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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old December 12th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #1
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Safe areas - not so safe anymore

It seems that as more and more people watch videos with a computer (either on the screen or projected), that safe areas which I rely on are not so safe anymore.

I've just complete a project which consist of lots and lots (and lots) of stills, many of which are panned and zoomed and many of them are not high res.
On a television they look great, but when viewed on a computer, you can see the edge of the pics come into view.

So what's the solution? Creating a 4:3 black border - track matte style?
or are there render settings I've never looked at before?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #2
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Having retired from a career in television, I can say that this problem has been around for a long time. Many of the newer camcorder viewfinders show a cropped picture, trying to approximate the average cropping of most TVs. The problem is (as you have discovered) that garbage can sometimes appear in the unseen edges.

The solution is to have a viewfinder showing the entire picture. You must then compose shots so that nothing critical gets outside the "safe area", maybe 90% to 95% of the width or height.

DLP or LCD front projectors will usually show the entire picture, so you must be prepared for both - nothing critical near the edges, but no garbage there either.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #3
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If you are animating the stills from within your NLE or a program like After Effects, simply make sure the edges of the images don't come into cross the edge of the monitor window into view. Make the actual edge of the 720x480 window your outermost "safe edge." That is what I do.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:12 AM   #4
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I think that is what I'll have to do in the future. The problem with this project was a complete lack of material so I was forced to use pictures that were very small. If they were blown up any further, they'd be so blurry you'd be sick.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #5
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Another solution, but one involving a lot more work, is to scan small photos at high resolution and then import them into Canopus Imaginate 2. This is a software programme that works like a rostrum camera, enabling tracking across the photo or zooming in for close ups using the scanned image (or digital still) resolution. The result is saved as a project and converted to an avi for import into your nle.

I have done quite a lot of this, working with 80 year old Box Brownie b/w photos. These are very small to begin with - 2" X 2". I scan them using Photoshop Elements. More often than not, they need some tweaking in Photoshop to improve image quality before importing them into Imaginate. My recent family archive DVDs have been based entirely on using this method
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Old December 14th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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Instead of letting the editor zoom, I use the program "Photozoom Pro", found here:

http://www.benvista.com/main/content/content.php

It does the best zooming interpolation I've ever seen. Often you can make the smallest of pictures look just fine.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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Photos in Pinnacle Studio 9

It may not be that professional level you are looking for, but Pinnacle Studio 9 handles photos in their existing size and format, using a background matte to fill around the photo. Also has a limited zoom and pan capability that can be use effectively.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #8
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I may have missed something here. If you are intending to have your videos on both televisions and computers, I would create a black border at the safe picture edge and mask any stray video. If you cater to TV, your PC viewers will likely see a different composition. If you cater to the PC screen, your TV viewers will loose some of the composition.

Look at the formats as different sized picture frames. Stuff an 8x10 pic into a 5x7 frame and you loose image. Put that 5x7 in an 8x10 frame, you have unused real estate.

I look at it this way. If it's art, you should provide the frame dimensions. Declare it is for one format or another. If that won't work, to do it right, you'll need to make 2 versions.

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Old December 14th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #9
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Sean, thankyou, I needed to hear that.
There's no way I'm going to make two versions. This is a 50 minute doco that consists of mostly stills. To remake it for PC would take a long time as alot of the stills are in motion.

I'll go with the border for now.
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