How to Speed Up & Slow Down a Single Video Clip in Adobe Photoshop


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Have you ever seen a video that played in fast-motion? Or one that played at regular normal speed and sped up for parts of it? I've watched videos that included this type of effect a number of times and I always wondered how the editor did what they did. It's one of the coolest things going. Like, if something is happening in the video that's important, it plays at regular speed, but then if something is happening that's not nearly as important, it plays through in fast-motion. I love that type of thing.

I've done some poking around recently and I discovered how video editors pull this little stunt off. I have to tell you that it's super simple. You're going to be surprised at how easy it is.

I've gone ahead and opened up three different video clips inside of Adobe Photoshop. I could have run this same exact experiment with only one clip that I cut into multiple parts, but I decided to go with three. Anyway, the three clips are set up as individual layers, meaning, they aren't in a group. Again, they could be in a group - it really doesn't matter. This is just how I set things up. Take a look at the clips in the Timeline panel.


Now, if I pressed the Play button, I would watch as these clips ran through as normal speed. But watch this. If I click on the small arrow button at the end of, say, the second clip, I can adjust how fast only that one plays. Not all three - just that one clip.


In the above screenshot, I set the playback speed to 400%. That's going to make things whizz by. The only problem is, quickening the pace of things made the clip much shorter. Look at this.


So in order to make things play correctly again, I'll have to click and drag these blue bars so they're in proper sequence.


And now I'd have the effect I'm after.

Okay, here's a question for you. How can I make parts of only one video clip play faster or slow while the rest of the clip stays at normal speed? Well, that's easy enough to figure out. Here's a screenshot of just one clip.


Do you see the small scissor icon that sits to the left of the playhead? If I move the playhead to the area I'd like to video to change speed and then click on the small scissor icon, I'll effectively split the clip. It'll become two separate movie clips. Take a look.


Now, if I click the small arrow button at the end of one of these clips again, I'll be able to make just that one portion of the video play either faster or slower. It's that simple.

How's that? Easy enough, right? If you have any questions about this technique or process, please ask me down below. Thanks!