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How to create crisp graphics in Photoshop for PAL

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Ali Wright
How to create crisp graphics in Photoshop for PAL
on Aug 1, 2011 at 3:12:58 pm

Hi there,

I'm pretty new to the world of FCP. I'm using FC Studio (FCP 6.0.6).

I'm been given the task of creating some logos in Photoshop CS5 to import into FCP. I'm doing square pixel versions & ones for PAL widescreen (they both have transparent backgrounds). The square pixel ones look really good. But when I create the same for PAL, the logos lose their crispness. Any tips on how to improve them?

Here's what I'm doing currently:

Photoshop > New...
'Film & Video' preset
PAL D1/DV Widescreen, 720 x 576 pixels, 72 dpi, RGB Color 8 bit.
The rest of the settings I leave as default.

Then part of my logo is a vector created in Illustrator, so I 'place' the ai file within the canvas. Then I add the text part of the logo within Photoshop. Both elements look a little blurry at this stage. I then merge visible layers, and save as a tiff. The save settings are:

Image compression: none
Pixel Order: Interleaved
Byte Order: Macintosh
Save transparency
RLE Layer Compression

The FCP set-up is Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 1280x720 25p 48 kHz.

As for exporting in FCP, it is an mpeg-4 file, H.264 video, 1280 x 720, 2000 kbps, streaming enabled, max size 1450 bytes...

Is there anything there jumping out as being very wrong?

Cheers!
Ali.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: How to create crisp graphics in Photoshop for PAL
on Aug 1, 2011 at 3:40:33 pm

[Ali Wright] "Is there anything there jumping out as being very wrong?"

Definitely!!!

You're creating graphics with a pixel dimension of 720x576 for video that has pixel dimensions of 1280x720. At this point, FCP is scaling your graphics to fit. That's never going to be as good.

You need to create graphics that are either the same or larger than the pixel dimensions of your video, but never smaller.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Ali Wright
Re: How to create crisp graphics in Photoshop for PAL
on Aug 1, 2011 at 3:45:32 pm

Ah of course! Thanks very much :)

Does it also make a great difference if you are using 8-bit or 16-bit color mode? And if it really does matter of you merge visible layers or not?

Many thanks,
Ali.


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Ali Wright
Re: How to create crisp graphics in Photoshop for PAL
on Aug 1, 2011 at 3:53:50 pm

Thanks for your reply :)

Hmm, I just changed the canvas dimensions, but that just results in square pixels when I import into FCP.


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