This question, Photoshop CC converting image layers to video clip, was nominated to be closed as off topic because it is about video. The issue addressed has absolutely no application to the capture of still images. Yet we have other questions about time lapse videos that are not closed as off topic.

Shortly after the above question was asked, this question, When not to make a video from a timelapse series?, seemed to make reference in the body of that question to the question above and the fact that another user thought it should be closed.

Why was this question considered off topic?


It seems to me that this question is different from the suggested duplicate because it places it in the context of a specific "time lapse" question where the issue encountered has no real application to still photography. The other question is in the context of a question that does have implications for still photography as well.

  • Perhaps time-lapse should be considered completely off topic, no exception, because time-lapse is video. If someone is really concerned about still photography, they should ask about "interval shooting" instead. – xiota Sep 13 at 9:24
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    Possible duplicate of Are time-lapse questions off topic? – mattdm Sep 14 at 18:29
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    Wow, we sure don't have consensus here (lots of both down and up votes), which is interesting given the positive response to the previous question. – mattdm Sep 16 at 15:42
up vote -1 down vote accepted

FWIW I voted to close the question. My rationale is simple: There's a hard line in the sand where, if you start doing any video work, you've crossed it.

Time lapse is on topic and very relevant to photography. How you compile images in Photoshop is on topic. How you edit them is on topic.

How you turn those separate images into a video is where the line is crossed for me.

  • I agree wholeheartedly! – Michael Clark Sep 13 at 17:19
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    Except exporting to a video format isn't "doing video work" it's just an export format. If they wanted to edit said video, I agree with you, but simply using a photo manipulation program's export options to pick a particular export format isn't really "working with video". I can tell you with confidence that the body of users here is much more likely to have an answer for this question than Video Production because we rarely would even use Photoshop in a video context unless it was preparing a compositing asset, and even then illustrator is a more likely option. – AJ Henderson Sep 13 at 17:26
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    @AJHenderson I see your point. Maybe the question would be better as what're the ways to playback a time-lapse? - of which export to video is an option. Yep, I'm trying to find a way around my rule for this one - but as it is, I still feel it's off topic. – Hueco Sep 13 at 17:39
  • Suppose you're reading a photography book. In the chapter discussing interval shooting, should it discuss everything about time-lapse photography except how to convert it to video because that would be "off-topic"? I suspect most readers would be annoyed if this key point were omitted. – xiota Sep 14 at 4:50

It's worth highlighting that the question you mentioned has only two close votes and personally, I disagree that it is off topic. Shooting time-lapse has much more to do with still photography than it does with shooting video as it is composed of individual photos over time rather than shooting rapidly in sequence. There is some cross over if we start getting in to editing timelapse that probably is better put on the video site, but I don't know that there is a hard line here.

In particular, I think the linked question is on topic due to tooling being used. Photoshop is NOT a video tool. If they wanted to work on making a timelapse in Premiere or After Effects, then I think Video Production would be a much better place for the question, but they are focusing on a particular output option of a photo manipulation software vs trying to take still images and combine them in a video editing software.

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    "Photoshop is NOT a video tool." I think that's the entire point. The OP needs to use a video tool that has no conceivable application to producing still images to solve the issue. – Michael Clark Sep 13 at 17:15
  • Photoshop supports working with image sequences from a quick check. (youtube.com/watch?v=epkIPcVGxFo) It's capabilities are rudimentary at best, but if someone only needs to actually export their still images as a video file, I think that's within (and about the limit) of what would be on topic, as well as any individual manipulation of the photos to prepare it. The reason I think it stays on topic is that some of the issues of keeping the color the same as exposure changes between shots for example would be more applicable to photography than video. – AJ Henderson Sep 13 at 17:25
  • If one were attempting to export a single image as a 'static' video (one in which the single image is constantly displayed without movement, I might would agree with you or at least acknowledge that you have a point. But the question referenced above looks like an attempt to combine multiple images to do a motion sequence from multiple stills shot in a 'stop motion' sequence, not to display a still image using a "video" format. – Michael Clark Sep 13 at 17:30
  • So are questions about processing graphics that were never photographs using Photoshop now also on topic, because Photoshop is a tool that can be used for still image processing, but can also be used to process things that were never photographs by any stretch of the definition of what a photograph is? – Michael Clark Sep 13 at 19:19
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    An image sequence in Photoshop is a series of photos that were taken and likely processed as individual photographs. If exporting a photo from Photoshop with transparency or different formats is on topic, I don't see how exporting a series of photos as a video wouldn't be on topic. Everything other than the export is still effectively dealing with individual photos. I think it is something that could cross over, but if they are taking the photos and treating them individually prior to export, I don't see how the final export step is that far off topic. – AJ Henderson Sep 13 at 23:10
  • Also, suppose the Q is migrated to video.se. Then it gets downvoted and kicked back to photography.se because... Photoshop! – xiota Sep 14 at 4:42

If the question addresses an issue with capturing still images to be used as frames for a video it is usually considered on topic. In such a case, the answers can also be applied to taking still images not intended for use as frames in videos.

If the problem addressed involves the video side of the process of creating a time lapse video that has no application to taking a still image, then it is probably off topic and the video production community here at SE is almost certainly a better fit.

This question is only about processing frames as video and has absolutely no application to capturing still images to be used as still photographs.

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