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Heather Crankneed rendering/set up advice
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:16:00 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm about to start working on an animation, unfortunately my client has no idea what size the animation is supposed to be. This animation will be playing on the web, and then looping on a monitor in a store as a demo.

I called said store's corporate headquarters to try to get a screen size. I was told it varies, most screens are not hd. Though many of the monitors are 15"x19". UGH!

So I think 4:3 would be a safe bet. But how to make this animation flexible, incase the size of the screens vary? And for the web, I figure I can render that separately and shrink the size (and of course change the compression). Has anyone ever had to figure something like this out? Advice?

Thank you!

H



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Dave LaRondeRe: need rendering/set up advice
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:22:30 pm

Find out the kind of device the store uses for playback. The playback device determines what you make.

Monitor size is basically irrelevant. You can make a standard-definition DVD, which is 720x480 in NTSC-land. But you can play the DVD back on a laptop, or you can hook the DVD player up to a video projector aimed at the side of a building. It's still 720x480.

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


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Heather CrankRe: need rendering/set up advice
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:46:43 pm

ah, thanks Dave!



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Walter SoykaRe: need rendering/set up advice
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:21:37 pm

[Heather Crank] " called said store's corporate headquarters to try to get a screen size. I was told it varies, most screens are not hd... So I think 4:3 would be a safe bet. But how to make this animation flexible, incase the size of the screens vary? "

I wouldn't assume that 4:3 is a safe bet until the client specifically tells you that. If some of the stores do have HD or 16:9 panels, your content will either be pillarboxed or stretched.

I've had to repurpose existing 16:9 content for 4:3 screens before, and I did it by hand. I started with 16:9, then added in pillarboxes to show the 4:3 area. It was a lot of precomping, rescaling, repositioning, and re-keyframing. It's tedious work, but since the aspect ratio has a huge impact on layout, there's no automatic way, so it was worth the effort.

Planning ahead, you can start in 16:9 with a 4:3 guide layer while you work, and either center-cut or pan-and-scan your 16:9 work to 4:3 later.

Alternately,you can work within a 16:9 safety frame over a larger 4:3 background -- for example, working in a 1920x1080 portion of a 1920x1440 comp. Look to the 16:9 area for your action/title safe, but think of the 4:3 like printers think of bleed.

These workflows assume one ratio will be important, and one is secondary.

If they are both important, you should do two separate versions, so plan the relationship between design elements carefully. I would only create the second version after the first one has final approval to avoid repeating work unnecessarily.

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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Heather CrankRe: need rendering/set up advice
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:34:31 pm

Thanks Walter, that's what I was afraid of...good advice.

Thanks sooo much!

H



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