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Losing quality in resolution when exporting

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Tommy Bo
Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 7:55:20 pm

I'm new to this forum/website as far as posting goes, but I have referred to this site for lots of great tips and help with troubleshooting. I'm currently having problems exporting an MOV file that was edited together using FCP in HD using After Effects. I was hired to add graphics and animated text to this video, but so far the employer isn't satisfied because when I render it out as an MOV, the resolution isn't the same. I've set the composition settings to HD/DVCPRO 25. The original MOV file shows a resolution of 720x480. I did manage to export the project as an AVI without losing any quality, but the employer is still saying that the resolution is lower than what he sent. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Tommy


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 8:22:18 pm

The issue is with the file you got to put graphics on- if you got a already compressed file, no matter how good that compression is, you will get a lower resolution on final export from AE. Ask for uncompressed files ( tga or tiff sequences), do your graphics and export from AE in an uncompressed format- this way you will not loose any quality. Your files should then be pulled in FCP and the final render should be done from there.

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 8:25:41 pm

Your renders from AE may be just fine. The client may not be looking at your footage on a VIDEO monitor. You can not use the viewers in FCP to judge video quality; you MUST have a video monitor. If I had a dime for every time the footage I rendered from AE looked just God-awful in the FCP viewers, I'd be rich. Fortunately, I simply look to my right where my video monitor is located, and it looks fine.

Field order could also be an issue 720x480 should be rendered lower-field first... UNLESS it was shot progressive-scan.

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


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Tommy Bo
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:22:30 pm

Thank you Dave and Ted for your quick replies. My next question that comes to mind (I completely forgot to mention it before) is that the employer is sending the files from FCP on Mac and I am doing the effects/graphics/text using AE on PC. Is that an additional problem to the compatibility? Thanks again for the help and I will try those suggestions out to see if that will work.

Tommy


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:39:11 pm

[Tommy Bo] "...the employer is sending the files from FCP on Mac and I am doing the effects/graphics/text using AE on PC. Is that an additional problem to the compatibility?"

If you can see the video, you're good. You simply need to learn if the video was shot interlaced or progressive scan.

Getting the video back to the client could be a problem. I recommend using Quicktime's PNG codec for rendering in AE -- it's lossless. Yeah, the client will have to render it in FCP, or convert it to the FCP editing codec using Apple's Compressor, but you don't have a whole lot of FCP-friendly codec choices when working on a Windows box.

You haven't even said anything about the frame rate -- it could be crucial.

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


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Tommy Bo
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:47:35 pm

The employer explained to me the video was shot in 24p HD, however, when I look at the file information in AE, it's showing that it's 29.97 with the resolution set to 720x480. So, taking his word for it, I've set my composition settings to 24p. The export part I need to take another look at and try setting it to progressive because I have been exporting it as lower field, which I'm guessing/hoping could be the issue. Thanks Dave!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 10:59:02 pm

[Tommy Bo] "The employer explained to me the video was shot in 24p HD, however, when I look at the file information in AE, it's showing that it's 29.97 with the resolution set to 720x480. "

Then there is something VERY wrong, and you need to get to the bottom of it.

If you ask me, I don't think this client of yours knows a whole lot, and I wouldn't take his/her word for ANYTHING. It's no wonder he thinks your work looks like crap if the project is in HD. You're going to have to tell the client that you have SD video, it came from the client that way, and the client needs to provide another copy... this time at the proper resolution and frame rate.

And if you're all panicked about this basic, AE-101, no-brainer kind of stuff, I have to wonder how much time YOU have using AE to think you can do work for paying customers....

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


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Tommy Bo
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 11:07:31 pm

Thank you for the reply, however, I don't appreciate your condescending tone at the end. Yes, I am a beginner with AE, which is why I'm confused with what is going on. The employer isn't paying me anything until the project is finished, and even still, this project is more of an "audition" to possibly receive/do more work in the future. The employer told me himself that he has other people working different projects, and he is trying to find someone that can do the work at a high quality and at a fast rate.

I thought this forum was meant for people like me to find help from other experts who have been doing it longer - not to be put down because of lack-of-knowledge. But thanks anyway for your suggestions.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 2, 2010 at 11:19:11 pm

Yeah, well, if you're trying to do work and get paid for it. all I have to say is "tough". It's just too bad if I upset your tender sensibilities.

There's a big difference between signing up for swimming lessons and jumping into the deep end of the pool wearing lead weights... which is where you currently find yourself.



There could be so many reasons why this stuff is screwed up that it's difficult to know where to begin the questions.

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 4, 2010 at 3:39:25 pm

[Tommy Bo] "Yes, I am a beginner with AE... The employer isn't paying me anything until the project is finished... he is trying to find someone that can do the work at a high quality and at a fast rate.

I thought this forum was meant for people like me to find help from other experts who have been doing it longer - not to be put down because of lack-of-knowledge."


Oh, boo-hoo. I'm such a mean guy.

I'm not putting you down for your lack of knowledge.

In reality, I'm ripping you a new one because you're a beginner who has the unmitigated gall to presume he can handle all the permutations of a freelance project, relying (it would seem) solely on the advice in this forum.

There ARE people in this forum who post to learn more about AE. That's fine. They realize learning to use AE is like a journey, and not just a few easily-memorized rules, as you apparently think. You're getting burned for that presumption, and I think that's a good thing. It's another way to learn.

Perhaps you'll come to realize that the word "professional" means more than "a person who gets paid for doing work".

The actual meaning is "a person who has acquired sufficient background and knowledge in his craft to warrant being paid for his services".

You ain't even close, pal. Hit the books.

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


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Steve Roberts
Re: Losing quality in resolution when exporting
on Jun 3, 2010 at 1:15:08 pm

Ahem.

Either the client was told this was shot in HD (a lie) or the client thinks that 24p SD is actually HD, or the HD footage was converted to SD along the way. Maybe the editor was his nephew, I don't know. You need to talk to the FCP editor to get to the bottom of this. If the client won't let you do that, I don't think you want to audition for any work for this person.

Bottom line: in any job, if there are issues with something you've been given, you must talk to the technical person in the chain. It's your responsibility as a professional, and it's the client's responsibility to allow you access so you can do your job right.

Tip: To see if a 29.97 video is 24p or not, hold down Alt and double-click on it to open it in AE. Use the PageDn key to step through it. If it shows a weird "lines-no lines-lines-lines- no lines" cadence, then it's 24p that has had pulldown added. Check the help on Removing Pulldown to revert the clip back to 24p, then drag that clip onto the new comp button to make a 24p comp and go to work. It won't make the clip HD, but it will revert it to 24p if pulldown was added in-camera.



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