoshop will allow you to enhance your video with more effective still images.

This guide is one that I use in my classes to give people a basic understanding of the workflow of Photoshop and prepare them for using the many tools offered to them to edit their still images. While I will mention some tools, I will go into them in depth in later tutorials. Once you have completed this tutorial, you will be able to open an image, manipulate the size with the image tool, fix any errors you have made with the history tool, and be able to export your image (save) in a format you can use in video editing. The key is not to just know the tools, but to locate where they are, how to restore Photoshop if you have moved things around, and how the tools work in connection with each other.

To begin, open Photoshop and look at the standard desktop. This is the default workspace and while it is slightly cluttered, it does provide a base to come back with all the relevant tools when you are working. Image 001 shows all the palettes that are open in the default layout. On the left is the TOOLS PALETTE, where you will access the selection tool, the marquee tool, the shapes tool and others. On the lower right is the LAYER PALETTE where you will be able to access the individual layers of your image. In the middle right is the HISTORY PALETTE, which allows you to “fix” any problem you may have caused while you were editing. Finally, the NAVIGATOR PALETTE is on the top left, this allows you both to determine image size dimensions, move around your image, and zoom in on your image all in one go.

Once you have opened your image, you can click on IMAGE and then IMAGE size from the top menu bar (see Image 002). This allows you to view the current image size and manipulate it using the image information window (see image 003). You should note that your rulers should be in pixels, if they aren’t, use the drop down menu to change from percent to pixels. Once you have changed the width, the height will adjust automatically. For video work, images should be 720 pixels wide and 576 pixels high. You can either use the selection marquee to crop your image to these dimensions, or simply adjust them in the image size window.

Once you have edited your image as desired, click on FILE and then SAVE AS… from the top menu and you will get the “SAVE AS..” selection menu. Left click on the drop down menu for type and then choose JPEG (see image 004) to select jpg image. Then name your image in the file name box above the file type box. You may also use the drop-down menu at the top to change the location of where you are saving the image.

Now your image is edited and ready to be put (imported) into your video. The nice thing about using Photoshop and Adobe Premiere together is that once you have imported your image into your video if you go back into Photoshop and edit it again, the changes will be seen in Premiere without you having to reimport the image.