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Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

Last post 12-24-2009, 5:50 by exseedman. 10 replies.
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  •  12-23-2009, 7:39 364782

    Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    I am making a video using Studio 12 with primarily still Images. There will be a few video clips at 720X480 resolution.

    I plan to pan and zoom on most of the still images, but not the video clips.

    I am wondering if there is an ideal or preferred resolution for the still images that will give me the best quality in the finished video.  My finished video will be SD (4:3 ratio), that will be burned onto a DVD disk for playing on a TV.

    Should the images be made to match the video clips resolution?
    Should the projects resolution be set to the video clips or the highest resolution of the still images?
    Should they be higher resolution because of zooming?
    Should adding "_HQ" between the file name and the file suffix (extension)  be considered.

    I would prefer to size all images on Photoshop, and than let Studio do rescaling as necessary to accommodate the zooming.

    I have read a number of posts that somewhat address this, but they all seem to be related to making HD videos.

    Suggestions or help would be appreciated.

  •  12-23-2009, 8:16 364797 in reply to 364782

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    No, there is no "ideal".  If you weren't doing pan-n-zoom, you could choose a 4:3 resolution that matched your output width (e.g. 720x540), or your output height (e.g. 640x480).  But since you're panning-and-zooming, that is out.

    If you're looking for a general figure, I would suggest not going more than 1600x1200 if you're doing a lot (more than a dozen or two) still images in your project, and/or you know you aren't going to zoom *way* in on any of the images.  Here, on my lower-end hardware, Studio seems to swallow 1600x1200 images (approx. 2 megapixel) without problems, and running with 7 megapixel images from the wife's camera causes Studio to get sluggish.   But if you have  higher resolution stills to start with, and Studio seems to run "ok" with them on your hardware, then no harm/no foul.

    The "_HQ trick" is used for higher resolution during zooming.

    If you have a bunch of images that you know you aren't going to zoom in on over 2:1, and you're looking for a good place to start, then 1600x1200 with the _HQ extension should work.

    (Last hint:  If you expect your video to be shown on a standard TV set, be sure to allow for "overscan" -- that 5-10% of the image that gets cut off around the border of a TV set -- when cropping your pictures!)

    Anyone else?


  •  12-23-2009, 8:43 364802 in reply to 364797

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    One more suggestion, since your using version 12 (Hopefully the ultimate version) and if you have 10 meg pixel+ photo's, you will have another option open, by using the stage tools plug-in. I little harder to pan and zoom with, but when the standard studio pluggins let you down because if what your working with, this plugging sometimes yields better results.
  •  12-23-2009, 8:57 364807 in reply to 364797

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    Bittmann...   The "_HQ trick"?   could you elaborate?  I ask because I find myself doing a number of slideshows for people and with a coupla hundred photos on the timeline, you're right about Studio getting a little sluggish... downright SLOW is a better word (imho)...  I can fool Studio by changing the extension on the hi-res digital photos?
  •  12-23-2009, 10:00 364832 in reply to 364807

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    Read the "readme.doc" in the Studio install directory (I think you'll find a shortcut in the start menu?).  The "_HQ" trick makes pan-n-zooms higher quality, at the expense of making Studio even more sluggish/crash-prone.  So, if you're having performance problems without "_HQ", then adding "_HQ" will only make things worse.

    Also note that the _HQ thing only seems to affect pan-n-zoom.  Stills that *aren't* zoomed don't seem to benefit from _HQ at all.


  •  12-23-2009, 11:49 364882 in reply to 364782

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    Thanks for the quick replies to my post.

    bittmann - in your comment that "you know you aren't going to zoom in on over 2:1", do you mean that you would be viewing less that 50% of the original image?
    If I knew that I was going to zoom in further, is it correct to assume a larger image resolution than 1600x1200 would help preserve image quality using the _HQ extension trick.

    I also appreciated your hint about the over-scan - I have already observed that but didn't know exactly why.
    readme.doc - funny how easy it is to overlook these.  Thanks for the reminder.

    ghuck - I am using Studio 12 ultimate and appreciate your info about the plug-in.

  •  12-23-2009, 13:08 364918 in reply to 364882

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    Well, that'd be "less than 25% of the image" (throw away half the vertical, and half the horizontal, and you're left with 25% of the number of pixels), but yes, that's what I meant.  And yes, if you're doing a big zoom on something, going to higher than 1600x1200 for what you're "going microscopic" on makes sense, as does _HQ.  --- and as does StageTools Moving Pictures, if it's available.


  •  12-23-2009, 14:20 364940 in reply to 364918

    • oceanol is not online. Last active: 06-07-2022, 17:51 oceanol
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    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    If I were making primarily a slide show I'd look around for other programs to test against Studio (even though otherwise I'm quite satisfied with Studio for videos). I don't know why, and I've tried the _HQ suffix, but stills are the weak points in my Studio videos and I now avoid them when possible. 

    Added: I'd never hearrd of Stagetools. It says it's a plug-in that uses high res photos and is compatible with "Avid." Has anybody used it?

    MovingPicture makes smooth pans and zooms on hi-res stills. It is available as a standalone app or plug-in for most popular nonlinear editing systems, on  Macintosh and Windows.

    Click here for more info on MovingPicture








  •  12-23-2009, 17:07 364999 in reply to 364940

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    Stage tools moving pictures was a plug in that came free with Studio ver 11. There's also a stand alone version that can be purchased. As far as I have heard on the forum, it works quite well. If you had version 11 ultimate, you should be able to use the content transfer wizard to use it in ver 12. It is compatible.


  •  12-23-2009, 18:44 365011 in reply to 364999

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    I'm currently working on a slide show and trying to use some of the plugin's. It takes forever to render. I've heard some suggest turning off background rendering until the end. How do you see what the effect is going to look like if you turn the rendering off? It's that way for all my slides if a make a small adjustment to the size or location of a slide I have to have it render before I can make sure it's where I want it to be, and it looks like what I want it to to look like. I spend a lot of time watching the green bar slowly move and my 4 processors and 8GB of memory barley being used. I spent $500.00 upgrading to Windows 7, faster hard drive, new version of Studio, and the 8GB of memory. I was in hopes of resolving rendering speed issue. I have to say it is "somewhat" faster but I still spend more time waiting then working. Is there a "draft" rendering setting somewhere? I don't care about full resolution I just want to see how it's going to look after I make the change. Any suggestions would be great.   
  •  12-24-2009, 5:50 365149 in reply to 364802

    Re: Is there an ideal resolution for still images?

    I wasn't aware of Plug-ins like Stagetools and Moving Pictures that oceanal mentioned. Looks like they are both additional 3rd party apps.

    All my stills so far have been less than 10 meg pixel, and probably will be because I'm working in SD.

    Look like they might be a bit "pricey", but if they work and are really needed they could be worth it.  I'll keep them in mind if some of the other suggestions are not working out.

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