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BBC Specs

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Donald MitchellBBC Specs
by on Apr 21, 2012 at 2:55:24 pm

Has anyone here produced titles for the BBC recently and knows the current graphics safe requirements? I'm producing a title sequence for them in After Effects. I've been told to work to 16:9 HD but 4:3 graphics safe. What should I set my safe margins to?

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Darby EdelenRe: BBC Specs
by on Apr 21, 2012 at 7:00:02 pm

I've never produced assets for the BBC, but it sounds like they want you to produce something that can be easily panned and scanned. Meaning that they'll use the same video for 16:9 and 4:3 broadcast so don't put anything that the audience HAS to see outside of the regular 4:3 title safe.

This is something that I used to do all the time for DVD menus back when DVDs were still a cool thing :)

Darby Edelen

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Dave LaRondeRe: BBC Specs
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:20:52 pm

At work I do almost everything at 1280x720 on a shockingly old version of AE. It doesn't have 4x3 title save built into it. I had to build my own semi-transparent 960x720 square-pixel still with 4x3 title safe & action safe that I use in every project.

But I bet you don't have to do that! Play around with the switches below the comp window and you should find a setting for 4x3 guides.

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

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Donald MitchellRe: BBC Specs
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:50:06 pm

Thanks folks, got hold of a BBC in house online editor today who gave me the proper specs.

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Andrew SomersRe: BBC Specs
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:56:15 pm

As Dave indicated, AE CS3 and later has center cut safe built in.

Settings are under "Grids and Guides" in Preferences.

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Tristan SummersRe: BBC Specs
by on May 2, 2012 at 6:30:38 am

Hi. Hope you get it right.
The BBC base their title safe percentages on SD ACTIVE PICTURE area which is 702 not 720 pixels wide.
I got stung by this in the past and did the maths to make a PSD, which I would share if I could find it.

Download the worldwide requirements document to check, as the HD safe zones keep being re-evaluated.
They do have supplied safety cages; the in-house people in London always worked to a 14:9 cage for example, and there is a PSD but I think it may be old.

I guess just be aware that if you go by the standard 80% guides in AE, or anything else,it may be wrong.


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