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Anamorphic or Square Pixels?

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Simon RoughanAnamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 9:57:02 am

What is the consensus? I know for example that with pure graphic work, you should always work in square pixels, but with video, its better in anamorphic comps. But what about when video and graphics are mixed? Our chief editor (Avid) now wants all our renders in anamorphic, because he is convinced that the imports in avid are better quality. Is he right? I have always rendered with square pixels.
thanks in advance
Simon

The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 10:27:40 am

Work in Square PAR comps. When you're ready to render, nest the square PAR comp into its anamorphic equivalent and render from this anamorphic comp.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Simon RoughanRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 10:40:15 am

Hi Roland, thanks for the reply.
What about just using the resize in the render options? Does this give the same results as nesting?
Cheers
Simon

The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know.


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chris brettRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 11:29:39 am

Hi Roland / Simon

--------- whats the consensus then --- does the pixel ratio make any difference to the quality and what would one do with the settings.

for instance if you comp at 1024 x 576 square pixels do you then precomp it / change comp settings to something less wide ( 720 ? ) and alter the PAR to anamorphic.

If this is the case I cant see how the picture quality might be improved as you are ( presumably ) reducing the picture information.


Anyone else got any thoughts on this ......


----- sort of thing that can catch one out from time to time ...



-----------------------chris --


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:15:47 pm

Hi Chris there should be no discernible quality change if you go from a square PAR comp to its anamorphic equivalent. For NTSC comps you will have to set the nested comp to fit into its new comp size. For PAL comps this is done automatically.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:11:40 pm

[Simon Roughan] "What about just using the resize in the render options? Does this give the same results as nesting?"

Hi Simon, there is a good reason for not scaling in the Render Options but I can't recall what it is at the moment and I'm really on a tight schedule to find out BUT Todd Kopriva did provide the reason in one of his posts a few months back, if you want to search for it.

For now, just do as I recommended and you should be fine.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Simon RoughanRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:22:11 pm

Thanks again Roland, I will follow your advice.
But to all the other experts that are more knowledgeable than me about this theme, and have more time than Roland does at the moment please explain the "why"? As in WHY should I render in anamorphic.
Cheers
Simon

The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know.


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chris brettRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:55:28 pm

-- wondering exactly the same Roland ......

.........and I still reckon there is more picture info in the square pixels option .........


--------chris ---------


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 1:04:19 pm

[Simon Roughan] "As in WHY should I render in anamorphic."

You can render to either square PAR or anamorphic (non-square PAR). There is no quality difference between the two. It's all a matter of preference which is often dictated by workflow considerations and habits.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 3:49:55 pm

Alright I think I recall why you shouldn't resize in the Render Settings dialo -
1) if your square PAR and anamorphic equivalent comps have different number of vertical pixels, you may experience 'field mush'. Google "field mush video" for more info

2) scaling initiated within the Render Settings dialog invokes a lower quality scaling algorithm than that available within the comps. scaling in the Render Settings dialog incurs a render hit as the scaling is applied after the comp has rendered

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Simon RoughanRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 4:00:05 pm

Roland, du bist die besten.
Danke für die Mühe.

The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 4:38:42 pm

[Simon Roughan] "...please explain the "why"? As in WHY should I render in anamorphic."

Easy: the editor said so. It's a delivery specification.
However, your editor is in error that anamorphic yields better image quality than square pixels. Anamorphic has fewer pixels --they're wider -- thus less horizontal resolution. Here's an example from 1080:

1920x1080 HD has 2,073,600 pixels per frame.
Anamorphic 1080 is 1440x1080 -- the pixels are wider. It's a cheat to save on file size. 1440x1080 has 1,555,200 per frame.


Now, to dot all the i's and cross all the t's, you would deliver your work in the media container and codec specified by the editor.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Simon RoughanRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 4:48:57 pm

Thanks for the answer Dave. I know, its no skin off my nose.
I'm just someone who likes to know why.

The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know.


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Darby EdelenRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 4:08:49 pm

As far as I know the only reason to render anamorphic is if the display device is expecting anamorphic (widescreen NTSC or an anamorphic projector). Otherwise square pixels make me happier all around.

Darby Edelen


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Conrad OlsonRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 6:34:08 pm

I haven't used an Avid for a long time but I know it used to convert anything that you imported into the format that the project was set to. This can be slow, and if you get the settings wrong you have to re-import your media, you can't just change the interpretation, like you can in After Effects.

If the resolution is wrong then Avid will re-scale the media to fit. I'm sure After Effects will do a better job at this so you may as well render the correct format out of AE.

As for having more resolution in a square pixel image, this is true but if you are working in an anamorphic project then you are never going to deliver these extra pixels. You will have to lose them and convert to none square pixels at some point. If it doesn't happen in AE then it is going to happen in the Avid or at the export/master to tape stage. You may as well do it at the point that gives the best result, or makes the rest of the workflow easier.

I know that the way that Avid deal with media has changed in the past few years so I don't know if this is still the case.

---

conradolson.com


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Jared YearsleyRe: Anamorphic or Square Pixels?
by on Jul 21, 2013 at 11:18:03 pm

Been trying to find a thread like this for a while!

So, earlier in the year I switched to creating all my SD comps in square pixels (1050x576) instead of FHA (720x576 widescreen) in AE.
I should've really got permission from our Head editor, but it just made sense to me. HD outputs are square pixels, so really it's just the smaller equivalent.

Plus, as others have said above, more pixels = more information. And, as someone else said, it only matters if the ouput display is expecting anamorphic pixels.

Basically, I've been trying to find a forum or something so I can share with our department and change our workflow to square pixels. Been looking for the 'WHY' reason, like the OP.


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