Preview video and animations

  1. Photoshop User Guide
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    21. Adjustment and fill layers
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    24. Target images for press
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    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
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    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
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    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
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    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
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    10. Warp
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  17. Text
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    12. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
    13. World-Ready composer for Asian Scripts
    14. How to add and edit text in Photoshop
  18. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  19. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
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  20. Saving and exporting
    1. Save files in graphics formats
    2. Save your files in Photoshop
    3. File formats
    4. Save and export video and animations
    5. Save PDF files
    6. Digimarc copyright protection
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    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
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    6. Print spot colors
    7. Duotones
    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  22. Automation
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    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  23. 3D and technical imaging
    1. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    2. Print 3D objects
    3. 3D painting
    4. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    5. Essential 3D concepts and tools
    6. 3D rendering and saving
    7. Create 3D objects and animations
    8. Image stacks
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    10. Measurement
    11. DICOM files
    12. Photoshop and MATLAB
    13. Count objects in an image
    14. Combine and convert 3D objects
    15. 3D texture editing
    16. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    17. 3D panel settings
  24. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors

For Photoshop versions earlier than Photoshop CC, some functionality discussed in this article may be available only if you have Photoshop Extended. Photoshop does not have a separate Extended offering. All features in Photoshop Extended are part of Photoshop.

Preview a frame animation

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Play button  in the Timeline panel.

    • Use the spacebar to play and pause the animation.

    The animation is displayed in the document window. The animation repeats indefinitely unless you specified another repeat value in the Play Options dialog box.

  2. To stop the animation, click the Stop button  .
  3. To rewind the animation, click the Selects First Frame button  .

    To see a more accurate preview of the animation and timing, preview the animation in a web browser. In Photoshop, open the Save For Web dialog box and click the Preview In Browser button. Use the browser’s Stop and Reload commands to stop or replay the animation.

Set the timeline area to preview

  1. To set the timeline duration you want to export or preview, do any of the following in the Timeline panel:

    • Drag either end of work area bar.

    Photoshop Drag the work area bar to set preview
    Dragging an end of the work area bar

    • Drag the work area bar over the section you want to preview.

    • Move the current-time indicator to the time or frame you want. From the panel menu, choose either Work Area > Set Start At Playhead or Work Area > Set End At Playhead.

  2. To remove the portions of the timeline not in the work area, choose Trim Document Duration To Work Area from the panel menu.

Previewing video or timeline animations

Your video or animation can be previewed in the document window. Photoshop uses RAM to preview the video or animation during your editing session. When you play or drag to preview frames, they are automatically cached for faster playback the next time they’re played. The cached frames are indicated by the green bar in the work area of the Timeline panel. The number of frames cached depends on the amount of RAM available to Photoshop.

Preview a video or timeline animation

  1. Do any of the following:
    • In the timeline, drag the current-time indicator.

    • Use the playback buttons at the bottom of the Animation panel Timeline panel.

    • Press the spacebar to play or stop playback. For additional shortcuts, see Keys for the Animation panel in Timeline Mode.


    To see a more accurate preview of an animation created for the web, preview the animation in a web browser. Use the browser’s Stop and Reload commands to stop or replay the animation. Open the Save For Web dialog box, and click the Preview In Browser button.

Preview audio for video layers

When you enable audio previews for video layers, Photoshop includes the audio in files exported to QuickTime Movie format. (See Export video files or image sequences.)

In the Timeline panel, do either of the following:

  • To enable or disable audio previews for a specific video layer, click the speaker icon  for that layer.
  • To enable or disable audio previews for an entire document, click the speaker icon to the right of the playback buttons at the bottom of the panel.

Enable frame skipping

Photoshop can skip uncached frames to achieve real-time playback.

  1. With Timeline panel in timeline animation mode, choose Allow Frame Skipping from the panel menu.

Preview your document on a video monitor

The Video Preview plug‑in lets you preview the current frame specified in the animation timeline (or any image open in Photoshop) through FireWire (IEEE 1394) on a display device, such as a video monitor. You can also adjust the aspect ratio for proper display of images.


On 64-bit operating systems, you must use the 32-bit version of Photoshop to access the Video Preview plug-in.

The Video Preview plug‑in supports RGB, grayscale, and indexed images. (The plug‑in converts 16‑bpc images to 8‑bpc images.) The Video Preview plug‑in does not support alpha channels. Transparency is displayed as black.


The Video Preview plug‑in does not lock the display device. When Photoshop is in the background on your computer and another application moves into the foreground, the preview turns off and the device is unlocked so other applications can use it for preview purposes.

  1. Connect a display device, such as a video monitor, to your computer via FireWire (IEEE 1394).
  2. With a document open in Photoshop, do one of the following:
    • If you don’t want to set output options for viewing your document on a device, choose File > Export > Send Video Preview To Device. You can skip the rest of the steps in this procedure.

    • To set output options before viewing your document on the device, choose File > Export > Video Preview.

    The Video Preview dialog box opens. If your document’s pixel aspect ratio doesn’t match the aspect ratio settings of the display device, you will see an alert.


    The Send Video Preview To Device command uses the previous settings in the Video Preview dialog box.

  3. Under Device Settings, specify options for the device that will display the image:
    • (Mac OS) To specify an output mode, select NTSC or PAL. If the output mode and the device do not match (for example, specifying NTSC for the output mode and connecting to a device in PAL mode), black patches appear on previewing.

    • To specify the aspect ratio of the display device, choose either Standard (4:3) or Widescreen (16:9) from the Aspect Ratio menu.


    The Aspect Ratio setting determines which placement options are available.

  4. Under Image Options, choose a placement option to determine how the image appears in the display device:


    Places the center of the image at the center of the screen, cropping the portions that fall outside the display edges of the video preview device.


    Displays a 4:3 image on a 16:9 display with the center of the image at the center of the screen and gray bands on the left and right sides of the image. This option is available only if you chose Widescreen (16:9) for the device aspect ratio.

    Crop to 4:3

    Displays a 16:9 image on a 4:3 display with the center of the image at the center of the screen and without distortion by cropping the left and right edges of the frame that fall outside the display edges of the video preview device. This option is available only if you chose Standard (4:3) for the device aspect ratio.


    Scales a 16:9 image to fit on a 4:3 display. Gray bands appear on the top and bottom of the image due the difference in aspect ratio between the 16:9 image and the 4:3 display. This maintains the display aspect ratio without cropping or distorting the image. This option is available only if you chose Standard (4:3) for the device aspect ratio.

    Crop To 14:9/Letterbox

    Displays a widescreen image cropped to a 14:9 aspect ratio with black bands on either the top and bottom of the image (when viewed on a 4:3 display) or on the left and right sides (when viewed on a 16:9 display). This maintains the display aspect ratio without distorting the image.

  5. Choose an option from the Image Size menu to control whether the document pixels are scaled to the device display:

    Do Not Scale

    Applies no vertical scaling to the image. The image is cropped if its height is greater than that of the video display.

    Scale To Fit Within Frame

    Increases or decreases the image height and width proportionally to fit in the video frame. With this option, a 16:9 image appears on a 4:3 display as letterbox, and a 4:3 image appears on a 16:9 display as pillarbox.

  6. Select the Apply Pixel Aspect Ratio To Preview check box to display the image using the document’s (nonsquare) pixel aspect ratio. Deselect this option to display the image as it appears on your computer (square pixel) monitor.

    By default, the Apply Pixel Aspect Ratio To Preview check box is selected to maintain the image’s pixel aspect ratio. In general, you would deselect this option if the document’s pixel aspect ratio is assumed to be square and you want to view the image as it would appear on a computer (square pixel) monitor.

  7. Click OK to export the document to the device display.
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