Reduce image w/o losing sharpeness

I have a logo I use in a V2 track as a watermark. I want to reduce it to 25% of it’s native size, but when I do it gets very blurry. Can anyone help me with this?


  • Jeff

What version of Shotcut do you use?
What method do you use to reduce the size of your logo image?
What kind of file is it? PNG? GIF? JPG?

I have no blur problem if I reduce my logo (PNG, original size: 671x744) with the Size, Position & Rotate filter.

Is Preview Scaling turned on? Everything will be a little blurry if it is.

Even without preview scaling, preview in the app is generally worse because:

  • the image is first scaled for embedding into the video
  • then the video is scaled for the in-app preview, which in an editor tends to be smaller than standalone player
  • it depends on Settings > Player > Interpolation

You should try the export using Export > Advanced > Video > Interpolation = Bicubic.

1 Like

Music Box: Shotcut 22.10.25. I use the Size, Position, Rotate filter, and I’ve tried both manually entering the size I want as well as setting the zoom to 25%. Same results. The file is a png. I don’t understand resolution well, but when I first import the image, the Properties say its 1197x1280.

Austin: I don’t know where to find Preview Scaling.

ShotCut: I changed the Settings > Player > Interpolation to Bicubic. I normally don’t make any custom settings for Export, but I will try that tomorrow.

I can’t work with it right now, but I did want to respond to all of you. Thanks! I will do some more tests tomorrow.

  • Jeff

So I tried all those things and still get the same results. Today I downloaded a different version of the logo png which, when imported does not have the jagged edges like the one I was originally given. Both version look nice and sharp when I bring them in, but both loose their quality when I resize to 25%. The exported mp4s are no better.

I also tried opening the logo in and resizing it to 25% there. Looks fine in But when I import it to Shotcut, first, it comes in filling the preview pane just like the full size version. Then when I reduce it in Shotcut, it, too, is fuzzy.

Can you share that logo here @JJeffH ?
I’d like to check if I can reproduce the problem on my computer.

Sure. “DDI Logo” is the original one they gave me and “logo8-958x1024” is the one I downloaded from the webpage.

Sorry, I forgot that the forum seems to convert PNG images to JPEGs.
If you can, please make a ZIP file containing both images and upload it here.

Got it. Here they are. (841.3 KB)

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Once you blend this image in its reduced size over a video, and compress the video during export it is going to be softer. That’s just the way video works. It is not like viewing a full size image on its own in an image viewer:

  1. the image is scaled down
  2. the anti-aliased edges of the image will be blended with the background
  3. the exported video has chroma sub-sampling (less resolution in color data)
  4. the video compression algorithms intentionally discard details

But I would think there must be a way to create a small size graphic that would then appear in a video with its set clarity. Also I don’t think the export is part of the problem. The mp4 doesn’t look any worse than the mlt.

I tried with both images and they resize to 25% without loosing quality.

Are you sure Preview Scaling is not ON?
If I set it to 360p, the image gets pixelated in the preview panel when reduced at 25%.
It will look fine when exported though.

This is what your logo looks like using the Size, Position & Rotate filter Zoom = 25% and placed over a clean area of a frame of 1920x1080 video, before exporting the video. (3.4 MB)

I used File > Export > Frame and saved as PNG to produce this. It looks OK to me and what I expect. Is that more or less blurry than yours?

I really appreciate you guys looking into this. Unfortunately I’m more puzzled than before. Yes, Dan, that is exactly the size I want it and yours is readable, mine isn’t. I don’t know what I could be doing wrong to get my result. I’m using v.22.10.25, that have anything to do with it?

Is the Video Mode of the project set to 1080 or higher?

It’s set to Automatica. I don’t know how to configure video or graphics files so I generally accept Shotcut’s defaults.

  • Jeff

That’s probably the issue. Everybody else is using a specific video mode that is 1080 or higher. Yours is probably using whatever resolution the first file dropped on the timeline was, and it’s lower than 1080.

Thanks, Austin. I’ll start a new project and try that tomorrow.

  • Jeff

I think that was it, Austin. This project I’m working on is a daily teaching session extracted from a longer video, to which I add a brief intro video and the logo as watermark. I’ve been starting each day’s Shotcut project by randomly opening one of the three elements in Shotcut.

Today I created the project first using Video Mode 1080p 30 fps, then adding the clips. So far, the 25% logo is readable in the preview screen. I’m exporting it now.

I’ll report back.