I'm working on some animation in after effects that will end up being projected onto a very large screen. I am working in standard def.
The content is very dark and almost all black and white - there are a lot of very slow fades to black. I've noticed a lot of weird artifacts in the fades to black and in some of the very dark imagery. It really looks bad. There is almost no video footage - this is all stuff from photoshop.
I was wondering if this has something to do with color profile or if I should be working in 16 bit or 32 bit? I currently do not have color management on. I have never used it in the past and I've never seen this weirdness before.
I am rendering to animation codec which is usually so clean, so I don't think It's compression. In fact, I can see some of this weirdness even in my ram previews.
Can I work in 32 or 16 bit even though I am ultimately going to be encoding to go on a standard dvd?
First you should convert the source files in PSD to 32 bit.
Then use 32 bit in AE- this will help you get rid of the artifacts.
When you render, do so to an uncompressed format (Animation should be fine) and make sure to specify that AE should not convert to linear for 32 bit. Then compress that from Adobe Media Encoder - MPEG2 or H264 (mahe sure to set to keyframe every frame for best result).