How to Make a Time-Lapse in Photoshop
This article is a continuation of the previous article on time-lapse photography. You can read that article by clicking here. In this article, we will go over how to combine your time lapse in Adobe Photoshop to make a video. At the end of the article, I have a video I made going through all these steps.
When I am getting ready to put together a time lapse in photoshop the first thing I do is make sure they are edited like I want. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit the photos. With Lightroom, you can edit one photo and then sync the settings to the rest of the image.
Once that is complete I export the files to a separate folder. I usually export them to the desktop just so I can find them easier, but that is up to you and your workflow.
Normally after the time lapse video is created and I like how it looks I will delete the folder from the desktop. I still have the RAW files in my Lightroom hard drive if I need them later.
At this point, your images should be ready for photoshop. Open photoshop and create a new file. On the pop up you will see a drop down menu. When you click it you will see “Film & Video”, use that preset.
Under that, you will see a size option. There you can pick what size you want for your video. Once you finish with those settings click ok.
Next, bring up the timeline panel by clicking the “Window” tab and look near the bottom.
Now click on the Create Video Timeline button. On the top right of the timeline bar, you will see a little three vertical line button, that is the panel menu button. There you can change the frame rate to your desired preference. I usually use 23.976 for my frame rate depending on how I shoot the time lapse.
Now to import your images you will go to the “Layer” tab and pick video layer and use New Layer From File.
This will bring up a screen that you can use to pick the folder you have exported your time-lapse images into. All you have to do at this point is click the first image (example TL1.jpg) and click ok. A side note your images need to be in a consecutive order for this to work. Such as TL1.jpg, TL2.jpg, TL3.jpg and so on. Photoshop will make those images into a video of those frames.
Now you will notice that your video might be cropped smaller than what you shot it at. At this point, we need to transform it. To do that click on the layer and make it a “Smart Object”.
Now click command+t on Mac or ctrl+t on windows. You can zoom out to make it a little easier by clicking command+zero on Mac and ctrl+zero on Windows. After that use shift+drag to move the square to frame your time lapse.
You can play the video in photoshop by clicking the spacebar, but it will be choppy and personally I do not even bother with it.
To create the video click on the “File” tab and then pick “Render Video”. On this screen, you will be able to name the file and decide what folder it will be exported to. You will also have other settings you can change.
These are the setting I normally use.
- Adobe Media Encoder
- Quicktime or H.264
- High Quality or better
- 1920 x 1080
After you have your settings like you want click to render and it will start making the video. This can take awhile and you probably should not try using your computer until it’s done since it takes a lot of power to render the video.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Below is a video of me going through all these steps. Leave me a comment below letting me know what you think of the article, or if you have a different way of combining your time lapses into a video format.
Also published on Medium.