When it comes to exporting and rendering video clips, there are some pretty cool options to be aware of. It’s not as simple as just hitting “save” and moving on with things. Adobe Photoshop offers an entire dialog box that’s filled with suggestions and possible settings that have the capability of making your life a lot easier when working with video. The way things are today is a huge step forward when compared to what was offered just a few years ago.
In today’s post, I’m going to walk through the process of exporting a demo video clip in Adobe Photoshop. During the process, I’ll do my best to explain what some of the more important areas can do. I’ll also point out some of the features that Photoshop offers that will let you work like a pro. Want to export just one section of your entire video for testing? Not a problem. It’s really all very doable.
I’ve already gone ahead and launched the video into Photoshop, but haven’t done anything past that. Today’s video is of a car racing down a dirt road. Here’s a still shot from the clip.
I’m going to pretend that I’ve done tons of work to this video and that I’m ready to save it out. That will be my starting point.
Rendering the Video
Since I’m all done editing, I’ll go ahead an begin the process of rendering the video. All this means is that Photoshop is going to take what’s been edited and combine the parts to make a whole file. If it needs compressing, Photoshop will do that too. In general, when you render a video, it takes a few seconds, so if you’re following along and get to that point, please be patient and don’t click around.
There are multiple methods for accessing the Render Video dialog box. In this section, I’ll show you three of them.
The very first method and probably the most popular is to head up to the File > Export > Render Video menu item and click. Since this access point stems from the File menu, many folks can find it easily.
The next method is even easier, but many people aren’t aware of its existence. If you head over to the right side of the Timeline panel and click the small menu icon, you’ll see an option to render from there.
And finally, the most simple method for accessing the Render Video dialog box. If you head down to the bottom of the Timeline panel, near the controls, you’ll see a small arrow. Click the arrow and you’ll go straight to the dialog. Once you use this method, I can guarantee you’ll never use the two previous ones. This one is so damn straightforward.
The Render Video Dialog Box
In this section, I’ll go through the different sections contained inside the Render Video dialog box. There are four sections in total, but I’m only going to talk about three of them. The fourth has to do with 3D video and that’s a whole other post.
I’ll start off with the Location section, which is contained inside the very top area.
Inside this section are a few options. If you look through them, you’ll see they’re easily understood and are quite intuitive.
First, I’ll need to name the saved file, so in the top Name field, I can type in whatever it is I’d like the final name to be. In this case, I’ll just leave it with whatever the clip was originally named, which is a number.
Next, I’ll need to save the file to a location. To do this, I’ll click the Select Folder button to browse my computer or external drive for a location to save the file to. If I find a location and would like Photoshop to create a new directory within the chosen directory to place the file in, I’ll check the Create New Subfolder box and type in whatever I want the name of the subfolder to be. See? I told you this one was easy.
I’ve named the next section Output Type because it doesn’t have a name. Right now, the lead options are Adobe Media Encoder and Photoshop Image Sequence. Since Photoshop Image Sequence will save the entire video as JPEG images as opposed to a functioning video, I’ll leave this option out of this post. Perhaps I’ll return to it another time.
As far as the Adobe Media Encoder option, there are lots of things to choose from. For Format, I’ll leave the default, which is H.264. The reason I’ll leave this is because it’s a very common format for video files. It compressed well and offers extremely high quality. Next, I’ll also leave the Preset drop-down set to High Quality, because that’s what I generally save my files as. I will, however, show you a screenshot of the options in the drop-down so you can see what’s available. If you’re using your video to upload to Youtube or Vimeo or a specific device, you would certainly want to take advantage of one of these other options. They’ll give your output a much more customized feel.
The next field is called Size, because it will dictate what the physical size of your video will be when played back. If you leave the default set to Document Size like I did, the output video dimensions will match the pixel dimensions you set when you created the editable file. Photoshop does offer alternatives though, such as sizes that will fit many different devices and TVs.
The last area I’ll cover for this area is Frame Rate. If you’ve ever edited a video before, you know what this is and already have this set. If you’d like to keep what you already have set in the editable file, leave this alone. If you’d like to reduce the quality to meet some sort of specification, you can click the drop-down to select one of the presets.
While that section was cool, this next one is cooler.
Let’s say I am completely finished with editing this video and I would like to output it in its entirety. I can do that by leaving the default option of All Frames selected.
This isn’t a big deal and most of the time, if you’re a casual editor, you won’t ever need to change anything in this area. If you’re a power user though, you’ll definitely want to know about the next two options. They’ll let you export just part of your file so you can take a close look at a specific section of your masterpiece.
Say I have 237 frames in a video, which this sample video has. Now, let’s say that I only want to output the frames between 100 and 150 for close analysis. Well, if that was the case, I’d click to the left of Start Frame and then input 100 in the first field. In the End Frame field, I’d input 150 and I’d be all set. The entire video wouldn’t be outputted. Only the section between those two frames would be.
Now, I know that filling in these fields can be cumbersome at times and counting frames isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. This is fine, because Photoshop gives us another options to make our lives easier. The next field will output just the frames that are in the current work area of the editable video. So, if you’ve got a specific work area set, select this option and that’s it. Photoshop will only output those frames.
If you don’t know how to set a work area, you’re in luck. I’ll show you how in this next screenshot.
To set a work area in the Timeline panel, all you need to do is to click and drag the beginning handle to the right and the ending handle to the left. The handles I’m referring to are inside the red box in the screenshot above. Not the blue playhead, but the two tick marks directly below it. Also, when you have a work area set in the timeline and play the video back inside of Photoshop, playback will be limited to that work area. Just an FYI.
Saving Out the File
After all these options have been set, all that needs to be done is to have the Render button pushed. Once I do that, I’ll have to wait a few seconds and then I’ll have a completed file that I can use for whatever it is I want. And that’s it.
While there are other options available, the ones I covered in this post are the most popular. and really, if you’re the average user, you’ll likely only need to name the file and choose a destination to save it to. You can probably leave everything else alone. It is good to know what your options are though.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!