Create a bluegrass with a clock in Photoshop

Over the past few years, animated GIFs have become a complete form of expressing creativity. One of the latest trends in this area are sinegraphs, or live photos, as they are called. They create the illusion of this video and are in demand among both ordinary viewers and clients.

A cinemagraph is, to a greater degree, a static picture with minimal movement, giving the viewer an idea of ​​how a particular object looked at a certain length of time. For example, the movement of hair and clothes from the wind is the most popular objects in such works. You can also often see waterfalls and other nature.

Despite its second name – live photos – this work is best done with a video camera. For shooting video, you can use a digital SLR camera, this will give the animation the effect of photography, which the audience associates with bluegraphs.

In this lesson, you will learn how to create, edit, and save your first blue clock with a running clock using the Timeline (Timeline) in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1

First we need a few seconds of video made with a SLR camera, GoPro or any other equipment. Of course, you can use a full-fledged video camera, if you have such an opportunity.

The less motion in the frame, the better: objects moving from the wind, floating clouds, flowing water or sun glare. I decided to use the video with the going watch.

Step 2

Having finished choosing a suitable video, open Photoshop and go File – Open (File – Open). In the window that opens, find the video and click OK to import it into Photoshop. As a result, the time scale should open at the bottom of the screen.

If it does not appear, then open it through the menu. Window – Timeline (Window – Timeline).

Step 3

Select the scale and press the Space key to enable the preview of the video, or use the button in the form of a triangle with a vertical line.

If you want to speed up playback, click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the scale and select the speed.

Tip: we will save the bluegraph in GIF format, and Photoshop supports a maximum of 500 frames (about 20 seconds). Since I took a full turn of the second hand, the video was too long, so I sped it up by 400%.

Step 4

With the help of a special slider on the scale, we can mark the beginning of the video playback. If you grab the left edge of the roller with the left mouse button and pull it to the position of this slider, you can trim off the excess.

At the same time, the edge of the roller will automatically “stick” to the position of the slider.

Step 5

Next slider mark the end of the video. This time we pull the right edge of the clip left to the slider position and press Delete to cut off the excess.

Step 6

Now, when we cut off the extra parts of the video, move the slider to select the frame that will be the main one. This frame will be a static part of the animation.

Press the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to bring this frame to a separate layer.

Step 7

On the layers panel we find a new layer from the previous step with the selected frame and call it “Main frame” (Main Frame). Select this layer with the left mouse button and add it to the Video group (Ctrl + G). Immediately after this, an additional channel with the main frame should automatically appear on the timeline.

Step 8

We return to the timeline and drag the first animation layer to the beginning of the scale. Then grab the right edge of this channel with the mouse and stretch it across the width of the lower channel.

Step 9

Having finished with the preparation of the main frame, we can add a mask to it to hide the area with the clock and show the clock that is on the bottom layer.

To add a mask, click on the button at the bottom of the layers panel. Add layer mask (Add layer mask).

Step 10

With a soft black brush (B) we draw on the mask of the “Main frame” layer in the place where the movement should be – in this case it is the clock.

The second screenshot shows what my layer mask looks like.

Step 11

Next, we perform color correction of the entire bluegraph using ordinary adjustment layers.

Separate channels are created for the adjustment layers on the timeline, which affect all the content below, including the main frame and video. I added an adjustment layer Exposure (Exposure) and Color Lookup (Search color).

Step 12

Having finished creating the animation, let’s save it. To do this, go File – Save for Web (File – Save for web).

Step 13

For animation, we choose the format of GIF. In the window that opens, enter the settings as shown below.

Step 14

You can also set the repeat mode. To do this, set the parameter to Forever (Always) to make the animation play continuously.

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