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Old September 18th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #1
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Making Video out of still images

Hi,
I have a friend that wantŽs to make a video out of hundreds of pictures to be projected on on a Disco.

Any suggestions on good software to do this and/ or efficency aproach to acomplish this?

Thanx
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Old September 18th, 2003, 03:34 PM   #2
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Read issue #8.

Fully explains the process using Vegas.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 03:54 PM   #3
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Or in Premiere Pro:

Simply import the pics, drag them to the timeline, and then adjust each pictures duration(Right-click -> Speed/Duration)...
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Old September 18th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #4
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Imaginate is a good value and one of the most flexible for doing "Ken Burns" style montages using stills.

It can also be done in Premiere.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 04:54 PM   #5
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Thanks...

Imaginate looks great.. but I think IŽll give Vegas a try first.... since it seems easier than in Premier... And IŽm planning on mastering Vegas anyway....

Should I ask the next question on the Vegas forum??

What about images size?... should I resize them for Video size first?
Since IŽll be getting the images from my friend for editing.
What should I tell him?

Thanx again...
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Old September 18th, 2003, 07:56 PM   #6
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Tell him you want the range of the still picture image files to fall between 16 and 235 out of the 0 to 255 RGB 8-bit range. Otherwise you may get some very strange colors at the bright end and too dark of a black on the other.


If you want the images full-screen, then he will have to size them. Otherwise your editing program may do that for you. I try to use pictures with a vertical resolution of about 350 or a horizontal resolution of about 400, whichever is greater. Since I do my montages in After Effects, I don't have to worry about the editing program automatically scaling the pictures back to full-screen.

You will also have to pay attention to pixel aspect ratio. Some video editors will allow you to select this but others require either 640 by 480 or 720 by 480 pixel pictures if you want circles to still be round in the video. Obviously if you can stop any auto scaling, that will not occur.

If you are going to create this for maximum effect, then you need to "cut to the beat." That is, whenever the bass drum hits a beat, that's when you change the picture. Very effective.

Of course you have to at least pick the music speed (120 bpm, for example) before you cut the stills.

Another nice thing to do which makes the pictures visually interesting is to scale them to about 1/4 the screen area and group pictures of similar aspect ratio together. Then as the pictures are presented, each successive picture is located just a little distance further across or up/down the screen. This makes the sequence move across the screen and you can have the picture sequence trace a continuous path if you want.

Cutting to the beat is easiest when you can see the audio waveform although at any bpm, you just show the picture for the inverse of the bpm (1/bpm gives you the duration in seconds) and every picture thereafter at the same interval/duration. Then you can slide the video or audio along the timeline until they match up when you scrub the timeline.

You do have to be somewhat careful about this. The video may totally overwhelm any other activity going on in the club. I did a video backdrop for a dance routine, "Kids in America" where I displayed about 4000 pictures at the intro. Nobody watched the dancers. OOPS.

Also, a little of this goes a long way.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 08:17 PM   #7
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All right Mike! thatŽs a lot of info... thanx...

The video will actually be one of many that are supposed to be played on the screen of the disco through the night.. while the music plays (whatever the DJ chooses)... so IŽll think IŽd go for the classic 4/4 120 bpm... and hope it cuts to the beat.

If this video thing works up for the people at the club... they may hire a VJ... so I think IŽll have to start learning some of that too pretty soon... So finally I can make some money out of my cam and my NLE software.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 10:44 PM   #8
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Re : resizing

Just my experience:

I've found that using the image at the maximum resolution available gives me the best results. If you want to zoom in, you get digital artifacts if you resize to, e.g. 720 x 480. Premiere handles up to 4,000 x 4,000 pixels. I don't recall the limits on Imaginate, but I'm pretty sure they can handle that, and beyond. If I have lower resolution, I'll use a program like Photoshop that can actually interpolate intermediate pixels when it does a resize, and increase the size to the maximum that my video editing software will allow.

I've gotten very, very nice results in Premiere using this technique. I can zoom in (using the Image Pan transform, as opposed to the Motion filter) more than 5x without noticeable image degradation, and pans and scans are dead smooth.
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Old September 19th, 2003, 05:50 AM   #9
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Well IŽll be editing this on Vegas... So IŽll have to check out the image size thing to see how it performs... But just to be sure IŽll get those images bigger than 720 x 576 (PAL HERE)... and in case of distortion-pixelating or something ugly...

Then IŽll just do some batch-resizing in Photoshop to the correct size.
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