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Old September 6th, 2005, 09:11 AM   #1
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Compositing with Photoshop

I'm just starting to explore compositing with FCE and have found phshop to be my tool of choice as I have no specialist video compositing software. My question is: if I import a graphic from photoshop - say a stop sign I created using drawing tools and text tool - how do I make its edges stay smooth without going crooked through pixelation. I tried upping the resolution but that leaves me with a blurred edge, I am using key frames to make it expand and shrink. Basically I want it to stay at a nice high resolution when I keyframe it and what not in FCE.

Any help appreciated.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 09:47 AM   #2
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that's kind of a tall order for FCE, or FCP for that matter... The key is to make the image as large as it will be at it's largest (does that make sense?). If you are scaling from one size to another, make the image as big as the largets you'll be scaling it to. You can keep it at 72 dpi as well. This should help SOME with pixelation .Save it as a .psd file with no background layer.

For the BEST look, if you can swing it, is to get a copy of Adobe AfterEffects or Motion and create it in that program and then import to FCP or FCE. Not saying you need either of these programs, they'll just give you a 'better' quality composite.... for a big price unfortunately....
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Old September 6th, 2005, 11:16 AM   #3
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Daniel,

the jaggies that come from your source graphic indicate that your original graphic is just not big enough. Make it really really really big.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #4
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thanks for your help guys.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 03:38 PM   #5
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still having trouble

I'm still finding this compositing thing weird. I have a graphic I drew in Illustrator that I saved as a PSD. It comes in to FCE perfectly but as soon as I render it, the image quality nosedives. I have made it huge, triedit as a jpeg - everything but I can't make it retain post-render quality. Once rendered and I leave the marker resting on the clip in the timeline,it comes up perfectly in the canvas window but as soon as I press play it goes all nasty again - what's going on??
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 03:45 PM   #6
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Depending on the nature of the graphic it might be an interlace issue. If you have lines that are one pixel wide and are nearly horizontal then they can appear in one video field but not the other. Instead of displaying 480 lines 30 times per second, NTSC shows the odd 240 lines, then the even 240 lines 60 times per second. This can cause images with fine detail to have sort of a flickering effect.

Does FCE have a motion blur checkbox in the motion tab of the clip viewer? If so then try enabling it. You can also play with the settings. This will require rendering, but it often helps with the problem.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 06:42 PM   #7
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Daniel,

Try reading this and see if it helps.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Loh
Daniel,

the jaggies that come from your source graphic indicate that your original graphic is just not big enough. Make it really really really big.
How big is "really, really, really" big? And how many dpi are there in a really?
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 07:37 PM   #9
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File Type?

Daniel,

Do you have your Photoshop file setting as a NTSC DV file type? I may be misunderstanding your problem but I have known other people who forgot to change this setting.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 09:22 AM   #10
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Daniel,
If you look at your graphic file through the FCE canvas window then it will look bad when you press play, try running the video out of the firewire through your camera and onto a TV and then check to see how it looks on the TV. It should look normal. Always use a TV to check your final image, just using the FCE canvas window will not give you the true look.

I check my video on a TV monitor to make sure the text and other graphics come out okay. If my text or other graphics files come out jagged or slightly jumpy, I put on the Flicker filter and set it to maximum. That usually solves it for me. Let us know how your project turns out.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #11
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Thankyou again everyone for your suggestions and I'm sorry I didn't give you feedback on them sooner - my day job dragged me away for an extended period.

Boyd - deinterlacing and motion blur did seem to help a little but I wasn't getting a crystal clear edge as it appeared before rendering.

Dave - thanks a lot for the link, I checked it out. I get the feeling it may have been a little too advanced for my problem but great info and I know it will come in handy as I get more advanced. I'm in Australia so I needed the PAL figures which aren't too easy to find on the Qtime website without some serious digging (for a future date).

Nathan, yeh I'm awake to the initial image dimensions of the PShop image, but thanks for the heads up. Also, I'm in PALville.

Rick - I think you may be on the money. I haven't got a reference monitor handy and my flatmates may object to me commandeering the TV but I will burn the project to DVD ASAP and see how it comes up there.

The project (believe it or not) is my own showreel that I hope will get me some gigs making vids and DVDs. As you can see my technical skills need some work as till now I have regarded myself as a writer and production man rather than a post man. But I've learnt recently how creative you can get with post and I really want to sharpen up the technical side of things.

Anyway, thanks again boys, till next time...
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Old November 8th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #12
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Sorry Keith forgot you. Imade my file. I think about 2000 pixels wide in a 720:576 ratio. It did help but my humble imac G4 spat the dummy on the memory front (256). Still never managed a clear image post rendering though.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #13
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Does it just look bad when viewing it on your computer monitor..did you try and export it and watch it on a tv....(i guess if you plan on not watching it on a tv then dont bother)
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