16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2010 3:41 PM by SFL46

    Quality of Stills Zoomed In

    mnp500 Level 1

      CS5.  I've imported some high quality large jpegs as well as some uncompressed tif files. I tried exporting them from Lightroom at various resolutions from 72 up to 360)  I was expecting them to be tack sharp as I zoom into them in PP, but they are soft--not nearly as sharp as they are zoomed in in LIghtroom (or Photoshop).  Am I doing something wrong--shouldn't I expect the same zoomed in sharpness if the files are large enough (they average 3500x2500 or so)


      Thanks,   Michael


      I just looked at the problem again and it has nothing to do with the zoom.  As soon as place an image in the timeline and look at the program monitor the image is degraded..  I tried exporting to an avi file and the image is still soft... ???

        • 1. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
          the_wine_snob Level 9



          The dpi/ppi is meaningless in Video.


          I strongly recommend that you Scale your images in LR, or PS, and NOT in PrPro. The quality will be much better, and the overhead of the Project will be greatly diminished for your computer. This is one time, where "bigger" is NOT "better."


          This ARTICLE will give you tips. It is geared towards PS and is also for SD, but HD suggestions follow later on.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Your original resolution is irrelevant and DPI settings are even more irrelevant.


            What matters is your sequence setting and the inherent resolution. If you are talking about AVI, it stands to reason your resolution is 720 x 480, which is far off from the original resolution. As to zoomed in, that is completely logical since you start with a high resolution that can either be zoomed in, as in your case, or be made to fit with the scale to frame size option.

            • 3. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
              mnp500 Level 1

              Thanks Bill, as I amended my original post, let's forget about zooming in

              for a moment.  When I simply place a still image in the timeline, it appears

              in the program monitor noticeably degraded.  And it exports the same way.

              I've upgraded from PP 1.5 and didn't have this problem with that.


              As for scaling in LR or PS, I need to animate stills in PP, so it has to be

              done there.  But again, it's not the scaling that seems to be the

              issue--merely placing a still in the timeline.


              Also, the link you gave me gives me an Adobe Forums: Error messge.


              I appreciate your help.



              • 4. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                If you are Importing and using over-sized still images, then the Scaling algorithms (if you either choose the fixed Effect>Motion>Scale, or choose Scale to Frame) will come into play. They are not nearly as good as those in PS, and offer zero control, unlike PS. That is why I always use PS for any Scaling. The quality will be better. Some people cannot see this, but most can and easily.


                Now, regarding the preview in Program Monitor: it is but an emulation, though pretty good. It can be set to a Magnification of 100% for the best view (will probably have to re-size the Program Monitor Panel), and then look at the Quality setting. For some, Automatic will be best, and for many, Highest will be best. One needs to experiment a bit here.


                Other considerations are: Hardware Acceleration, GPU Acceleration and often OpenGL settings. Again, experimentation will be needed.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                  mnp500 Level 1

                  thanks Hunt.. I'll explore a bit.

                  • 6. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Please do, and also please report on your findings.


                    I feel strongly about the differences in quality between the Scale algorithms between PrPro and PS. If you are a still photographer, I think that you will see the differences, and appreciate them. We all want the very best.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                      mnp500 Level 1

                      Thanks Bill...I am a still photographer and do easily see the differences

                      you are talking about.  But the set of stills I'm dealing with now require

                      to be animated--zoomed into for video output.  So I have no choice but to do

                      that all in PrPro, right?  Am I missing something here?


                      Right now, the frustrating thing I'm dealing with is that as soon as I place

                      an image in the PP timeline, unscaled, with no effects, it seems to be

                      degraded.  But I am experimenting with your suggestions and will report back

                      on that issue.


                      Thanks again for your input



                      • 8. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                        Curt Wrigley Level 4

                        If you are used to looking at high res images you may always be dissapointed in how images look on TV.  Full HD is only 1080; which is equivelent to a 1-2Mp camera image.


                        So; when you say the image is degraded; its hard for us to know if it is the normal degrading of simply looking at a scalled down ver of your image; Or if there is a significant problem.


                        A couple suggestions:


                        • If I will be zooming anf panning; I typically scales the images in PS to about twice whatever the resolution of the project Im working on. ( SD res is 720; HD res is 1080).   Having images larger than that (over 2M) is generally not needed; uses more mem and isnt helpful.  they are just getting scalled down anyway.
                        • Turn OFF scale to frame size.   With this on every image will be auto scaled to the project frame size to 100%; so it you go to zoom in; you are zooming higher than 100%; which will look terible.   With Scale to frame size off; you will need to manually zoom or scale your images on the timeline using the motion tool; but you will have the full res of the image available.
                        • Make sure in the program monitor flyout menu you have full res selected as the display mode.
                        • 9. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                          JBrown321 Level 1

                          I have the same problems.  Unfortunately the scaling in PP is awful and even placing an image or logo in the timeline can look nasty.  I really wish PP would enhance this so that it would be equivilant to AE scaling quality.  We shouldn't have to go outside the editor to do simple scaling and animation. PP needs to fix this so that our images look great when motion is applied.  Sometimes I will add a drop shadow or other effects and that will degrade the image even more! What's up with that?   I love PP, but it's these things that make we want to switch over to FCP.

                          • 10. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                            the_wine_snob Level 9



                            You are correct in that the Pan & Zoom will be done in PrPro (with Keyframes on the fixed Effects>Motion>Scale and Motion>Position). When I do this, I calculate the pixel x pixel dimensions that I will need to say Pan on a Zoomed Out image, and resize to that. In an "average" SlideShow, I will have a few of these larger images, and then the bulk will just be resized to match my Frame Size, as I will ONLY be Zooming In from the "full frame" image, and not Panning across a Zoomed Out version. I might have 20 large images, 20 slightly smaller images, and then 1000 Frame Size Scaled images.


                            Also, as Curt points out, the visual resolution of Video is not THAT good to begin with, especially is one is going to DVD. BD is much sharper. If one is viewing an SD (DVD) Project on a high-rez computer monitor, it WILL soft and degraded. That is unfortunately the nature of SD Video, and one of the biggest reasons for the popularity of HD/BD.


                            With SD/DVD, we just to the best that we can, and live with the 720 x 480 resolution. Remember, on a CRT TV, that will still look pretty good. That is what DVD was designed around.


                            Good luck,



                            • 11. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                              the_wine_snob Level 9



                              Very good point on the limitation of the resolution for Video. Coming from a high-rez print background, the first time that I had to Scale my image for the Web, I yelled, "you have got to be kidding! I can't degrade my image like that." Same thing, when I did my first still to Video, except even louder. Now, I take that resolution for granted, and expect to see it. I forget what a shock it was way back when.


                              Thanks for the mention,



                              • 12. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                You have to realize that PrPro is a Video editor, and NLE. AE is a compositing program and deals with much more than DVD (or BD) Video.


                                PS is an image editor, and does that very well.


                                Adobe offers programs with specific tasks in mind. Try doing high-end Vector work in PS and you will quickly go to AI, as it is designed to do that. PS has only had Vector editing for a short while, and it is limited. PS-Extended added some video editing. Try editing a feature film in PS-Extended. You'll run for PrPro in a heartbeat.


                                Use the proper tool for the job, and be glad that there is direct interaction between the Adobe programs. None should be designed to do everything, as it will never do it as well as the separate program.


                                Good luck,



                                • 13. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                                  mnp500 Level 1

                                  Thanks everyone for your input.  After reading your posts and experimenting with importing in various ways.. here's my very simple conclusion (which some have you have mentioned already)  No matter what, in SD, a still image comes out of Premiere Pro degraded.  So I opened an HD project and...they look great!  (duh!)


                                  So that will lead me to my final question, which may have to be answered somewhere else.  And forgive me because I'm a newbie at web stuff--can you put HD videos on the web (Flash)?  Here's my objective: I'm building my own still photography website and instead of having the ubiquitous slideshow on the home page, I want to have a video built around some of my still images. Since I've worked in television my whole long career (I just retired) the video concept will be pretty easy for me, but it's imperative that the images in the video look great.  So am I barking up the wrong tree?


                                  And thanks again for all the thoughts.



                                  • 14. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9



                                    You can do an HD Project/Sequence and use larger still images, appropriately Scaled to the larger Frame Size. You can then Export as Flash, MP4 (H.264) or one of the HD WMV's, for display on the Web. Now, the Web page's player might have certain restrictions, but those formats/CODEC's are pretty common.


                                    If you are designing the Web page, you would just choose to embed an appropriate player for the Exported material, sized for HD display. All three of those seem to work well with YouTube (though they do re-encode to their specs.).


                                    As for the differences, it's easy to see in PS, just by sizing the images to match an SD/DVD sized image, and then an HD/BD sized image. Print both out. The quality difference is due to the differences between HD and SD. SD is limited to  720 x 480 for NTSC-land.


                                    Now, an SD DVD-Video, played in a good up-scaling HD player will look better, when played on an HD TV, but that is because of the up-scaling chips. However, that is not your case here, and is just a little tid-bit.


                                    Good luck, and let us know how it works for you,



                                    • 15. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                      am I barking up the wrong tree?


                                      Possibly.  You might be better off working directly in Flash instead of going through Premiere.  You'll have more resolution freedom than in a video editor.

                                      • 16. Re: Quality of Stills Zoomed In
                                        SFL46 Level 3

                                        There was a post on another thread some time ago. I don't remember who made it.  The poster provided a workflow for scaling an image in PS.  It involved converting the image to 16 bit sharpening the image (settings 200, 0.5, 2) with actual image size view.  Do any color manipulation.  Then using the crop tool, crop to the desired size 720 x480, 1440x 1080, etc.  Before saving the image, reset the mode to 8 bit (as PrP cant input 16 bit, and save as a *.PSD.


                                        I saw a significant improvement in image quality in this manner.


                                        When looking at the program monitor, remember that images may need to be rendered.  If image quality is set to automatic, PrP may be degrading the image in the interest of maintaining the video frame rate.