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Frame Size in AE

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Jason MettlerFrame Size in AE
by on Jul 22, 2011 at 1:16:40 pm

Hey guys,
New one for me. I'm doing an ad for a digital billboard (never done that before) and the specs are weird. 192 x 80 for size in an uncompressed avi. 24-bit they said, which I found an old thread on the forum that talked about that. My sticking point is that when I set my comp size to that amount all the pixels were blurred. Just to work on the comp it was magnified 400%. I then just upped the ratio to 720 x 300 and figured I could resize in Premiere. Nope. I can't use any of the sequence presets. I'd like to just render out of AE. Oh, and I tried pre-comping...no luck, and I imported back in the movie file to try to resize...better quality but still really pixelly.
What can I do?


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Walter SoykaRe: Frame Size in AE
by on Jul 22, 2011 at 2:17:59 pm

[Jason Mettler] "I'm doing an ad for a digital billboard (never done that before) and the specs are weird. 192 x 80... My sticking point is that when I set my comp size to that amount all the pixels were blurred. Just to work on the comp it was magnified 400%. I then just upped the ratio to 720 x 300 and ... I tried pre-comping...no luck, and I imported back in the movie file to try to resize...better quality but still really pixelly. What can I do?"

Accept the limitations of the medium you're designing for.

192 x 80 is very, very low res. You can't design for that with the same assumptions you'd use for a high-res piece.

Do you know how large will the final display be, physically? How far away the viewers will be?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jason MettlerRe: Frame Size in AE
by on Jul 22, 2011 at 2:34:13 pm

I don't know the size of the billboard specifically. It's on the side of a road in Chicago somewhere. I rendered the clip out at the small rez for them to try. Do you think that if I submitted the bigger size clip it would fit the billboard and still work or would it de-rez?

The project manager said that the built in animations are really crisp and vibrant but so far the ads they've put up made by designers are blurry and washed out. I've looked online for spec info but can't find any.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Frame Size in AE
by on Jul 22, 2011 at 3:09:57 pm

[Jason Mettler] "The project manager said that the built in animations are really crisp and vibrant but so far the ads they've put up made by designers are blurry and washed out."

If I were you, I'd find out how they made the built-in animations.

I doubt very much those built-in ones were created by any kind of industry software like AE. I wouldn't be surprised to learn they were done on proprietary software, specific to that display system. You want to build ads for that display? You may have to learn how to use the software.

192 x 80 is almost in the realm of the dot matrix printer look. The look of the screen on an Apple II, TRS-80, Commodore 64 or an Altair. If the displays had any color AT ALL, they were limited to 16 colors and at the very most, 64 colors on a really hot machine.

As Walter said, you'll have to adapt to the limitations of the display.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Frame Size in AE
by on Jul 22, 2011 at 3:09:53 pm

[Jason Mettler] "I rendered the clip out at the small rez for them to try. Do you think that if I submitted the bigger size clip it would fit the billboard and still work or would it de-rez?"

Depends on the system -- but it might be worth a try if the original spec was wrong.


[Jason Mettler] "The project manager said that the built in animations are really crisp and vibrant but so far the ads they've put up made by designers are blurry and washed out. I've looked online for spec info but can't find any."

Well, you could question the spec to find out if it's really 192x80 -- but it's very possible that it is correct.

If the spec is right, then it's a matter of design. Working at very low resolutions means you may want to avoid antialiasing, stick with high-contrast regions of solid color, and use sharp, thin outlines to help define edges -- think 8-bit Mario Brothers from 1985.

Try the billboard design "17 times" rules to gauge legibility: view your work from a distance of 17 times its width.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jason MettlerRe: Frame Size in AE
by on Jul 22, 2011 at 4:18:14 pm

Thanks guys! I'll submit what I got and if there're issues I can't resolve I'll come a-knockin'


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