Premiere Filmstrip

Adobe Premiere is a popular QuickTime movie-editing application for both Macs and PCs. The program is a wonder when it comes to fades, frame merges, and special effects, but it offers no frame-by-frame editing capabilities. For example, you can neither draw a mustache on a person in the movie nor can you make brightly colored brush strokes swirl about in the background — at least, not inside Premiere.

You can export the movie to the Filmstrip format, though, which is a file-swapping option exclusive to Photoshop and Premiere. A Filmstrip document organizes frames in a long vertical strip, as shown on the left side of Figure 3-13. The right side of the figure shows the movie after I edited each individual frame in ways not permitted by Premiere. A boring movie of a cat stuck in a bag becomes an exciting movie of a cat-stuck-in-a-bag flying. If that doesn't sum up the miracle of digital imaging, I don't know what does.

Figure 3-13: Four frames from a QuickTime movie as they appear in the Filmstrip format before (left) and after (right) editing the frames in Photoshop.

A gray bar separates each frame. The number of each frame appears on the right; the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) time code appears on the left. The structure of the three-number time code is minutes:seconds:frames, with 30 frames per second.

If you change the size of a Filmstrip document inside Photoshop in any way, you cannot save the image back to the Filmstrip format. Feel free to paint and apply effects, but stay the heck away from the Image Size and Canvas Size commands.

Tip I don't really delve into the Filmstrip format anywhere else in this book, so I want to pass along a few quick Filmstrip tips right here and now:

♦ First, you can scroll up and down exactly one frame at a time by pressing Shift+Page Up or Shift+Page Down, respectively.

♦ Second, you can move a selection exactly one frame up or down by pressing Ctrl+Shift+up arrow or Ctrl+Shift+down arrow.

♦ If you want to clone the selection as you move it, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+up arrow or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+down arrow.

And finally — here's the great one — you can select several sequential frames and edit them simultaneously by following these steps:

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Photoshop Secrets

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