When you are creating a motion graphic for use in a video project, how do you know how many pixels are required for your graphic? The answer is the resolution the video project is in. In this video, author Richard Harrington points out what the common video resolutions are, and explains how they impact motion graphics.
- You heard me reference earlier having an adequate number of pixels. Depending upon the video format that you're working with, you'll need different amounts of resolution. For example, if you're working on a 4K video project, you're going to need more pixels than you would if working in high definition. Let's explore this. I'd like to introduce you to a companion program that comes with Photoshop called Bridge. Choose File > Browse in Bridge. This will launch a companion program that makes it easy to locate assets.
Go to the folder that you downloaded for the exercise files, and I'll go to Core Technology, and Resolution. Now, if I select an individual graphic, I can see details over here on the right. For example, this particular graphic is 1,343 pixels across by 965 pixels. Well, that's enough, if I was going to be working in standard definition for a video or a project that was 720p.
Let's switch back to Photoshop by opening this file. I'll just double-click, and it opens in Photoshop. If I make a new graphic here, File > New, you'll see that there's a Film & Video category. Just choose it here at the end in the new document picker, and across the top, you'll see several different templates. These are offering you different options for work in video. You can see blank document presets here. For example, here's one for high-definition television, 1080p, a common video format.
You've probably heard these terms said before, 720p, 1080p. Well in this case, we're referring to the number of pixels needed to fill the vertical resolution of the frame. When you say 1080p, you need 1,080 pixels to go from top to bottom. If you have fewer pixels than this, then the pixels become enlarged in the source graphic and the graphic may appear really soft or out-of-focus. If I double-click on this template, you'll see that it generates a new graphic.
Let's go ahead and select the mosaic graphic here. I'll choose Select > All, and Edit > Copy. Now I'll switch to the second document set to 1080p and choose Edit > Paste. You'll notice that the graphic doesn't contain adequate information for the HD video project, at least the 1080p project. Now I can press command or control + t for free transform and while holding down the shift key, scale the graphic up to fill the frame, and you might think that it looks perfectly sharp.
Photoshop is pretty good at enlargement, but it's hard to judge the sharpness of the image when you're not viewing the actual pixel size. So you'll want to choose View > 100%, or the shortcut is command or control + 1. Once you do this, you might notice that when we blew up the pixels, the image starts to lack a little bit of detail and looks little bit soft. Now this slight enlargement that we did here is pretty common and people do resize graphics.
You'll also be able to take advantage of things like Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen, and this can be useful to really help sharpen some of the details in the image, particularly if you had to blow something up. For example, I could tell it to remove the Gaussian blur and really just adjust this, and when I click OK, the image got quite a bit sharper there. Now that's a little bit overdone, so let's undo that for a second, and we'll choose that again.
Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen, and this time, I'll make sure I let the preview update. Let's be a little bit less aggressive there on the amount and tone the radius down slightly, but that's looking pretty good. If I toggle the preview on and off, you see a big visible difference in the image. So if you do find that you have to enlarge an image to get enough pixels, taking advantage of things like Photoshop's Smart Sharpen filter can be really quite useful.
All right, let's switch back to that mosaic image. Another option that people will do is they will crop the image to the target size. I can press c for crop. In the tool presets here, you can choose the width and the height resolution. For example, I can type in 1280, px for pixels, by 720, px for pixels, and that would give me the size for a 720p high-definition video project.
I'll uncheck the option here for Delete Cropped Pixels. I could move this around to position it within the crop and then click the Commit button and the image is cropped and sized to the target delivery spec. Now, you can still grab the move tool and reposition the image within the crop afterwards as long as you did choose the option to delete the cropped pixels. This particular image is now the correct size for a 720p project.
Now keeping all these numbers straight may seem a bit confusing, but here's the good news. If you choose File > New, and go to the preset picker here for new documents, you will finds of tons of blank document presets. There are templates down below to give you some design inspiration, but simply click View All Presets. When you do that, you'll find all the different sizes available. You will notice that there are some other options here, like HDV 1080p, using a size of 1440 by 1080.
In this case, we're using non-square pixels, which is an advanced topic that we'll explore a little bit later in this course, but for now, the most common ones you're going to see used in a modern video workflow are HDTV 1080p and HDTV 720p. If you are working in a 4K workflow, you'll find that available under UHDTV for ultra high definition, and you'll find the very useful 4K preset.
Choosing the correct document that you need and then clicking Create will give you an empty canvas that's properly sized, ready to design, right within Adobe Photoshop.
- When to use vector vs. raster graphics
- Working with high-dynamic-range images
- Choosing the right color space
- Understanding file extensions and file formats
- Maintaining broadcast-safe color and luminance levels
- Configuring Photoshop and Illustrator workspaces and preferences
- Using templates
- Building titles
- Sizing photos or logos
- Saving Photoshop and Illustrator files for video graphics