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Blurry Video Render from After Effects

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Jonathan Lewis
Blurry Video Render from After Effects
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:19:16 am

I am working with footage that is 960x540 originally filmed on RED. I am trying to resize the footage (which is keyed) to fit a comp of 500x250. The footage, when rendered out in its original size and comp is totally crisp and fine. I'm finding that when I resize it, the final render is blurry and a bit 'soft'. I originally thought it was because i was nesting comps and resizing them. I re-did everything and the only thing i am actually resizing is the footage layer. Everything is crisp in preview but again, comes out soft. I am creating a quicktime with compression set to 'NONE'. Also, if it means anything I am rendering out RGB+Alpha (millions of colors+). What is going on!!!! HELP


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Blurry Video Render from After Effects
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:25:31 am

You say it was ORIGINALLY shot on RED. So what codec is this footage in now? 960x540 implies it was scaled down, too: it's close to SD Widescreen.

I've never worked with footage from that camera, but I know it requires specific workflows. I'm wondering if it wasn't in this case.

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


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Jonathan Lewis
Re: Blurry Video Render from After Effects
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:29:22 am

Yeah I've never worked with it either. However, doing a regular render (without resizing) produces a perfect, crisp, render. I just don't understand what could be causing this softness.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Blurry Video Render from After Effects
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:40:45 am

[Jonathan Lewis] "I just don't understand what could be causing this softness."

If you have a version of AE earlier than version 10 (aka CS5), double-check the codec of this footage.

If these folks reduced the size of the picture already to reduce file size, they may have also used the false economy of compressing it in something goofy like H.264, which is death in pre-version-10 AE. Here's why:

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, mts, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless. I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.

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


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