Creating a Living Photograph with Photoshop — Part 2

Image by Codify Design Studio.

by Chris Converse

posted on 09-04-2019

Combining photos with video is a powerful way to add an engaging quality to your photos without sacrificing the message or tone of your original image.

This article is a continuation of Creating a Living Photograph with Photoshop — Part 1.

Combine a photo with video with Photoshop

In order to use the video like a photo layer, ungroup the video group layer by selecting it and choosing Ungroup Layers from the Layers menu. Next, duplicate the video layer by selecting it and pressing Command+J (Mac) or Control+J (PC) on the keyboard. Finally, move the playhead in the Timeline panel to locate a frame that you’d like to use as the static portion of your living photo. Once you locate the frame, right-click on the top video layer and choose Rasterize Layer (as shown in Figure 1).

You now have a photo layer in the Timeline panel that is the same duration as the underlying video layer. If you move the playhead in the Timeline panel, you’ll no longer see any motion, just the static photo.

‘Paint with video’ by masking the photo layer

Add a Layer Mask to the photo layer, select the brush tool with a soft round brush, and set the foreground color to black. Select the Layer Mask and begin painting black on the mask in areas where you want the video to show through (see Figure 2).

In the example above, this will include areas of the lake, the woman’s hair, and her earring. As you paint areas on your mask, periodically move the playhead in the Timeline panel to preview the effect. And remember, you can always repaint areas with white on the mask to conceal the video layer.

When you are happy with the result, render the video by clicking File > Export > Render Video. Be sure to select the Adobe Media Encoder option and the h.264 video format. Once your .mp4 video is ready, share it on any number of social platforms that support video posts.

Watch a step-by-step demo of this workflow in an e-learning webinar

Combine video with your photographs to create a mesmerizing experience for your brand. Use video from Adobe Stock, or from your phone, to enhance and brand animations for all of your social media channels. You’ll learn how to work with video in Photoshop, combine video and photos with masking techniques, and create a looping animation.

Watch the recording of Creating Living Photographs with Photoshop, which includes:

Adobe Creative Cloud e-learning series

Creating Living Photographs with Photoshop

Topics: Creativity

Products: Photoshop, Creative Cloud