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What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?

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eugene parkWhat are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 6:51:10 pm

I am creating an after effects video that is at an aspect ratio of 3072x768 which would be projected out of 3 projectors unto a wall the width of 9meters and height of approx 2.5meters. I would like to know what would be the best video file to render this as? What are some key compression/settings I must maintain to allow the best quality for the projection and playing of the video? The video will be approximately 10 minutes long.

I've determined the aspect ratio within the composition settings, but do not know much further than that regarding the type of file i should export/render it as. The movie contains jpegs, tifs, and possibly wma, and rendered tif sequences from maya.


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Dave LaRondeRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 6:57:10 pm

Here's the crucial question: how is the completed video going to be played back when it's projected?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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eugene parkRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 7:04:08 pm

Thanks for your quick reply. As of now I'm thinking a dvd would be the best.

The situation is that I'm creating this movie for a design firm exhibition. And we will be suspending a laptop, synmodule, and 3 projectors at the ceiling.
Since the exhibition will be overseas and I will only be there to install and set up exhibit, I thought that bringing a dvd would be easiest for the production team to come by every morning and play it.

Is this isn't the right answer, please clarify. thanks for your help


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Dave LaRondeRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 7:30:11 pm

[eugene park] "I'm thinking a dvd would be the best. "

Next big question: since this is going overseas: NTSC or PAL? In either case, you really don't have to work in 3072x768. That's Windows-thinking, not AE for DVD thinking. For NTSC, you could work in 2160x480 in the NTSC DV pixel aspect ratio at 29.97, or in PAL at 2160x576 at the PAL DV pixel aspect ratio at 25 frames/sec.

In both cases, the big comp would be rendered out as three separate files: Left, Center and Right. Whatever you do, DON'T use AE to encode to MPEG2. It's ugly.

I guess it all depends on where the DVD players come from.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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eugene parkRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 7:52:31 pm

Would it hurt to keep working in 3072x768 and render out as NTSC/PAL and have the syncmodule split the video off of the desktop of the laptop?

Also how do I render into three separate files when the movie is creating as a whole (all three projections will be connected as one).. The dvd player would be on a laptop and the laptop is being provided in Seoul, South Korea.

Hope I don't make you sick of this post, it's a real important event and I must be completely thorough. I've read your past posts and i believe you will be very helpful in guiding me with this project.


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Dave LaRondeRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 8:38:10 pm

[eugene park] "Would it hurt to keep working in 3072x768 and render out as NTSC/PAL and have the syncmodule split the video off of the desktop of the laptop? "

My guess -- it would be nearly fatal. You'd better make sure that laptop can keep up with the staggeringly high bit rate for a 3072x768 animation. Oh, your nice animation may look a little better if it's not encoded in MPEG2, which is what DVDs need... but that nice, pretty picture won't be worth a spit if it can't play back smoothly, y'know?



[eugene park] "Also how do I render into three separate files when the movie is creating as a whole (all three projections will be connected as one).. The dvd player would be on a laptop and the laptop is being provided in Seoul, South Korea. "

I thought you'd use 3 DVD players, and the sync unit was for synchronizing the playback of three identical players. So what does that sync unit DO, then? And what frame rate do they use for TV in South Korea, anyway? I bet you can find out on Google.

My recommendations are:
  • Forget about playing this off a laptop -- it's too risky. Make DVDs.
  • Make three normal DVDs suitable for playing back in a DVD player. Each DVD plays back 1/3 of the total picture. Make about a half-dozen identical copies of each one.
  • Use three DVD players, and get a unit to synchronize playback. Check with a theatrical supply house about synchronizing playback. There may even be a forum for such considerations here on the COW.




Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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eugene parkRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:39:28 pm

I had no idea I was walking down the valley of the shadow of video death with the ratio i was working in. I think I will resize and recreate the video in "2160x480 in the NTSC DV pixel aspect ratio at 29.97"

Sorry to confuse you. What I actually meant is that a laptop would be attached to a expansion module (something similar to matrox triple head 2 go graphics eXpansion module analog edition convertor) So the three projectors would be hooked to the module. I'm no expert but from what I've been told, I would be able to play the dvd on the laptop and have it split into three by the module described (almost as if i had three monitors)..


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Dave LaRondeRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:15:30 pm

Dude, you can't MAKE a 2160x480 DVD.

Data DVD's, yes: they can contain 2160x480 files.. heck, they can contain ANY size file you choose, but don't count on it to play back smoothly. Authored DVDs, no: the limit is 720x480.

Thus, you could only use that DVD as a storage medium. You'd HAVE to play it off the laptop's hard drive. That's scary.

But what if you absolutely, positively have to play back on just one 720x480 DVD? Well, you COULD nest that 2160x480 comp into a 720x480 comp, scale the nested comp to fit, render in AE, then author a DVD. Assuming that this expansion module for the laptop can stretch out an image as much as you need, you can easily see what happens to your horizontal resolution on playback... and it ain't pretty.

Getting the picture now?

Before you commit to anything, do yourself a favor: ask your projection questions on the COW's Corporate Video and Live & Stage Techniques forums. Find out how the pros simultaneously project three pieces of 4x3 video that are intended to look like one piece of 12x3 video. Don't count on a forum meant to help people work with AE for a definitive answer.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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eugene parkRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:27:25 pm

my apologies for posting in the wrong forum


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Dave LaRondeRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:34:14 pm

Oh, please don't apologize. I just want to make sure you get good information, and I think there are better places to get it here on the COW. I didn't intend to make you think I was upset.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:01:26 pm

Your aspect ratios don't match. The pixel space you quoted is 4:1, but the projection space you quoted is 3.6:1. Are you sure that your pixel space is really 3072x768?

Projectors should never be edge-butted to create a widescreen image, but the pixel dimensions you have quoted suggests edge-butted 1024x768 projectors. They are usually edge-blended to make the transition from one projector to the next seamless. The narrower aspect ratio of your projection space suggests such a blend. You should confirm your playback requirements and system before you try to design for it.

There are a variety of playback solutions specifically designed for this kind of work. We do widescreen design and consulting on projects like these, and you can find a lot of great information on the Live & Stage Events forum here on the COW.

Finally, 3072x768 video isn't as scary in its bit rate requirements as it sounds. It's only 13% bigger than 1920x1080.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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eugene parkRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:24:11 pm

Thanks Walter. So what would be the ideal ratio and setting you think? considering I have a laptop, espansion module, and 3 vertical/horizontal keystoning projectors? The width I have to be at is 9meters regardless. The height only has to be proportional and i have about 4 height for that.

This is actually my first time doing a project like this, and definitely don't want to risk getting fired over this. Although I have already started creating the movie, I'm more than happy to do it over as long as I can get the movie to play smoothly.

sorry, I'm a total rookie.


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Walter SoykaRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:00:34 pm

[eugene park] "So what would be the ideal ratio and setting you think? "

The answer is "it depends." You are working backwards right now. First you need to define the physical space, then the display devices, then the projection pixel space, then the playback system, and then finally your AE setup.

[eugene park] "This is actually my first time doing a project like this, and definitely don't want to risk getting fired over this."

And from another post:
[eugene park] "I will only be there to install and set up exhibit"

Are you working with anyone else on this? An AV or event production company? Who is responsible for setting up the projectors at the venue? Is there more to the installation than your module?

If you're responsible for all of this, including the physical installation, then I'm afraid you're in over your head a bit right now. There are a lot of considerations on the engineering side as well as the content creation side.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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eugene parkRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:59:47 am

Thanks walter and dave

walter<<
yes there will be people on site to set up the physical hardware: laptop, projectors, expansion module. because the location is overseas i am still waiting for detail specs on the exact equipment being used. What i requested were projectors capable of vert/horiz keystoning, expansion module, laptop (an av rental/agency will be providing this service)/ Originally i was told by someone who claims to be an AV specialist at a local institution that i would be projecting ("edge-butting") the projections side by side to fill up the 9meter width requirement and the height of the ceiling is pretty high so as long as the 9meters was filled the height could be whatever is proportional. (sorry if that may sound ignorant)

yes i must have completely misunderstood, and thank God I thought to ask again on creative cow. because I've been creating the movie at 3072x768 thinking i could burn it and just shove it into the laptop and let it play for 2 weeks.

I really apologize for not knowing a thing. Sometimes, when the economy is rough and there isn't anything left to build, us architects have to take on other projects such as these head on. wish it wasn't so.

if you would like this discussion to continue elsewhere I could post this reply in the appropriate thread..


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Walter SoykaRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:45:51 am

Hi Eugene,

I just responded to your post in the Live Events forum -- but I must have missed this one before I responded.

Rather than asking your AV contact for a specific setup, in which case you will get what you ask for, maybe you could describe to them what you are trying to accomplish. Ask them about blended projection. See what they come back to you with. You can use them as a resource to help you get this done right. They may be able to help out with the rental of a playback system designed for multiple displays, from a synchronized DVD system as Dave has mentioned, to a Dataton Watchout system, to sync-rolled DDRs.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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Dave LaRondeRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:29:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Projectors should never be edge-butted to create a widescreen image... They are usually edge-blended to make the transition from one projector to the next seamless. The narrower aspect ratio of your projection space suggests such a blend. You should confirm your playback requirements and system before you try to design for it."

Glad you chimed in, Walter. When it comes to multiple projection screens, I'm like a duck out of water.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:01:47 pm

Dave, you hit the nail on the head with your first post:

[Dave LaRonde] "Here's the crucial question: how is the completed video going to be played back when it's projected?"

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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david bogieRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 3:33:38 pm

Strongly urge the OP to forget everything at this point to avoid preconceptions and to begin investigating the digital signage industry. Multiple display from a split simultaneous playback is a no-brainer in that industry. One system plays an H.264 stream (in any pixel dimension) and scales it and splits it out to any number of graphics cards. One video source that is accurately split across any number of displays. My MacPro has 8 DVI connectors and these will drive 8 Apple 30" displays at their maximum pixel dimensions.

What you end up with might be Walter's system approach but there are specific tools and software for doing exactly what you want to do. Arena and large outdoor advertising venues have been using these tools for decades, they just keep evolving.

Please come back and tell us how your solved your challenges. We see these posts several times a year and they all have weirdly similar but unique solutions.

bogiesan



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Walter SoykaRe: What are the ideal settings/compression for rendering of a 3072x768 after effects video for projection?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 4:53:47 pm

[david bogie] "Strongly urge the OP to forget everything at this point to avoid preconceptions and to begin investigating the digital signage industry. Multiple display from a split simultaneous playback is a no-brainer in that industry."

Respectfully, multiple display is very common in live events, but it is not a no-brainer when you are trying to create a seamless widescreen projected display. There are many factors that would influence playback.

For that reason, you can't spec the playback device first. An h264-based digital signage system would be able to do what he needs, unless he needs edge-blending in the device, or unless he needs geometry correction, or unless he needs to integrate it with an existing show control system, etc. It's certainly a great option, but at this point, it's still one of many options, and we'd need more information before recommending one.

[david bogie] "We see these posts several times a year and they all have weirdly similar but unique solutions."

Widescreen is an important part of my business, so I work on things like this a couple times a month. The solutions seem similar because the engineering process is the same; they are unique because the physical and creative requirements of each of these display systems differ.

This specific conversation has a thread now over in the Live Events forum:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/158/855746

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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