16 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2010 9:56 AM by the_wine_snob

    Help needed: Imported files blurring

    VJoecks

      Hey all -

       

      I've imported some powerpoint files (as JPEGs) into Premiere Pro CS4.

       

      When I put the slides into the source monitoring panel (the one on the left, not sure if that's the right name), they look crisp and fine. However when I put them into the Program Monitor panel (on the right) and hence into my sequence, they become slightly blurry. It's not super bad, just enough where it looks slightly off and the text isn't clear.

       

      The pixel aspect ratio is 1.0 (square files) which I think is right, because the slides look correct on the source monitoring panel.

       

      Anyone know what is causing this and how I can fix it?

       

      Anyway, thanks for your help. It is much appreciated.

       

      Victor

        • 1. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Victor,

           

          Can you Export from PowerPoint as TIFF's, or BMP's to keep that JPEG compression/degradation from taking place?

           

          To see things the best in PrPro, you can hit Enter to Render your Clips/images, then view at a Magnification of 100% in the Program Monitor. I would also look into setting the Quality to Highest, though some find that setting it to Auto is actually better - test this.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
            VJoecks Level 1

            Thank you Hunt. I will test that right now.

            • 3. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
              VJoecks Level 1

              Thanks for the advice about using the TIFF files. The files look much better, although I still have the same issue with the TIFF files looking much crisper on the Source monitor than when I put them into the program monitor.

               

              I tried rendering as you suggested - same thing.

               

              How do I set the quality? I figured out how to set the output quality, can i change the picture quality?

               

              Possibly related -- My video also looks somewhat pixelated, esp when there is movement. I used footage from DV tapes and the pixel aspect ratio is .9091. It looks the same rendered or unrendered.

               

              Thanks again for any help.

               

              Victor

              • 4. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Victor,

                 

                Let's look at your Project/Sequence Preset - the one that you choose, when you did a New Sequence. What are those settings?

                 

                You mention DV tape, so I assume that you are doing a Capture in PrPro via FW from miniDV tapes. Is this correct? If so, then your Sequence should be either PAL, or NTSC DV and with the PAR = 0.9, should be a Standard (4:3).

                 

                Now, we'll look at those TIFF's. When you Export them out of PowerPoint, what is their pixel x pixel size? If much larger than your 720 x 480 Frame Size, you will get better results Scaling them in Photoshop, and then Importing them into PrPro. The Scaling algorithms in PS are better than the ones in PrPro, plus you get more control with settings like Bicubic Smoother and Bicubic Sharper - your source images might dictate one being better than the other. This is one time, where bigger is NOT better.

                 

                Hope that this gets things sharper still.

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                  VJoecks Level 1

                  Let's look at your Project/Sequence Preset - the one that you choose, when you did a New Sequence. What are those settings?

                   

                  Not sure what I'm looking for so here's what is says ( in Preset folder: Dv - NTSC ->Standard 48 kHz)

                  _______________

                   

                  Present Description

                  For editing with with IEEE 1394 (Firewire/i.LINK) DV equipment.

                  Standard NTSC video (4:3 interlaced)

                  48kHz (16 bit) audio

                  Drop-Frame Timecode numbering

                   

                  General

                  editing mode: DV NTSC

                  Timebase: 29.97fps

                   

                  Video Settings

                  Frame size 720h 480v (0.9091)

                  Frame rate: 29.97 fames/second

                  Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV NTSC (0.9091)

                  Fields: Lower fields first

                  ___

                   

                  I think the rest of it isn't relavent, let me know if you need that info.

                   

                   

                   

                  You mention DV tape, so I assume that you are doing a Capture in PrPro via FW from miniDV tapes. Is this correct?

                   

                  yes, although I have to route it through an external harddrive to capture with PrPro. (Don't think that would make a difference.)

                   

                  If so, then your Sequence should be either PAL, or NTSC DV and with the PAR = 0.9, should be a Standard (4:3).

                   

                  How can I change the PAR? All of the presets are .9091 or else 1. something (widescreen) and when I go to the Interpret footage menu, it only allows me to conform to certain present options (and .9 isn't one of them)

                   

                  Thanks also for the advice about the pictures will give it a shot.

                   

                  Thank you

                   

                  Victor

                  • 6. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Victor,

                     

                    That all looks good. Provided that you shot in 4:3 Standard, and want 4: Standard, your PAR is correct.

                     

                    Now, what are the pixel x pixel dimensions of those TIFF's? You will want them to be 720 x 480, before you Import them.

                     

                    Good luck,

                     

                    Hunt

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                      VJoecks Level 1

                      Thanks Hunt. The photos are currently 720 x 960 so they're too big and I'll convert them to 480 by 720

                       

                      Can I ask a random question though - if I shot in 4 x 3  why am I importing into 480 by 720 which is a 2 to 3 ratio? 720 by 960 is a 4 by 3 ratio. It doesn't make sense to me.

                       

                      Thanks again.

                       

                      Victor

                      • 8. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        The photos use square pixels. Start reading on PAR, pixel aspect ratio to understand what is happening.

                        • 9. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                          VJoecks Level 1

                          Anything in particular you'd recommend?

                          • 10. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            The help file gives a good description with illustrations to help you understand it.This is a pretty basic, but also a confusing issue that causes a lot of grief if you don't understand it. That's why I suggest you read the help fiile or manual and take your time so you have a good grasp. It will help you enormously in the future, not only with importing and sequence settings, but also on export.

                            • 11. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              With the 720 x 960, I assume that you have verticals, or you are in Europe. Those sizes are not bad. For a 720 x 480 Project, the recommend size is 1000 x 750. This allows for some wiggle-room, if one is Panning on a Zoomed out image. Personally, I Scale to exactly what I need, which is most often 720 x 480 w/ zero Scaling on the part of PrPro. This ARTICLE will give you a bit of background on Scaling, especially in Photoshop.I like to eliminate as much Scaling in the NLE program, as I can.

                               

                              I also try to stay far away from JPEG's, as I am just not a fan of the compression. In my still photography business, I only use them, when a client needs an image for the Web, and then I'll more often go with PNG, if possible. For me, I keep things in .PSD, Photoshop's native format, and will Import those into PrPro. Within reason, I do not care about the size of the file, but only the quality. When someone complains that 300 PSD's will fill up their HDD, while 300 JPEG's will fit - my answer is,"buy more HDD's."

                               

                              As Harm points out, for NTSC, 720 x 480 is the same for both Widescreen (16:9) and Standard (4:3). The difference is the shape of their pixels. As I still have not memorized the "new" correct PAR's, let's just say 0.9 and 1.2. As of CS4, Adobe has taken those out two more decimal places to correct a rounding error earlier on.

                               

                              Now, photographs and almost all HD formats use square pixels, 1.0. PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) is a good subject to read up on. When DVD is dead, they will be nearly moot, but until then, when dealing with DVD-specs., they are with us.

                               

                              One neat feature in PrPro, that can be useful is Interpret Footage. Let's say that you have a chart, or graph, that uses square pixels, and are using that in a DVD Standard Project (PAR = 0.9), if your graphics look off, you can use Interpret Footage to alter those graphics to match the Project. Same thing if one Imports AV material, and PrPro does not pick up on the flags, that should tell it the PAR, one can use it there to force PrPro to treat that footage, as is necessary. There are a couple more uses for it too.

                               

                              Hope that this helps, and that you can get the max quality form your PowerPoint slides. There is also a recent article, where Chuck McIntyre comments on the newest PowerPoint and some new Export settings. Do not know what the title of that thread was, but Chuck's comments come down-thread a bit.

                               

                              Good luck,

                               

                              Hunt

                              • 12. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                                VJoecks Level 1

                                Thank you both for the reading tips.

                                 

                                Hunt - may I ask you another question on resizing images in Photoshop?

                                 

                                I went and read your article and it made a lot of sense, unfortunately I was not able to replicate your results. I only have PSE or the PS attachment that comes with Bridge.

                                 

                                This is the part I have trouble with --

                                 

                                For the next step, I go to my folder structure (remember, this folder contains copies of my selected still images in PSD format), and create a new sub-folder "[Project Name]_720x480." Back in PS, I choose File>Automate>Batch. Here I set my Source Folder, my Destination folder and the Action to perform. In my case, it’ll be the Destination Folder, that I just created, [Project Name]_720x480, and my Action will be my NTSC 4:3 720x480 Smooth. (This is the part I don't get. Where can I select NTSC 4:3 720x480 Smooth perform? I only have options like Vignette or Cast Shadow. Is it just because I don't have the full version of photoshop -- I;m using the PS Bridge version at this point?) I check to have the Open command by-passed, because I do not need to see this take place on my monitor. When I hit OK, PS grabs all files in my Source Folder, runs the commands of my Action and does a Save_As for all files into my Destination Folder. I can process hundreds of large images down to a great 720x480 PAR 0.9 via Bicubic-Smoother interpolation, in moments.

                                 

                                Thanks again for your assistance.

                                 

                                Victor

                                • 13. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  Victor,

                                   

                                  I wish that I could update that set of instructions for PSE, but I have never used that program. I have asked several PSE users, who do know it, to help, but have never gotten any response to that request.

                                   

                                  The "Smooth" is the Interpolation Algorithm, "Bicubic Smoother." In PS one has several Scaling algorithms to choose from, when Resample is checked in Image Size, like Bicubic, Bicubic Smoother, Bicubic Sharper, Nearest Neighbor, and I believe that PS CS4 has added some new ones.

                                   

                                  I know that PSE offers many of the functions that PS does, and also know a few areas, where it's lacking, like Adjustment Layers Layer Masks, etc., but do not know how it automates Actions, or how those Actions might differ from those in PS. Just do not know.

                                   

                                  It could be a limitation in PSE, or just a matter of a slightly different location, or syntax. As for the Vignetting, etc., those sound like the standard, included Actions. I would assume that one can write Actions in PSE, but navigating to that newly created Action might be totally different. In PS, when an Action has just been created, and Automate>Batch is chosen, that new Action is in the dialog screen by default. Now, one could use the drop-down there, and choose others, whether custom ones, or the included ones. Also, in PS, one can create Action Sets, and group Actions into those. The user then can choose to "Load" any of those Action Sets, to work with.

                                   

                                  Sorry that I cannot be more helpful, regarding PSE.

                                   

                                  Good luck,

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                   

                                  [Edit] I just posted a request for a "translation to PSE" on the PSE forum. I hope that someone will step up and help. I will then append their instructions to my article.

                                   

                                  Message was edited by: Bill Hunt - Added [Edit]

                                  • 14. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                                    VJoecks Level 1

                                    Thanks again Hunt. Fortunately a co-worker had the full version of Photoshop and was able to convert the files to 720 x 480 with a PAR of .9.091. I really appreciate your request for help in the PSE forum though.

                                     

                                    These files look better, but I'm still running into an issue I had a while back -- the picture on the left (from the source) looks perfect -- crisp, right size everything, but the picture on the right (Program?? monitor and the one that goes into my sequence) still looks slightly blurry (worlds better than it was though - many thanks) The file properties are 720 x 480, Pixel depth 32, PAR: .9091, Compression LZW, and byte ordering = Intel.

                                     

                                    Should any of those be different?

                                     

                                    Is that just always going to happen or is there something I'm missing? It's just frustrating the have perfection right there, starring me in the face and not be able to translate into my sequence.

                                     

                                    Thanks again

                                     

                                    Victor

                                    • 15. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                                      VJoecks Level 1

                                      NOw that I look at it again, maybe the problem isn't with the imported files.

                                       

                                      I also have a very basic title in the presentation (made in Premiere, just white letters on a black background) and it also is coming out blurry.

                                       

                                      Is there an export setting or something that could be causing this?

                                       

                                      Thanks

                                       

                                      Victor

                                       

                                      It's not super pixalated or anything, just enough where you notice it and it looks slightly off.

                                       

                                      Message was edited by: VJoecks

                                      • 16. Re: Help needed: Imported files blurring
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                        Victor,

                                         

                                        The Program Monitor is but an emulation - a preview. For ultimate quality appraisal, one needs a calibrated NTSC (or PAL) CRT monitor, hooked up via an A-D device and FireWire.

                                         

                                        However, many editing systems do not have that, so let's get you the best preview possible. Download and install the latest video card driver. Rt-click on the Program Monitor and set Magnification to 100% and not Fit. You will probably need to resize it now. Then, set the Quality to Highest. Note: some video cards produce better results on Automatic, and some on Highest - experiment with both.

                                         

                                        If you have a red line over Clips/Assets in the Timeline, hit Enter to Render the Timeline. One can limit this with the WAB (Work Area Bar) to just Render a portion of the Timeline. Do not forget to reset the WAB to the full Timeline, before you Export. In many formats, one can just Export the WAB portion, but when set to only a portion, even with Export Full Sequence is chosen, the small WAB can cause issues with file truncation.

                                         

                                        For playback, check your Hardware Acceleration. Here it gets a bit "busy." If set to min, try on max. If max, then set to min. If one is better, increment, until the playback develops problems, then increment up/down one unit.

                                         

                                        Hope that this helps. As background, the Source Monitor is JUST a playback of the original Asset, and not with it ready to edit, like in the Program Monitor.

                                         

                                        Good luck,

                                         

                                        Hunt