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Create a long exposure image from video using Photoshop

Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2020

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Create a long exposure image from video using image sequence and stacks in Photoshop

 

Liffey Timelapse to Long Exposure Stack Panoramic Ireland.jpg

 

 

Sometimes it just isn’t possible to photograph a scene as you would like it.

I was here with a client looking at some locations and made a short timelapse video of Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge.


I didn’t have the opportunity to carry a camera, tripod and filters; however, I can still create a long exposure look by using the timelapse, or a regular video clip in Photoshop.

You can complete the whole process in Photoshop but here I am using Premiere Pro to start.

 

So here is the process.

 

❶ In Premiere Pro add a clip to the Timeline and select it

  • Use CTRL+M or ⌘+M or File>Export>Media...

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--8.jpg

 

 

  • In the panel that opens, choose JPEG from the Format dropdown, you can of course choose TIFF or PNG

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--9.jpg

 

 

  • You can choose how much of the sequence you want to export in the blue bar or Source Range dropdown, here I chose Custom which in this case is equal to Sequence In/Out or Entire Sequence
  • You can change the output settings by adjusting quality and dimensions, uncheck the box to choose a smaller output size
  • Further settings are available but I chose to keep the original dimensions and quality at 100%

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--10.jpg

 

 

  • Choose Export or Queue to add to Adobe Media Encoder where you can choose output destination

 

❷ Into Photoshop

  • Go to File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack...

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop-.jpg

 

 

  • Select Folder and check Create Smart Object after Loading Layers

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--3.jpg

 

 

  • Browse to find your folder, here I split my jpgs into three folders as there were too many, at 900, for the task here
  • There's no need for me to choose to Align Source Images as everything was steady but it is an option if there was movement in your camera during recording
  • Click OK

 

Smart Object / Stack Mode

  • Go to Layer>Smart Objects>Stack Mode>Mean or Median

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--4.jpg

 

 

  • You can choose any stack mode here but Mean and Median will give the best results for a long exposure image
  • Depending on how many images you have, this might take some time

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--6.jpg

 

 

  • Try some of the other modes, here is Maximum for instance

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--7.jpg

 

 

  • Save your final image

 

 

Note for Step ❷ if you know what Stack Mode you want you can choose a different path by going to:

 

File>Scripts>Statistics...

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--11.jpg

 

 

  • Median is selected by default, try this or Mean
  • Browse for your files or folder
  • Uncheck Align Source Images if your video was steady

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--12.jpg

 

 

  • OK
  • Now Photoshop will create the stack based on your settings above, to change the mode just follow step .

 

It's easy enough to create a still image from a video file but this method allows you to create something new from video.

 

Some editing to create the final image including crop, curves and saturation adjustments.

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Create a long exposure image from video using Photoshop

Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2020

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Create a long exposure image from video using image sequence and stacks in Photoshop

 

Liffey Timelapse to Long Exposure Stack Panoramic Ireland.jpg

 

 

Sometimes it just isn’t possible to photograph a scene as you would like it.

I was here with a client looking at some locations and made a short timelapse video of Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge.


I didn’t have the opportunity to carry a camera, tripod and filters; however, I can still create a long exposure look by using the timelapse, or a regular video clip in Photoshop.

You can complete the whole process in Photoshop but here I am using Premiere Pro to start.

 

So here is the process.

 

❶ In Premiere Pro add a clip to the Timeline and select it

  • Use CTRL+M or ⌘+M or File>Export>Media...

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--8.jpg

 

 

  • In the panel that opens, choose JPEG from the Format dropdown, you can of course choose TIFF or PNG

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--9.jpg

 

 

  • You can choose how much of the sequence you want to export in the blue bar or Source Range dropdown, here I chose Custom which in this case is equal to Sequence In/Out or Entire Sequence
  • You can change the output settings by adjusting quality and dimensions, uncheck the box to choose a smaller output size
  • Further settings are available but I chose to keep the original dimensions and quality at 100%

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--10.jpg

 

 

  • Choose Export or Queue to add to Adobe Media Encoder where you can choose output destination

 

❷ Into Photoshop

  • Go to File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack...

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop-.jpg

 

 

  • Select Folder and check Create Smart Object after Loading Layers

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--3.jpg

 

 

  • Browse to find your folder, here I split my jpgs into three folders as there were too many, at 900, for the task here
  • There's no need for me to choose to Align Source Images as everything was steady but it is an option if there was movement in your camera during recording
  • Click OK

 

Smart Object / Stack Mode

  • Go to Layer>Smart Objects>Stack Mode>Mean or Median

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--4.jpg

 

 

  • You can choose any stack mode here but Mean and Median will give the best results for a long exposure image
  • Depending on how many images you have, this might take some time

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--6.jpg

 

 

  • Try some of the other modes, here is Maximum for instance

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--7.jpg

 

 

  • Save your final image

 

 

Note for Step ❷ if you know what Stack Mode you want you can choose a different path by going to:

 

File>Scripts>Statistics...

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--11.jpg

 

 

  • Median is selected by default, try this or Mean
  • Browse for your files or folder
  • Uncheck Align Source Images if your video was steady

 

panoramic-ireland-video-long-exposure-photoshop--12.jpg

 

 

  • OK
  • Now Photoshop will create the stack based on your settings above, to change the mode just follow step .

 

It's easy enough to create a still image from a video file but this method allows you to create something new from video.

 

Some editing to create the final image including crop, curves and saturation adjustments.

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Nov 05, 2020 2
New Here ,
Nov 05, 2020

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It was interesting. Thanks. Is the resulting image much superior in quality to the image obtained by a regular screenshot from a video? 

I did not notice the difference from the article.

 

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Nov 05, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 06, 2020

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Thanks, the quality will be much the same really, so for just one still from a video then the method you already use is fine - this method is more for creating a long exposure image rather than extracting just stills.

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Nov 06, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 08, 2020

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Hi Adessoadesso

very interesting, good of you to take the time to explain so thoroughly. 

could the whole thing be done in Photoshop?

lucky you had a tripod along I guess

 

have a good week
neil barstow, colourmanagement.net :: adobe forum volunteer

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Nov 08, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2020

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Thanks Neil,

 

Yes, easily it can be done inside Photoshop, here is a link to the process:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/creating-an-image-sequence-from-video-in-photoshop/m-p/1158...

 

Thanks,

 

Darren

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Nov 12, 2020 0