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Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action

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Dustin Bowser
Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 3:07:25 am

I have a simple composite I'm attempting to do --

Ultimately it will be a screen comp of a cell phone screen, but first I have to do some altering of the cell phone image and replace some text and some of the images on the screen. I come from After Effects, so the concepts in Action are new to me -- but I'm when I try to bring in the various image items, they end up coming in squashed/stretched or distorted relative to eachother --

My Cell phone background is 1080x1920 (**not 1920x1080, it's taller than wide), so I set that as the resolution of my Action in the Node Prefs>Rendering Tab. The problem is, now my other image elements come in vertically squashed. I can also see that the little XYZ Transform widget is squashed. I went into the axis of the squashed elements and scaled them non-uniformly to get them back to the right aspect ratio, which was fine, until I tried to do some Gmasking inside the Keyer of the media layer on the image and now my mask isn't lining up with my image, so I have to do some crazy 3-up display to my masking and how it correlates to the actual final composite.

All of this hassle just to put one image on top of another and try to trim one little piece off of it makes me think I must be doing something wrong. I'm used to After Effects where you can just chuck in just about anything and it will stack up just how it should look and you can get to masking and repositioning easily.

Is there a better way to setup/approach this kind of thing so that the resolutions will act intuitively?

I've attached a Screengrab just to give you an idea of what exactly I mean. The image of the light fixture made of ropes should be a square...

Thanks!



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Brian Mulligan
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 3:12:31 am

My guess us that you didn't change the aspect ratio when you went to 1080x1920.
There is aspect ratio button where you changed the res. Set that to W+H. And you should be good. Press Apply.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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Dustin Bowser
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 3:15:57 am

Doing that stretched both images out...



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Dustin Bowser
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 6:04:48 am

I put together a little video to better illustrate some of the issues I'm having.

https://vimeo.com/62137979
pass: creativecow


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Joel Osis
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 10:22:53 am

First up your images aspect ration was wrong on import, you need to make sure when u import use set it to use file aspect


w: http://www.joelosis.com
e info@joelosis.com


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Brian Mulligan
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 1:16:53 pm

Joel's right about your source image aspect being wrong on import.
As far as the masking in Context. Are you running SP2?
I don't have that issue on my MBP. I can set a 3 up view and have 1 be( F1) Gmack front and the other be (3) Action Res.

You can also use the crop functions in the media list in this example as you are only working with a square.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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Dustin Bowser
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 9:03:25 pm

When you say on Import, are you talking import from the Media Hub? Currently the setting is "Same as Source" under resolution. Is that not correct? Or is there another place to be changing what you're referring to?

Thanks for the responses too by the way. Greatly appreciated!

Also Joel, your site has been a really great resource for me and some of the guys at our shop as we move into Autodesk land. Keep up the good work! We check your site daily!


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Grant Kay
Re: Trying to understand combining media with different resolutions in Action
on Mar 19, 2013 at 11:42:01 pm

Hi Dustin,

There are two areas where the aspect ratio will affect what you see.

Firstly, the action compositor has its own resolution. So if you want your screen image to be the same going out of action, you need to go to the action node setup and set it the same resolution settings of the screen image. As the guys said, you enter in the resolution values. like 2000x1000. However the aspect ratio can be set to whatever you want. This goes back ot the old NTSC/PAL anamorphic days with stretched pixel. So as a general rule of thumb, for a true display of your pixels at, set the ratio to W:H. In the case of my example, the aspect ratio will be displayed at 2:1 for a true square pixel representation.

Coming to your footage, before you import the media, you need to look at the information in the preview player. You can see the spatial pixel resolution but also look at the aspect ratio. If it is incorrect than you need to force the mediahub to read the aspect ratio as W:H.

So the mediahub is one area to adjust the aspect ratio.

The other area you can change the aspect ratio is in the pre-processing settings of the source clips in connectFX.

Just double-click on one of your sources and in the basics menu, you can click explode. This will reveal the pre-processing settings in the node. Here you can change the aspect ratio and that should show your image correctly.

If the aspect ratios on all the sources are correct as well as in action, than it should be displayed correctly.

If you want, you can email me the sources as a reference so I can make my own ones and produce a video on this for the Smoke Learning Channel.

Hope this helps!

Regards
Grant

Check out the Smoke Learning Channel

Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/smokehowtos
or search for the Smoke Learning Channel on iTunes
Follow me on twitter @discreetuk


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