5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 17, 2011 2:35 PM by c-fqgy

    Still images really blurry?

    c-fqgy

      Hello,

      I can't seem to find much about this searching the web so I'm hoping this is something pretty basic:

       

      I've traken screenshots of a website and in the composition they are REALLY blurry. I thought they would render out ok, that it was only a preview (like InDesign) but I've rendered the video out and they really look terrible, completly blurry. The images do have a bit of animation on them, nothing big, slowly moving across the screen and one zooms in but even so the end render size is way smaller than the screenshots actual size.

       

      What do I half to do to get still images to render sharply (or at least decently).

       

       

       

      Thanks so much for your help!

        • 1. Re: Still images really blurry?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          This all depends on what size your composition is, what format and codec you are planning to render to, and what scale your images are set to.

           

          Here's the problems with web pages and screenshots of computer screens:

          1. Websites and the type on websites are typically full of 1 pixel thick lines and one pixel thick type. Neither of these will successfully render to any interlaced format (for TV) or work at all when scaled.
          2. Computer screens typically have color spaces that do not comply with the standards for rendering to video.
          3. Screenshots will only look good if the screenshot is captured using the smoothing supplied by the GPU. Depending on how you are capturing the screenshots you may end up with aliased text and lines. These don't play well with video.

          Here's some rules:

          1. Make sure that your screenshot layers are scaled to 100%. Whatever you do don't scale them down and expect to read anything.
          2. Make sure that your composition is an even number of pixels high and wide.
          3. Make sure that your screenshot is an even number of pixels high and wide. If it is not crop it, don't scale it to an even number of pixels.
          4. Make sure that your screenshot is positioned at an exact pixel value. Values like 356.789, 340.132 will ruin any chance for a good resolution
          5. Do not add fields to your render.

          Here are some suggestions:

          1. Set the font size on your screen or web browser to as large as you can before you capture.
          2. Check the positioning of each element by viewing the comp window at 800% to make sure you are getting good edges on your image.
          3. Recreate any web graphics that are critical to the presentation using at least 2 pixel or wider strokes.
          4. Use a good screen capture utility like ScreenFlow (mac) or Camtasia (windows) to capture movies of your screen.
          5. Do any rendering for highly compressed delivery (DVD, BLURay, the web) with the Adobe Media Encoder. You can add your AE project to the cue and then render any comp in the project to one of the defaults.
          6. Realize that the more you compress the video the more compression artifacts, motion artifacts, and color artifacts (blurry, blocky, banding) are introduced to the image.
          7. If you can afford it, use a specialized 3rd party encoding solution. That's where you get the best results. The AME (Adobe Media Encoder) does a great job, but spectacular results require dedicated software or even better yet, dedicated hardware.

          I hope this helps. Making great looking video of computer screens often requires you completely recreate the screen and the experience.

          • 2. Re: Still images really blurry?
            c-fqgy Level 1

            I also have an Illustrator .ai file in the clip and it's quality is also rendering terribly. The full video is 720x576 and I'm rendering on best quality to H.264.

             

            Oops, sorry I just saw the above post. Thank you very much for your help! I was scaling them down in AE so I'll fix that and see what I get!

            • 3. Re: Still images really blurry?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              c-fqgy wrote:

               

              I also have an Illustrator .ai file in the clip and it's quality is also rendering terribly. The full video is 720x576 and I'm rendering on best quality to H.264.

              There's your biggest problem. Actually, there's your two biggest problems.

               

              First of all, 720 X 576 is a non square project size. Your screen captures are square pixels so you're going to significantly soften the fine detail just by using this frame size and pixel aspect ratio. This also tells me that you're scaling your screen shots way down. "That no gonna work!" Chico Marx

               

              The second problem is that the frame size is for PAL television (DVD or broadcast). H.264 is a lousy codec for that format. That format will always be delivered as interlaced footage. You can choose not to introduce fields, but they will still be there and they will cause single pixel wide lines to blink on TV and look horrible. If it were up to me I'd completely remove the H.264 option from the format options in the output module. The only way to get what I would call acceptable results going directly from AE to any MPEG compression is to use the Media Encoder.

               

              I'd suggest that you change your comp size to any of the standard PAL Square Pixel frame sizes. Use the Media encoder to output your NON Square file using multi pass rendering. If you follow the suggestions I put up a moment ago you'll at least have a fighting chance at a decent render. If you're destined for the web and not for broadcast or a PAL DVD, then I'd work at 720P (HD) minimum. You'll at least have a fighting chance at a readable image from an unaltered screen capture.

              • 4. Re: Still images really blurry?
                c-fqgy Level 1

                I can't thank you enough!

                • 5. Re: Still images really blurry?
                  c-fqgy Level 1

                  Am I SOL now because I chose 720x576?

                   

                  Sorry I found it!

                  Wow can I look any more like a beginner (which I am! )