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Precomposing and quality loss

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Phil Gates
Precomposing and quality loss
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:23:59 pm

Hi all,
I've been reading posts here every now and then over the years. So first of all thank you for being the primary source of my (limited) AE knowledge ☺

For the end of my vacation video I decided to put the some pictures together (close shot, short animation), then zooming out and the images build the word "USA".

My Problem/What I did:
- I did put a text over the whole screen
- Then I added the pictures to roughly allign with the text
- Then, I precomposed the pictures and used the TrkMat so both fit perfectly together (looks pretty good until here)
- For the animation, I added a NullObject, linked the precomposed pictures and the USA text to it and animated it using position and scale keys

But as the pictures are precomposed, the zoom-in caused a massive quality loss. When i try to do the steps above without precomposing the quality is good but i can not allign the pictures with the text (not sure what happens there, but it seems like only a small fraction is visible through the font, while the rest remains black.

So it seems like I can't use the Trackmatte "effect" with multiple layers? Does anyone know if this is somehow possible or has another solution to my problem?

Thanks in advance!

PS: I also tried using a camera, but also got a massive quality drop when I zoomed in.

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Kevin Camp
Re: Precomposing and quality loss
on Feb 15, 2018 at 4:53:49 am

rather than using a track matte, you might be able to use a blending mode called 'stencil alpha'...

add the pictures to a comp, add the USA text (or whatever text you need), and arrange the pics as needed. move the USA text to the top layer of the comp and change the 'mode' from 'normal' to 'stencil alpha'.

this should have a very similar effect to the track matte, but effect all layer below the text layer (track mattes are limited to a single layer).

now add a null layer and parent all the layer (pics and text) to the null. scale the null and they should all scale, and since the images have not been precomped, they should retain their original resolution.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Phil Gates
Re: Precomposing and quality loss
on Feb 15, 2018 at 1:03:06 pm

I did a little test and that did the trick, thanks a lot!

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