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Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed

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Jasper Wiese
Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:03:26 pm


I will try to keep this as short and simple as possible, as my knowledge on the subject is lacking.

I was asked to create a 30 second animated commercial for television. The production is made 100% in afx and within one composition. However, when it was time to submit it, we received a pdf with technical guidelines and specs which need to be met. This is where things start to get tricky..

I can work out some of it, such as aspect ratios. But adding stuff like time codes (LTC and VITC) and a 90 second(seems very long) color bar before the commercial itself.

How, what confuses me is that this list seems like it was written only for films shot with cameras and recorded audio. They keep mentioning beta cams etc.

My question is : does a 100& digitally made animation require the same treatment as something shot and recorded with proper equipment? And does after effects have the necessary tools to add all these time codes and color bars?

I hope this was clear enough, and i appreciate anyone that takes the time to answer :)

Kind regards

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Walter Soyka
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:23:44 pm

[Jasper Wiese] "They keep mentioning beta cams etc. "

It sounds like they are requiring delivery on tape. If you don't have access to a Beta deck and aren't comfortable with the terms in the requirements, you might need to take this to an editorial house or service bureau. They could lay it off to tape and help you meet the delivery requirements.

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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Tim Vaughan
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:26:40 pm

The station has a list of req's for how to bundle the spot up for their decks. What we've done in the past was create the product in AE to the customers specifics. Then, we'd bring it in to our editing program (Final Cut Pro for us), and check the IRE levels and get it set up for delivery, which included adding the slates, audio checks, and proper export(s). Then we'd edit it out to tape utilizing the built in color bars within FCP. I am assuming they want the commercial delivered on beta, as you mentioned beta.
Stations are different, and some of the only needed an upload of the project. You have the req sheet in front of you, so I'd recommend following it to the letter. Better than having your tape/commercial shot back at you for a technicality. (which does happen if you do not follow directions)


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Jasper Wiese
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:45:09 pm

Thanks for 2 great (and fast) replies. I forgot to mention in the post that we have 3 options when submitting. One is digibeta, but it also says it can be sent in as a file using "adstream" or "adtoox", but i assume that it still needs all the same specs regardless of what method you submit it in?

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Tanel Viksi
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Mar 7, 2010 at 2:17:31 pm


Adtoox requirements are here:!SSL!/WebHelp/File_Technica...

You have to simply export Standard definition 720x576 interlaced video in full frame 16:9 format (FHA) compressed with MPEG2 4:2:2 I frame only compression at 30 Mbps (4:2:2Profile@ MainLevel), and uncompressed wave interleaved 24 bit stereo audio at 48kHz.

Create an user account at and you can test your files also there, you can upload your MPEG-2 and the system does the checking (scopes, audio loudness etc) and sends back the information.

Do not forget to format your spot as follows:

The top:
7 seconds of identifier* (175 frames)
3 seconds of black and silence (75 frames)

Each commercial shall also include a tail of 20 seconds formatted as follows:
20 seconds of black and silence (500 frames)

* Identifier information:
Copy Code
Length (i.e. the commercial length in seconds, excluding identifier and black frames before and after the commercial).

The identifier is the standard indentifier you use normally, when doing betas or Dbetas.

So, it is easy to deliver your spot, just follow the quidlines.
You can use Adobe suite or Apple Compressor to compress your spot - works fine.!SSL!/WebHelp/Set_up_your_e...


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Gary Hazen
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:47:50 pm

To put it bluntly, from reading your post it's obvious that you're in way over your head. Hire a post house to help you with final delivery. In addition to having the necessary hardware (decks and scopes) the have the knowledge to deliver a spot which meets the required specs.

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Steve Roberts
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:11:35 pm

I second that. It'll save you a lot of headaches.

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Tv commercial done in AFX, technical info needed
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:17:47 pm

...and here's a third to the post house idea.

You're in essence paying for their knowledge of all the minutia and gotchas that could never be covered adequately in a thread on a forum.

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

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