Painting Frames in Video Layers with Photoshop

Photoshop Extended lets you combine two great features for creative options. You can open up a video file and then use your painting tools to edit individual frames or to create an animation. This process is typically called rotoscoping.

1. Open or create a new video file. You can either open an existing video file (File > Open). You can also create a new video layer to isolate your animation (Layer > Video Layers > New Blank Video Layer.

2. Prepare to animate. Animation tasks are easier when you change Photoshop’s layout. In the Application bar, click the Motion workspace button to reconfigure Photoshop.


3. Select a layer and time. You need to choose where to animate. In the Animation or Layers panel, select a video layer. Next, move the current time indicator to the video frame you want to modify. This is where the animation will begin.

4. Start Painting. You can use any of your painting tools to modify the layer. Try using several strokes to create an animated image. You can also use the Clone Stamp, Pattern Stamp, Healing Brush, or Spot Healing Brush to modify individual frames in a video file.


Move Forward. Since your goal is to animate, you’ll need to use more than one frame. You can use the playback controls at the bottom of the frame to advance to the next or previous frame. To make painting easier, click the submenu of the Animation panel (upper right corner of the panel) and choose Enable Onion Skins. This will show you a preview of the previous stroke when painting.


Change your Mind? Any painting you do on a video frame applies non-destructive edits. This means you can discard the altered pixels on a frame at any time. Simply choose Layer > Video Layers > Restore Frame or Restore All Frames command.

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