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Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?

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Brent Taylor
Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 5:04:25 pm

Had a question on the Collapse Transformation function. Short version: I'm losing resolution when I use it.

Details:

I've got some .AI files moving in 3D space with the Continuous Rasterize function on. Let's call this Comp 1. Then it's nice to flatten that and put it in a new composition (we'll call this Comp 2) using the Collapse Transformation function. So far, so good. The 3D layers are nice and flat and look good.

The problem comes in when I need to make Comp 1 larger within Comp 2 than it was originally. I find I lose resolution if I resize Comp 1 inside of Comp 2. I have to do the resizing beforehand.

Is there any way around this? I don't see any reason that Collapse Transformation should, of necessity, cause a loss of resolution.

What I've been doing is just resizing it larger than needed in Comp 1, or even having an intermediate Composition where I don't collapse it and make it quite large so I have a lot of headroom in Comp 2. But it would be nice if I just plain didn't have to worry about it. That's kind of the point of Continuous Rasterize in the first place.

Is there a better way?


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Cassius Marques
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 5:46:39 pm

If you're increasing the scale of a layer that is actually a composition with collapse transformations checked, and inside this composition you've got .ai layers with continuously rasterization also checked.

Things should remain crysp always. I can't think why you're getting any different. Perhaps you can upload your file?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 6:22:05 pm

Illustrator documents can contain bitmapped layers, which AE can't rasterize -- they're not vector. Could this be the case?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Brent Taylor
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 6:28:29 pm

It's definitely not a bitmapped layer, no. It's vectors from Illustrator. After Effects is successfully scaling the same things things up elsewhere. Just not when it's contained in a Precomp with Collapse Transformations on.

That is, if the Precomp itself is scaled up there is problem. Not if it was scaled up inside Precomp.

I'll see if I can come up with an example. The project itself is pretty large so let me try coming up with something that reduces things to the matter at hand.


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Brent Taylor
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 8:02:58 pm

Ok guys. I made a quick file over my lunch break. These are all new assets I threw together for the demonstration. Much simpler than the file in the project, but the exact same results.

AI File: 8860_testcheck.ai.zip

AE File: 8861_collapsetest.aep.zip

Everything is set up so that all you should have to do to see what I'm talking about is toggle the Collapse Transformations button on the "Test Check" precomp layer inside the "Test Check 2" composition.

Notice that within the "Test Check" composition itself, things can be resized to any size without issue (I made a null you can use to confirm this). It's only when it is increased in size directly in the "Test Check 2" composition that the loss of resolution occurs.

Any ideas?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 8:08:52 pm

The test file is checking out perfectly here. Collapsing transformations on the "test check" layer in the "test check 2" comp gives nice, tack-sharp output on its contained vector layers.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Brent Taylor
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 8:22:26 pm

Really? Not here. Here's pictures of my preview window. Both are at "Full" and displaying the window size at 100%.


8863_notcollapsedlooksgood.png.zip

8864_collapsedlooksbad.png.zip

All I'm doing is toggling that one option. I didn't touch anything else. Are you sure you looked at it at 100%? It looks fine from a distance. If you are sure, I'd like to know what is different about your system. Maybe there is a setting somewhere I'm not aware of?


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Cassius Marques
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 9:16:06 pm

Everything is fine here...

8865_testcheckcollapsed.png.zip


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Brent Taylor
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 26, 2015 at 9:28:17 pm

You've got it Uncollapsed. When the sun icon is visible, 3D space is maintained. That's the one that always looks good for me. Try it the other way. That's where I'm having the problem.


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Brent Taylor
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 27, 2015 at 3:03:39 am

I'm realizing I might not be using my terminology right. I may have "collapsed" and "uncollapsed" reversed.

The point is that when I have the sun icon off, it takes a set of 3D layers and smashes them into a single 2D thing in 3D space. I like that, but if I scale it up I lose resolution. I'm looking for a way to do that without losing resolution. Is it possible?

The only workarounds I've found so far are either to just let it maintain its 3D attributes (fine in some instances) or to have an intermediate composition with 3D attributes where I scale it way up before bringing it into the final one. In the second case full vector is not preserved, but the resolution is generally high enough. Both have drawbacks I don't really like. :(


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Walter Soyka
Re: Losing Resolution on Collapse Transformation?
on May 27, 2015 at 11:08:36 am

[Brent Taylor] "The point is that when I have the sun icon off, it takes a set of 3D layers and smashes them into a single 2D thing in 3D space. I like that, but if I scale it up I lose resolution. I'm looking for a way to do that without losing resolution. Is it possible?"

No.

Collapsing transformations is not the same as continuously rasterizing. From the documentation [link]:

"Essentially, collapsing transformations in this case allows each 3D layer to be composited into the main composition individually, rather than creating a single 2D composite for the precomposition layer and compositing that into the main composition. The tradeoff is that this setting removes your ability to specify certain layer settings for the precomposition as a whole—such as blending mode, quality, and motion blur."


Using a camera with a very long zoom and placing it very far away will minimize perspective and make 3D look more like 2D; depending on what you need to do, maybe that will be helpful to you.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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