4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2012 9:26 AM by Rick Gerard

# Make a high res photo smaller, while keeping it high res

How can I take a high res photo into AE, size it down and keep it high res? I have to make a video where I have mutliple headshots close together.

• ###### 1. Re: Make a high res photo smaller, while keeping it high res

Your question doesn't really make any sense, sorry.  Your photo is the resolution it is.

What is the actual resolution (in pixels) of your photo?  What is the output resolution required?  What is the output medium/media?

• ###### 2. Re: Make a high res photo smaller, while keeping it high res

The photos are 3798 by 3378 with a pixel resolution of 72. The AE comp settings are 1920 by 1080 HDTV 1080 24. And yeah aorry about the wording of my question. I'm just really new to AE and i'm used to photoshop when it comes to scaling an image down. So when I shift click the image once in it is my comp window, when I size it down it loses it's quality and becomes pixilated.

• ###### 3. Re: Make a high res photo smaller, while keeping it high res

I figured it all out, it's early and I was just making foolish mistakes... like asking this.

• ###### 4. Re: Make a high res photo smaller, while keeping it high res

Resolution is the number of pixels. When you scale down an image in After Effects AE cannot cram more pixels in physical space. Let me explain. I'm going to use whole numbers so the calculations are easier.

If yhour image is 3000 pixels wide and you put it in a 1500 pixel wide AE comp then AE will crop the image to 1500 pixels wide. You will only see half of the image. You can move the image around because the pixels in the image outside of AE that are not in the Composition Canvas are not lost, they are just not visible in the composition because they are cropped.

If you want to see the entire image you must scale the image down to 50%. The original 3000 pixels now become 1500 and you can see the entire image. Did you follow that? Inside the composition your image is not still 3000 pixels, it is only 1500 pixles. Half of the information in the image is thrown away. After Effects uses some complex math to try and maintain as much of the detail as it can but half of the information is lost. Your image, inside the composition is now half the resolution of the original.

If your design requires you to see the entire image without any cropping then it does no good to import an image that is 3000 or even 2000 pixels wide. Photoshop, and a bunch of other image editing applications, can do a much better job of scaling down an image that After Effects so if you want the image to have the best appearance then you should scale the image down to the composition width in something like Photoshop before you bring it into your project. AE will perform better, the image will look better, and all will be well with the world.

The second scenario in a design may be that you wanto to do a push in on an image to reveal only 1/4 of the original photo. In that case, if you started with a 3000 pixel wide photo in a 1500 pixel composition you would need to scale the image to 200% to crop the image to 1/4 of the original area. This time, After Effects will have to double the number of pixels in your image. This results in a loss of apparent detail. You would be better of importing an image that was 6000 pixels wide to start with. Here again, if the original is only 3000 pixels then there are better solutions for scaling up the image and restoring the apparent detail than AE. Photoshop does a better job and there are 3rd party solutions that can do even better.

I hope this helps you understand resolution. One more thing, PPI has nothing do do with resolution. PPI only controls the size of the image when it is printed. Here are two examples. Download them and check out the PPI in Photoshop. Both are exactly the same resolution. Drag them in to a word processing app which respects print size (ppi). You'll learn something.

Enjoy...