This lesson demonstrates how to use Photoshop’s Generative Fill to stretch a movie and alter its shape.

Generative Fill is currently only available in the Photoshop beta because we are utilising it. How to download Photoshop beta is provided here.

Horizontal video is the norm. Sometimes you need to convert a horizontal video to a vertical or square format for social media platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram reel, and Youtube clips. Or perhaps you simply need to expand the boundaries of a video because you want to recompose it. How? Read on.

Before is on the left, and after is on the right. Although this is generative fill, Photoshop is using it to work on a film.

Choose file>Open and choose your video, it will open in Photoshop and the timeline will appear. (Not all video formats are supported, but .mov H.264 is the most commonly used and supported format.)

If you look in the layers panel, you will see a video group. Everything in this video group will be on a single layer on the timeline. You will see why you need to know this soon.

Lets extend the canvas.

Choose the crop tool

Drag out the crop to extend the top or bottom. Tip: Find an edge that doesn’t have movement, or shoot a photo that only has movement in the middle. This technique won’t work properly on a video that has edge to edge movement.

Press enter to apply the crop. We have a 1:1 square crop here.

Grab the rectangular marquee selection tool

Drag over the blank area, making sure to overlap the existing pixels a little bit.

Choose Generative fill

Enter text for what you want to fill the blank layer with and then press generate

Because we are in the Video group in the layers panel, you will notice the generated layer (in purple) is added at the end of the timeline, rather than stacked on top of the video

Grab the Generated layer and drag it above the Video group in the Layers panel.

Press the spacebar for the video to play. Notice how convincing this is. We have essentially created a Cinemagraph


Once you have created this, you can save it as a PSD and everything will be as it was when you reopen the file. To share or distribute the result, it needs to be encoded as a video.

In Photoshop choose File>Export>Render Video

Use the default format or H.264

If you use the high quality preset, the video will render using the current dimensions.

If you want to post the movie on a certain platform, you may select from a variety of presets since it includes YouTube presets among others.

I’ve prepared two courses to help you learn more about using video in Photoshop.

Video in Photoshop (written by me, Colin Smith, and also available from Peachpit Press as a book)

Photoshop Movie Making

I hope you found this tutorial helpful

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