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Preview Time-Lapse Footage with Ease in Bridge CC

We’ve all been there.. That feeling after long days and nights of shooting hundreds (if not thousands) of time-lapse or stop-motion frames and wanting desperately to preview the fruits of our labors, only to do so by holding down the arrow key and watching as droves of blurred images race mercilessly before our eyes.

While some cameras on the market today do thoughtfully accommodate this new and popular feature, the folks at Adobe have embedded a useful approach to easily preview footage of all kinds in Photoshop Bridge CC without the need of entering Photoshop proper – for video and stills..

Here’s a quick rundown of the process for those yet to discover and benefit from this helpful visual aid..

Step 1 – Organize

For projects containing multiple scenes, the first step for best results is to arrange and move each sequence of frames into respective folders of their own.

Creating the sub-folders needed up front will not only help with the previewing process, it will make the editing phase residing around the corner a far less painful endeavor in terms of maintaining order (and sanity) downstream.

By no means a requirement, my preference at the outset is to switch from the Essentials (default) work space to the Filmstrip work space to acquire a full-screen view of images moving forward. We can change this by navigating to the upper-right portion of the interface and selecting the Filmstrip option via the workspace fly-out menu..

Step 2 – Group and Stack

When the files have been relocated and organized, navigate to a respective folder and CTRL/CMD+A to Select All images..

With all images selected, right-click on any image and navigate to Stack ? Group as Stack (or CTRL/CMD+G) to group images..

When the images have been grouped into a stack, click and drag the Content panel divider upward to acquire a larger viewing space – noting the small play/pause icon in the upper-left region of the preview pane.

Step 3 – Select a Frame Rate

Here we can click and drag the slider in the preview pane to manually scrub-check our footage, if so desired. For a more precise rendition in terms of frame rate: right-click the stacked group and navigate to Stack ? Frame Rate and start experimenting with various real-time frame rates right here on the fly..

Click the play/pause button to start visually proofing exposure errors and nailing down the best speed for your footage..

When the proofing process is complete and a suitable frame rate dialed-in, simply right-click and navigate back to Stack ? Ungroup from Stack to release and revert back to individual image browsing.

Bottom line: There simply is no easier way to get a reliable preview of time-sensitive footage – whether time-lapse or stop-motion – this side of loading into a timeline sequence and exporting a rough cut. The next time you find yourself locked down on the proverbial arrow key and scrolling through endless images, just open the files in Bridge and those frustrations will forever become a thing of the past.

Thanks for visiting. If you have any questions along the way, drop me a line at [email protected] any time.

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