Keeping Sharpness When Importing Images to Media Composer

Importing images into Avid can cause some frustrations if you are not properly prepared. To keep the still images sharp, you should seek help outside of the program.

Step 1 - Avid Zoom

Avid has a filter through which you can zoom into an image that you have imported. These effects are very useful if you want to use them to create a live zoom with your image. However, if you are merely trying to frame a closer version of your image and use it as a static shot, you may be cheating yourself on some resolution. What you should really do, is frame the photo in a still image editing program before importing it into Avid.

Step 2 - Import to Photoshop

Photoshop is a great program to compliment your Avid editing. You can perform these operations in most image editing programs, but we will use Photoshop to illustrate these steps. Open your image. By default, Photoshop is in "Basic" mode, so switch to "Video" mode in order to best simulate your goal. Now make sure that your pixels are properly set up to maximize sharpness. Go to "View" and "Pixels." From the list of available pixel types, make sure that "Square" is checked. With your pixels optimized, you now need to check the resolution. 

Step 3 - Dimensions

Go up to "Image" and open "Image Size." Your desired resolution is a width of 1920 pixels by a height of 1080 pixels. Hopefully your image's current resolution is higher than that. Your two values should have a chain link between them as displayed to the right. This means that the proportions are constrained so if you try to adjust one value, the other value will automatically adjust to maintain the dimensions. However, your photo may not be at the same dimensions as your Avid sequence. So go to your tools palette and pick the crop tool. Now go up to the options bar and enter 1920 x 1080 in pixels. The crop tool will now obey these dimensions. Draw out your frame as wide as you can and adjust the frame to your liking. Do a "Save As" for this image and import it into Avid.

Step 4 - Photoshop crop vs. Avid Zoom

To better illustrate this point, we will need a mere fraction of this image. Reopen the original image. Your crop tool will still have the dimensions you entered. Cut out a small portion of the image and do a "Save As." Import this image into Avid. Create two video tracks by going to "Clip" and "New Video Track" twice. Load one picture to each video track. Use Avid's effects to zoom into the wider image at the same piece that is in your tighter image. You can now compare the two resolutions and decide for yourself which is better.

Keeping images sharp in Avid is mostly accomplished through preparation. If you do not have the extra program to get through this process, then understand that you are making a compromise.

Popular P&S Cameras for High Quality Photos: