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Have you resized all of these images to no larger than 1000x750 pixels in size, per my books and the FAQs to the right of this forum?
You can also improve the quality of photos by right-clicking on each on your timeline and selecting Field Options/Flicker Removal.
Finally, remember that you can't judge the quality of your slideshow on a computer. Computer's produce video images differently than TVs. Your slideshow will, of course, by the nature of video, be a much lower resolution than your original photos. But they should look good on TV.
Actually, the size of the stills is likely the problem, or a big part of it.
This ARTICLE will give you some background, and suggestions. All Scaling is better done in Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements, as their Scaling algorithms are better, than the ones in PrE. When you do Scale in an image editing program, I would NOT re-Save as JPEG, but instead the native format of PS/PSE, which is PSD. This goes double if you shot in JPEG to begin with, as you do not want any more JPEG compression, than you already have.
As Steve says, for an SD/DVD Project, the max size should be just over the Frame Size, which will be 720 x 480, if you need to Pan on a Zoomed out image. I take it a bit further, and will Scale all images to match the Frame Size, and ONLY go slightly larger for the particular images that require that Pan on the Zoomed out image - all of the rest are in the exact size needed.
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When you see high quality pics a few feet from a high quality computer screen, far enought away that you cant see the dot structure of the LCD screen, the limit to detail is in your eye.
When you remove fine detail to the point equivalent to that of standard DVD on low res TV at the same relative liewing distance for the screen size, you can easily observe that the fine detail is lost.
This is offset by TV broadcasters by artificially increasing the depth of detail just before the cut off point. The effect is to make the tiny area adjacent to each transition slightly of the opposite brightness (aperture correction).
The 'crispness' or 'sharpening' control on most TV sets does a similar thing. The downside is the more you crisp the picture the grainer or noiser it gets.
So, if you reduce all your graphics to the same resolution as DVD ( 720x480 for NTSC (720x576 for PAL) with Photoshop then sharpen them up to compensate, this is exactly what they will look like on a TV. Then import these into PE9
Unfortunately many high resolution camera lenses don't have good resolution at medium resoutions because they are concentrating on the high end.
So when you restrict their pics to limited resolution, they look quite soft. This is where artificial sharpening is necessary.
There are other tricks to get pics to look sharper on low res TV such as shooting closer up and making the object of interest in focus and backgrounds out of focus. People spoilt on HD take much wider shots than in the 'good old days' when more skill and artistry was needed of cameramen.
You'll never get the same pic on SD look anywhere as good as HD on the same screen otherwise why would people have spent so much money on it?
Re interlace effects on moving objects, I believe you can select deinterlace to remove this depending on your video settings.
Thank you for all of the replies, they helped tremendously. Didn't realise that my images could be too big and the wrong aspect ratio. Heading back into Lightroom to resize and export them.
Good explanation. One of the beauties of doing the Scaling in PS/PSE is that one has control over the algorithms used, such as Bicubic Smoother, or Bicubic Sharper. Depending on the original image, I might use one, or the other. The image will guide me.
One other downside to working in SD rez is that we are usually looking at the results of our editing on a high-rez computer monitor, when the output is intended for viewing on a CRT TV. The ideal workflow was to only do critical viewing on a properly calibrated NTSC, or PAL monitor. With the influx of HD in both capture and in viewing, that is becoming less of an issue, but so long as one is going to SD/DVD, it will be around.
One plus is that most higher-end DVD players, and even more BD players, do a great job of up-rezzing SD material from DVD for a feed to an HD TV. They contain chips expressly for that purpose, and those chips do an amazing job. Except for my NTSC monitor, I think that I have finally replaced every CRT TV in my home. When I now play my DVD's on my HD TV's, they display wonderfully! They do pale, compared to an HD Project to BD (Blu-ray Disc), but look better than they ever did on a CRT SD TV. Those dedicated up-rezzing chips just flat amaze me. It's almost as if my SD Projects are now "half-HD!"
I have a request. As you are a photographer, and have a critical eye, plus you are using Lightroom, when you get the results that you want, could you please either add your steps to that "Large Still Images" article, or PM me with the steps, and I will add them. I have not seen LR, since I did beta work on it, many years ago, so do not have a clue how the newer versions work. Having your steps handy could well help others in the future. Originally, that article was for Photoshop (and as you saw, also for SD Project Frame Sizes), and I had no idea how to do the batch Scaling in PSElements. Neale so kindly added those steps, as a lot of PrE users have PSE, and not PS. Having the steps, settings, choices for LR would be helpful.
Hi Bill, I have a couple of projects to get through first but I will take a look a see what settings worked best for me. But LR and ACR are basically the same.