How do I use stills in Final Cut?

How do I use stills in Final Cut?

To use still images in a Final Cut timeline, use one of the following formats:

  • TIFF
  • PICT (uncompressed)
  • PNG
  • .PSD RGB (NOT CMYK)

For 100% size, use 72 dpi. 24 bit color (or 32 with Alpha channel) looks the best.

Save your original Photoshop or Fireworks file, then “Merge Down” (to rasterize layer effects like glows and drop shadows, FCP will not import those).

Finally, resize your images to the right dimensions:

DV NTSC 720 x 480 (non-square pixels)

DV PAL 720 x 576 (non-square pixels)

1080i HD 1920 x 1080 (square pixels)

720p HD 1280 x 720 (square pixels)

Then save under a different name and import into FCP.

STILL IMAGE ZOOMS If you’re going to be zooming in to the still, a la the technique Ken Burns stole from that other guy, you need higher resolution.

How much higher? Well, if you’re zooming in, 2X, then the resolution should be 2X, that is, 1440 X 1068. If you will be zooming in 4X, you’ll need 2880 X 2136 resolution for the highest quality.

You can sometimes get away with zooming in a little over 100% depending on the quality of the picture (and your project), but over 100% the image will become more and more pixelated (fuzzy).

Photoshop does a much better job “uprezzing” stills than FCP- enlarge in Photoshop if you need to – no need to import stills with any higher resolution than you need- it will just slow FCP down.

To reduce flickering, try tests with the Deinterlace and Deflicker filters, and also a slight Gaussian Blur- depending on your graphic one will work better than the other


1 Comment

  1. Jeff 9 years ago

    I always have flickering when I do the Ken Burns effect as described above. To solve the flickering, I have found that rotating the pictures ever so slightly (

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