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After effects for 50 inch TV

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Jason Kinouchi
After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 7:04:58 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm quite new to this and I've spent half the day trying to find the answer to with no luck so I'm hoping someone can help me.

I've been asked to do a motion graphic sequence for a client who wants to play the clip on a 50inch TV screen from a laptop. I've practiced rendering some test compositions on After Effects but obviously the footage is always stretched on the screen.

I've tried playing around with all the setting including the pixel aspect ratio, but when I hook my laptop up to the TV monitor, it always looks stretched.

I'm used to working in square pixels for the web and can't quite grasp the pixel aspect ratio thing (at least on After Effects) and no tutorial on the web seems to be of assistance. I'm in the UK so I assume it would need to be PAL format?

I would really appreciate an expert's input on this please as I've tried everything!

Many thanks in advance!


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Michael Rayford
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 7:17:48 pm

From my experience you need to set up your comp from the beginning at the least 720x480 then fit your footage as needed, depending on how the footage was shot will determine your quality, then when you render out use your best setting for each module. Once its rendered out you should be able to just select full screen from the player and it should be ok. Hope this helps!


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 7:25:57 pm

Playback will drive your composition settings.

What is the native resolution of the panel, and how are you going to connect the laptop to the panel?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jason Kinouchi
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 8:27:17 pm

I believe it is 1366 x 768, though the exact model hasn't been specified yet. I'm currently using a 32 inch TV to test it on. Is this going to make a difference? I'm using a VGA cable connected to a macbook pro.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 10:24:06 pm

For playing back off of a computer use square pixels as your aspect ratio. Then you just need to make sure that the computer is outputting the correct resolution for the television.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 10:48:41 pm

[Jason Kinouchi] "I believe it is 1366 x 768, though the exact model hasn't been specified yet. I'm currently using a 32 inch TV to test it on. Is this going to make a difference?"

If your test monitor's native resolution is the same as the final display monitor's, you're halfway there.

I'm not a fan of that funky resolution, because not all computer graphics cards play nicely with them; some cards/drivers only want to output "regular" monitor resolutions like 1280x720 or 1280x800. I think it's pretty important to test with the final display computer.

A couple other thoughts for you and your client:

What codec and playback software do you intend to use? Will the playback laptop have the horsepower it needs to drive the display without dropping frames?

In live events, it's standard operating procedure to always run all media playback with a switcher and a live backup. This way, if a computer, DDR, or tape deck fails during playback, you can press a button and no one's day is ruined.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jason Kinouchi
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 28, 2010 at 11:02:11 pm

Thanks for everyones response.

Unfortunately I don't think my test monitor has the same resolution as the final one. I've just been playing around with it and it seems like a movie composition of 1440 x 1080 seems to fit well on the test screen with a resolution of 1600 x 1200, but the objects are still stretched out! I'm obviously not getting something here.

I was asked to create an .mov file which would be played using windows media player on a laptop on the day. I don't know what a switcher and a live backup is to be honest. Where in After Effects can I specify which codec to use and could you please recommend any codecs for me?


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Brian Charles
Re: After effects for 50 inch TV
on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:25:35 am

I've done many projects that end up on large TVs or projectors with WXGA resolutions. If you want the file to fill the screen i.e. with no letter boxing or pillars – work in a 16 x 9 comp, the TV set's aspect ratio, in square pixels as was mentioned before.

The real wildcard is the laptop and media player. Can they output to the required resolution? Most of my work has been burned as a looping DVD and so only required a DVD player (either SD or Bluray).

The projector work was run from a PC laptop using a Flash-based player we built that allowed the MC to control playback using the arrow keys on the laptop. We rendered the AFX files (48 of them) as H.264 full resolution and had an XML file load the files and play them full screen on the projector via the laptop.

Depending on your needs your best bet may be to make a DVD if you have either Apple's DVD Studio or Adobe Encore. Then let the media player play the DVD as it normally would.



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