How To Create A Video Mask Effect In Adobe Photoshop CC

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How To Create A Video Mask Effect In Adobe Photoshop CC

The waves in the video mask the about dot com logo.
Using video as a mask in Photoshop is actually quite easy to accomplish.

I’ll have to admit when Photoshop added the ability to work with video I thought Adobe had gone too far. To me it seemed to be a classic case of “bloat” and this was a feature I would most likely never use. Boy was I wrong! It turns out that the amount of fun you can have with video in Photoshop should be illegal.

In this “How To” I am going to show you how to use the video feature of Photoshop CC or CC 2015 to create a rather interesting masking effect using the video. I am going to use a short 10-second clip of some waves I shot on a beach in California and use the waves to mask an underlying image. As the waves roll in and out, the underlying artwork is revealed and hidden.

Let’s get started.

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How To Prepare The Assets For Video Masking In Adobe Photoshop

Export Audio is deselected and and VBR 2 Pass encoding are highlighted in the Adobe media Encoder interface.
Deselect audio if it isn't needed and use 2-Pass VBR in the Adobe media Encoder.

I needed three assets:

  • A video
  • The graphic to be masked
  • A background image.

The video was opened in After Effects CC where I did a bit of colour correction to brighten up the video which was shot on a cloudy day. From there I selected Composition> Add To Media Encoder Queue. When the Media Encoder opened I renamed the file, deselected Export Audio and in the Bitrate Settings chose VBR (Variable Bit Rate),2 Pass in the Bitrate Encoding pop down. This choice is idea for web streaming. I then clicked the OK button and when I returned to the Queue I clicked the green Start Queue button.

The graphic and the background were created in Adobe Fireworks CS6. I prefer using Fireworks for uncomplicated graphics. The graphic was saved as a PNG with transparency and the background was nothing more than a rectangle filled with a medium grey to which I applied a Sand texture from the properties panel. This image, which has the same 1280 x 720 dimensions as the video was saved as a jpg image.

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How To Prepare The Video Project In Photoshop CC

The Layer panel shows the two images have been moved out of the Video Group.
Move the images to be masked out of the Video Group.

With the assets in created I opened the Waves.mp4 file in Photoshop. If you don’t see the timeline, select Window>Timeline. If you check the Layers panel, you should notice the video has been placed in a Video Group.  I also opened the Logo.png and the Texture.jpg files in Photoshop and, using the Move Tool, dropped them into the video document.

When you move images into a document containing video they get added to the Video Group. This is not a good thing because they will be covered by the video. They need to be in separate layers, not the Video Group. To fix this I simply dragged each image out of the group, closed the Video Group folder and renamed the Layers.

I also noticed the duration of the two graphics didn’t match the video duration on the timeline. To fix this I dragged the right edge of the graphics’ duration strips on the timeline to match that of the video.

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How To Create The Mask Effect Using An Adobe Photoshop CC Blend Option

The image has a red boix around the This layer area of the Blend slider.
Split the blend to adjust the black and gret areas of the video.

With the assets in place the next step was to create the masking effect.

I double-clicked the video in the Video Group which opened the Layer Style panel. I then selected the Blending Options. This video is mostly grey so I ignored the General and Advanced Blending areas of the panel and selected Gray from the Blend If pop down. I wanted to keep the white foam in the video which meant I would be adjusting the Black slider in the This Layer area. Moving the slider made the effect a little too harsh for my liking. I decided to not only blend the Blacks but to also blend the greys. To do this I held down the Option/Alt key and clicked on the black slider. This technique splits the slider and I moved the leftmost black slider to the left and the other black slider to right until I had a look that was acceptable.

At this point I clicked OK to close the Blending Options and clicked the Play button on the Timeline to preview the video.

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How To Export A Video From Adobe Photoshop CC

The Render Video dialog box shows the HD 720p 29.97 preset and the dimensions have been changed to 1280 by 720.
The magic happens in the Photoshop Render Video dialog box.

With the file completed, the next step is to output the video from Photoshop. What you don’t do is select File>Save As. Instead select File>Export>Render Video. This will open the Render Video dialog box.

The current dimensions of the video – 1920 x 1080 – were far too large for the web. I opened the Preset pop down and selected the HD 720p 29.97 option. This reduced the physical dimensions of the video to the common 128 x 720 size used on the web. As well no distortions were introduced into the ouput because I maintained the 16:9 aspect ratio of the original video dimensions.