Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Post your tips & tricks here for creating slide shows with ProShow Producer. This could include suggestions for style and content in addition to working with the software itself
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Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby MG - Admin » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:29 pm

DickK sent me this information via a Private Message and thought it would be a good thing to share with everyone:

What’s the best resolution for a photo to be used in ProShow?
This is a topic that comes up pretty frequently at ProShow Enthusiasts and this thread is an attempt to summarize the various discussions and pull the information in one place.

The Question: With digital cameras commonly capturing images of 5, 9 or more megapixels each, it seems like it might be a good idea to reduce those multi-megabyte files before using them in a slide show, so what’s a good size to use?

The bottom line:
In short, “use what you’ve got” would be pretty close to the consensus. With a couple caveats, there are few disadvantages to just using them as-is and there can be big disadvantages to reducing them a lot.

What’s the minimum pixel count for my pictures to look good in a slide show?
That depends. First it depends on the output format you’re going to use and second what you’re going to do with the images in the show. Basically, you need enough pixels from your image to at least match the resolution of the output. Probably the two most common outputs are standard definition DVD video and computer EXE. If DVD video is the output, then each frame of video is roughly 720x480 (varies: NTSC vs. PAL, widescreen or not, interlaced vs. progressive). If an EXE is the output, then each frame needs whatever the display is set to (e.g., 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, etc.) if we’re going full screen.

So, if I use that minimum, everything will be fine, right?
Maybe. That’s where the second “depends” above figures in. It isn’t just the pixel count in the image that counts, it’s the pixel count ProShow displays after any zoom or crop. Those operations are only showing a fraction of your image and now that fraction needs the minimum pixel count. Let’s say you show only the upper, left quarter of the shot (or you cropped down by the same amount). Now only 25% of the image is on screen, but we need the same pixel count portion of the image, so the full image needed 4 times the required minimum resolution (twice the pixel count in each dimension). So that huge image isn’t nearly as much overkill as you thought!

If I use big images, what happens to all the “extra” pixels?
Not to worry, no pixels will be harmed in the making of your slideshow. Wink Seriously, they’ll get processed down to whatever the output format calls for during the video rendering step or the making of the EXE. That’s also what’s happening when your computer displays and image that has more pixels than your monitor’s resolution is set at.

Does it matter if the image came from my scanner instead of the camera?
Not for use in ProShow. Now, optimizing the scan process is another (big) topic of itself, but keeping it simple, ProShow doesn’t care where the pixels came from; what matters is simply having enough of them.

So, bigger is always better?
Mostly, but maybe not always. Large image files use more memory on your computer, so it’s possible that you’ll see some slowdown in ProShow (previews or editing) with big images—though most users don’t seem to see that. Likewise, big images in an EXE output make the computer work harder to display them, so a person with a PC that’s older or short on memory might see some jerkiness in motion effects. Lastly, it’s also true that an EXE output will be bigger if big images are used but, it’s rare that this becomes a significant issue.

For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_resolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_resolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television

deanejo

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby deanejo » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:21 am

Image Processing for Widescreen PAL TV display

Its interesting to note that your article had the highest number of views in that section - which may be an indication of the degree of confusion about this aspect of image preparation among some viewers.

I'm new to Producer and creating sldeshows for TV display. While I'm happy enough with the basics of keyframing with multi layers, masking and all that good stuff (having done the workshops) I'm trying to get a definitive approach to the basics of optimally processing an image to bring into Producer!

I'm familiar with web design and image handling for web and print using Photoshop (CS3).

I have jpeg images of about 3150 x 2100 all 1.5:1

What are the recommended steps to optimally size a landscape and portrait image of the above size and ratio for display on a widescreen PAL TV, driven by DVD?

The shows would be on a number of widescreen PAL TVs - I'm not sure about the question of interlacing.

One of the problems is that my original image is 1.5:1 whereas the display is presumably about 16:9 (1.77:1)
Do I assume a PAL display resolution of 576 high and work from there?

For a landscape of 3150 x 2100h do I resize the image by reducing the 2100 to 576.
This would give a landscape size of 852 x 576 (retaining the 1.5:1 ratio)

For a portrait of 2100 x 3150h do I resize the image by reducing the 3150 to 576.
This would give a portrait size of 384 x 576 (retaining the 1.5:1 ratio)

Is it usual to sharpen the image a bit before bringing into Producer?

I realise that I can scale down the images in ProShow but I'm trying to establish what I should aim for in preparing the images beforehand.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

John

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby im42n8 » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:12 pm

John,

Don't resize if you don't have to!!!!!!!! You might bring the foto in and set it to "fill frame." Then, move the hz or vt position as desired w/any appropriate zoom to show portion of the image you would normally crop out. Then, you can pan or zoom out for any minor motion effect you might want to use.

This can apply to both portrait or landscape images ... there are a number of options you can utilize from there. That is, of course, if you want to fill the screen. Otherwise, you might want to just fit to safe zone, and mask the image to that safe zone and then zoom and pan within the limitations imposed by that mask (add whatever border and/or shadow layers as desired to add depth to your masked image).

Personally, I wouldn't create anymore work for myself unless I absolutely have to! To me, cropping the pic in a photo editor is just that... plus, I think it reduces my options. That said, it doesn't mean I haven't done it. Sometimes I need to ... just not all that often! As Dick stated, use what you've got and go from there!

Good Luck!!

Dale

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby BarbaraC » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:47 am

What I've discovered: resize pictures at your peril. In an effort to reduce the weight of a show, I've resized the pictures, and though I have no idea what was going on behind the scenes, I certainly saw the results: what were originally pin-sharp photos ended up being soft photos. Not at all what I wanted.

Barbara
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deanejo

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby deanejo » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:25 am

John and Barbara

Many thanks for your replies.

Yes, the topic of image prepping does not feature much on the boards, so I guess most people just use the photos as is.

I'm used to adjusting pics for a 30 to 60 kb filesize for the web. Thats an interesting point you make Barbara as I was thinking about minimising processor time in displaying a show even though its on DVD.

I'm mainly concerned with boat sailing (racing) photos and I've done some small shows for myself, mainly to see how the pics look on a widescreen PAL TV (set for 16:9) as thats how they will be viewed.

A pro photographer displayed his photos on a TV at our sailing club last week and in the portrait pics the boats were squashed vertically and in the landscapes they were stretched horizontally. Sailors would quickly spot this - hence my worry about non square pixels, particularly on a widescreen (16:9) TV. I dont know yet if that will be a problem.

I'll now have a go at using photos unmodded and see how they look on a few Widescreen PAL TVs running at 16:9.

John

deanejo

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby deanejo » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:27 am

Apologies Dale - it should have been Dale and Barbara

John

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby BarbaraC » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:45 am

John, that TV should have been adjusted for the show. If it had been, you would have seen no distortion at all. If a show is designed for 4:3, the TV can be set for either that or it can be stretched horizontally AND vertically. Sounds as if this wasn't done. I think a lot of us are still trying to get used to these new-fangled televisions. :D

Barbara
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Sashenka

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby Sashenka » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:35 am

I have one question. When the slide show is created and is written on dvd, pictures have worse quality. :( As far as I know ProShow Producer is a professional programme. Is it possible to avoid it somehow? Can you give me an advice. Maybe I have to reduce the image?

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby DickK » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:52 am

Sashenka wrote:I have one question. When the slide show is created and is written on dvd, pictures have worse quality. :( As far as I know ProShow Producer is a professional programme. Is it possible to avoid it somehow? Can you give me an advice. Maybe I have to reduce the image?

There's nothing ProShow can do to improve on the format for a DVD. Once you've selected the high quality settings in ProShow you've got the best that it can do within the constraints of what a DVD allows.

Reducing the image sure isn't going to make things better and is unnecessary.

Dick
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle ((PSG, PSE & Fuji HS20 user)) Presentation Impact Blog

Sashenka

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby Sashenka » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:03 am

Thanks for your answer. Could you recommened me what video format should I use to have the best quality of my pictures?

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby DickK » Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:23 pm

Your question tells me that at least one of is confused. If you're making a DVD, implied in your first post, there's no option, you just create a DVD -- everything about format is just part of the definition of a DVD. Or were you meaning something else?
Dick
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle ((PSG, PSE & Fuji HS20 user)) Presentation Impact Blog

Sashenka

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby Sashenka » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:24 am

So, sometimes I create DVD, but sometimes I want to save the show on my hard disk, that is why I ask which format will have the best quality in this case

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby BarbaraC » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:53 am

Sashenka wrote:So, sometimes I create DVD, but sometimes I want to save the show on my hard disk, that is why I ask which format will have the best quality in this case

Just render it to EXE format, but remember that the quality always depends on the quality of the pictures.

Barbara
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Peder

Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby Peder » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:58 am

Hi,
I have just made a show with landscape pictures and created Blue Ray, DVD and EXE output. The Blue Ray disk have 1080p resolution and the EXE-show also have 1080 vertical resolution. The show is intended to be used with 1080p LCD TVs.
I used the following workflow for this show:
1. RAW conversion
2. Crop to 16:9
3. Resize picture to 1920x1080
4. Sharpen image so that it looks good on PC screen
5. Save as JPG.
6. Import to PSG.

I saw in this thread that it is recomended to import JPGs with max resolution.
My question is:
Would the image quality of the shows (BD, DVD or EXE) be better if I had dropped point 3 Resizing??
Thanks in advance for any tips.
Regards, Peder

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Re: Image Resolution and Sizing FAQ

Postby DickK » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:13 pm

Maybe, maybe not. Depends mostly on how you used the images. If you did little or no zoom, then no. With even a modest amount of zoom, then there won't be enough pixels to create the video frame without interpolation. Whether that becomes visible is another matter, depending on the characteristics and settings of the player and the display used. In general, it is not needed and may not be a good idea to resize the images.
Dick
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle ((PSG, PSE & Fuji HS20 user)) Presentation Impact Blog

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