Editing Overview

We continue our look at editing video from a photographer’s point of view. Be sure to check out these earlier articles (Why edit in Photoshop and The editing process).

If you have Adobe Creative Cloud, you have three different choices when it comes to editing video. Additionally, the many suite configurations often put many software packages into the hands of Adobe’s customers. Many users often wonder which tool is right for their workflow. With so many choices, which is the right one?  The answer… it depends.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe-Photoshop-IconWhen it comes to editing video, the toolset in Photoshop CS6 can best be described as a streamlined approach.  If you’re working on a properly configured system (covered in depth in Chapter 2) you’ll likely find editing an enjoyable experience.  Photoshop is well-designed for editing videos that are often considered short-form (typically less than 10-minutes in length).

Photoshop offers an intuitive timeline and easy to use tools for color correction.  It however lacks media management tools to organize your source files and a relatively limited control over adjusting and fixing audio. Still told, I firmly think Photoshop is the perfect tool for most photographers and designers as it gives enough control and performance that editing is fun and professional outcomes are easier to achieve.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe-Lightroom-IconIf you’re looking for the ability to mix videos into slideshows or create a simple assembly of clips, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom works well. You can use the Quick Develop panel to fix issues with exposure, contrast, vibrance, white balance, and more.  You can also adjust the In and Out points of a clip to trim unwanted portions of a clip.  While you won’t find a true timeline, you can still add multiple clips to a slideshow or combine them with photos. The important thing to remember is that while Adobe documentation refers to it as editing video, you’re really only trimming clips and color grading.  While this functionality is great, it pales in comparison to Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe-Premiere-Pro-IconAdobe’s professional editing solution is Adobe Premiere Pro. This application is very robust but can often be intimidating to newer users who lack experience in working with video. My recommendation for most photographers and designers is to start with Photoshop and master its features.  Once you have that as a base, you can branch out to Adobe Premiere Pro if Photoshop starts to feel limiting. If you’re a Creative Cloud or Creative Suite customer, you may have access to Adobe Premiere Pro.

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Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Given the cost, I think its better to just stick with Creative Cloud and you can grow with any of the apps as needed.

  2. What about AfterEffects? When would you use that instead of the others?

  3. I know, I know…there is always someone that will disagree with you, and this time that is me ;) I agree that After Effects used to be a terrible editing tool, and for longer form projects, it’s still not my first choice, however, it has gotten much better. Our studio cuts :30 and :60 TV ads consistently using only After Effects, and it works like a charm. It saves time by allowing us to cut the video and have it ready for compositing without switching programs.

    • If Rich had said After Effects was a good choice people would have slammed him for that – so unfortunately – your comment will be scored like they do in ice skating in the Olympics. High and low are thrown out.

  4. I simply meant that it isn’t a “terrible” editing tool…I would score it above Lightroom at any rate, because it is timeline based and at least designed for video. You can do far more with After Effects than “a simple assembly of clips.”


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


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