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After Effects Scaling Problem?

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Zevie TannenbaumAfter Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 15, 2011 at 8:56:36 pm

I have a problem where the more I scale the video (1680x1080) in my (720x480) comp, the better quality gets and when I use 'fit to comp size' the quality isn't clear

Sorry to keep posting, but maybe now it will be easier to understand the problem... I've included a video showing the problem I'm having...

*I uploaded the video to CreativeCow but the video wasn't clear enough to see the problem...


1499_aeproblem.mov.zip


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Brian CharlesRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:20:10 pm

When you view it at 200% magnification it looks degraded, this is normal.



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Zevie TannenbaumRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:22:54 pm

I don't know if you can see my problem, I know that if I scale up a video, I'm supposed to see a loss in quality, but the problem I'm getting is that when I scale up the video %200 the clarity of the video gets better and when I fit it to the comp, its gets worse...


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Brian CharlesRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:23:36 am

In the sample you provided I don't see you scaling the video, what I see is you adjusting the magnification level to 200% in the Comp window.



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Zevie TannenbaumRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 8:02:43 am

The first thing I do is make a 720x480 comp, then drag in my 1680x1050 video. Its scaled up by default, since it's higher quality. Then the quality is great, but when I 'scale the comp to fit', I loose most of the quality, thats what I'm showing when I zoom into the comp, the text is not as really legible.

The next thing I do is scale the comp up, using the 'V' key and then the quality gets better. It seems that when the video is scaled up, the quality is better, and when I scale to fit, it looses quality...


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Gary HazenRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 2:16:03 pm

Patient: Doctor my arm hurts when I move it like this. ***patient moves arm*** What should I do?

Doctor: Stop moving your arm like that.

I think you should take the doctors advice and stop doing that. That is, stop using scale to fit. As was mentioned in the other thread your frame ratio's don't match. You're pounding a round peg into a square hole and then asking why your peg doesn't look so good. Stop using force to fit. Drop the 1680 x 1050 comp into the DV comp, scale it down to about 46% and live with the fact that you're cropping a bit off the sides. Or scale it to 43% and live with black line at the top and bottom. Whatever you choose to do don't use force to fit.


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Zevie TannenbaumRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 2:24:14 pm

Okay, thanks a lot! I really appreciate the time everyone has taken to help me out!

All the best,
Zevie


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Cory PetkovsekRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:04:55 am

Also make a distinction between scaling an asset (picture,video,composition), and scaling your viewport. It appears that you're writing about them interchangeably.

Scaling a layer on the timeline has an effect on your final product. Scaling your viewport window does not.

For maximum clarity, set your viewport to 100%. Then you can scale the layer on the comp window in order to determine quality of scaling the asset.

Next, learn about composition aspect ratios, and pixel aspect ratios. 1680x1050 and 720x480 have different aspect ratios (1.6 and 1.5), so scaling one to the other means borders along two edges. Your computer monitor uses square pixel aspect ratios. If your comp is using non-square pixels, like for a DVD, it's going to look blocky unless you turn off the stretch pixels button (forget it's name, but its in the viewport window).

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Zevie TannenbaumRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 17, 2011 at 3:02:14 pm

Okay thanks, but just so I know for next time, lets say I record my screen. When I export it to 720x480, its really unclear, how can I record my screen (1680x1050) for a NTSC 720x480 timeline and keep the quality... Thanks!


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects Scaling Problem?
by on Jan 17, 2011 at 4:23:08 pm

[Zevie Tannenbaum] "Okay thanks, but just so I know for next time, lets say I record my screen. When I export it to 720x480, its really unclear, how can I record my screen (1680x1050) for a NTSC 720x480 timeline and keep the quality... Thanks!"

Zevie, there are a couple of mistakes you've made in this video. You selected an NTSC DV Widescreen preset (which would have been 16:9, or 1.78) and then changed the pixel aspect ratio to Square (which changes the display aspect ratio to 1.5). If you intend to use this for 4:3 television, you should be using the NTSC DV preset (which will NOT have square pixels; it will have a PAR of 0.91). This will match your standard definition setting in FCP. You should also familiarize yourself with the pixel aspect correction button [link] (). AE's previews of PAR-corrected footage will be a little bit jagged, but the renders are perfect.

You used scale to fit, which as I have mentioned before, does not scale proportionately unless your aspect ratios match exactly. Use scale to height (which will crop off the sides of widescreen footage) or scale to width (which will letterbox widescreen footage). You should read up on scaling [link] in the online help.

Better still, set your display resolution to something with the same aspect ratio as your destination before you record. If you want to make 4:3 video for television, set the display to a 4:3 resolution like 1024x768. If you want to make 16:9 video, set it to a 16:9 resolution like 1280x720.

You are using a zoomed (200%) viewport to try to judge quality. Even perfect video will look pixelated at 200%.

I would guess that you're relatively new to After Effects. AE is both broad and deep, and I think you need to get a broad understanding of the package itself and digital video concepts overall. I'd recommend the following link, in which Adobe's Todd Kopriva pulls together some important introductory materials:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...

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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