more photoshop video

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Recently I heard that there was a problem using SnapzPro video as honest-to-goodness video instead of screen capture video: Bits and pieces of screen capture footage were needed in a promotional video, and screen captured video is made of square pixels while television video is made of rectangular pixels. When the Snapz captures were viewed in a professional video application like Final Cut, the image was distorted- stretched too wide or squashed to short- but unusable.

I knew that Photoshop has long been able to render images for television while the workspace remains on a monitor. In the background, Photoshop does the math to convert a circle I'm creating on square pixels to the ellipse it needs to be to appear round on rectangular pixels. Quite a feat, I think. I thought that, even though Photoshop isn't really a great video tool yet, it might have the algorithms to help.

I grabbed a few seconds of action on my monitor using SnapzPro which saved it as a Quicktime file. Next, I just dropped the Quicktime file onto Photoshop, and Photoshop opened it as a video object; square pixels still square. Next, from the Photoshop New Document dialog, I created a new file for Film and Video: an NTSC DV file that was 720 x 480 pixels in size. The important factor here is that the pixels Photoshop created looked square, but were actually D1/DV NTSC pixels. Little rectangles.

The next bit was magic: I clicked on the video object in the Quicktime file I had open in Photoshop and dragged it onto the new NTSC DV file. It went. It took a couple seconds, but it went. And it looked fine. I was even able to apply a free transform command to make the "image" smaller. Photoshop had allowed me to size and crop my Quicktime file while also converting to NTSC rectangular pixels. To me, that seems pretty cool. Especially considering that I have no idea what "NTSC" or "D1" mean

So while I had Photoshop open, I also opened Flash to see if I could get a feel for which application works best in different animation situations. In a little over a half hour I was able to generate a Flash animation of a multilayered Photoshop document that went smoothly into Flash with layers intact. I was able to export the final Flash animation as a Quicktime file, then open the movie in Photoshop. In Photoshop I added some layers, some text, some more animation, then exported the finished video as a Quicktime video.

...which, oddly enough, I converted to FLV (Flash Video) to stream from our streamin server. So check it out. No sound, really bad timing; no great production. But it's helping me understand the process. Maybe the implication is that good things may still be possible...

Flash/Photoshop work flow experiment.

5 Comments

dave said:

I reworked the video slightly, trying to enhance the depth effects. I wound up working completely in Flash, except for final cropping, sizing, and FLV conversion. (The original actual size- 1099X907...)

Flash/Photoshop work flow experiment, take two.

Keep in mind if you experiment- there are at least two ways of getting video into Photoshop, each useful depending on your intent- importing as layers/frames and just opening as a video object. Frames are worked on one by one (the same way we used to do animated GIFs) or grouped into a smart object. A video object can be turned into a smart object as well, and filters or adjustments can alter the entire video. Wicked cool.

This is very cool, Dave. I'll have to check it out now that I have the latest version. I have After Effects, too, so we can see how that will play in the mix as well. I like the transition into Join the Blogging Community.

BTW, NTSC is just the TV format standard here in the U.S. (PAL and SEACAM are the other world standards), which stands for National Television System Committee. Folks in the TV industry joke that it means "Never The Same Colors", since it looks different on every monitor you view a program on. Isn't it odd how they named the standard after the committee and not the standard itself? A bit ego-inflated, I'd say. It should be NTS instead - National Television Standard.

I fooled around with this a bit myself. After creating a new video document in Photoshop, I opened a video on one layer and a photo of a laptop on a layer below it. I enlarged the laptop, then skewed and warped the video to fit into the laptop (the Distort option was not available). I then exported the video. I left a few frames of the original photo of the laptop at the end so you can see what I started with. The movie below was created entirely in Photoshop:

http://www.personal.psu.edu/staff/p/z/pzb4/laptop.mov

david stong said:

Heeeeey... no fair postin' stuff cooler than mine on my website! Very slick.

Pat, all of the Distort features will be available if you first highlite the video object layer and make it a "Smart Object": Select LAYER in the menu bar, then SMART OBJECTS and MAKE SMART OBJECT from the fly-out.

Mike said:

Personally everything works fine for me. I don't have problems with videos.

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