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Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality

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Dakota Geng
Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality
on Oct 3, 2019 at 3:37:02 pm

Hey all! I've lost all hope finding an answer from hours of Googling, so I've turned making own post to hopefully finally resolve this.

So I have a project that I work in 1920x1080 by default but for deliveries we crunch these down to 720x404. What I'm trying to do is work out a way to render these videos right out of AE into AME at that 720x404 resolution.

What currently happens though is that I have to render at the 1080p resolution to keep the quality and then crunch that MP4 down to the size I need. If I render out the video directly to the 720 res the quality takes a HUGE hit. Examples below

Video rendered out at 1080p res:
https://i.gyazo.com/e379b8516118e4a4554e326c099261ec.png

Video rendered out at 404p res:
https://i.gyazo.com/ea21946e60ec51bbec7920e2472b296d.png

1080p rendered down to 404p res:
https://i.gyazo.com/25b65105823000e037b8f225464d570b.png

You can see the jagged edges that appear on the second image that doesnt appear in the third when converting it down.

A few notes: This happens to text as well as images, it doesn't matter whats on screen that same jagged look will appear. I have also tried this technique with a resolution better supported by h.264 but it doesn't make any difference, I get the same results. I need to export at this 720x404 res

Anyone has anything I could try would be much appreciated ☺ thank you,


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Blaise Douros
Re: Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality
on Oct 3, 2019 at 3:46:51 pm

A couple of things spring to mind. Have you tried switching renderers to Software? In Premiere, at least, I often find that text anti-aliasing is better with the Software renderer than the OpenCL or Metal.

Second, what about nesting your final render comp into one that is the native resolution you're rendering to? I.E. rather than finishing in 1920x1080 and exporting to 720x404, make your final comp 720x404, and export at the comp's intended resolution. That way you're not introducing dithering during the render stage.


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Cassius Marques
Re: Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality
on Oct 3, 2019 at 6:38:13 pm

Well, there are a million ways to downres/downsize/downgrade to what you want but what is a priority is to know what for.

There's no way we could judge quality in what you're doing if the only metric I have are Three 1188 X 600 screen shots of what was supposed to be 1080p and 404p. You're throwing scaling along with those comparisons that should not be there.

The way to go is to let AE do the scalling, and avoid unnecessary compression (e.g to what format are you "rendering at 1080p to keep quality"?). So put your 1080p comp inside a 404p comp and set that to comp size. If resolution is your only metric, render that out to the best format you can use. If file size is still a problem. Render that out uncompressed and use a single good two-pass encoder.

Cassius Marques
http://www.zapfilmes.com


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Dakota Geng
Re: Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality
on Oct 3, 2019 at 6:49:45 pm

Thanks both for your input, seems like precomping my main comp into the 720x404 res comp and scaling down the composition seems to work great and doesn't produce that same jagged look I was getting.

How hard would it be to automate this process? I was hoping I could fix this with render settings but with this solution it will take a bit more steps for the amount of videos I need to set this up on.

Thanks again!


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Cassius Marques
Re: Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:22:45 pm

If my goal was a compressed file, I would just configure an output with HandBreak and batch convert all the videos to h264, downsresing and compressing in one go.

Cassius Marques
http://www.zapfilmes.com


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John Williams
Re: Rendering a 1080p Composition down to lower resolution wrecks quality
on Oct 4, 2019 at 1:54:32 pm

You could also try scaling the Comp down using the inbuilt script:

Choose: File/Scripts/Scale Composition, if you are trying to convert a 1920X1080 down you can use a scale factor of
0.375. That will scale all layers and animations down regardless of anchor point position.

John Williams

Soho Editors


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