I have been struggling with this issue for so long! I hope someone can assist me. When I create a slideshow of images set to music in Lightroom 4.1 (the same issues were had in Lightroom 3) and play it back - it looks sharp and beautiful. Once I export this slideshow (by selecting Export Video) and choosing 1080p in the video preset box and then play it back on my iMac it then looks somewhat soft. Once I then burn this slideshow to a DVD it looks even worse... it really makes great photos look terrible - the eyes in portraits are not sharp anymore... etc.
Does anyone have a solution to this? Am I selecting the wrong setting (1080p?). I want my clients to be able to play the slideshow back on their own computer (and possibly DVD player).
If originals are raw files then the most likley reason for the softness is lack of sharpening after they've been downsized for 1080p. The usual workaround is to export the originals as JPEG or TIFF at the size you need for the slideshow (i.e. 1920 by 1080 pixels), applying some output sharpening as part of the export process (see screenshot below). If images require a large amount of downsampling then set sharpen for High rather than Standadrd. You should also set Lr to reimport these files as part of the export process. After export/import is complete the images should be in good state for exporting as a slideshow.
With all due respect, this should not have to be addressed with a "workaround" ... it defeats the whole purpose of using Lightroom as the centerpeice for a RAW image workflow, if one must export or create additional copies of images in order to maintain sharpness for the creation of a slideshow ... For myself, this could add up to many thousands of images per year that must be generated to perform such a trivial task that should have been addressed long ago ... Adobe should have paid more attention to this module over the past several iterations and improved it to the point where the user could apply sharpening to the images as a part of the process of creating a slideshow. Otherwise, how is Lightroom to be considered a workflow solution ... when all it does is create more work for the user to accomplish their tasks? Unfortunately the Slideshow module has lingered in obsurity since v1 with hardly any consideration by the development team whatsoever.
Thanks Ian for your help. As Butch_M has mentioned though I was really hoping that there was something I could do without increasing the workload of exporting and importing the images first. It really does seem crazy to me that Adobe has not included this sharpening process in the Lightroom Slideshow module if this is in fact the only way to make slideshows better. Tell me do you both have the same issues with your own slideshows if you do not first sharpen on export and re-import?
Does anyone know of a better slideshow software that performs better and gives nice sharp images? Has anyone hearsd about or tried Fotomagico. It seems crazy to have to go to other software when there is a dedicated module to Slidheshow's in Lightroom itself. I really hope that Adobe fixes up this issue in new releases.
Do realize that burning to a DVD you get very low resolution images as DVDs are only 480p so your DVD burning software has to scale the exported video down by a very large amount. If the scaler in the DVD burning software you use is not very good, you'll get very soft results. Let alone that the pixels in a standard video DVD are not even square! Even if the scaler is very good you'll never get very good results as 480p is just not very low resolution for still images and you'll always see pixellation or very soft images. Ian's response up there is very good advice and probably gets you fairly good quality when burning DVDs from the final files. That said, my experience is that you're often best of just burning the 1080p files to a data DVD with the files and hoping that your client has a BluRay player that can play these files (very hit and miss unfortunately). So don't let it get touched by and video DVD authoring software. You can also dump it on a USB stick. Many TVs and BluRay players nowadays have USB slots from which they will play the H264 encoded files Lightroom generates.
Hi Jao vdL. Thanks for your response. No I didn't realise it was such low resolution burning to DVD. Why so then do when you watch DVD films/movies (i.e from the DVD Store) the quality appears so good even on a normal DVD player or computer screen? Sorry if I appear to be totally uneducated about this issue! Probably a silly question but is it the same problem burning to a CD to be played on a computer? And, what do you mean by the below? Isn't burning to a DVD/data DVD exactly the same? I am confused by what you mean to try here?
Jao vdL wrote:
That said, my experience is that you're often best of just burning the 1080p files to a data DVD with the files and hoping that your client has a BluRay player that can play these files (very hit and miss unfortunately). So don't let it get touched by and video DVD authoring software. You can also dump it on a USB stick. Many TVs and BluRay players nowadays have USB slots from which they will play the H264 encoded files Lightroom generates.
And yes - the USB is a good idea... but a bit pricier than a disk (which also has the clients purchased edited images on it - all in one neat package).
The reason is that your eye is much less discerning for moving images. You are much more likely to see limited resolution issues on still images. Movies are much less critical and many people do not notice the difference between a DVD (maximally 480p) and a 1080p BluRay except in still images even though the BluRay disc has 6 times the number of pixels.
>Isn't burning to a DVD/data DVD exactly the same? I am confused by what you mean to try here?
Video DVD is a different thing from a dataDVD. To be able to play on a standard settop box DVD player, the video has to be transcoded to standard definition mpeg2. The maximal resolution for standard video DVDs is a pityfull 720x480 pixels (for the Northern American NTSC standard). It is slightly higher in Europe (but not much). Burning a data DVD (or CD) is just what the name implies, it creates an exact copy of the H264 mpeg4 high def file that Lightroom outputs. The problem is that not many players play such files or can read data DVDs/CDs and you basically need a good BluRay player to play these. But if they do, you'll get full 1080p quality and in general you will not be able to see any softness except on absolutely gigantic TV screens.
Thanks Jao vDL your answers are very helpful. I am sure I am burning my slideshows though to a data DVD - and playback on my computer is soft. I have been burning a combination of :
to Imation brand DVD+R disks It says on the pack 16x/4.7GB/120Min
Are these data DVDs or Video DVDs?
I am not overly concerned about the client needing to play the slideshow on their DVD player - I am happy with them being able to play it (looking sharp!) on their computer/laptop etc.
An I using the correct type of DVD?
I found a wonderful - but strange idea on another forum! And it works!!! It is to "uncheck" the "Stroke Border" option in the Slideshow module. (under Options on the right hand side)
For anyone else looking for a solution to this problem - I thought it was far fetched but it actually works. I had a stroke border set around the images that displayed on my slideshows (you can choose from 1 px). Apparently by making this zero (uncheck the box) the slideshow appears SHARP AND PERFECT once exported AND burned to a DVD. I did not believe it would work - but it does!
Why it works??? I have no idea - but I'm sticking with no borders on my slideshow exports from now on.
Hope this helps some others too that are looking for a fix! It doesn't look as good with no border but for now I am happy with a sharp slideshow on disk!
The LR slideshow module has had problems since its initial introduction and the issues have not been fixed in LR4.1. There is also an issue of resample artifacts (jaggies) when using portrait orientaion images in a slideshow on Windows platforms.. See this thread:
Here's an excerpt from the above thread link:
LR has at least three different implementation versions, concerning this LR Slideshow Module behavior:
Stroke Border Portrait Images
Mac OS: Causes softness OK (no resample artifacts)
Windows Vista: No issues Resample artifacts (jaggies)
Windows 7: Causes softness Resample artifacts (jaggies)
Europe, Middle East and Africa