Using pictures in video

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: Jul 8 2002

Anyone know of a good technique to help sharpen actual pictures (stills) used in a movie? When I insert jpeg stills into a movie and apply a moving path, they appear blurry and not sharp. I know there is a way to help this using mattes but I'm not sure how. I use Media Studio. Suggestions appreciated.



harlequin's picture
Joined: Aug 16 2000

At all stages you want the picture to have at least enough pixels to match the resolution of the screen that the picture is on.

720x480 for NTSC.

so if you are going to move round a picture it is an idea to have the picture at a higher resolution than 720x480.

there are a couple of programs that are used to do only movement around stills

1. digirostrum
2. canopus imaginate

you are also better starting with a less compressed file than jpegs , i prefer either PSD or TARGA or TIF

Gary MacKenzie ( an account only used for forum messages )

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Z Cheema
Joined: Nov 17 2003

When an image moves in reality it is slight blurred to give it that momentum. Freeze a video frame with movement and see. From what I have read, we cannot see detail in movement and the MPEG encoders use that to their advantage

I use Sony Vegas and that keeps the images sharp when using rostrum (built in)
I always use high res pictures form a stills camera to do any panning and scanning.

I would try the "unsharpen" mask to try and enhance the image if I had your problem or remove motion blur if your software has that option.

Terry Stetler
Joined: Jun 2 2002

Correct. We can only see sharp details in the fovea centralis, a quite small percentage of the retina (just 0.3 mm in diameter) that sees in color only.

When something is in motion it's rather difficult to use the fovea centralis to best effect, so you see the image blurry even if it isn't.

Burriness in the vertical plane is also a side effect of interlaced video vs. a still image .

That said it's always best to start with a still much larger than the video frame so as to get the best software interpolation possible down to the frame size.

As Z Cheema noted this goes out the window when doing Pan & Zoom (Ken Burns) effects. Here the highese resolution possible is best, though the practicality of this is limited by how much system RAM you have. Otherwise you hit the swapfile and things bog down.

In MSPro you should also set Flicker Reduction in the images Media Source Options (right-click the clip, it's in the context menu). This creates 2 fields when using non-interlaced sources in interlaced projects.

Terry Stetler

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Joined: May 28 2001

not sure if this is of any use.
I have renctly made a number of videos completly out of stills. IU have been using hi res scans and then using aftereffects to move/re size the image. in after effects you can also add mtion blur and vary the amount.