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Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering

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Noa Sussmann
Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 10, 2015 at 3:54:30 pm
Last Edited By Noa Sussmann on Nov 10, 2015 at 6:18:51 pm

Hello,

I have a problem that it seems I cannot solve, and would very much appreciate your insight.
I have created a video work, which is based on both text and images. This work is meant to be projected on a wall/screen, thus the size. The dimensions of the composition are 1800px X 2850px.
I have tried to render this work in varied ways (both in After Effects and Media Encoder): H.264, lossless, VBR, 2 pass, target 18.50 Mbps; unchecked Frame Blending; checked Use Maximum Render Quality. I also tried to render it straight to Vimeo preset. Yet, although the images are clearly sharp, the text significantly shrinks and is completely jagged (the size of the typeface is 50px).
I would like to note that in a previous video work, that its dimensions are even larger, I used the same typeface (but size 36px) and the outcome is clear in both H.264 and 1080. I took a screen shot to compare between the two works: the text on the left is of the previous work, and on the right is of the current work. I have compared between the settings, of these two works, and the only difference (apart of the composition size) is the typeface size, which is smaller in the previous work (36px). Thus, I tested again my composition, with a smaller typeface (36 px), and a larger one (75px). Yet when I rendered it the result in both tests was of that very same jaggedness.
I also want to add that at some point I thought to create the text in Photoshop and import it to AE, but many parts of the text are built through animation.

Any ideas, where my mistake is?
Thanks!



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:24:29 pm

Have you spoken to the person doing the projecting about the horizontal & vertical resolution the equipment is capable of projecting?

I can project the playback from a 720x480 DVD on a wall and it looks pretty good.

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


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:54:23 pm

Hello,

Thanks for your response. I have built this sequence in high res, since it will be projected from different distances and projectors (based on previous experience with my other works). Furthermore, since it is predominantly a text based sequence, and the sharpness of the text it acute, I wanted to stick to these dimensions. Yet, before I even project this work, I have to upload it to both vimeo and youtube, and right now the text not only is shrunk, but also completely jagged. I read that rendering text can be tricky, and would appreciate any ideas you have with this regard.


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:25:26 pm

I would like to add to my question form yesterday-
I tried to reduce my comp size from 1800X2850 to 1080X1710, and consequently reduced the font size from 50px to 40px. I rendered it twice, first to H.264 and than to 1080. Truly the text is bigger, and this time has maintained its proportion to the size of the frame, still, however, seems to be jagged.

Since there are many animation components to the text, and about 50 layers, I wish I could find a way to render the file without the need to re-build the whole work again in lower res, and have it good for both the web, and projection on a screen.

I would appreciate your insights.


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Cassius Marques
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:12:41 pm

It should render almost exactly as you can preview it in your viewport. Otherwise you have something wrongly set. Either way I believe its best you adjust your resolutions for each output. Print, Vimeo, Projection and so on.

Can you render a single frame (ctrl + als + s) and upload? and take a printscreen of the same frame, So we can see how jagged it becomes.

Cassius Marques
http://www.zapfilmes.com


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:33:29 pm

screenshot2015-11-11at11.28.00.png


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:46:42 pm

Rather than showing us an image of the result, may we see a shot of your AE screen, showing us the way you have things set up and the key modifications you've made?

Personally, I suspect you have the bad-looking text in a nested comp that has been scaled up... but I have no way of knowing.

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


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:15:29 pm

I haven't been scaling up or down different compositions, and the text has been typed directly (50px). The dimensions are fixed through the whole sequence: 1800X2850 px. I do however have nay animations applied onto the text.

I tried to resize a layer (scale down to 1080X1710), while rendering it, but the text is small and pixelated.

Here is another screen shot.
screenshot2015-11-11at12.06.58.png


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:53:13 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:00:37 pm

The only things that immediately come to mind are these:

  • The problem text is animating, and you're rendering with interlacing.
  • Or your text animations aren't moving in whole-pixel increments -- which they should -- which is throwing AE's subpixel rendering off. It's most apparent on vertically-scrolling text. You ought to take a good look at many credit rolls on Hollywood movies on DVD -- they look horrible for the reason just mentioned.
  • Or you're using AE CC 2015, which is a total train-wreck of an application, and you should do the work in AE CC 2014 -- if you're on the cloud, you can get it, and it won't overwrite AE CC 2015. At least 2014 works as advertised... for the most part.

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


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:00:53 pm

I also think that it is something with the animation, since in a previous text-based sequence that I created (dimensions are even bigger), which didn't have any animation, there was no problem at all.
If so, how can I fix this?


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Cassius Marques
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:07:46 pm

I still cant see the rendered output. The first SS you provided has a broken link (at least for me).

Cassius Marques
http://www.zapfilmes.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:12:14 pm

There's an expression somewhere that forces vertical animations into moving at whole-pixel increments. It will affect the speed of an animation -- if you're married to the current speed, it won't be your cup of tea.

I wish I knew where to find it, but I don't.

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


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:24:32 pm

I am not married to the current speed, not at all. I just wonder if this is the cause for this shrinkage and jaggedness of the text. I do see that the motion is not smooth and a bit jumpy, but how does it affect the size of the text?
In the meanwhile I exported one text layer to a new composition (scaled down the dimensions), re-positioned the text and scaled down the font size. The result is much better, though not perfect, and I wonder if this should be my direction (in parallel to resolving the animation issue). If so, that means that I actually have to build the whole sequence again, and I have about 50 layers (some of them are pre comps).

Here is the screen shot from my first post again (of a text layer with animation).
0_screenshot2015-11-11at11.28.00.png


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:27:41 pm

If this situation cropped up AFTER you upgraded your version of AE, I'd revert to the earlier version.

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


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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 7:02:41 pm

Thanks.
How do I know if I am rendering with interlacing, or not? I would like to know how to change this.
I work on AE CC 2014.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:09:54 pm

When you add the comp to the AE Render Queue, double-check the Render Settings to be certain they're set to Best or with a field order of None.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 12, 2015 at 8:34:39 pm

[Noa Sussmann] "This work is meant to be projected on a wall/screen, thus the size. The dimensions of the composition are 1800px X 2850px."

Let's talk about this part.

Using non-standard resolutions, especially with standards-enforcing codecs like H.264, can get you in trouble pretty quickly. Depending on your encoding profile and level, your output may be automatically scaled down to fit within an HD, 2K or 4K/UHD frame. Depending on how the scaling is performed, you may unpleasing, aliased results.

Let's start at the end and work our way back to the front of the workflow. How do you intend to display this?

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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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:37:37 pm

Thanks.
The display is by a projection on a wall/screen. Since there are many textual components, and the distance of the projection is varied as well, I chose this resolution. Another reason behind this choice is the fact that this projection is done in parallel to a display of an artist's book I am working on.
Yet this work should be displayed also on Vimeo.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:44:21 pm

[Noa Sussmann] "Since there are many textual components, and the distance of the projection is varied as well, I chose this resolution."

There is no standard interface to feed a projector an 1800x2850px image. Unless you are using blended projection, I think that you should stick with a standard output format, like HD or 4K/UHD, depending on what system you will actually use for display.

If you really need to squeeze some extra vertical resolution out of the system, many projectors can be rotated, so you could go 1080x1920 -- but again, you'd do this as a rotated image within a 1920x1080 frame.

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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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:02:11 pm

This was also my thought. And I have some questions that may seem obvious.

Can I nest my current comp into a new comp of 1080x1920 while maintaining positioning, animations etc?

Just to check if I understood you correctly, do you suggest that the rotation will be done only at the projection stage?

Would you recommend changing the background color, and avoid having white on black?

Last, should I add any script for the vertical motion, or just check the motion blur?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:07:36 pm

[Noa Sussmann] "Can I nest my current comp into a new comp of 1080x1920 while maintaining positioning, animations etc? Just to check if I understood you correctly, do you suggest that the rotation will be done only at the projection stage?"

Yes -- but make that output comp 1920x1080 and pre-rotate the material. Then, when it is projected via rotated projector, counter to the way you initially rotated in pre-production, it will appear correctly.


[Noa Sussmann] "Would you recommend changing the background color, and avoid having white on black?"

That's a design choice. Black from projection will (mostly) disappear.


[Noa Sussmann] "Last, should I add any script for the vertical motion, or just check the motion blur?"

Sure. Judder is real. See here:
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1016790#1016808

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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Noa Sussmann
Re: Text completely shrinks and turns jagged after rendering
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:25:23 pm

Thanks a lot for this insightful response.

When asking about the white typeface and the black background, I referred the clarity of the animated text.

Also, how do I know what value should I put in the speedPxPerFrame?


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