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Adding a vignette to a video using Photoshop

How to create a vignette frame in Photoshop and add it to a video using Adobe Premier

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

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My brother Sam Ornbo is a freelance television Producer and Director and has recently been doing some work for a Scooter company. He shot a short promotional film for them and wanted to recreate the vignette effect that is used heavily in Top Gear. He uses Adobe Premier to edit videos which allows you to import PSD files, so asked me for some help in creating the vignette.

Creating the vignette

To create the vignette first select the Ellipse Tool and draw an Ellipse like this

Creating the ellipse

Then in the layers menu (F7) select the shape you have just drawn by holding the ⌘ key (Ctrl on windows I think) and click the layer thumbnail. You should then see the ant trail (a black and white line around the ellipse you have just drawn.

Selecting the ellipse

Then go to Select > Inverse. Create a new layer by going to Layer > New… > Layer and fill the selection with Black.

Turn off the original ellipse layer you created and you’ll be left with the inverse:

The inverse ellipse

Then go to Select > Deselect to remove the marching ants.

Next convert the layer to a Smart Object so we can apply filters non-destructively (this makes it easier to change things). To do this go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Then we apply a Gaussian Blur - Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. You should end up with something like this:

The finished vignette

Save your file as a PSD and it is ready to use in Adobe Premier. Drag the file into your bin it will be available for you to use in your project.

The finished effect

Applied over the video the Vignette gives us the effect we are looking for:

The final effect

Have an update or suggestion for this article? You can edit it here and send me a pull request.


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