Video Editing – Use Photoshop in 6 easy steps

Video Editing gains significant popularity as everyone can take video with the smartphone and then share the video content with friends or social media.

Of course, we want to cut unnecessary parts of the video or improve the color or contrast. What if we would like to apply all Photoshop adjustments layers we use to use in our photo editing process? Well, it is possible and very easy.

Let’s go through six easy steps and make video editing in Photoshop.

  1. Create a new Photoshop file for video editing
  2. Import videos or media you want to edit
  3. Arrange and cut your videos
  4. Apply adjustments
  5. Create Key Frames
  6. Render and Save the final video editing


1. Create a new Photoshop file for video editing

As a very first step, open Photoshop and create a new document. Let’s go to the Film & Video tab in the New Documents dialog window. We will create a standard HDTV 1080p video file with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution at 72ppi. Click on the Create button, and Photoshop will make the new file.

Create file for video editing

The next step is to go to Window and select the Timeline Option to display the timeline to arrange and edit our media.

2. Import videos or media you want to edit

Now we have everything prepared for the video editing. Let’s import some media. You can import the video files as well as the still images. As you will import your files, Photoshop will add them sequentially one after another and create a video group in the Layer panel.

So click on the little down arrow next to the Layer film icon at the bottom in the Timeline area. A dialog box will appear so select the Add Media option.

Timeline - video editing

Then a dialog box appears where you choose the video or photo file on your hard disk. Then click Open, and the file will be imported and placed into the timeline. Repeat the process of selecting and importing your media for further video editing.

As you add new media to your timeline, notice there are also appearing new Layers. All layers are organized down-top. In other words, the first video sequence you added corresponds with the most bottom layer.

And all layers are arranged in Video Group. As I already mentioned, you can also add a still image into the timeline and combine it with videos. You can even change the duration time the still photo will be displayed.

3. Arrange and cut your videos

You have two options for arranging the videos or images within your timeline. First is to click on any video sequence in the Timeline and drag it to the new position – before or after any other video sequence or image. The second option is to change the layer’s order because video sequences and the layers are connected automatically.

Select the video sequence and find any point to cut and move the play head to this position. Then click on a small scissor icon, and the video sequence will be split at that point. Use the zoom tool on the bottom of the timeline to zoom in or out if needed.

Then find another point you want to cut and repeat the process. Now you can select the new subsequence and press Delete to delete it. The following sequence will be automatically moved just behind the last one without creating any gap.

You can easily trim any video sequence in the timeline. Move the mouse cursor over any beginning or end of the sequence and notice a double arrow trimming tool will appear. Then click and drag, and you will trim the video from the beginning, or the end. All sequences before or after your edit will be adjusted automatically.

4. Apply adjustments

Now comes the most powerful feature when you make the video editing in Photoshop. You can create and apply the Adjustment layers as you were editing a standard photograph. Just click on any video sequence or any layer.

Then click on click on the Create Adjustment Layer icon and select, for example, Curves Adjustment Layer. Notice a new Curves Adjustment Layer was created, and it is automatically clipped to the layer or video sequence we selected before. 

Now you can edit the properties of the Curves Adjustment Layer. Create S-Curve to increase the contrast or brighten shadows or decrease the highlights – as you would edit a standard picture.

In my particular case, I will add two more Adjustment Layers. Vibrance and Hue / Saturation as I want to increase the vibrance and selectively increase a specific color tone on the video.

You can also create global Adjustment Layers that will affect the whole video. Here is important to create the Adjustment Layer above the main Video Group.

5. Create Key Frames

Let’s create a special effect that goes smoothly from a solid color to the video sequence. This could be used as a starting part of the final video with some titles or text.

Create a new Color Fill Adjustment Layer and make sure you placed it on the top of the layer stack – just click it and drag to the new Video Group above the main one in the Timeline.

Keyframes - video editing

Then click on the little arrow next to Video Group 2 on the Timeline. Details will roll-out below with more parameters: Position, Opacity, Style, Layer Mask Position, and Layer Mask Enable.

Then click to a StopWatch icon next to the Opacity and notice a new Keyframe is created right on the play head line’s position. Then move the paly head further on the timeline somewhere before the end of the solid color frame duration and click on the StopWatch again.

This will create another Keyframe. Now check on the Layer panel and go to current layer Opacity settings. Decrease the Opacity to zero.

When I play the video from the beginning, I can see it starts with a green screen because I’ve created a green Color Fill adjustment layer.

Then on the first Keyframe, it starts to transition smoothly, and the opacity of the green layer begins to decrease. On the second Keyframe, I can see the video fully because the Green color sequence/layer’s opacity is now zero.

6. Render and Save the final video editing

When you finished all editing and adjustments, you can export the final video for the required usage. So go to the File->Export->Render Video.

Set the name and the location of your final video file. Now let’s set the format to H.264, which is the most used video format. The rest of the setting, I will leave as the default setting.

When you finished the output setting, click the Render Button. Photoshop now starts the rendering and saving process. This could take quite a long time, depending on the performance of your PC or Mac.


As you can see, you can also use Photoshop itself for video editing. as we have shown, we can use the features and functions of Photoshop, which we use when editing photos and for video Editing. The main benefits are the use of Adjustment Layers and simplicity when working with Timeline.

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