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AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac

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James Inniani
AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 28, 2018 at 7:00:51 pm

Hey guys,

I just migrated from a 21.5" HD iMac to a 27" Retina 5K, and now my AE compositions are previewing with incorrect magnification ratios + playback resolutions.

I always work at 1080p, and I typically preview at 50% + half res, but this setting now gives me what appears to be 25% + quarter. In order to get my normal playback size, I have to bump up to 100% + full, but if I want to preview the actual full resolution, I have to go up to 200% + full. I've included some screenshots of what I'm talking about.

When I watch any 1080p video on my new iMac at "actual size" (i.e. 100%), it matches the second photo (200% + full). My system preferences appear to be totally normal, although perhaps there is an AE preference I've missed.

How can I fix this?

Thanks so much!





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Walter Soyka
Re: AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 29, 2018 at 10:01:02 am

[James Inniani] "I just migrated from a 21.5" HD iMac to a 27" Retina 5K, and now my AE compositions are previewing with incorrect magnification ratios + playback resolutions. I always work at 1080p, and I typically preview at 50% + half res, but this setting now gives me what appears to be 25% + quarter. In order to get my normal playback size, I have to bump up to 100% + full, but if I want to preview the actual full resolution, I have to go up to 200% + full. I've included some screenshots of what I'm talking about."

Your new screen is very high resolution: 5120×2880. A 1920×1080 image takes up less than a quarter of that space. Here's a quick picture:


Ae is telling you the truth when it says 100% -- that's an accurate, one-to-one, pixel-perfect display of your comp. Your other video app is scaling for convenience, blowing your video up to 200% and hoping you don't notice the scaling artifacts.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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James Inniani
Re: AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 29, 2018 at 4:26:31 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Ae is telling you the truth when it says 100% -- that's an accurate, one-to-one, pixel-perfect display of your comp. Your other video app is scaling for convenience, blowing your video up to 200% and hoping you don't notice the scaling artifacts.
"


Hey Walter, thanks so much for the feedback!

I use QuickTime Player for most video playback. Here's a screenshot of a 1080p video loaded in QT with the zoom set to "actual size."



That takes up a pretty substantial amount of screen real estate. I'm not sure why QT would scale up to 200% when set to "actual size," but it looks like that's what's going on here.

If that's the case, this is going to make editing at 1080p a real drag. I'm used to previewing at 960x540 on a 1080p monitor — this same resolution on a 5K screen is unusably small. But unfortunately, I simply do not have the processing power to be previewing at 100% full res. The new iMac has a 3.2 GHz i5 CPU and 8GB RAM. I intended on maxing out the RAM and was hoping for a more streamlined experience... ugh.

Looks like the only solution will be to work at 100% half res, which is a real bummer. This produces scaling artifacts, which I've never had to worry about before. I'm considering returning this iMac and going back to a 21.5" model with a 1080p monitor, but then I'm limited to 16 GB RAM max.

Thanks Apple!


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:04:56 pm

The Quicktime Player might use the same scaling tricks it uses for the OS and some other apps to render them out in a bigger size so you don't need a magnifying glass to read the screen. You could get a full HD monitor and preview your comp with more accuracy with that while working in a larger zoom factor.


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James Inniani
Re: AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:26:27 pm

[Tero Ahlfors] "The Quicktime Player might use the same scaling tricks it uses for the OS and some other apps to render them out in a bigger size so you don't need a magnifying glass to read the screen. You could get a full HD monitor and preview your comp with more accuracy with that while working in a larger zoom factor."

Thanks Tero!

I still have my old iMac, which I may be able to salvage for this purpose. Honestly, though, that would present a number of other issues — I'd quickly run out of desk space and wouldn't be able to sell the old iMac for parts, and this would also defeat the purpose of having a single, dedicated machine for all of my video/audio work. I'm starting to feel like I just wasted $2k.

Is it at all possible to change the scaling settings within AE to give me what I'm looking for?


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 29, 2018 at 6:22:11 pm

I don't have a 5K iMac to try this on, but may try setting Low Resolution mode on the Ae application file, or using a scaled resolution on your new iMac:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht202471

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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James Inniani
Re: AE preview size/ratio wrong on new iMac
on Jun 30, 2018 at 5:18:46 am

[Walter Soyka] "I don't have a 5K iMac to try this on, but may try setting Low Resolution mode on the Ae application file, or using a scaled resolution on your new iMac:"

Great suggestion. Low Resolution Mode ALMOST worked — 50% scale now displays at the size I would expect it to, but unfortunately, setting the resolution to Half results in pixelation. I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too. Bummer. Pretty tempted to just return this thing so I can stick with my old 21.5" iMac and just get a laptop or something.


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