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Logo with animated kerning for big screen

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Simon Gugeler
Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 24, 2016 at 4:34:48 pm

Hello everybody,
I´ve been doing some After Effects projects for hobby size projects. Now Im able to help someone with a movie title for the "big screen" and have following problem.

I have a 2k composition in AFX, with 32 bit depth, will export as OpenEXR file sequence.
The movie title is just 7 letters that should be "kerning" (don´t know if it´s correct term)

I have the logo as eps file, have every letter as precomp, and move each letter (except the middle one) with position keyframes at start and end of 15 second composition.
When I preview it, it already looks kind of strange and not smooth, but apparently (Im not at the cinema myself, but get the information from there) it looks even worse on the big screen. "Kind of pixely and stuttery".

Sooo, I searched for the problem. The only thing I found was a "1 px at a time" issue with rolling titles. Having even pixels every frame.

Now... When I use an expression to move the graphic a full even pixel per frame, the whole animation has a specific speed.
What do I do when it should be animated way slower? It will always have uneven pixels then?

Is there any other way to solve a problem like this? I understand "full contrast titles" (it is full black on full white) always makes problems but still.
On top of everything I put a fast blur of 0,2 which didnt help.

Any help appreciated!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 24, 2016 at 5:47:40 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Oct 24, 2016 at 8:06:42 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by, "the big screen".

On what kind of device will this animation be played back, and how is it being displayed?
If it's going to another person for further work, what does this other person need?

Get that information, then you can build an AE comp in the proper dimensions and at the proper frame rate.

Here's what I mean by "big screen" not being very descriptive: I can play 1920x1080 video on my phone. I can also project that same video on the side of a building. Which one's the big screen? They're both 1920X1080.

And you may not have to use an eps file for this -- if you already have the typeface on your machine, and they didn't do any fancy-schmancy stuff to the text, you can just make a center-justified text layer, then animate the space between characters. Very easy to do.

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


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:34:41 pm

The animation itself isn't the problem. As I wrote I keyframed it. The question is how to make it look good on the "big screen" or even "small screen". The final output is for the cinema (Don't know what projection exactly). The guy needs an EXR sequence.
But the animation already doesn't look smooth on my monitor.
There isn't a font but it's some "fancy-schmancy stuff " (the logo).
As I wrote, and as apparently also with rolling credits, there is a problem with animations when they don't move "1 pixel per frame" (but 0,2 for example). But if that is the problem, how do I do a slower animation then (if the minimum has to be 1 pixel per frame)... Or am I missing something?
Thanks for any help...


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 25, 2016 at 9:55:21 am

By the way, the "graphics" part doesn't seem to be the problem. It is the same with original text being animated (slowly). It never feels "smooth".


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Eric Santiago
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 25, 2016 at 12:36:41 pm

Can we see a sample of the graphic?
It will look chunky during the crawl.
The GPU has to redraw the graphic on slower chunky motions.
If it was quick with motion blur it would look smoother.


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:20:14 pm

[Simon Gugeler] "But the animation already doesn't look smooth on my monitor."

I don't know what your monitor is but I usually double check my credit rolls and such for 24 fps cinema use with a reference monitor that will refresh at a certain rate.

[Simon Gugeler] "how do I do a slower animation then"

By making your animation longer or easing with the curve editor or...


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Oliver Nalbach
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:05:11 pm

I think the word you are looking for is not "kerning" but "aliasing" and if I search for that I get a ton of possible reasons for it, some also specific to HDR output.


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:59:17 pm

The only result regarding that problem I found was one post at a red forum. Someone posted an expression for rolling titles.
Anyway. Apparently the animation problem is solved with exporting it with alpha instead of background included.
Now there are some aliasing issues left in the letters. The only help or results I found about that, are "there is no way, you have to "hide" the flaws - working with even more blur, grain or whatever".
Hmm, trying TIF instead of EXR now, maybe there is some change.

As for example. Actually it's with every text in AFX. Just create a 2K or 4K comp, add some text, and export it.
Here is a photo from a cinema screen, how the graphic looks like (which looks perfectly fine on a standard monitor): img_0062.jpg


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 25, 2016 at 10:07:31 pm

It looks like you're viewing it in AE at a 200% zoom for the comp window. That could be your problem right there.....

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


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 26, 2016 at 7:07:49 am

Uhm, nah, unfortunately not ?
It's a photo taken in the cinema to show how it looks like on the screen.


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Tim Drage
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 26, 2016 at 11:56:17 am

you say you have "I have the logo as eps file, have every letter as precomp," - do those precomps and/or the eps layers inside them have their "continuously rasterize" aka "collapse transformations" switch checked or not?


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 26, 2016 at 2:06:41 pm

the eps layers have that checkbox checked. it's not about those "errors". It's about general aliasing problems withing AFX I would guess. And I just don't know if there is a way to make it look good, with simple white/black stuff, - or if it has to have more "tricks" to hide the bad aliasing (like adding more movement, grain and whatever).
As I wrote the issue is known for end credit rolling titles, and one user posted a solution with pixels being used 1px per frame. That apparently is the main issue, isn't it? Now I just want to move it way slower.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:27:18 pm

I don't understand why you're having aliasing problems. It's an EPS file! If they made it properly, it's a vector file! Just use the Collapse Transformations switch. Everything stays nice 'n smooth.

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


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 26, 2016 at 5:15:39 pm

Well, it's the same problem with "internal" text within AFX (just type a text in Trajan Pro e.g.).
Maybe the problem is EXR. Trying TIFs.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 26, 2016 at 5:43:46 pm

We seem to be getting nowhere.

Please show us a screen grab of your entire AE workspace. No camera shots of just part of it. Use your machine's capability to make a grab of the whole thing. Big is okay. Maybe we can make a diagnosis from it.

In the meantime, may I direct you to this?

https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/tutorials.html

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


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Simon Gugeler
Re: Logo with animated kerning for big screen
on Oct 27, 2016 at 8:11:11 am

Thanks for the replies.
Apparently EXR was the problem. We now tried TIF instead (premultiplied Alpha), and it seems to look good now on the big screen.


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