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Problem with image pixels in After Effects!

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George Tsirogiannis
Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:33:40 pm

Hello,

I'm creating a 2D animation in After Effects, where the pixels of an image interact with each other.

I imported the image I want to use in AE and scaled it up in order for the pixels to appear. The problem is, the pixels blend with each other and they are not distinct!

I tried to work this out by going to Layer -> Quality and selecting Draft quality for the image layer, but a new problem appears. When I animate the image (because I need to zoom out sometime), it draws itself frame by frame differently (I guess this happens because the Draft option refers to the way the renderer renders the image, and not to the way the image actually IS in the composition) and this results to the zooming out not being smooth. I also have parented some layers to the image layer, but those parented layer zoom out smoothly! This of course results to the overall animation looking bad.

Is there any way I can tell After Effects to render the image once (and not frame by frame) and keep the pixels "rasterized"? I don't know if I explained well.

Thanks in advance! :)


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Ken Foldenauer
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:22:27 pm

Are you trying to make your image look pixellated? If so you could put the Mosaic effect on you image.


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George Tsirogiannis
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:27:46 pm

I just tried that, just seconds before reading your post! But it doesn't work. It pixelates the image but the borders between pixels are blurred...

There must be some option. I want it to behave like in Photoshop, when you zoom out more than 300%, the pixels are separate from each other.


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George Tsirogiannis
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:48:26 pm

Here's an image that explains it all.

I want to achieve the draft quality look, yet without the Draft option on because it ruins the animation.

explanation.jpg



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Walter Soyka
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 4:20:37 pm

[George Tsirogiannis] "I want to achieve the draft quality look, yet without the Draft option on because it ruins the animation."

You could pre-render the contents of the layer at draft quality to bake in the draft-quality pixelated look, then animate the pre-render at full quality.

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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George Tsirogiannis
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 4:30:51 pm

I thought about pre-rendering but:

The image is scaled up 40,000% . My output is 720p. That means that I need an image that is 51,200,000 x 28,800,000 px in size! haha.

Of course I could break it down to segments and render parts of the image for every segment, but ideally I want the motion to be smooth from 40,000% to 100%... Even if I pre-render segments and composite them together, the load of the computer will be too high.

I'll be waiting for 24 hours or something and if nothing comes up, I'll change my plans! :/


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Walter Soyka
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 5:05:08 pm

Precomp your image (so the precomp has the same dimensions as the image) and set the image layer's quality to draft.

In your main comp, set the precomp's layer quality to draft and enable collapse transformations.

Animate precomp layer's scale, position, etc. in the main comp.

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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Ken Foldenauer
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:48:46 pm

Give me a couple minutes here. I'm going to try something I just recently used on a project to see if it give the results your looking for.


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George Tsirogiannis
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 4:47:09 pm

I just noticed that using the 3D system improves the result a little bit. Until now, I was animating by tweaking the parameters of the objects (scale and position of the image layer, the eyes, the mouth etc). I tried to set up a 3D camera and the wiggling is reduced. Not completely removed, though.


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Ken Foldenauer
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 5:03:04 pm

I couldn't figure a way to make it work without blurry edges, but you could fake it. you could create your own squares and try to match the colors as best as possible and set it in place at the highest scale and then pic wipe the scale on the square comp to the scale on the image itself. if that makes sense.


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Ken Foldenauer
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 5:13:57 pm

scratch that. you couldn't pic whip it because your square comp would go into the negatives and scale up again. but you could dissolve it in at a point. and you would also want to do your scaling and positioning on a null and parent the square comp and your image to the null. We tried the draft quality with key frames and it looked smooth on our end. could you possibly have your keyframes set wrong?


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George Tsirogiannis
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 5:21:21 pm

scratch that. you couldn't pic whip it because your square comp would go into the negatives and scale up again. but you could dissolve it in at a point. and you would also want to do your scaling and positioning on a null and parent the square comp and your image to the null. We tried the draft quality with key frames and it looked smooth on our end. could you possibly have your keyframes set wrong?


I'm not sure I understood what you wrote. What square comp(if you mean the original composition, ok, otherwise i didn't understand, not a native speaker or into the terminology!) I'll try this with the null. I don't think I've made any mistake with the keyframes though.

Thank you both for your time! I may seem to counteract to your responses but it's nothing like that! :)


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George Tsirogiannis
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 5:28:22 pm

Wow, in the end I understand, but it seems like the posts don't appear correctly. Creative Cow, please stop this moderation, there's no need to do this, it only confuses the discussion. :P


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keith mcgregor
Re: Problem with image pixels in After Effects!
on Aug 16, 2012 at 8:05:02 pm

If you precomp and set to draft, then open the comp settings (cmd+K), choose advanced and check "Preserve resolution when nested" does that work? I think AE is trying to give you a clean image when you scale it up but you don't want it to.
-Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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