Frame aspect ratio issue
Hello all, I've searched high and low for answers to this one but have come up with nothing, so hope someone can help.
I have a project i'm about to animate - 1920 x1080 16:9 - all the assets are positioned correctly on the canvas but I haven't started to animate it yet.
I will also need a 1:1 version of the project - (1080 x 1080 ) My question is, is there any way I can go ahead and animate the 16:9 version and then adjust the comp settings somehow or run a script to generate a 1:1 version of the project? something that will re position / adjust all the layers accordingly and not just scale it to create a squashed looking square version of the 16:9?
If you animate your project so that everything important is happening in the 1080x1080 area you can just crop the 16:9 version.
Do you mean that the assets will reorganize within the square frame to have the same look and feel as they were in the 16:9 frame? Or as Tero suggests you just need a crop?
For just a crop you can drag your16:9 into another comp that is 1080x1080 and that will automatically trim that first comp live - so you can move things in the HD comp and see how it looks in square too without remaking either.
The other way for the same look and feel idea, is to position your assets in relation to the center and frame edge, not simply by scale and position (usually rotation looks after itself). Its best to use expressions for this so they can calculate things like even spacing and distance from edges. Then you can use a second part of those same expressions to alter the assets for your other aspect. When the second half of each expression is made active these will move assets to the same kind of relationship they had in the HD comp but formatted for a square, and then render out of a parent square comp that is cropping the original HD. You do have to put a switch on the expressions so that you can turn sections of them all on or off at once. Use the check box effect and link the expression math to that one effect. Remember that expressions feed the last number calculated to the attribute, so if let the code continue the first chunk for the HD version will be ignored. Basically it can be as simple as a giant if/else with the second calculation inside the "else" braces.
This can be easy or hard depending on the content design. But if its a pipeline for multiple screens of different formats that will be used over and over, its great because you just create for HD and let AE do the reorganization for the other formats.
When we do this, we also include sliders out in the square comp that link to the original expressions on the inner HD comp, so that from the square comp we can tweak positions or scales without affecting the original infrastructure.
What I would suggest Andrea is to set your comp to 1920x1920, so you start work in what's caed the "protected" space, and use GUIDES or an overlay to mark an area that is 1080 high, and you will CROP to that area for the HD version.
That 1080 vertical area does NOT need to be in the center (aka common center) it could be toward the top of the frame (common top).
For instance for years the standard at Universal for 1.85 films has been to "Compose for 1.85, but PROTECT for 1.33" (4:3). So when we say "protect" we mean keep the entire image area as useable.
So let's say your animation has a lot of people walking around — you might want top, choose common top so that you reserve the3 relative composition for where their head/face is located, and only crop off the less important legs.
I have a working comp that is normally sized larger than the final output. Then that work comp going into an output comp which handle any LUTs or final color transforms, and ALSO sets the final frame size. From here I can make adjustments to the final composition as needed in the output comp. (You can also crop in the output module numerically, but I prefer seeing how I am cropping instead of crossing my fingers LOL).
VFX & Title Supervisor
"Do you mean that the assets will reorganize within the square frame to have the same look and feel as they were in the 16:9 frame? Or as Tero suggests you just need a crop?"
Steve, yes to your first question, I would like them to reorganize. I would have loved to have the expressions know how in order to whip it up the way you have outlined, but my use of expressions is unfortunately very basic, which is a bit naughty of me after all this time. Back to my Marcus Geduld book soon I think.
Andrew, your method was also suggested to me yesterday by someone else, I think this is what I will go with. Think there may still be a bit of adjusting but i can only foresee a few layers being affected.
Thank you for all your responses!