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Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation

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Peter HuntLoss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 24, 2014 at 7:03:07 pm

Hi all. I'm relatively new to animating in After Effects and I seem to be having a problem with the finished video.

I've made the animation in 1080p with the intent of embedding it in a website. I'm creating a site that will fit all screen sizes. I made the characters and assets for the video using Illustrator and Photoshop.

When I export the animated video, it looks as it should when viewed in full screen but when I shrink it down the outlines of my characters become quite jagged. I've no idea how to fix this.

You can see the difference here:

http://imgur.com/yZzBM9G

The left pic is when it's viewed in the normal window on vimeo or youtube and the right is at full resolution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to provide any other information if needed


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 24, 2014 at 7:30:11 pm

The export setting you're using will be critical to figuring out the cause of the problem.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Peter HuntRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 24, 2014 at 9:16:06 pm

Thank you for your reply. Here's the settings I used

http://imgur.com/qgpG0tg
http://imgur.com/whJG95L


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Ridley WalkerRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 24, 2014 at 9:37:44 pm

Don't render to H.264. Render to a low, or no compression format such as Animation or one of the motion JPEG or PNG sequence.

Then transcode the rendered file to H.264 using Adobe Media Encoder.


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Peter HuntRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 24, 2014 at 9:50:30 pm

I'll try that, Ridley. Thanks! I don't fully understand why you need to render it as one of these formats and then transcode it to H264 afterwards. Should I be doing this with video as well as animation? I have searched for this kind of thing before but I always see different opinions without a good explanation.


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Ridley WalkerRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 24, 2014 at 10:49:32 pm

After Effects Render engine is not as good at transcoding as AME.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:51:17 am

[Ridley Walker] "After Effects Render engine is not as good at transcoding as AME.
"


This statement is true only for a small number of CODECs, AFAIK; and H264 is one of the affected CODECs.

PS - Ridley, I know you know what I know but there are folks out there that will take your statement at face value - and perhaps run amok with it.

It should also be noted that if you were to import your AE comp, directly (another workflow option), into AME to render your H264; AME will FIRST render uncompressed before compressing the frames into the H264 format. In short, with this workflow, you are rendering to an uncompressed format without the benefit of retaining an uncompressed render/file for archival or for compression into the same CODEC (with different settings) or into another architecture/CODEC.

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Ridley WalkerRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:21:57 pm
Last Edited By Ridley Walker on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:22:45 pm

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "PS - Ridley, I know you know what I know but there are folks out there that will take your statement at face value - and perhaps run amok with it.\"


I appreciate your comments RoRK. A lengthy explanation of long GOP, quantization and frame re-ordering seemed unnecessary at the time of writing.


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Peter HuntRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 4:21:20 pm

Thank you both for the help. I tried rendering as a Quicktime movie with the animation codec. Still has the same problem but I'm currently putting it through AME as H.264 to see if it helps.

With the JPEG and PNG sequences should I be putting them through the same process and then adding sound in something such as premier pro or should sound be put in somewhere before?

Sorry if this is frustrating. Just really am clueless with after effects rendering.


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Ridley WalkerRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:22:18 pm

[Peter Hunt] "I tried rendering as a Quicktime movie with the animation codec. Still has the same problem but I'm currently putting it through AME as H.264 to see if it helps."

If a lossless CODEC like animation produces the same undesired result is there any footage in the source project that is H.264 or uses some other form of lossy compression?

If the animation CODEC fails to produce a good result running that render through AME won't improve it.


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Peter HuntRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:32:41 pm

Now that you mention it wouldn't make sense for that to fix it.

The composition is made up of Illustrator files which I've animated to move and still Photoshop files as backgrounds. But it seems to be everything having the issue including text I added in from After Effects


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Ridley WalkerRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:38:10 pm

Perhaps this link might provide some answers.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/adobe-media-server/articles/h264_primer.html


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Mike PanighettiRe: Loss of quality when Scaling down an animation
by on Sep 8, 2014 at 9:55:44 pm

I have the same exact problem here: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1055199

Its too bad that no one has figured this out in the replies.


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