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Still Images --- Resizing and Setting Aspect Ratio in Photoshop Before Importing Into PE

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Aug 30, 2020

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Question Regarding Pixel Type (1:1 or .91) when adding still images to a SD, 4:3, 720x480 video project in Premier Elements.

 

Consider: For photos, I’ve used Photoshop (full version) for several years; I know the photo functions well ---- but not necessarily matters of pixel aspect ratios for images intended for video.

 

     There is a tremendous (“historic”) article in these forums, posted by former master contributor and guru “Hunt”, about ten or fifteen years ago (I saved a copy). He explained quite clearly that ---- assuming that there will be no still-image panning, just a fixed image ---- use Photoshop to resize photos to the exact pixel dimensions that will be used in Premier Elements (or at least with respect to one of the two dimensions if the image will not fill the video screen).

 

     For example, if working on a 720x480 video project, do not rely on Premier Elements to resize an imported still image (though it will do so). Instead, do the resizing to 720x480 ahead of time using Photoshop, as the latter’s inherent resizing/interpolation capabilities will produce a much better output than the video editor (and relieve the video editor of this CPU-intensive chore). I have found contributor Hunt’s advice on this matter to be 100% correct. To wit: Create an exactly sized (and sharpened) photo in Photoshop, such as 720x480, and load it into Premier Elements. (Note: Some, even many, still images will not be a perfect fit to the 720x480 video frame. In such cases, in Photoshop, resize to the one perfect-fit dimension, say, 480 pixels, and expect to see black bars on either side in the video editor.)

So what’s this post all about? It’s the aspect ratio, or pixel dimensions.

 

     Continuing the theory that all still-image sizing should be done in Photoshop prior to import into the video editor, the author of the above-referenced article, Hunt, also instructs that the Photoshop image should be set to PAR 0.91 (rectangular pixels required in a 720x480 video frame so that the final image looks correct) in Photoshop ---- probably for the same reason: let Photoshop do the heavy lifting; it will do a much better job than the video editor).

 

     In my testing, I used Photoshop to make two copies of the same image. Both were sized to 720x480 pixels. One was left at 1:1 square pixels; the other was changed to PAR 0.91 pixels.

 

      Both images were then loaded into a Premier Elements test project set to 720x480. Each image than pulled to the Timeline; each was carefully viewed, back and forth.

 

     Result: The image having square (1:1) pixels in Photoshop showed correct proportions when viewed in the Premier Elements monitor screen, while the image that was set to PAR 0.91 in Photoshop was horizontally “squished” as viewed in the Premier Elements monitor screen. (I checked in the Premier Elements Project Assets > Interpret Footage screen; the pixel aspect ratio reported correctly).

I would have expected quite the opposite: (1) the image that was set to PAR 0.91 in Photoshop to appear correctly in the Premier Elements 720x480 project, and (2) the image that was et to PAR 1:1, square pixels in Photoshop to appear fat, i.e., too wide, in the Premier Elements 720x480 project.


     Yes, I suppose that I could just leave the image from Photoshop in the 1:1 square pixel format, but that might suggest that the video editor is doing behind-the-scenes interpolating, which we do not want. Or maybe it’s not.

 

Can anyone explain the observed behavior and suggest an optimal workflow?

Thank you.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by whsprague | Adobe Community Professional

"if your experience is that more recent versions of the program have improved algorithms for image resizing/interpolation, that may indeed provide a worthwhile reason to upgrade.)"

 

Nothing is like Photoshop for doing photos.  But, for viewing slide shows on current flat TV screens, I like what I get when I put photos straight into Premiere Elements with the direct intention of making slide shows for my 4K TV.    I've long abandon DVDs.   

 

It has been so long since I used version 11 that I can't remember how well it worked on stills.  The trial for the new version is free.  It might be worth your while to see if it works better for what you do. 

If your workflow goal is to make DVDs, don't upgrade.  DVD and Blu-Ray features are fading away.

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Still Images --- Resizing and Setting Aspect Ratio in Photoshop Before Importing Into PE

New Here ,
Aug 30, 2020

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Question Regarding Pixel Type (1:1 or .91) when adding still images to a SD, 4:3, 720x480 video project in Premier Elements.

 

Consider: For photos, I’ve used Photoshop (full version) for several years; I know the photo functions well ---- but not necessarily matters of pixel aspect ratios for images intended for video.

 

     There is a tremendous (“historic”) article in these forums, posted by former master contributor and guru “Hunt”, about ten or fifteen years ago (I saved a copy). He explained quite clearly that ---- assuming that there will be no still-image panning, just a fixed image ---- use Photoshop to resize photos to the exact pixel dimensions that will be used in Premier Elements (or at least with respect to one of the two dimensions if the image will not fill the video screen).

 

     For example, if working on a 720x480 video project, do not rely on Premier Elements to resize an imported still image (though it will do so). Instead, do the resizing to 720x480 ahead of time using Photoshop, as the latter’s inherent resizing/interpolation capabilities will produce a much better output than the video editor (and relieve the video editor of this CPU-intensive chore). I have found contributor Hunt’s advice on this matter to be 100% correct. To wit: Create an exactly sized (and sharpened) photo in Photoshop, such as 720x480, and load it into Premier Elements. (Note: Some, even many, still images will not be a perfect fit to the 720x480 video frame. In such cases, in Photoshop, resize to the one perfect-fit dimension, say, 480 pixels, and expect to see black bars on either side in the video editor.)

So what’s this post all about? It’s the aspect ratio, or pixel dimensions.

 

     Continuing the theory that all still-image sizing should be done in Photoshop prior to import into the video editor, the author of the above-referenced article, Hunt, also instructs that the Photoshop image should be set to PAR 0.91 (rectangular pixels required in a 720x480 video frame so that the final image looks correct) in Photoshop ---- probably for the same reason: let Photoshop do the heavy lifting; it will do a much better job than the video editor).

 

     In my testing, I used Photoshop to make two copies of the same image. Both were sized to 720x480 pixels. One was left at 1:1 square pixels; the other was changed to PAR 0.91 pixels.

 

      Both images were then loaded into a Premier Elements test project set to 720x480. Each image than pulled to the Timeline; each was carefully viewed, back and forth.

 

     Result: The image having square (1:1) pixels in Photoshop showed correct proportions when viewed in the Premier Elements monitor screen, while the image that was set to PAR 0.91 in Photoshop was horizontally “squished” as viewed in the Premier Elements monitor screen. (I checked in the Premier Elements Project Assets > Interpret Footage screen; the pixel aspect ratio reported correctly).

I would have expected quite the opposite: (1) the image that was set to PAR 0.91 in Photoshop to appear correctly in the Premier Elements 720x480 project, and (2) the image that was et to PAR 1:1, square pixels in Photoshop to appear fat, i.e., too wide, in the Premier Elements 720x480 project.


     Yes, I suppose that I could just leave the image from Photoshop in the 1:1 square pixel format, but that might suggest that the video editor is doing behind-the-scenes interpolating, which we do not want. Or maybe it’s not.

 

Can anyone explain the observed behavior and suggest an optimal workflow?

Thank you.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by whsprague | Adobe Community Professional

"if your experience is that more recent versions of the program have improved algorithms for image resizing/interpolation, that may indeed provide a worthwhile reason to upgrade.)"

 

Nothing is like Photoshop for doing photos.  But, for viewing slide shows on current flat TV screens, I like what I get when I put photos straight into Premiere Elements with the direct intention of making slide shows for my 4K TV.    I've long abandon DVDs.   

 

It has been so long since I used version 11 that I can't remember how well it worked on stills.  The trial for the new version is free.  It might be worth your while to see if it works better for what you do. 

If your workflow goal is to make DVDs, don't upgrade.  DVD and Blu-Ray features are fading away.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 30, 2020

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Short answer: There is no need to use a PAR other than 1:1 for your photos. The program will interpolate your photos if necessary for a project that uses non-square pixels --although most modern video formats (HD, 4K, etc.) use simple, square pixels.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
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"Can anyone ..... suggest an optimal workflow?"

A lot has changed since Bill Hunt wrote his guides.   Computers are stronger and Premiere Elements is more capable.  I've found that still picture software is great for helping get the color and exposure right, but 'resizing' is not necessary.   Premiere Elements can even accept RAW files and goes so far as to recognize adjustments to them if stored in .XMP sidecar files.    

In other words, don't make it more work than it needs to be.

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New Here ,
Aug 31, 2020

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I thank both of you for the information.

 

Of course computers have become much more powerful, and thus one probably need not today be as concerned regarding the heavy burden that image resizing/interpolation, in addition to all the other video-editing software functions, places on the system.

 

But is it also the case that today’s video-editing software, such as Premier Elements, manages the still-image resizing/interpolation as well as (the full version of) Photoshop?

 

(I have stayed with an older version of Premier Elements, Elements 11, because for my limited purposes ---- editing video captured from 30-to-40 year old VHS tapes then burning DVDs ---- I was not aware of any materially improved functionality of more recent versions. However, if your experience is that more recent versions of the program have improved algorithms for image resizing/interpolation, that may indeed provide a worthwhile reason to upgrade.)

 

Thank you.

 

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"if your experience is that more recent versions of the program have improved algorithms for image resizing/interpolation, that may indeed provide a worthwhile reason to upgrade.)"

 

Nothing is like Photoshop for doing photos.  But, for viewing slide shows on current flat TV screens, I like what I get when I put photos straight into Premiere Elements with the direct intention of making slide shows for my 4K TV.    I've long abandon DVDs.   

 

It has been so long since I used version 11 that I can't remember how well it worked on stills.  The trial for the new version is free.  It might be worth your while to see if it works better for what you do. 

If your workflow goal is to make DVDs, don't upgrade.  DVD and Blu-Ray features are fading away.

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