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After Effects Playout ... but how?

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Thomas Giegerich
After Effects Playout ... but how?
on Feb 12, 2009 at 6:38:50 pm

Hi there

just encountered a little problem i could not find any answer in google. Even though we have been using AE for year, we never had to do something like that ;-) Strange but true.

We are doing some After Effects animations for a customer in 1024x576 square pix, which were ment to be played out as Quick Time Files. Now the customer comes and asks us to do a Playout on Hard Disk Recorder (Doremi) which will only understand PAL SDI 720x576. He wants it to be played out in Letterbox. So i bought Decklink Studio card for one of our machines.

From my understanding, i should just render out the files in one of the Blackmagic codec and do the Playout of these with Blackmagic Deck Control.

Here are some questions:

Which difference does the 8bit vs the 10bit codec make, if all that is pure Animation? Does that have something to do with Sound? The project is 16bit color.

If i render out my animations from After Effects, which resolution should i choose? 1024x576 square pix does not seem to be a resolution the Decklink Software will understand. Does it make more sense to do a nested comp which is PAL 768x576 and put the 1024x576 in that one? Or would upscaling to 1280x720 make more sense to render that out?

Is it better to let the Decklink card do the conversion from HD 16:9 to Letterbox or would it be more clever to already do that in After Effects?

Hope someone can shed some light on this totally new subject. Thanks for any hints.


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Martti Ekstrand
Re: After Effects Playout ... but how?
on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:22:27 am

I mostly work in 1024x576 comps in AE which I then pre-comp and scale 75% horizontally in a 720x576 comp and render that out for playout in Final Cut Pro. I also use that pre-comp for monitoring on a CRT set to display 16:9


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Brett Howe
Re: After Effects Playout ... but how?
on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:13:12 pm

OK, so you have your animations in widescreen square pixel.

Your client wants the animation in 4:3 PAL, letterboxed 16x9.

Firstly, I would discuss the options with your client. If you want to output natively from the BM, render your stream to an uncompressed 720x576 AVI, with a DV PAL Widecreen pixel aspect ratio. THis is called anamorphic 16:9.

You can play this out through your BM card. Keep this as a master.

For the letterboxing, I'd do it in after Effects, into a 720x576 DV PAL pixel aspect ratio AVI.

Good luck.

Brett Howe
Creative Director / Producer
Brave Vision Pty Ltd

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