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Rough and uneven shape edges

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Mateus Ribeiro
Rough and uneven shape edges
on Jun 5, 2018 at 6:00:26 pm

Hello guys, I'm having a hard time understanding why After Effects won't show exact and even edges for simple rectangles. As you can see in the image below, both shapes have the same size (70 x 140), the only difference is the position. However Shape Layer 1, with round numbers (1040 x 540) is rough and uneven, while the broken position from Shape Layer 2 (1114,2 x 539,8) displays perfect edges. The pixel aspect rate is also square as you can also see in the Composition Settings window. I'm assuming this is some kind of optical "smart" correction, but the image keeps this odd appearance all the way down to the final movie. Hope there is some method to turn off this effect.



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Richard Garabedain
Re: Rough and uneven shape edges
on Jun 5, 2018 at 7:14:34 pm

I never noticed it before..But you are right..But the cause is your zoom level strangely enough. if you are zoomed out and draw a shape it is sharp no matter what...but if you are zoomed in it draws a blurry edge...strange...as the opposite would be needed for more precision and more useful


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Steve Bentley
Re: Rough and uneven shape edges
on Jun 5, 2018 at 7:24:56 pm

Its that decimal position. When you have edges that can fall perfectly on a single pixel no antialiasing is needed. But you are telling that soft square to be partly on one pixel and partly on another so it has to antialias. This happens with other shapes too, its just not as noticeable. If you have a really sharp image and you place it at .5 pixels instead of whole pixels it will get slightly softer.
Scaling a non vector shape will cause the same "issue" (its not really an issue its just antialiasing)
This can actually help some cases to reduce flicker by intentionally putting the image at a decimal pixel position.
Once things move of course all bets are off because unless you are careful the object will always be falling on a non perfect pixels.
Video is actually pretty soft and you only see how soft it is when you can get a vector shape to line up to perfect pixels as the square on the right has.



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Mateus Ribeiro
Re: Rough and uneven shape edges
on Jun 5, 2018 at 11:36:14 pm

Hi Steve thanks for your time, but I don't understand your comment. The blurry layer is the one WITHOUT decimal position (and vice-versa). Maybe you have mistaken layer 1 for layer 2. According to the numbers, the edges are indeed falling on single pixels.


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Mateus Ribeiro
Re: Rough and uneven shape edges
on Jun 5, 2018 at 11:41:39 pm

Hi Richard, thanks for your reply. Although what you say makes sense, I keep sensing the blurry edges (very smooth but still there). Zooming a screenshot within Photoshop makes it really easy to spot.



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Steve Bentley
Re: Rough and uneven shape edges
on Jun 6, 2018 at 6:35:57 am

You're right I got those backwards. But remember that the position is where the anchor point is. So if you have a 501 pixel wide solid and you put it on an full integer pixel for position, the edges are going be half way across a pixel and you will get antialiasing.

Keep in mind too, if you are going to video, sharp edges aren't always desired - they can ring or vibrate.
Also the higher the contrast between the shape and the background the more noticeable this "problem" is going to be as the antialiasing has to go through more steps to transition from the solid color to the background color.



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