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My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.

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Evan Angus
My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 4:35:35 pm

Hi there,

I'm trying to create a NTSC version of an animation created in AE. It's a animation of a chart with lots of text elements, and a camera tracks across it. The output looks fine in HD 1080i (29.97) on my monitors, but when I drop it into an SD comp using either the full HD comp or the rendered .mov it looks like crap. The edges of all the text in particular look really bad.

Please advise.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 4:51:09 pm

Are you trying to scale down to a NTSC widescreen pixel aspect ratio from a full HD render or did you scale down the original comp to a SD widescreen comp using the Script that comes with AE ?

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Evan Angus
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 4:58:33 pm

The former. I also just dropped the whole comp into an SD 4x3 comp and scaled it down manually.

I've never used said script. Is it, per chance, the one entitled scale composition? I had a feeling pixel aspect ratio was the problem, well that and my
relative inexperience in downconverting without a deck.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 5:11:34 pm

I would use the Scale Composition script to change the size of the comp to a NTSC widescreen square pixel aspect ratio (872×480)and render that out. Once you have that in an uncompressed (or slightly compressed- ProRes) version, you can squeeze in a SD NTSC Widescreen format, 720x480 with par (1.185).

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Evan Angus
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 5:35:28 pm

"you can squeeze in a SD NTSC Widescreen format, 720x480 with par (1.185)."

Would this be better done in AE or in my NLE? I need to end up with a letterboxed 720x486 SD .mov


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 7:22:00 pm

It should work in both, but I would test a sample first just to be sure.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Dave LaRonde
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 9, 2012 at 8:47:21 pm

[Evan Angus] "I need to end up with a letterboxed 720x486 SD .mov"

Choose the NTSC D1 comp preset.
Add the HD comp to the SD comp and scale the layer to fit comp width.
Add the comp to the AE Render Queue.
Depending on the nature of the footage (Interlaced/Progressive) in the HD comp, choose either No Fields or Lower Field First in the Render Settings.
Render in the codec of choice.

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


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Evan Angus
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 10, 2012 at 12:25:29 am

I feel like this is usually what I do. Ah well.

Thanks to you both, but I think the culprit is my text itself. I've had better luck with a different and larger font.

Best,

Evan


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Kevin Camp
Re: My Text looks horrible on SD conversion.
on May 10, 2012 at 6:14:02 pm

when edges look bad going from hd to sd, it's usually one of two issues (or it could be both).

the first issue (which i think was mentioned before) is ae's pixel aspect ratio correction in preview. when working with non-square pixel formats (such as sd), ae's preview has an option to correct the par, so that the preview looks like it will on a tv. the preview par correction is pretty crude and choppy, and looks a bit like aliased edges.

the render, however should be fine on a tv. dropping the rendered media in a square pixel comp should allow you to see what it would look like on tv without the preview par correction imperfections.

another issue that can occur, is that ae may be incorrectly interpreting the field settings for the media. if ae sees a piece a media that is typically interlaced (like 29.97 fps sd, or 29.97fps 1080hd) then it will try to separate fields. this will be problematic if the material was not interlaced, and edges will look aliased. you can double check how ae is interpreting the footage by selecting it and choosing file>interpret footage>main, and correct/override the interpretation settings there.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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