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After Effects Res / Image Sizes etc...

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Chris Walter
After Effects Res / Image Sizes etc...
on Jan 7, 2013 at 6:39:26 pm

Hello, Hello, Moo...

First post on here so apologies for my terrible terminology, failure to understand etc etc...

I have an ongoing project to work on at work and am struggling/worrying abit as I haven't really done much motion graphics and stuff before apart from using Flash back at uni which I kind of enjoyed but Flash... what a pig it can be...

Anyways, the reason for my post is this...

I need to create a video for my employers website builder which is currently being updated and as such doesn't really exist currently so I need to use screenshots to make it appear as though its a fully working product.

I have decided to use After Effects and am finding it much easier than Flash to complete simple movements, masks etc. My concern is that my employer wants the video to be done in HD. For a few tests I have been working in 1920 x 1080. Making sense so far? (probably not)...

The screenshots / photoshop screens / mock ups of what the product will look like have been created in 72 dpi but I plan to zoom in and out of these (as well as animating a cursor / pointer) to make it look like it all works.

Am I in trouble as the shots are 72dpi? Im concerned that I will spend ages and the results won't be great because when I zoom in and out it will pixelate badly...

Im sure this post isn't nearly as descriptive as it needs to be but if anyone has any advice for this type of project I would really appreciate it. Also I will be using some vector elements to illustrate points or highlight certain sections on the screens (this is not a prob as they will upsize / downsize nicely using the constant rasterize option).

If anyone wants to help but can't understand my dribble please do not hesitate to say "we don't understand" and I'll try again as no one in my office knows anything about motion graphics as opposed to my very weak (although existent) knowledge.

Many Thanks


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: After Effects Res / Image Sizes etc...
on Jan 7, 2013 at 7:18:34 pm

DPI means nothing in the video world. Monitors display pixels 1:1, so your physical size is, therefore, is dictated by your screen size.

DPI settings only make a difference with variable outputs, like a printer.

If you're worried about zooming in and out, make your source bigger pixel-wise. A 1920x1080 image will behave and look the same in After Effects if it were 1 dpi or 300 dpi.

Start with a 4000 or 5000 wide pixel image, to give yourself leeway for zooming. Larger if you need to zoom tighter.

With that said, the project might actually be handled better in Flash. IIRC Flash has better support for vector graphics so if you mocked up your website in, say, Fireworks, you may get a better result with all the zooming, etc.

Angelo Lorenzo

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Chris Walter
Re: After Effects Res / Image Sizes etc...
on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:37:38 am

Many thanks for the quick and helpful replies guys.

I'm not sure I still understand totally though...

I think I will continue to use After Effects as I'm finding it much easier than I ever did Flash. Any tips on up scaling my current screenshots to achieve the best results. As they are an online website builder their is a fair amount of text and stuff (images / buttons) which I want to reserve the clarity of.

The screenshots are not actually screenshots but working PSD's would it be worth importing the layers and linking them all to a parent element? This is purely a shot in the dark as I'm new to this... Would that perhaps help in zooming in and out? The PSD's I have to work with are currently 1320 x 1148 but I can extend the horizontals as it will eventually be live on the web so it is more a case of extending the background layers than anything...

Also has anyone any advice as to what After Effects present would be best to use for this kind of project? I assumed 1920 x 1080 with 24 fps?

Anymore suggestions would be great and again thanks to you two guys that replied so quickly...

Many Thanks


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects Res / Image Sizes etc...
on Jan 7, 2013 at 7:19:17 pm

[Chris Walter] "Am I in trouble as the shots are 72dpi?"

Which is better? An image at 300 DPI or another image at 72 DPI?

Without more information, you can't answer that question. DPI stands for dots per inch. It is a way of relating a physical size to resolution, but it doesn't tell you anything about about the resolution itself.

When you measure in DPI, can't directly compare resolution. For example, a 6" wide 300 DPI image has the same resolution as a 25" wide 72 DPI image. (6 inches * 300 dots per inch = 1800 dots; 25 inches * 72 dots per inch equals 1800 dots)

Video cares about dots (pixels), not inches. Whether you're displaying 1080 HD on a 40" TV or a 40' projection screen, you've still only got 1920x1080 pixels.

You need to keep an eye on the pixel count of the images; their DPI settings doesn't matter and don't tell you anything meaningful.

Walter Soyka
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