Sizing a Still Image for Video

Sizing a Still Image for Video

If you want to mix photos with your video footage, you likely have far more pixels than you need. While you could just dump them into the timeline as is, this will increase the rendering time of the final sequence and slow down your edit. By preprocessing your footage, you can ensure the best results.

The problem for most video pros is determining how to size the image. Too little information and the picture goes soft. Too much and you’ll slow down the edit. The solution is to know your intended editing resolution as well as your needs.

Static photos

If you intend to edit the photos into the timeline, then size them precisely. There are two sizes for HD sequences.

• 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels

• 720p = 1280×720 pixels

For best results, use the Crop tool on an open image. Simply enter the target size into the options bar and crop the photo. You can leave the resolution field empty as only the dimensions matter for video graphics.

 

Animated photos

Many editors want to perform a pan-and-scan or documentary-style motion effect on their photos. To do so, you’ll need extra pixels. For example, say you are working in a show for a 1080p project and want to do a slow zoom on the photo. Take the width of the image (video images are always wider) and multiply it by the zoom level:

  • 1920 pixels x 3 (for a 3x zoom) = 5760 pixels

Use the Crop tool method described previously or the Image Size menu command. Total pixel count is what matters.

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About the author

I'm a visual storyteller exploring the fusion of photography and video. I'm also a husband and father.

View all articles by Richard Harrington

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