A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
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Post by Pqtrick »

Has anyone any comments about designing and including graphics in video. I want to include some graphic diagram drawings into a documentary. I can produce the drawings in a graphics package then export the image as either a .jpeg or .bmp or whatever. But what about the file size format and the resolution? I find that by default a drawing when exported will be about 2.55MB with a duration of ten seconds. I can trim them and then I presume that I can set the default duration somewhere in the editing programme. I have tried this before in the past but have not had too good a result as the drawings lacked impact and look too 'bit mapped'. I need to have a 16:9 image which I believe to be 720x576 pixels. Am I going the right way about this? Ideas welcome.
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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson »

For PAL video the normal "Academy" sized picture is 720x576 video-pixels.
I say "video-pixels" because they are oblong, unlike normal computer pixels which are square.
So if you make your graphic 768x576 in a normal computer program and import it into your video editor it will look right.

For PAL 16x9 ratio it depends whether you are talking of a letter-boxed version where in your editor the oblong picture sits in the middle of a 4x3 frame - in which case follow the formula above - or an anamorphic system where in your editor the whole frame is filled with an image of thin tall people (!). In that case you want the tv or projector you use for watching the finished product to stretch the image to 1024x576 video pixels for you.
But here I come unstuck because I am not sure how that translates into normal "square" pixels. Logic suggests your graphics program should be set to output at 1092x576 but I cannot swear to it.

Look at the program you use to shrink the graphic. Some are better at shrinking than others. Some do it better in bmp than in tiff and so on. Some trial and error may be needed. I usually put pictures into PaintShop Pro which reduces sizes well. I then apply some degree of sharpening - often the option called "unsharp mask" - a silly name! I try a couple of variations to see what works best.
Make the output format bmp or tiff because jpg, gif and png all compress images and lose some detail.


Most video editors have a setting in "Preferences" or "Options" where you say how long you want still images to be displayed by default. But in almost every case once they are on the timeline you can stretch them as needed.

But then check for settings like "flicker-free" - in Premiere click on the still and it is on a right-click menu. That makes the graphic or photo stop shimmering.


You can cheat! Print out the graphic as big as your printer can make it ... and point your camcorder at it !

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Post by stingman »

When I have to put pictures onto my films for people. I like the picture to be a big reselution as possible. That way I can zoom into it and pan around and zoom out again. With pictures of the right size you cannot do this because you will get bad quality and jaggies.

Ian Gardner
Film Maker
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