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Edgy issues

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Jerry SmithEdgy issues
by on Jun 22, 2015 at 7:44:34 pm

I got lots of edges. Probably set the record. Many of them are not perfect. Problem is the designer who started the project must have taken a day off in the middle of some important steps because many many things are slightly out of alignment. x positions should be at 1218.4572 and he's got that number 50% of the time, 1218.5 25% of the time and 1218.0 25% of the time. And there is also y. And also anchor point locations. And several other wrinkles. Not easy to change them all. If I told you guys the full horror, you'd boot me off the forum. Anyway, some rectangular masks sit right on top of others that are the same size, but slightly out of alignment. This can cause up to two pixels of ugly edges. In some cases, we have blood red against a tan background with a horrid one pixel wide white line of pixels popping through. (The project is at 1920x1080.) Probably doesn't help that I put it up on a 40inch TV on my desk. (Did I mention I'm an audio guy?) All the edges are horizontal or vertical.

1) How much of an issue is this? When I look at a rendered mov file on my imac, I wonder why I'm so bothered. The imac has somewhat less resolution. I don't have many 1920x1080 devices to try things out on. Project is mainly for phones and computers, but TV is quite possible.

2) Is there some sort of script that will change numbers for me? Can I have it change everything close to 1218.4572 to that exact value? Can somebody produce a script for me? Maybe I need a script bad?

3) My present workaround is to have the quality for the problem layers in draft mode. This seems good. But it does take time as I need to do quite a bit of fiddling by hand. And some of the layers end up being out of alignment with other stuff by one pixel. And oddly, one edge that I corrected seemed to reappear on the imac.

4) Is there some sort of super smart blur thing effect that I can use? I'm not very good with effects. But I can use the pen tool. I'm about 150 hours into AE. It looks great when I use draft mode and have all the edges at zero width. So ideally, I think of it as something that should look sharp. But, I could give up a bit of sharpness to get rid of the ugly edges.

Thanks in advance.

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Richard HerdRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 22, 2015 at 9:11:35 pm

Oh man what a nightmare!

How many layers and elements do you have?

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Jerry SmithRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 22, 2015 at 9:56:13 pm

Approximately 12000.

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Jerry SmithRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 23, 2015 at 3:58:36 pm

I wrote a script that changes position and anchor point values. Maybe if you guys want, I can post it somewhere?

So I'm most of the way home. But I still have a question:

Suppose you have a blue background. Then you have a white solid that has a square mask. Then you put on top of that a red solid that has a square mask that is exactly the same as the first square mask. But let's say that those square masks fall in between the pixels. And let's imagine that all the opacities are 100%. Now, in the abstract, you shouldn't be able to see any white. But, in AE, I the red box has a pinkish one pixel transition rim around it. If I turn off the white layer, then I get the expected purple one pixel rim. How can I get rid of that white layer seeping through on the edge?

I thought I could do some sort of blending option. There are so many. But none of them seemed to work. Maybe there is some Alpha channel voodoo I can do?

My actual situation is a bit more complicated as there are actually multiple white solid layers with squares and various text layers before we get up to the top red layer. So I don't know if that matters.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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Kevin CampRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 23, 2015 at 4:52:19 pm

it's do to anti-aliasing of sub-pixel positioning.

you could modify the masks to fall exactly on the edge of a row or column of pixels.

you could add simple choker to the white solid and increase the choke slightly to 'shrink' in the edges so they are hidden behind the other layers.

you could pre-comp all the layers that make the rectangle, and then in the pre-comp turn on preserve transparency (layer>preserve transparency) for all layers above the white solid. this will clip those layers' transparency to the any layers bellow that do not have that option enabled. you may need to enlarge to layers above the white solid to make sure they expand beyond the aliasing edges of the white solid.

you might be able to construct these rectangles in a way that uses a single layer and avoids the issue of stacking layers.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Jerry SmithRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 23, 2015 at 5:14:35 pm

Thanks Kevin.

1) Modifying the masks via draft quality is one of my current candidate strategies.

2) I'll have to read up on chokers.

3) Pre-comping is a possibility, but would require considerable revamping. The white can't simply be turned off and new masks would be needed. I'll have to read more about preserve transparency though.

4) Too late in the game to reconstruct the rectangles. I thought about it last night for a few hours.

5) Something that you haven't mentioned. I can use backgrounds that are less saturated.

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Kevin CampRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 23, 2015 at 6:08:55 pm

if you do use the 'draft' setting method in for those layers, when you render, click the render settings and set the quality from the default 'best' to 'current settings', otherwise ae will assume that you want to render all layers at 'best' quality.

and simple choke is just an effect, simply start typing 'choke' in the effects palette and drag simple choker onto you layer, or select your layer and choose effects>matte>simple choker to apply it to the layer.

it has one control, choke amount. just scrub that value to see how it effects the layer, but it simply grows or shrinks the alpha transparency of a layer.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Jerry SmithRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 24, 2015 at 1:53:56 pm

Man, I earned my AE stripes. I did a partial redo. Lobbed off 7/8. Wrote a script to homogenize all inexact numbers. Then duplicated the remaining 1/8th three times. Then I turned on the Matte Choker just enough to get rid of all offending 1 pixel edges. Then I had to still go in and move many edges by hand taking into account a 61% scaling. Then I had to automate the chocker to come on just as the motion is stopping--two frames to turn it on.

Now my render times have gone through the roof, maybe 20 times longer? I dunno. Seems like I can't RAM preview the entire thing. I guess that choker is choking my 16MB of RAM i7 macmini?

But, man, you've never seen sharper edges!

I'm going to tell the boss I deserve a raise.

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Richard HerdRe: Edgy issues
by on Jun 25, 2015 at 4:39:39 pm

[Jerry Smith] "render times have gone through the roof"

You definitely need a pay raise. But also you can mess with render settings, for which there are dozens of tutorials and theories and opinions. Having said that, you can also save valuable render time with decent network settings.

After Effects > Preferences > Media and Disk Cache > Enable Disk Cache and then read all the stuff there. Generally speaking, you want 3 drives: a system drive, a media drive, a disk cache. That way in all cases you are reading/writing to different drives all the time, rather than trying to read and write to the same drive.

After Effects > Preferences > Memory & Multiprocessing > After Effects Multiprocessing > Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously ... but I can never seem to get this right and have stopped messing with it, truth be told.

I have also found that if I Dynamic Link the final composition into Premiere (close After Effects) and render through media encoder, then I get faster renders and more options that seem easier to control, for me. In the Premiere settings, I also set the Premiere > Preferences > Media > Media Cache Files & Media Cache Database to the exact same folder as the AE preferences mentioned above. Then in AE, choose Composition > Cache Work Area in Background. My understanding is that now AE and PP are sharing cache files. Please note I use CS6, and hopefully in CC 2015, this is more straightforward.

EDIT: In Adobe Media Encoder > Preferences > Media > same location as Premiere and After Effects.

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