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lower res render to HD quality?

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Nathan Eggleston
lower res render to HD quality?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 6:54:23 am

so i just got thrown some work and am expected to become a "pro" AE guy instantly. my boss said, "just check out tutorials online everything you really need is there." ha ha ha yeah right. I won't pretend to know what i'm doing because i really don't. i can kinda make it look pretty but i'm having trouble making it function correctly.

so... here's the question. i've found some great tutorials and get the basic gist of creating the art. i just don't understand the mechanics behind and i think it's screwing me up.

QUESTION: can i work on a project in a lower resolution say 720:430 and then when i render the project improve the quality to HD resolution?

the presentation I'm doing needs to be displayed on a huge screen with little to no distortion.

QUESTION 2: is it easier to create multiple rendered pieces and then put them together in another application (like Premier Pro or final Cut) or is it ok to do them all together in After Effects?
example: intro credits (1'4"), title credits (32"),
short film (7'30"), end credits (1'46")

I'm not sure if I've included enough information if not please hollar i'll add more. Thanks for the help in advance.


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cowcowcowcow
Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: lower res render to HD quality?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 8:20:21 am

"QUESTION 1: can i work on a project in a lower resolution say 720:430 and then when i render the project improve the quality to HD resolution? "

AE allows you to set your viewer at smaller sizes (50%, 33%....) and at smaller resolutions (half, third, quarter...). You will find those options at the bottom of your viewer window. Also, you can set the RAM preview at a lower resolution ( half, third, quarter..)and you have the option to "Skip" frames. All these enable you to preview higher resolution projects. If you are using artwork that you are producing, it is best to use Illustrator and import the vector files in AE (check the continuously rasterize switch on those layers). If your output should be HD, then all files you use for the project need to have HD or higher resolution for it to look good.
Check out also the use of proxies on the adobe site.


"QUESTION 2: is it easier to create multiple rendered pieces and then put them together in another application (like Premier Pro or final Cut) or is it ok to do them all together in After Effects?
example: intro credits (1'4"), title credits (32"),
short film (7'30"), end credits (1'46") "


Although you can edit in AE, it is best to do your graphics/effects in AE and then use Premiere or FCP to edit the final piece. One piece of advice- when you render your AE shots, use uncompressed or frame sequence (tga or tiff) and render out final compression using Adobe Media Encoder.


Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania
http://www.ennstudio.ro


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Michael Szalapski
Re: lower res render to HD quality?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 1:24:38 pm

Great advice from Ted. I agree; don't work in a lower resolution comp, just view it at a lower resolution.

Go here for a great list of (free!) resources for people just starting out in AE.

- 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: lower res render to HD quality?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 5:12:19 pm

If you're used to working with SD or even HD comps on modern computers, the render times for larger comps can be stunning. I frequently work with large comp sizes (4K and up), and I've found it's very helpful to adapt my workflow a bit to stay productive despite the lengthy render times.

There's an outstanding page on Improving performance in the After Effects help system, which includes all the features I'll mention below and many others.

Here are some After Effects features—some common, some often-overlooked—that I rely on when working with larger comps:

  • Multiprocessing: if you have a multi-core system and at least 2-4 GB of RAM per core, you can enable multiprocessing. After Effects will launch multiple copies of its renderer to processing multiple frames simultaneously.

  • Zoom and resolution: these go hand-in-hand. You can reduce your preview resolution to save processing time and RAM.

  • Caps Lock: when on, Caps Lock disables rendering for preview.

  • Draft 3D, frame blending, and motion blur: toggle these to speed up previews. For render, you'll probably want Draft 3D off, and frame blending and motion blur on, but they are all render-intensive, so you can save time by toggling them for working and preview.

  • Proxies and pre-rendering: allow you to render out a complex pre-comp, save it to disk, and refer to the footage on disk instead of re-rendering. Once I get a pre-comp working well, I'll proxy it so I don't have to continually re-render it during previews while working on other elements. You can use proxies with a wide variety of settings: simple stills, draft-quality renders, or high-quality renders. If you use proxies instead of pre-renders, make sure you change your render settings in the render queue to use proxies.

  • Region of Interest: allows you to select a smaller section of the comp to preview; saves on processing time and RAM usage.

  • Shift-RAM preview: allows you to choose different setting for RAM preview (0 on the numeric keypad) and Shift-RAM preview (Shift-0 on the numeric keypad). I use regular RAM preview for high quality previews so I can see detail in my work, but I use Shift-RAM preview at quarter or eighth resolution, skipping at least every other frame, so I can quickly see the overall effect.



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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