I have a photoshop file of a magazine cover (1090x1488) that I'm scaling down to fit into a ntsc dv frame. I'm losing a lot of quality in the image once it's scaled down. Is there anything I can do to preserve the quality of the image(besides working in hi-def)?
Hi there, scale the image down in Photoshop first.
First, make sure photoshop is set correctly: in Photoshop Preferences (General), you should have Image interpolation: Bicubic Sharper selected. This ensures it will use the correct mode for reducing image size. Also, deselect "Resize Image During Paste/Place."
Create a new file in photoshop: File >> New >> Preset: Film & Video >> Size: NTSC DV - I'd stick with a transparent background or a color you need, but it's up to you. Open your other image if it's not already open. If the file is many layers, you need to merge it all first, then copy and paste the result into the blank NTSC DV file. It should be WAY too big. Now, scale it back (hit Cmd-T or Ctrl-T) and it should work - you may not see your handles when the resizable image is .
Motion usually does a good job of resizing, but it sounds like you are having trouble. Look at the design - if there are lots thin lines (2px or less), those don't always reduce very well and you should scale it in photoshop instead. You can also load the image in Photoshop and choose Option-Command-I, then pick a size that works - change to a 480 height. The advantage to pasting into a NTSC DV frame, is that it will take into account non-square pixels. Now, if you are going to do a widescreen NTSC, you may want to work in 16x9 or HD mode instead and then export as Widescreen NTSC or export as square-pixel HD and then convert to NTSC Widescreen in compressor. You have lots of options.