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One pixel movie

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Marius Packbier
One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 3:36:35 pm

Hello everyone,

I have a somewhat peculiar question. I want to create a movie that consists of only one pixel.
I already cropped a video to one pixel but the size of the composition stays 4 X 4 and when it comes to exporting 4 x 4 is always the minimum no matter what format I use.
Is there a possibility to crop a video to one pixel and export it in 1 X 1 pixel with AE or some other program?
I know that you can't even see one pixel and so on, but it's for an artistic project, so the rules of logic don't apply.

Thanks in advance.
Marius


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Walter Soyka
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 4:25:04 pm

Hmm... this one might be tricky. How do you actually intend to use the one-pixel movie? Do you have format restrictions on your playback system?

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
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Michael Szalapski
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 4:34:38 pm

[Walter Soyka] "How do you actually intend to use the one-pixel movie? Do you have format restrictions on your playback system?"

Limiting video to a one-pixel size is one heck of a restriction.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Marius Packbier
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 5:17:16 pm

I want to play it on a computer on full screen. The upscaling will change the image extremly and I like to explore this effect. I know that it won't make a big difference if I export it as one pixel or 16 if I scale up afterwards, but the work is a study of the basic constituent of the digital image. Therefor it has to be one pixel.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 5:30:52 pm

One pixel will only be one dot of color though. No variation at all. Just one single color. You can get that same effect by making a 4k image of just a solid in AE.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Marius Packbier
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 5:49:15 pm

yes I know. But if you scale it up a lot, which would be the case to get a full screen, the solid square gets fractured (it's hard for me to explain how it looks exactly). Anyway I already tried it with 16 pixels and as I said, I guess there won't be a big different with 1 pixel. But it's also a conceptual thing for me, so I really like to export a one pixel movie, no matter what's the result.


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Walter Soyka
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 6:05:22 pm

[Marius Packbier] "Anyway I already tried it with 16 pixels and as I said, I guess there won't be a big different with 1 pixel."

Actually, the difference with bilinear scaling is pretty shocking:


[image]


The source here is a 27% gray field, at 1x1 on top and 4x4 on the bottom.

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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Marius Packbier
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 6:36:47 pm

That's interesting. I guess there is still a lot to explore. Thanks.


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Walter Soyka
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 6:49:36 pm

[Marius Packbier] "That's interesting. I guess there is still a lot to explore. Thanks."

If you want to geek out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilinear_interpolation

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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Walter Soyka
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 5:51:30 pm

[Marius Packbier] "I want to play it on a computer on full screen. The upscaling will change the image extremly and I like to explore this effect. I know that it won't make a big difference if I export it as one pixel or 16 if I scale up afterwards, but the work is a study of the basic constituent of the digital image. Therefor it has to be one pixel."

Fair enough.

Since 1x1 is a corner case, different scaling algorithms will have drastically different results. It might be more interesting for you to output your 1px movie, reimport it into Ae, scale it there a couple of different ways, then output it at full resolution.

4x4 is the minimum size for an Ae comp and the minimum size for a QuickTime movie.

Do your work in a 4x4 comp, then instead of outputting a movie, output it to a PNG sequence. In the output module, set the bottom and right crops to 3. This will leave you with a 1x1 PNG of the top, left-most pixel for each frame in the comp.

You can re-import it back into Ae for further processing.

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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Michael Szalapski
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 6:05:47 pm

Alternatively, you could work with the video in Photoshop, but I like Walter's idea better.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Marius Packbier
Re: One pixel movie
on May 1, 2014 at 6:41:00 pm

Great! I will try it out tomorrow. Thanks a lot!


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Marius Packbier
Re: One pixel movie
on May 2, 2014 at 9:16:30 am

It works like charm. Thanks again Walter! After re-importing it back into Ae and exporting it in different sizes I got totally different results, like you said. But I don't really understand how to control the scaling algorithms.


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Walter Soyka
Re: One pixel movie
on May 2, 2014 at 2:09:10 pm

[Marius Packbier] " But I don't really understand how to control the scaling algorithms."

Via the "Quality and Sampling" switch on the timeline.

A jagged line is low quality, nearest-neighbor scaling. A smooth, straight line is bilinear. A curvy line is bicubic (new in Ae CC).

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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Michael Szalapski
Re: One pixel movie
on May 2, 2014 at 2:38:04 pm

And don't forget the new Detail Preserving Upscale effect they introduced in an update to CC.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Marius Packbier
Re: One pixel movie
on May 2, 2014 at 3:27:55 pm

Thanks! Got it.


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