Photos

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Bill Bolton
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Photos

Post by Bill Bolton » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:32 pm

Hi - I have download pictures/photos from Flickr - with the owners permission - and want to include them in a video - as is usual on Flickr the picture ranges from 800 x 513 to 1600 x 1027 and various other sizes up to 5210 x 3344.

I want to use them in a video but what is the best way to maintain good quality pictures. I have tried various methods - ie cropping, resizing etc but the picture always looks pixilated on the editing program.

I use Pinnacles Studio Ultimate 16 and Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 - and I want to resize the picture for widescreen - 720 x 405 - so my question is - what is the best method to keep the picture crystal clear as the original - or won't I be able to achieve this ? :?

John Roberts
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Re: Photos

Post by John Roberts » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:00 pm

Hi Bill,

Firstly I must point out I don't use either of the programs you mention, so I can only say what my process is. As long as the image doesn't require any 'artistic' adjustments such as can be applied using Photoshop or similar programs (for example the removal of people or litter etc) then I would import the image onto the timeline as it is. I usually put still images onto a separate track on the timeline to make it easier to spot them amongst the video clips, but you could import them onto the video track if the transition between video and still image requires you to do so.

I use Sony Movie Studio 12, which is their basic editor, and within this I resize and position the image within the frame where I want it, if required, and let the editor handle it from there. I don't resize in Corel Photo Paint, and certainly never resize down to whatever resolution I think the final rendered output will be because this can add another stage of 'lossy' compression to the image, resulting in image degradation.

Obviously, if you are editing Full HD clips on the timeline but rendering to standard definition DVD then you are going to see a reduction in quality. Also, your 'preview' window on the editor might not reflect the exact resolution of your final output and may show a degraded image. In MS12 I can view at full resolution at full screen if I want to, and I do this on occasion if I am concerned about quality issues.

So my advice would be not to fiddle about with the images at all and import them straight from Flickr onto your timeline, reposition them if required, and leave it at that. Importing an image at its (higher) native resolution will also enable you to 'zoom in' or crop the image so that only a section of it is visible, useful if you want to inject a subtle movement into the still, without any noticeable quality drop.

Hope this helps :)

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TimStannard
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Re: Photos

Post by TimStannard » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:04 pm

Just hijacking this for a minute, John (and other Vegas users) you may or may not be aware of a couple of things with Vegas and photos:

1. It is generally accepted (on the Sony forums among other places) that Vegas can really struggle when it receives a number of large photos and it is recommended practice to downscale them first (not to their final resolution, but to something more like twice the horizontal and vertical)

2. Wherever possible do any resizing in event Pan and Crop. Any resizing done at track level does not resample/recalculate pixels. I made an extreme demo of this a few years back:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHUQa9T ... e=youtu.be
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Bill Bolton
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Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:16 pm

Re: Photos

Post by Bill Bolton » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:59 pm

Hi John and Tim

Thanks for your advice - however if I have a photo that measures 5210 x 3344 what do you suggest I resize it to before putting it in my editing program - and does it need to be in a ratio of 720 x 405 for widescreen ?

Bill :shock:

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TimStannard
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Re: Photos

Post by TimStannard » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:05 am

Hi Bill,

The issue I mentioned is specific to Sony Vegas (it may affect other programs, but I'm not aware of that) and it is more to do with the performance of the program than the quality of the image. Your largest photo is not massive and I would follow John's advice and import the original (ie do not resize before importing).

You definitely do not want to resize down to 720 x 405. Do you have a specific requirement for delivering in that format?

PAL TV is 720 x 576. The widescreen "bit" just tells the TV to use non-square pixels (ie rectangular pixels that are wider than they are tall). Assuming you are delivering for PAL TV, if you import an image 405 pixels high, your NLE will have to expand this to 576 pixels, thus introducing some blurriness.

If you do crop within an image editing program, ensure the aspect ratio is 16:9 and forget the pixels - your NLE should handle that for you.

And in case you missed John's comment I'll repeat it here: your 'preview' window on the editor might not reflect the exact resolution of your final output and may show a degraded image. In other words, don't judge your image quality until you've rendered.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

John Roberts
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Re: Photos

Post by John Roberts » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:43 pm

Hi Tim and Bill,

Firstly Tim, thanks for the 'heads up' on the Vegas issues, neither of which I have come across yet. I have a looming project which involves importing between 1000 and 2000 images so I will be interested to see how MS12 struggles with them! Also, I have not come across the issues with degrading picture quality differences between track and event cropping, possibly because I usually only crop at event level because every image crop is different. Something to bear in mind, though! :)

Bill, in addition to Tim's comments I don't usually alter the aspect ratio to 16:9 before importing either. MS12 allows me to set the aspect ratio (1:1, 4:3, 16:9, original, custom etc) for each individual image on the timeline so I usually just import them 'as is' then set the image's aspect ratio to suit the desired result. Cropping an image to the right aspect ratio in a photo editor (by chopping off the top or bottom for example) discards that information, which you might want to tilt up or down to for added movement, and any unnecessary processing in an image editor just adds further compression losses unless you're working in a lossless format such as BMP or TIFF.

Chuck the image in your video editor, then set the aspect ratio and resize or crop the image within the editor - this usually gives the best quality results and most scope for pan and tilt or cropping. However, I repeat I am unfamiliar with your particular editing software so your processes might be a little different.

Hope this helps :)

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