Motion 5 - Using High-Resolution Still Images

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Using High-Resolution Still Images

A common and effective use of still images in motion graphics work is the animation of
high-resolution files. The DPI (dots per inch) of image files as defined in programs like
Photoshop does not apply to video, because the dimensions of each imported still image
are defined by the number of pixels. If the dimensions of an imported image are larger
than the frame size of the Motion project, the image extends beyond the borders of the

You can reduce the scale of the image to fit the project’s frame size. You can also animate
its Scale parameter (in the Properties Inspector) to zoom into or out of the image, or
animate its Position parameter to pan the image.

Because Motion is graphics-card dependent, file-size import limitations vary from computer
to computer. When you import an image that is too large, an alert dialog appears, stating:
“This media is too large to render at full resolution, and will be shown at a lower quality.”
Click OK to import the image at a lower quality. For more information on recommended
graphics cards, visit the Motion website at


For importing large still images, you can set an option in the Preferences window to
import files at their original size or to scale images to fit the Canvas size.

To set the large still image import preference


Choose Motion > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).

The Motion Preferences window appears.


Chapter 6

Creating and Managing Projects

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In the Still Images & Layers group of the Project pane, choose a setting from the Large
Stills pop-up menu.

Large Stills preference

There are two options:

Do Nothing: Imports the image at its original size.

In the following example, a 2311 x 1525 image is imported into a Broadcast HD 1080
project (1920 x 1080) with Do Nothing selected in the Preferences. The image is larger
than the Canvas.

Scale to Canvas Size: Imports and scales the image to fit the project size while

maintaining its native aspect ratio.


Chapter 6

Creating and Managing Projects

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In the following example, the same image is imported with Scale to Canvas Size selected
in Preferences.

The image is scaled—the equivalent of using the Select/Transform tool to scale down
the image in the Canvas while pressing Shift. To observe that the image is merely
transformed and has not changed resolution, select the image file in the Media list,
then open the Media Inspector. The Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters display
the resolution of the original file.

Fixed Width and
Height parameters