Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting a frame from a GoPro movie, part of Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop.
- All right, we're gonna start with something simple. Specifically, this Moon Jelly. Now, Moon Jellies are extremely common creatures. They exist all over the Caribbean as well as other places in the world. They're easy to find because they're usually close to the surface of the water. In fact, I was just floating on the surface when I captured this image. They're all easy to capture because they ride with the current. They're not super complicated animals. Apparently they can deliver a slight sting although I've never experienced that and neither did anyone else in my party.
And they are a wonderful example of that thing that does not exist above the surface of the ocean. So, it's a pretty iconic animal where underwater photography is concerned. Now, I captured this guy at a short movie using a GoPro HERO4. And one of the easiest ways to grab a frame from a movie in Photoshop is to go up to the File menu and choose the Open command, or of course, you can press ctrl + o or cmd + O on a Mac and then navigate to whatever folder it is you want to.
In my case, I'm gonna go here to my GoPro jelly movie.mp4 file and click the Open button. Now, this thing contains just a few frames. You can actually play it by clicking on a play button down here in the Timeline panel which should open automatically for you and it may not play super smoothly because this is a huge file and measures more than 3,000 pixels wide by more than 2,000 pixels tall. So, it's roughly 40P at 24 frames per second, which is a lot for Photoshop or any other program to handle.
So, what you can do is you can narrow through the frames by clicking on the Flat menu icon for the Timeline panel and then go ahead and choose Enable Timeline Shortcut keys and that'll just give you a little more control when you're working inside the timeline panel. For example, I'm now pressing the left arrow key in order to go backward one frame after another or you can press the right arrow key to move forward. Now, in my case, I am very happy with the last frame.
I'm just trying to keep things simple where this first simple project is concerned. So, I'm going to advance to that last frame and I wanna copy it to its own layer and the best way to do that is to press ctrl + A or cmd + A on a Mac to select the entire image and then just press ctrl + alt + j or cmd + opt + j on the Mac to both jump the layer, that's what the ctrl or cmd + j is for, and of course, because you have the alt or opt key down you'll bring up the new layer dialogue box. I'm gonna go ahead and call this guy moon jelly and then I'll click OK and you can see that this is not a movie over here inside the layers panel.
In other words, Layer 1, that's the entire movie. Albeit a very short one, just a few frames. Whereas moon jelly, this guy right here, doesn't have a little movie icon in its thumbnail and is therefore a static image layer. All right, now I'm going to drag this guy out of the video group and then I'll go ahead and click on a video group to select it and I'll press the backspace key or the delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. Now, you might figure this is a pretty horrible mistake because after all, now I'm just seeing the transparent checkerboard background.
Where did my image go? Well, it's now basically off the grid where the movie is concerned, but you don't need the movie anymore so go ahead and click on that fly-out menu icon in the upper right corner of the Timeline panel and choose Delete Timeline to get rid of the video aspect of this file and you will now see your one and only pixel-based layer. Now, I'll go ahead and hide the Timeline panel by double clicking on its tab down here at the bottom of the screen. Now, the final little bit of setup that I recommend is that you go ahead and convert this image to the Adobe RGB color space because you're gonna have a lot more flexibility when editing color inside that space.
So, step one, is to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Color Settings command and then assuming default settings which is to say here in the States, North America General Purpose 2. All you need to do inside this vast and complicated dialogue box is change this first RGB setting. The one in the working spaces area from SRGB whatever the heck to one that's farther up the list here, Adobe RGB (1998). So, you may have to go ahead and scroll up and down the menu in order to get to it and that is gonna be your best go to bet.
Then go ahead and click OK. Now, that changes your working space but it does not change the color profile that's assigned to this file which is SRGB as is typically the case with GoPro movies. So, to convert it, what you need to do is go up to the Edit menu and choose Convert to Profile. So, a couple of commands down here from color settings and then you'll notice that your source base is already set to SRGB etc. Now you wanna change your destination space from whatever it may be, it could be some CMY case base down here.
What we want is Adobe RGB (1998) once again. Otherwise the settings aren't gonna make much difference especially where this file is concerned. So, you can go ahead and click OK and you are now working with an Adobe RGB file which means you have a lot more flexibility where your future color corrections are concerned and we're gonna be correcting the colors inside this image like crazy starting in the next movie.
- Selecting the best frame of a fish in motion
- Correcting contrast
- Enhancing clarity
- Bringing out color and beauty in Camera Raw
- Sharpening a moving target with Shake Reduction
- Correcting lens distortion
- Developing black-and-white versions of underwater photos
- Creating a looping movie or animated GIF
- Framing macro shots
- Simulating depth of field with Gaussian Blur