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AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection

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Stan TrinhAE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 7:46:04 am

To my ignorant (for not researching before hand) and stupidity, I made my comp size 800x600 with NTSC DV pixel aspect ratio.
Render output is MPEG2-DVD.

It seems fine for the most part but it adds some blank space to both sides (left and right) of the screen. So if the bg is white, it'll look horrendously wrong.

Now i need to finish this by this Wednesday. It's meant to be played on a loop with a dvd projector. Is there any suggestions that I can try to fit and render everything nicely?

Should I change it back to square pixel and resize things accordingly? What format output should I render the piece?

Also some help on making a DVD is greatly appreciated as well. I don't want a menu screen, and assume the looping is taken care by the player? Would it work if I just burn the .m2v output from AE on the DVD?

I've never made something to be made into a dvd or projected through a DVD player before (hence you might guess why I made it 800x600...)

Thank you very much.

Looking forward to a reply soon.


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 3:39:14 pm

[Stan Trinh] "I've never made something to be made into a dvd or projected through a DVD player before (hence you might guess why I made it 800x600...) "

The resolution of an NTSC DVD is 720x480. The resolution of a PAL DVD is 720x576. That is IT: you can't change those resolutions. The nature of DVD authoring will not allow it.

Choose the resolution appropriate for your work. Use a Comp Preset appropriate for that resolution. Nest the 800x600 comp in this new comp. Scale the nested comp to fit the new comp's size.

Render -- do NOT export -- in a high-quality codec. DO NOT MAKE AN MPEG2 FILE! If you have audio, don't forget to set the Output Module to render audio, which for a DVD should be 48 kHz, 16 bits, stereo.

You can read about the process of using AE's Render Queue in AE's online help.

Then use a different compression application or your DVD authoring application to convert the file you made in AE to MPEG2.

This is how it's done. If you choose to do it differently, you will have problems.

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


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Kevin CampRe: AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:26:47 pm

dave's right, video has standards. to make your life easier, use a comp preset that matches you destination. so choose one of the dv standard presets.

it looks like your current comp is 4x3, so don't choose a widscreen preset. also, i wouldn't use a square pixel preset, both ntsc and pal have non-square pixels, and your dvd authoring software is probably expecting to see that.

you didn't mention frame rate, hopefully your current comp is 29.97 fps(ntsc) or 25 fps (pal), because that's what you'll want for dvd.

once you have you new comp with the correct settings, drop the 800x600 comp in and choose layer>transform>fit comp width and you should be good to go.

then follow dave's advice for rendering, etc.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Stan TrinhRe: AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 5:34:43 pm

Thank you everyone for the quick responses. That cleared things up a lot. I was searching the forum before posting and kinda figured that NTSC and PAL have set pixel dimensions.

My next question is which codec should I render the output before putting it into Encore? I'm thinking QuickTime but also want to know which format to choose. I think it has "Animation", "MPEG4", etc.

The piece is mostly text, either white on black or black on white. It's a very very simple typography motion graphic.


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 6:34:49 pm

[Stan Trinh] "The piece is mostly text, either white on black or black on white. It's a very very simple typography motion graphic."

....which could give you big trouble. There is such a thing as an illegal video level for a DVD. Whites can be too white and blacks can be too black, which will cause noise at the edges of text. You can't use white set to 255/255/255 R/G/B, for example. But there's a simple fix.

After you've nested your comp, apply the Levels filter to it. Set Output White to 234, and Output black to 16. It may not look great on your computer monitor, but it'll be fine on a DVD.

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


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Stan TrinhRe: AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 7:27:48 pm

thank you so much!!!

i made a test video and the edges does look a little ragged/pixelated and was wondering why. Gonna try it out when I have time.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: AE pixel aspect ratio export for DVD projection
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:58:30 pm

Looping is taken care of in your DVD encoding application. If it's Encore, set your end action to be the same video file and it will loop. If you're using some other software, you'll need to read its manual.

(If you were projecting off of a computer connected to the projector you would be able to use your original comp size (meaning higher resolution=better-looking) and looping will be take care of by the player.)

- 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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