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Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.

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steve dann
Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 8:06:51 am

I'm using a mask to cut out a map coastline on a colour solid but when I scale it up it loses quality as though its a bitmap. I thought AE was vector (apart obviously from imported video and photos etc. Thanks.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 3:54:31 pm

[steve dann] "I thought AE was vector (apart obviously from imported video and photos etc. "

Nope; I don't know where you got that impression. It's primarily bitmap. Think about it a moment.

Sure, AE can work with vector graphics, but what do you have to do when you scale 'em up? You have to click on that little sun-shaped switch called "Collapse Transformations / Continuously RASTERIZE", right? Well, does any proper vector graphic you know about have a raster? But bitmapped images certainly do. So when you hit that switch, AE is converting the vector image to a bitmapped image.

And when you make a solid, don't you have to assign it a size -- even if you simply hit the Make Comp Size button -- meaning that it's a certain amount of pixels horizontally and vertically? Sounds like it's bitmapped to me!

And what happens when you scale up a bitmapped image? It looks lousy.

But don't lose all hope, here. There's an easy Plan B if -- and ONLY if -- the solid you're working with has square pixels. Finish the coastline mask, and then change the size of the solid! Look on the link and learn:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c11...

Don't get weirded out that it's Help for AE 10. They haven't changed how solids work in quite a few versions.

If you made a solid using nonsquare pixels, you have to take the pixel aspect ratio into accout when you change the size... hope you're good at arithmetic!

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 4:15:45 pm

Whoops, I left out a couple of steps. Sorry.

When you make the solid bigger, multiply the dimensions by an integer: it's easier to do the arithmetic. Make it big enough so you have to scale it down eventually.

Then it's time to scale up the mask: double-click on the mask, activating the Free Transform box. Holding down the command-shift keys, grab a corner of the box and scale it up -- it maintains both its position relative to the solid and scales proportionately.

Now you're ready to use it -- just scale and position as necessary to do your voodoo.

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


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Gary Hazen
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 5:20:17 pm

I'm going to disagree with Dave here and say that solids are vector based*. You simply need to hit the continuosly rasterize switch - You should be good to go. The only caveat is that it affects the render order. That's a whole different thread.

*Note - I think the AE versions prior to CS3 the solids were bitmapped. Hopefully Todd will chime in and clarify this point. I could be wrong about this, it wouldn't be the first time.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 5:53:36 pm

[Gary Hazen] "I'm going to disagree with Dave here and say that solids are vector based... I think the AE versions prior to CS3 the solids were bitmapped."

Well, there's one way to know for sure!

Got AE 8 or later? Make a solid, put a curvy mask on it, turn on the Continually Rasterize switch and scale up the layer.

I'm nowhere near my AE machine, so I can't do that. Tell us what you find out, okay?

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


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steve dann
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 6:46:12 pm

Thank you both for the time and trouble to answer my query. More complicated than I thoufght, as usual. I wil do the necessary research now I know where to look, forgot all about 'rasterize' !


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Gary Hazen
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 6:59:26 pm

Solid layer scaled to 800% on CS4 looks clean here.

I have AE 6 at the house on a G5 I'll check that later tonight, unless of course Todd chimes in before then.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Are masked colour solids vecto or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 7:22:59 pm

[Gary Hazen] "Solid layer scaled to 800% on CS4 looks clean here. "

I'll assume that included a curvy mask, which would really show the nastiness of scaling up.

In which case, I learned something new today about AE... thanks!

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


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steve dann
SOLVED Are masked colour solids vector or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 8:10:39 pm

Thank you all. I'm embarrassed to admit my problem was thatthe rasterise button wasn't on. Simple as that. DOH !!!! Everything looking good now.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: SOLVED Are masked colour solids vector or bitmap.
on May 6, 2010 at 10:14:59 pm

Well, thanks to Mr. Hazen's brief experiment, we both learned something new today.

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


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Steve Roberts
Re: SOLVED Are masked colour solids vector or bitmap.
on May 7, 2010 at 1:00:00 am

They changed the nature of solids at one point, Dave. It was a big deal, if I recall.

Well, to us AE geeks, anyway.



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