Resizing Photos for Using in Video

If you use still images for creating poetry films, then this section will tell you how to get the best from your images.

(The science behind pixels is complicated, what follows is my fairly uncomplicated way of thinking about it and managing it in regard to poetry film!)

Choosing the best image size will give consistency and keep image quality even when you zoom in.

Image size

Image size is the size of an image, measured in pixels. Video measures images based on total pixels across by total pixels high.

Image sizing for video formats

A common video format is 1080HD
For this format the Aspect Ratio is 16:9 (the ratio of width to height)
The screen size is 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Cameras generally shoot at a much higher resolution and so the image should be resized within the range that video editing software can manage.

It’s fairly easy to go into any photo editing software and change the image size to 1920 x 1080 pixels. (Resolution is measured in PPI – Pixels Per Inch.)

The challenge comes when you want to zoom into that image when it is on the screen. Zooming in affects the resolution (the amount of fine detail in the image). One way to resolve this is to resize to 4800 x 2700. This will give enough room to zoom in 2.5x.

If you are using a digital zoom built into the camera, you will have difficulty keeping the quality of the image. This is because a digital zoom takes just the centre portion of the image on the sensor, capturing fewer pixels. The camera’s processor then tries to ‘make up’ the pixels in order to increase the resolution of the image, but it won’t show the same detail. (Most phones have digital zoom. Some newer phones have an optical zoom, which is better, as it magnifies an image to fill the sensor.)

So, it’s nearly always best not to zoom in too much with a digital zoom. Just take the image in normal view resize to 4800 x 2700 and zoom in in the video editor – no more than 2.5x.

The obvious option, if you can, is to move closer to your subject in the first place.

Image orientation

For the purposes of viewing your film on a laptop or desktop, or even a cinema screen, use the ‘landscape’ format.

Note: If you intend to crop your image, do that before you resize it.

If you don’t have photo editing software, you could try this free image resizer: BeFunky