Scaling and deinterlacing in CS3 are both pretty lousy.
Your best bet is to edit and export at full resolution in Pr, then resize using another application like After Effects ($$$) or VirtualDub (free).
Well, since these are pictures, try scaling them down in Photoshop before bringing the images into Premiere. You can use the Bicubic method in Photoshop – or you can try the Bicubic (sharper) method, which may produce better results but can also cause 'ringing' artifacts.
If this is a large-ratio reduction (such as resizing a 3000x2000 image to 720x480 or something) you may find, as I have, that you can get better results with the following type of process:
- If the image is 8-bits per channel, convert it to 16-bits per channel
- apply a sharpening filter, such as Unsharp Mask with fairly strong settings (say, strength=200% ... radius=0.5 ... threshold=4)
- scale the image to the desired size using the normal Bicubic method
- convert the image to 8-bits per channel
This process can yield a sharper image with less ringing than the Bicubic (sharper) algorithm. The exact amount of sharpening you should apply will depend on the how much smaller than the original you are scaling the image (a larger ratio requires more sharpening). It also will vary with the content of the image, noise, contrast, etc. -- and personal taste.
Once you've found some settings you like, you can set up an action in Photoshop to automate this process a bit.
Along with Dan's suggestions (great ones BTW), with print work, I find that doing the re-sizing by "stair-stepping," i.e. in 20% reduction (80% of original) increments, times how much you need to reduce the original image, imporves things too. It takes a tad more work, but the resulting reduced image can benefit. I will say that I use this method with large, high-rez original captures or scans, when the client needs something tiny. With video work, it might not be worth the effort for the result - just something to keep in the back of your mind.
This does assume that by "pictures," you mean stills, and not vid-caps of your screen. I'm still not 100% clear on that.
Interesting… I was aware of stair-stepping as a method for upsizing images, but not so much for reducing their size.
It is far more often used to up-rez, than down-rez. In several tests that I did (going back to about PS 7), down-rez'ing benefitted too. I'd wager that most, if not all, Actions for stair-stepping will be for up-rez'ing. I had to write my own (no big deal) for the down-rez.
Now, with the video dimensions we're talking about it's probably moot. If the eye could not see the difference all the math-n-science is of little use. However, if the OP is not 100% satisfied with the results of your instructions, it might be worth a try.
BTW your presence has been missed. Lot of folk asking for you. I believe that Stanley Jones is doing some research into putting many of your articles back into the new forum. Same for Jim Simon's multi-part series on "Film Look." Hope you've been well and just staying busy.
Thanks, Hunt. I have been busy (work + kids… you know the drill). I have also been more involved in web design and programming these days, so I haven't been particularly focused on video production stuff lately.
Yes, sometimes "real life" intrudes.
Still, nice to see you back. I've always greatly appreciated your insight. Have to admit that much of the discussion went over my pointed little head, but always made for a good read. I did try to tuck much of it away for later use.
Take care, and enjoy life,