2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2009 11:03 AM by (Rick_Gerard)

    Imported images look really bad

    Level 1
      I'm trying to import some screenshots into AE (CS3), but they look very pixelated. I've tried them in every configuration I can think of, as PSDs, as jpgs at their native size, and using the template in Photoshop. They import into Premiere just fine. How do I get them to look crisp and clean?
        • 1. Re: Imported images look really bad
          (Steve_Patterson) Level 1
          Couple of things:
          -What is your comp viewer resolution set to?
          -What are the dimensions of your source images (PAR Correction enabled)?
          -What is the layer quality set to when viewed in the timeline?
          • 2. Re: Imported images look really bad
            Level 1
            Screenshots direct to video, especially interlaced video, will always look bad. Here are several reasons.
            1. Screenshots always contain horizontal lines and type that is too narrow. The absolute minimum width for a line in interlaced video is 2 pixels. If it's not 2 pixels wide it will flicker like crazy.
            2. Computer displays are much higher resolution than standard video so you must scale down the screenshot to fit. This just aggravates the problem of fonts and lines that are too thin.
            3. For many codecs the color space is too wide. You'll end up with whites and blacks that are out of range.
            4. Screen Gamma is different than video gamma (this is probably the easiest to fix)
            There are several ways you can fix this. The easiest way is to double or triple the size of your screenshot using nearest neighbor interpolation in Photoshop then use pan and scan techniques in AE to move around the image. You won't be able to see the entire screen but at least you'll have results that appear to be sharp. The second option is to recreate the screenshots into some artwork that will work for video and represents the look and feel of the original screenshot rather than the actual image. The last option is to use a hardware solution to convert your screenshot from directly to video. These work better and faster than any other solution if you're going to SD video.

            If you're going to the web then you'll still end up with the same small detail problems as you scale down the video to fit in a smaller window. Some of the screen capture programs do a very good job of scaling down screen captures and turning them into usable images, but no matter what you do, there will always be a problem when you try and scale down something that's only a single pixel wide to begin with.