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Photoshop + Adobe Media Encoder = Video Rendering Bliss

If you’re using Photoshop Extended to perform color and tone correction in video footage, you may be frustrated by tying Photoshop up for long periods of time rendering video. If so, try offloading the rendering chores to Adobe Media Encoder CS4 or CS5.

Simply save your color-corrected video files as layered .PSDs and open them into the Adobe Media Encoder queue. Here, you can batch encode your videos and be able to work in Photoshop.

Note: The source video files are linked to by the layered .PSD document (just like your NLE). In Photoshop, if you attempt to open a file and Photoshop cannot find the source video, it will give you a warning. In Adobe Media Encoder, that warning doesn’t exist. Instead of getting a completed video, you’ll have a full-length video generated from the video thumbnail frame.

So, the moral of the story is . . . Make sure the hard drives with your source videos are available when using this method; otherwise, you may spend time rendering videos that are useless in your workflow.


4 comments for “Photoshop + Adobe Media Encoder = Video Rendering Bliss”

  1. You cannot open layered .PSDs in Adobe Media Encoder, it doesn’t support the file format. I tried it.

    Posted by Dag Hagerius | September 27, 2011, 5:25 pm
  2. Dag, Thanks for your comment. I just tested AME again and I’m able to render layered video files just fine. I ran three tests as: 1) Video layer plus adjustment layers, 2) Video layer converted to Smart Object + Smart Sharpen plus adjustment layers and 3) setup from #2 plus a still image dropped on top. All three rendered just fine. To help troubleshoot the problem you’re seeing please let me know:
    1) Which version of Adobe Media Encoder you’re using
    2) Which platform (Mac, Windows)
    3) Whether or not you’ve selected (.psd) from the list of supported file types in AME’s Open dialog.

    Thanks, Jay

    Posted by Jay | September 27, 2011, 8:59 pm
  3. Hi Jay,

    A you referring to Photoshop EXTENDED only in your article?
    My problem is as follows: I open my DSLR- mov. files in Photoshop CS 5.5 enabling it as smart object, apply my nice filters that I can preview beautifully in the animation timeline below, making sure that it applies to all the frames and then save it as layered PSD. It looks astonishing with the appropriate filters…

    But: When I let AME do the encoding as a H264 file, it produces a Film Clip only from one frame; of course I made sure that the originial move file is available, i.e. on the desktop. Would you have any hints?

    Rendering video in Photoshop just takes uo too much time, and I ‘d be saved if I could render the files anywhere else (e.g. in AME).

    I’d be very glad



    Posted by Frederick Jenkins | January 20, 2012, 2:14 pm
  4. Frederick, I see exactly what you mean. I can apply sharpening to a smart filter and it renders correctly in AME, but when I apply a creative filter (e.g. crosshatch) it renders as a full-length still frame from AME. It looks like you’re stuck rendering from Photoshop for the time being (unless you want to upgrade to After Effects). Hopefully, this will be added in the next version of Photoshop.

    I’m working in extended BTW.


    Posted by Jay | January 20, 2012, 11:43 pm

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