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Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?

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Rachel Knight
Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 11:04:32 am

Hello! I am very new to after effects and this is my first (of probably many) questions to post (I hope it doesn't sound too silly)

I have been asked to create a presentation but am having trouble as to how to set it up.

It is going to be projected onto a bigish screen in UK hotel for a conference I know the screen has the aspect ratio of 4:3. So would I use 720x756 (PAL?) or is there a bigger frame size that would work better for a higher quality?

The Hotel wants me to create it as a DVD but the client wants it as Hi-res a possible and is trying to get it played out via a laptop, (not happy for it to be DVD quality). While they battle it out I am to create the presentation, but don't know how to set it up regarding pixel size and square or rectangle pixels (or does this not matter and can it be easily changed?)

I've only projected from a computer before so know how it will look. I am worried about DVD as i don't know about the rectangle pixel thing and don't want everything to look fine on screen but squashed when put onto DVD and have to redo it?! Also would like to create it bigger for higher quality then I can render it out smaller if needed. (don't want to start creating it too small!) or am I worrying about nothing!

I hope someone can help!

Thank you :)







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Ben McAllister
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 4:23:56 pm

Hello Rachel

First off, you need to know your output. You say your client will be using a projector run off a laptop so I would do the project in square pixels as its running from a computer and not being displayed on a TV.

I have done similar projects and found that my animation done on the PAL DV1 720x576 preset, then output to DVD (Which uses mpeg2 anyway) came out looking terrible. I use the HDTV 1080 25 (square pixels) present and it comes out looking sweet. Its a beast to work with and I rely heavily on proxies but it is worth it at the end of the day, for me anyway.

I know this may be difficult but I always test on location if possible, if you have access to the hotel then great.

I hope this helps or at the very least boosts this discussion further.

Ben


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Rachel Knight
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 6:12:29 pm

Thank you both for answering so quickly, this is my first ever forum post, so i'm impressed, its nice to know there are people out there to help, can't believe I haven't done this sooner!!!

My output is either a projector running off a laptop so will use square pixels but if it is a DVD running off a laptop, (projected) or a DVD from a DVD player, (projected) can I still use square pixels? Or do I need to find this out before I can start?

Regarding resolution... Will defiantly use a higher resolution and scale down like Dave says.
I tried the HDTV 1080 25 preset but it looks different proportions to the 4:3 or 720x576.
Could you suggest a frame size in PAL 4:3 bigger than 720x576. I'm unfamiliar with 4:3 and can't find common resolution sizes for it. I have worked in widescreen 16:9 before at 1280x720 or 1024x576 (i think thats right?) running from a laptop and projected and resolution wise this has been great!

Thank you.

P.S.... Ben - when you say relys heavily on proxies what do you mean? If its to do with computers I work on a mac pro 8 core...?!





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Dave LaRonde
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 7:44:48 pm

[Rachel Knight] "My output is either a projector running off a laptop so will use square pixels but if it is a DVD running off a laptop, (projected) or a DVD from a DVD player, (projected) can I still use square pixels?"

In your case, yes... but ONLY because you're going to make a higher-resolution 4x3 comp than the standard PAL DV comp preset in AE.



[Rachel Knight] "Could you suggest a frame size in PAL 4:3 bigger than 720x576."

Well, you're the one who said you've done this before. I thought you already had a resolution in mind. Keep in mind that the comp resolution you mention above is NOT 4x3 in square pixels. You need to learn about pixel aspect ratios:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906...



[Rachel Knight] "I have worked in widescreen 16:9 before at 1280x720 or 1024x576 (i think thats right?) running from a laptop and projected and resolution wise this has been great! "

Yes, but you said the monitor in question is 4x3, not 16x9. And actually, you haven't said for SURE that it's a monitor; you said, "TV".

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rachel Knight
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:20:53 pm

Will use square pixels! Thank you for the link it was very helpful, think i'm starting to understand abit more...

Sorry for the confusion...
The hotel screen is 4:3 ratio.
The presentation will be projected either via a laptop or DVD played on a laptop or DVD player.

In the comp settings I have chosen the PAL D1/DV square pixel setting which gave me 788x576.
I locked the aspect ratio and made the width 1080x789, this is now a custom setting

I hope I'm right in thinking I have a ratio of 4:3 and building at (1080x789) a higher res than 788x576 square pixels and this (1080x789) can be scaled down to 788x576 if needed to be put on a DVD.

Rach



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:02:51 pm

[Rachel Knight] "The hotel screen is 4:3 ratio.
The presentation will be projected either via a laptop or DVD played on a laptop or DVD player. "


Okay. Now we know the parameters. Four by three.





[Rachel Knight] "I have chosen the PAL D1/DV square pixel setting which gave me 788x576. "

I hope that's a typo. When I used the AE Comp Preset for PAL D1/DV Square Pixel, I get 768x576.




[Rachel Knight] "I have a ratio of 4:3 and building at (1080x789)"

Where on Earth did THAT resolution come from? You need to do the arithmetic:

1080/4 = 270. This is the value of one "unit" of horizontal resolution.
Now we need three units of vertical resolution, right? So we multiply it by three: 270x3 = 810. I believe this is different from your vertical resolution of 789.




[Rachel Knight] "this... can be scaled down to 788x576 if needed to be put on a DVD. "

Absolutely NOT! DVD's have a set resolution, and you can't change it. In PAL-Land, it would be 720x576.

PAL DVD's, just like any kind of PAL standard-definition TV pictures, do NOT have a square pixel aspect ratio. You can NOT use a square pixel comp to render a file for DVD. You have to use the technical standard set for PAL DVD's: 720x576.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rachel Knight
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 6:28:44 pm

My preset is defiantly 788x576. I'm using After effects CS4 and in the link you sent, under the heading 'Upgrade pixel aspect ratios to correct values' theres a table and it says...
Pixel dimensions in CS4, PAL D1/DV square-pixel equivalent= 788x576
(which doesn't make sense as it doesn't divide 4:3) but theres a high chance im reading something wrong, I also found this on it ...

http://www.mikeafford.com/blog/2009/03/pal-d1-dv-widescreen-square-pixel-se...

As the preset gave me this value 788x576 i locked the ratio and typed in 1080 and it gave me 789.

If the preset said 768x576 (which make sense) then I guess I would have got 1080 x 810 - which is now the resolution im using.... phew!

As it stands I am building my comp... 4:3 1080x810 square pixels to be projected via the laptop.

If the hotel turns around and tells me it has to be for DVD and i've built it for square pixels how do I change it to look right for rectangular pixels so logos ect look right?

Thank you again and sorry to be a pain...


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 7:04:11 pm

[Rachel Knight] "As the preset gave me this value 788x576 i locked the ratio and typed in 1080 and it gave me 789. "

With AE9, Adobe changed how it calculates pixel aspect ratios. This was in response to some arcane, nitpicking qualities about captured video images. You shouldn't have to worry about them.

If you were doing work for the BBC, and you knew that their Technical Standards boys & girls would put your work under the microscope, I suppose you might want to use it. Otherwise, Ignore it. It's not worth losing sleep over.





[Rachel Knight] "If the hotel turns around and tells me it has to be for DVD and i've built it for square pixels how do I change it to look right for rectangular pixels so logos ect look right? "

I've already told you: nest your high-res, 4x3, square-pixel comp into a PAL DV comp and sale the layer to fit the comp. Done.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rachel Knight
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:43:11 am

Thats great, thank you for clearing that one up!


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Ben McAllister
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 8:58:34 am

If it is running off a computer to be projected, then stick to square pixels.
As for size, PAL is 720x576 at 25 frames per second. If you want a custom size then go right ahead and just make the whole thing square 1080 x 1080 if you like. I understand that this is a one-off presentation so whats stopping you from filling the screen (the canvas drop down screen not TV).

Or you could do the whole thing in 1920 x 1920 using a letterbox to mask it down to 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) if it looks wierd.

Just putting thoughts out there...


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Ben McAllister
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 9:06:58 am

As for proxies, check these links out:

http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/8.0/help.html?content=WSB356AC...

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/kramer_andrew/proxies.php




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Rachel Knight
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 6:38:20 pm

Proxies sound like a great idea and can see how they will speed things up, will defiantly be using these!
Thank you!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Help! setting up presentation Square pixels or rectangle? + frame size?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 4:23:53 pm

Go ahead and make a 4x3 comparatively high-resolution comp: the H & V resolution you're used to. When the dust settles between hotel & client -- and if the hotel should prevail -- you can always nest the higher-resolution comp inside a PAL DV comp, scaling the layer to fit the comp, then rendering a high-quality file which you can convert into mpeg2, the ONLY kind of compression allowed on an authored DVD.

And if the client wins... well, you have the higher-resolution comp all set to go.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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