Home Contributor Video Tutorial: How to Bring a Photoshop File into Premiere Pro

Film and video projects aren’t only about moving pictures. In this tutorial, find out how you can work with still Photoshop files in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Premiere Pro works particularly well with other software applications from Adobe’s Creative Suite. Premiere users can dynamically link compositions from After Effects, edit audio clips in Audition, import complex image files from Illustrator and Photoshop, and queue and export sequences in Media Encoder. All of these programs work well together, allowing you to create whatever kind of content your heart desires.

Premiere works notably well with Photoshop, giving users a number of different ways to import layered .psd files. You can even open an image in Photoshop directly within Premiere. Since many video editors often work with photographs, it makes sense that the two programs would work together seamlessly.

Let’s take a closer look in this video tutorial.

Importing Photoshop Files

Let me give you a quick example. I’m currently working on a project for a client, and they’ve sent me a .psd file with two layers — a text layer and an image. The client wants to make several versions of a video incorporating these elements: some versions including the text element and some without. For this reason, I want to bring the .psd file into my Premiere Pro project as individual layers. Let’s take a look at how we can accomplish this with all of the different ways to import images into Premiere.

First, to bring the .psd file into my Premiere project, I’ll select File > Import. Once the import dialogue box appears, I can see four different ways to bring in the file:

  1. Merge All Layers
  2. Merged Layers
  3. Individual Layers
  4. Sequence

Let’s have a closer look at each and figure out the best option.

Merge All Layers

Importing with this method will merge all of the layers of my Photoshop file and import it as one graphic file. Once imported, however, I can still edit the .psd by grabbing the file in Premiere Pro and selecting Edit > Edit Original. This will launch Photoshop, and any changes I make will be reflected in Premiere Pro — even something as simple as changing the visibility of a layer.

Merged Layers

Merged Layers gives me the opportunity to select which layers I want to merge. Different from Merge All Layers, this method uses checkboxes to specify which layers to include with the imported file. Since my .psd file contains only two layers, I’ll skip this method.

Individual Layers

This method allows me to import the individual layers of my .psd file as separate graphic clips. With the checkbox, I can select which layers to include and which to leave out — as well as specify if I want them to match the document or layer dimensions. This is exactly what I want to do, as it will give me the versatility to use the text separate from the image in Premiere.


Importing as a sequence is the same as importing with Individual Layers. The only difference is that Premiere will automatically create a sequence and place the layers inside. Very helpful indeed. And once again, I can specify which layers I want to include and how to handle the footage dimensions.

So there you have it — a few ways you can work with Photoshop files in Premiere Pro.

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