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Unsharp rendering

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Adga Gaffo
Unsharp rendering
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:57:52 am

My type of problem has been coming up in various forums but I still haven't been able to solve this and it's starting to driving me nuts.

I'm working with some graphics in illustrator, no effects or opacity added. I'm importing the file into after effects and then I do create shape from vector layer. Everything looks great in after effects and all the graphics are sharp. To test how everything looks as a quicktime movie I do a rendering and now the shapes looks a little blurry and not at all as sharp as I want them to look, especially shapes that are in smaller sizes.

I'm doing a presentation movie for a branding project so it's extremely important that everything looks super crisp and sharp.

My settings are: HDV/HDTV 720 29,7, Square pixels.
I have continusly rasterize checked and all the render settings set to best quality. I've tried a couple of different video codec options but they all result in unsharp graphics.

Is After Effects unable to render out really sharp objects and is a little blurriness to expect? Or can vector objects look as sharp as they do in Illustrator, then what seems to be the problem?

Any input is greatly appreciated.

/Adga


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 16, 2015 at 5:08:50 pm

How are you viewing the completed animation?

To what media container and codec did you render in AE?

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


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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 16, 2015 at 6:20:15 pm

I render to quicktime and I have tried a few different video codecs but primarily H.264, Mpeg-4 and sorenson. And I should emphasize that the blurriness is most prominent on smaller shapes.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:36:55 pm

How are you rendering to H.264 in QT or an mp4? Are you using an older AE version? Please tell us the precise versions of AE and Operating System that you are using.

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


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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:52:22 pm

I'm using AE CC 12.1.0168 on a mac (OS X Yosemite v. 10.10.3)


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 4:38:30 pm

You are not using the latest version of AE.

You're not even using the latest version of the version you are using.

The latest AE CC is 12.2.1.5.
The latest AE CC 2014 is 13.2.0.49
And they just released AE version 13.5 yesterday. Read about the new version here: http://adobe.ly/1MQ3XOS
If you do decide to install the latest version, I'd recommend you choose the advanced options to NOT delete older versions.

Also, I would suggest you go in the Creative Cloud software options to filter previous versions and download AE CC 2014 too. CC 2015 had some major changes, so there may be some bugs, but CC 2014 (version 13.2.0.49) is still pretty similar under the hood to your version 12, but fixed a lot of version 12's bugs.

- 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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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:25:40 pm

so you think my issue can be solved if I update to later version of AE?


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:31:30 pm
Last Edited By Michael Szalapski on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:31:57 pm

I can't say anything for sure. Some screenshots demonstrating the issue might help us narrow down your problem.

- 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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Walter Soyka
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:12:20 pm

[Adga Gaffo] "I render to quicktime and I have tried a few different video codecs but primarily H.264, Mpeg-4 and sorenson. And I should emphasize that the blurriness is most prominent on smaller shapes."

Any codec which uses chroma subsampling [link] -- and all the ones you listed do -- will not be able to accurately represent a hard transition between two different fields of color.

Can you post a screenshot of the output?

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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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:29:47 pm

which codec would you recommend?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:32:10 pm

[Adga Gaffo] "which codec would you recommend?"

That's the thing -- if the problem is caused by chroma sub-sampling (which I could tell you by actually seeing the artifact you are seeing), you may not have a choice. H.264 is pretty much the online delivery codec. A design change that minimizes the color difference and maximizes the brightness difference may be the best fix.8

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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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:33:41 pm

here is a detail of my shape with blurry edges


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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:34:22 pm



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Michael Szalapski
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:40:13 pm

Is that blown up at all to fill a screen? 720 is a pretty small format these days, so if you've rendered it out at 720 and then played it on a screen and made it larger on that screen, it will look blurry.

If it's blurry like that at 1280x720, something is awry in your render settings or output module.

- 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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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:13:47 pm

So would you recommend me using HDTV 1080 preset instead of 720??


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:36:53 pm

If you're aiming for YouTube, yes. If you're aiming for HD televisions, maybe. It all depends on how you're planning to deliver it.

- 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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Walter Soyka
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:40:50 pm
Last Edited By Walter Soyka on Jul 30, 2015 at 2:45:58 pm

White-on-black is not a chroma sub-sampling issue.

It may be a sub-pixel sampling issue; basically, you've probably positioned the item such that its edge does not line up exactly with the comp's raster. When a pixel of content falls mostly on one pixel of the raster and partially onto an adjacent pixel, Ae sub-samples it, spreading that original content pixel across the output pixels it touches.

This is critical for ensuring smooth, artifact-free motion, but it's not desirable on stills. To avoid this, make sure the difference between the layer's anchor point and position values is a whole pixel, not a fractional pixel.

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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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:11:25 pm

Thank you! when I enabled snap to grid the outer contour got a lot sharper.


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Adga Gaffo
Re: Unsharp rendering
on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:24:59 pm

Thank you guys for taking your time and helping out!


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