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Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering

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Luke Phillips
Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 30, 2018 at 2:56:17 am
Last Edited By Luke Phillips on Jul 30, 2018 at 4:16:46 am

Hey I'm working on a project and I've seem to come to stand still with a certain issue. When I render out my project I notice that some of the text is all pixelated and has jagged edges. This only happens on the red text as every other colour is as smooth as butter. What really throws me off is that the preview (at full quality) doesn't have this issue and the text looks as it is supposed to. Here are some images to show you:

Text in Full Preview (note the quality of the red text):


Text after rendering (now note the quality (or lackof) of the red text)


I read somewhere that After Effects apparently doesn't like the colour red but I find it hard to believe that such as expensive product has an issue with such a common colour. Either way, I want to fix this desperately because it looks so out of place compared to the other text. And if the photos don't make it look like its that bad of an issue, on the actual thing it looks much worse.

Thanks in advance,
Luke


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Steve Bentley
Re: Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 30, 2018 at 3:10:31 pm

A couple of questions:
Is the text native to AE? Or is it an illustrator file? (if the latter, try the Continuously Rasterize button - the little sun icon just to the right of the layer name.)
Is the text precomposed? Are you rendering out at full resolution?
Is the layer's quality and sampling setting (the diagonal line next to the CR sun button) set to smooth?
Are you rendering out to a compressed format? Compressed formats (overly simplified) don't have as many colors as an uncompressed file so there aren't as many available to do the anti aliasing roll off. The compression can also introduce artifacts around saturated colors to simulate sharpness and trapping. (I can see some dark banding around the red).
Have you tried a higher color space comp? (16 or 32 bit)

There is no issue with red in AE. Any visible jaggy issue that arises tends to be a contrast one (the difference between full red or black or white and the background is so great that the antialiasing doesn't have enough distance to create a smooth transition. This would be the case in any compositor even Pshop. Its not so much a problem as just the stepping of the anti aliasing routine - its just number of pixels available vs the difference in colors.
On the other hand full red on video monitors can sometimes "ring". This is why there are Legal standards for broadcast.

You may have the same issue with the Track Distance text, but because it's closer to the background color it's not showing as much.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 30, 2018 at 5:12:54 pm

The codec to which you are rendering may have issues with sharp, well defined edges on highly-saturated colors. Since we don't know the media container and codec, we can't say for certain.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Andrew Somers
Re: Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 31, 2018 at 1:09:24 am

It's really hard to tell since you put such small images here to view, and you didn't tell us much about your setup.

However, I'm going to echo what Dave said, because what I'm seeing above is not an anti-aliasing issue, it looks like ringing in a codec that is compressing too hard or is dealing with channel clipping, or has too low a color resolution.

Here is the information we need to help you diagnose this:

1) Your project WORKING SPACE. what working colorspace (icc profile) is set, what is your bit depth, and are you linearizing?

2) What version AE are you on?

3) As Steve asked, are these text layers inside AE, or are they illustrator? Photoshop?

4) What filters or adjustments are you adding? Motion?

5) How is your output module set for color management? What codec are you going out to and what are teh codec settings (bit depth, compression amount, etc etc.)


If you tell us THESE things, we can better help you solve your issue.


GENERAL THOUGHTS:


1) After Effects does not have a "problem with red". However some codecs certainly do. NTSC was notorious at mangling red in the image, so much so that even today when they cast cars for a TV show they say "NO RED"!!

2) Sharpening filters can cause the kind of artifact you are seeing. But also so can using a bit-mapped image file (i.e. png, jpg, etc) at too low a resolution. Since you have a "before" image at very low resolution, let me ask: is that the actual image you put into AE for the text?

3) If you are not using the built in text layers, you still want to stay with a vector type file (ai, svg, eps) and NOT a bitmapped image. Then, set the layer to "continuously rasterize" — it's the little layer button that looks like a gear.

4) Also, while I do normally recommend working in linear light, in every version of AE I have used, linear mode messes up the built-in antialiasing, and you need to do a lot of manual tweaking. So if you aren't compositing and just doing flat text, sometimes 16 bit gamma encoded is best (ESPECIALLY if you are outputting alpha channels).

5) Some codecs, like Avid's, really do badly on things like text. But also too heavy compression (too low a profile) can lead to these kinds of artifacts in many codecs, particularly DCT with low resolution color sampling.

On this last point, this *looks* a lot like the kind of artifact you get with aDV codec. Part of the reason is the color is subsampled at a FOURTH of the resolution of the luminance. And remember that the majority of luminance is in the GREEN channel (70% or more). Red typically makes up about 18-22%, and blue less than 12%. So while a pure green hard edged object like text might make it through the codec okay, red or blue might get stepped on.

If you *are* fighting the DV codec, then I suggest either desaturating the colors, or mixing in another color so that you are not just primary red, green, blue. For instance, I would not be surprised if you added in some green to make it more orange, instead of red if the problem suddenly disappeared.


Best of luck


Andy

Andrew Somers
VFX & Title Supervisor
http://GeneralTitles.com


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Luke Phillips
Re: Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 31, 2018 at 1:17:38 am

Hey I rendered it out using MPEG-2 and I didn't have the issue. I figured it might have something to do with the h.264 codec or maybe just rendering straight into it. Perhaps for next time I'll render a full quality master in AE and then use AME to encode with h.264. Thanks for all of your support, really appreciate it.

Luke


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Andrew Somers
Re: Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 31, 2018 at 1:43:59 am

Yea, rendering straight to H264 from AE doesn't take advantage of two pass encoding like you can in AME.

Personally, for QT files I render out first to ProRes, then crunch that in AME using an appropriate profile and two pass encoding.

Glad you got it going.

Andrew Somers
VFX & Title Supervisor
http://GeneralTitles.com


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Text is pixelated and has jagged edges after rendering
on Jul 31, 2018 at 2:29:41 pm

Are you using the numbers effect...Because that is what it looks like..And that would be your problem


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