I am looking for guidance on basic file setup. I used to build elements for 720 x480 but now with digital I'm confused what the standard setup should be. Not all tv stations in my market broadcast hd. 1280 x 720? And could someone explain "center cut"? I get varied info but there has to a broadcast base standard. Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
It is confusing. If you're delivering for broadcast, call the production person at the station you're working with. They will send you (or sometimes it's online) a spec sheet which gives you the codecs, audio formats, aspect ratios and raster image sizes which they accept.
Generally, the ones I've run into are 1920 x 1080, and 1280 x 720. Most of them still accept SD relolution spots (they won't turn down anything, essentially). Center cut means a screen which will fit standard definition "cut" out of the center of a high definition screen. If you watch newscasts, notice that the lower third graphics all sit within a frame which would be standard def if chopped out of the middle. This is how you create your graphics for projects which might be used for both SD and HD. After Effects even has a safe frame setting which gives you both SD and HD in one set, so you can eyeball where your cut would happen when played back standard def.
Get the spec sheets form your local stations and it will all become clear - well, as clear as a muddy pond gets. I create a "master" project at 1920 x 1080, either from AE or PPro, then use Adobe Media encoder to create my deliverables from that.
Thanks for your reply. I come from a print background which has very distinct guidelines as far as resolution, etc. Hence why I think I am finding this video environment so confusing. I appreciate your input. And I feel really good about it because it echoes other guidance I have received. Can't we just establish a set of guidelines and go with it? Gosh, maybe brain surgery is easier!
Once again, thanks for sharing your information!