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Problem Rendering the Color Red with MPEG-2

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Josh Glassman
Problem Rendering the Color Red with MPEG-2
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:28:22 pm

Hello Creative Cow members!

I've been using this website as a reference for a long time, but I've finally stumbled across a problem that I can't seem to find a solution for already on here, so hopefully one of you fine people can help me out:

I have consistently been having trouble rendering the color red (most strong shades of it) in After Effects using the Mpeg-2 codec in an m2v wrapper. Whenever I try to do so, the edges come out distorted and pixelated, and the color itself seems to have more noise than normal. I don't have this problem when I use other codecs. Here is a screenshot comparison of how it is supposed to look (the lossless .mov above) and how it turns out with MPEG-2 (the .m2v below).

Make sure to click though to the full resolution image to really see the problem. Though it is not extremely noticeable in the image, in motion, it is glaringly obvious. Also, it makes smaller text nearly unreadable.

Now, I know the obvious solution in most cases would just to render lossless out of After Effects and use a program like Compressor or Media Encoder to get it into the MPEG-2 format; however, due to the unusual aspect ratio (1920x270) I have not been able to find a conversion program that can actually maintain the same aspect. They always want to force it into a more standard aspect ration, which either distorts the image or leaves it with black bars on the top and bottom.

I have to deliver in MPEG-2 due to our digital signage software, C-Nario.

Can anyone please help here? Is there some render setting I can tweak to make it handle the color red better? Is there another conversion program out there (aside from the professional MPEG compression software costing thousands of dollars that is!)? Am I missing something in media encoder that would allow me to keep the 1920x270 aspect ratio for MPEG-2?

I'm tired of not being able to use red in my animations. Please help!

Joshua Glassman
Film, Video, Motion Graphics, Design

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Chris Wright
Re: Problem Rendering the Color Red with MPEG-2
on Nov 28, 2012 at 3:05:26 am

pad it with black pixels until the aspect ratio thinks its normal, then crop it afterwards.

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Josh Glassman
Re: Problem Rendering the Color Red with MPEG-2
on Nov 29, 2012 at 6:02:48 pm

Maybe this is a dumb question, but how would I crop it after I convert it?

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