Creating the color video

As promised from last weeks post on Youtube, I promised to share the “how to” on the creation of the little teaser video for transitioning from a black and white photo to color.  For those that don’t remember, the video is here:

To start, I took an image and pulled it into Photoshop.  Realizing that I would need to do some virtually identical steps across several images, on the first one, I started the process of creating an action.  The action in essence, creates a duplicate layer of the image, converts it to black and white, then repeats the duplication for another 9 black and white layer copies.  So, ultimately your Layer panel has 11 layers to it – 10 black and white layers and one color layer (at the bottom).

Next, I went to each layer and adjusted the opacity down by 10%.  So, the top layer was at 100% opacity, then 90%, then 80%, etc, etc, all the way down to 10%.  At this point I stopped recording the action.  Now, it was a simple matter of saving each of the 11 total images to a folder.  I started with the full layer set visible and saved to web (Control+ALT=Shift+S).  I saved to a specific folder so that each subsequent image could easily be numbered sequentially for easier management later.  In the end, I had 11 images, numbered 1-11.

For the final step, I opened my video editor (Camtasia) and imported the media.  Here it now may take some trial and error to determine image length, transition length, and if you want titles included.  Next, I picked some audio from the native library and added to the time line.  After clipping and taking the last few seconds for a fade out, the slide show was done. All I had to do now was export and share.

In Camtasia, there are many options to choose from for sharing your work online, from (their host) to YouTube, exporting as Flash, .mov files, .avi files, and many other options.  Here you should choose the one that works best for you and your needs.

Last but not least, it’s just a matter of either exporting the video you created and uploading either to your own host through FTP, or using the native interface to export to any one of a number of video hosting services as mentioned above.

For those interested in giving it a whirl, here’s the action I put together in 10% increments.  Feel free to experiment and try your own settings and percentages to style and taste as needed.

Black and White Layers

Got your own ideas for how to create new effects and appearances with stills in videos?  What are your thoughts on this technique?  Share your thoughts, comments, and feedback below or with me via email.

As a final reminder for the week, there’s limited time left on a couple of fronts:

  1. The contest for July is about wrapped up – you still have a chance to enter to win a copy of Lightroom 3 from the folks over at Adobe, so don’t forget to sign up today!  Just submit your photo in the Flickr thread.
  2. The Lightroom Workshop Series kicks off in a little over a week in Anaheim CA, with Denver following shortly thereafter.  We’ve also added some webinars for those who can’t attend an entire day, and more info coming on that.  We’d love to see you in on a workshop day though, so sign up soon as time and space are limited!  Signups are being handled over at Lightroom Dudes
  3. Last but not least, the eBook is out of the gates and initial response has been overwhelming!  Thanks to everyone who has shared their thoughts and feedback on the sequel for 49 Photo Tips.   The 20% savings window is almost over too, so be sure to get your digital download before the end of the month.  After that, it’s regular price of $4.99
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