A guide to pho­to­shop’s video time­line

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Play­back tools

Play, Frame ad­vance for­ward and back, jump to first frame and mute au­dio.

Set play­back op­tions

Change the res­o­lu­tion per­cent­age here. If Pho­to­shop is strug­gling to ren­der frames you can lower the res­o­lu­tion to aid work­flow, but re­mem­ber to put it back to 100 per cent be­fore ex­port­ing. The Loop Play­back tick-box is here also.

Cur­rent-time In­di­ca­tor

More com­monly re­ferred to as the Play­head, drag this along the Time­line to a spe­cific point in time. Drag­ging it back and forth – known as scrub­bing – is a great way to check an­i­ma­tions while you work.


A spe­cific Layer in­di­cated on the Time­line.

Frame num­bers

Rep­re­sented as the amount of frames per your videos frame rate set­tings, with each sec­ond pre­sented as a time value.

Lay­ers List View

Twirl down the dis­clo­sure tri­an­gle to re­veal those Layer prop­er­ties, which can mod­i­fied.

Stop­watch icon

Des­ig­nates a keyframe at the point of the play­head. Af­ter the first keyframe has been ap­plied to a Layer, additional keyframes can be ap­plied us­ing the Add/Re­move Keyframes com­mand.

Add/Re­move Keyframes

The tri­an­gle in the cen­tre will add a new keyframe, and click­ing it a sec­ond time will re­move the keyframe. The tri­an­gles that are on ei­ther side jump you for­ward or back to the next keyframe on that Layer.


A keyframe de­notes a change, and the closer keyframes are to one an­other the quicker the change oc­curs (the op­po­site also ap­plies). You can add a keyframe us­ing the Add/Re­move Keyframes. Ad­di­tion­ally, when you ap­ply a live change to a Layer that al­ready has keyframes ap­plied to it – mod­ify a Lay­ers opac­ity, for ex­am­ple – then a keyframe is au­to­mat­i­cally cre­ated.

Ren­der Video

When you’re ready to ex­port your video, this takes you to the Ren­der Video win­dow.

Time­line Mag­ni­fier

Al­ters the Time­line view: ei­ther click the scale but­tons or drag the slider. Drag to the left and the Lay­ers will con­dense and more of the Time­line will be­come vis­i­ble. Drag to the right and the Lay­ers ex­tend.

Video Time­line Menu

A con­tex­tual menu for var­i­ous Time­line con­trols in­clud­ing the Onion Skins set­tings.

Layer set­tings

Depend­ing on the Layer type, this dis­clo­sure tri­an­gle re­veals dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties. On a stan­dard Pho­to­shop Layer it re­veals pre­set ac­tions in­clud­ing Pan, Zoom, Ro­tate and com­bi­na­tions in­clud­ing all three. On a Video Layer you can al­ter the Du­ra­tion and Speed.

Frame An­i­ma­tion Time­line

Con­verts the Time­line to the tra­di­tional Pho­to­shop se­quen­tial frames Time­line.

Frame Rate

The first time you play­back a video, Pho­to­shop will need to cache it, and the play­back will look choppy. When the in­di­ca­tor is green then you’ll know it’s play­ing prop­erly.

Win­dow view

Drag this bar to shift the Time­line left and right. Cuts the Layer at the Play­head po­si­tion – re­quired when edit­ing clips to­gether.


Se­lect a fade type and drag it to the start or end of a Layer in the Time­line. You can also de­ter­mine its du­ra­tion.

Pre­view slid­ers

Set a part of the Time­line to play­back.

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