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PowerDirector 16 - can anyone help with 3 issues?
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VirtuaIceMan [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Sep 04, 2022 06:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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1. If I drop in an asset on the timeline (e.g. image), it always appears full width on the screen. Is there an easy way to get images to start with original dimensions without going through attributes after dropping them on the timeline?

2. I'd like to have image assets fade in and zoom up then rebound to their final location/dimensions (i.e. bounce onto screen). Is this possible with this software easily (for example applying a transition), or will it require a lot of attributes and keyframe setting?

3. Down the line I'd like to show clips of old games scaled up to fill the screen. I believe PowerDirector always applies a filter if you scale up low resolution clips to make them look soft. Is there a way to upscale clips whilst retaining visible pixels (like nearest neighbour upscaling in Photoshop)?
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Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 612 Offline
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  1. It has been a while since I worked with version 16, but as far as I know PD is mostly preserving the original format of media when putting them into the timeline. However, there will be a warning/message/question when adding the first clip when it has a different format than the project settings. I have not seen such message for still images though. I suggest you check your project settings to see whether can adjust those, and there is always to option to manually “downsize” the still images to their original format.

  2. It should not be too much of a problem to make a fade in and out. You can open the PIP designer and do the fades in there, and you can also change to opacity line in a selected image in the timeline, using the CTRL-key. With the Pan & Zoom option that is available for still images, you can make about any movement you want. Once you get the hang of the tool, you should be able to accomplish what it is you want. By copying the keyframes you can probably also paste these setting to other images if you would want that…. (Again, I don’t recall whether that option is available in 16, otherwise consider upgrading).

  3. When you enlarge a (still) image in the timeline, you essentially fill the screen with a smaller portion of the image. Which therefore is always displayed with a smaller number of pixels, this with less details and less quality. Thus the “soft look” you may see is actually not PD making the picture soft, but the fact that fewer details are available. I would guess that this also (specially) the case with clips of old games, which may have a lower format to start with and thus already have fewer details? What you can try to do is, enlarging/scaling the still image(s) with photoshop(-like) software (that generates more pixels as you mention) before adding them to the project. Or you can look for a method to display them as large as they originally are (maybe within a frame of an old computer?) or even “improve” the image by making them (even) smaller on screen. You specifically ask whether PD can do this, well, not with a function, but what you can try is putting the images on the timeline and produce them with a (very) high output format (e.g. 4K), and then using this output as input for your project. I doubt whether that will give you better results than scaling the image up front, but it cannot do any harm experimenting.


Have fun!
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VirtuaIceMan [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Sep 04, 2022 06:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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Thanks for all the advice!

Regarding point 3, I meant if I have video game footage at say 640x480 resolution, upscaling it for 1440p (for example) will smooth the edge of the pixels, rather than keeping them sharp (same with still images).

I'll try, where possible, to use wrappers and upscalers to record the games in 1440p with pixels showing (this is easy with programs like DOSbox) but for old Windows games it's more tricky, as sometimes scaling programs won't support them fully.

So I was really wondering if it's possible to upscale a low res video and reveal the pixels as sharp squares, rather than softening the edges of them.
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Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 612 Offline
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Within PD I would try the scharpening tool. Usually it has to be use with care. Danger to overdo it. Maybe it helps you for this purpose. If you look for video upscale tools, you will find a bunch that may be of help. Most will cost some are free.
Maybe other PD users have better ideas
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VirtuaIceMan [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Sep 04, 2022 06:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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I've just had a play and can get assets to bounce onto screen as I'd like, but it's a bit annoying that I upload a logo or words as a smaller PNG and when I drop them on the timeline they scale up to fill either the width or height of the screen. Then there's no easy way to get them at the right pixel dimensions, as scaling seems to be an arbitrary number, meaning you have to resize them by grabbing the corners of the asset and trying to size them down by eye!

I wish that if I had an asset 500px wide and the video is 2560px wide, that it was easier to get it in the timeline at 500px wide, instead of it first appearing stretched to 2560px stretched then resizing it by eye!
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Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 612 Offline
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Quote

I wish that if I had an asset 500px wide and the video is 2560px wide, that it was easier to get it in the timeline at 500px wide, instead of it first appearing stretched to 2560px stretched then resizing it by eye!


First of all, I fail to understand that your picture are rescaled when added o the timeline. Can you show a screenshot of that?
Then, If you need to be precise, why not using the PIP designer that has allows you to scale by the pixel!
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VirtuaIceMan [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Sep 04, 2022 06:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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I'll take some screenshots when I get time. The PIP Designer is where scale seems to be a decimal value, no sign of pixel dimensions that I could find.
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Warry [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: The Netherlands Joined: Oct 13, 2014 11:42 Messages: 612 Offline
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Quote I'll take some screenshots when I get time. The PIP Designer is where scale seems to be a decimal value, no sign of pixel dimensions that I could find.

you are right. But would the decimals help you be more precise than by eye?
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VirtuaIceMan [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Sep 04, 2022 06:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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Only if I can work out the offset.

But I've thought up another plan: position each asset in the middle of a transparent full frame size image (i.e. 2560x1440 I'm using), then they'll appear at the right size on the timeline and I just need to position and scale them. Cross fingers!
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 716 Offline
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Quote By copying the keyframes you can probably also paste these setting to other images if you would want that…. (Again, I don’t recall whether that option is available in 16, otherwise consider upgrading).


You can certainly copy keyframe attributes from one clip and paste into others and I recently discovered you can actually copy and paste between clips in different projects, at least that works in PD13 and I would imagine it will also work in newer versions.
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