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Old April 1st, 2008, 03:38 PM   #1
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help with the jaggies

Hi,

I've created a composite, in AE5.5 (yes it's old but I work in state government! LOL) where I have the title of the program in large type with it luma keyed to reveal video beneath it as it slides across the screen from right to left. I created the text in Photoshop 6 (yes old again, see above) using Arial type in 109 pt. that's the largest I can get and have it as one file that I can slide across the screen. (at least that is my thinking at the moment, I would love to be corrected). I have scaled it up with in AE to the size I want, taking up most of the vertical real estate.

I have saved it as PSD, EPS, PNG, and all three give me huge jaggies along the edge. this composite is nested within another to I can have a jumpback behind it. ( I know newer tech would make this easier but I have to work with what I have.)

Is there anyway to get smoother edges to the text?

The show title is Justiceline, the "client" loves the way it looks, I just need to get it looking better.

Thanks.

(AE 5.5 and Avid DV Express 3.5.3... would love to upgrade by given our current financial situation I don't see it happening anytime soon, though I haven't given up)
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Old April 1st, 2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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It's been a little while since I worked with AE 5.5, but is it possible for you to use the text tool within AE to create your text? Seems to me that would solve your problem in addition to eliminating an extra step of work in Photoshop.

Your problem is occurring because you are scaling up a smaller image. Here's another suggestion: If you have to create your text in Photoshop, then I suggest you create something larger than the NTSC DV-sized frame. You will most likely use a font size that is somewhere in the 250-350 range, if not higher. You can then bring that file into AE and scale it down to the appropriate size.

You can always scale down, but it's not always wise to scale up!
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:20 PM   #3
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I posted this very question yesterday (posted in the Attend the World Premiere section). The suggestion Shawn gave you sounds interesting and here is my suggestion also - it made my text look alot better, not 100% as I'd like it, but still alot better.

My image was done in Fireworks (similar tools to Photoshop). The text font is Arial with "smooth anti-alias" selected. Then I convert the text to bitmap while still in Fireworks (I go to "Modify" and then select "Flatten Selection" to make it a bitmap, the previous version of Firewords just has "Convert to Bitmap"). This makes the text turn into an image where you can no longer highlight it and type it over. Then I export the image as a best-quality jpeg and put it into my video editing program. It looks much better now, but I'm still going to try the suggestion given above and see if that works.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 10:09 PM   #4
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This is one of the pitfalls of working alone, sometimes your brain skips a groove and there is no one there to smack it back on the tracks. Thanks. I will give it a shot tomorrow.

Last edited by Bill Mecca; April 2nd, 2008 at 08:06 AM.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Habib View Post
My image was done in Fireworks (similar tools to Photoshop). The text font is Arial with "smooth anti-alias" selected. Then I convert the text to bitmap while still in Fireworks (I go to "Modify" and then select "Flatten Selection" to make it a bitmap, the previous version of Firewords just has "Convert to Bitmap"). This makes the text turn into an image where you can no longer highlight it and type it over. Then I export the image as a best-quality jpeg and put it into my video editing program. It looks much better now, but I'm still going to try the suggestion given above and see if that works.
One problem with jpegs is that they don't retain the alpha channel that PSD or TIFF files do. Also, by rasterizing your images, you're creating the problem of pixelization. If you use the text tool in After Effects, or the Titler tool in Premiere, you can scale your text up as far as you want- and you will still retain those nice sharp edges. However, as soon as you convert that vector data into a finite number of pixels by scaling the layer in AE or the clip outside the titler in Premiere, you are limiting your options.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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I created a huge PSD file, about 3x the height and about 5000 px wide (Justiceline is a long word!) and got it to work.

I had played around before with adding a solid color layer in AE and using the text tool, but keying, if I remember correctly, was problematic.

Thanks for the help! if I get time I will post a sample on youtube, not that it's any great shakes, but I kinda like how it came out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48Mhb299hyU

background is a bit dark, and I want to add another line of the smaller text, and it clipped at the last word.

Last edited by Bill Mecca; April 2nd, 2008 at 02:45 PM. Reason: update with link
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:52 PM   #7
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5000pixels wide isn't a huge PSD file... trust me :) I used to do this in AE 3.1 and PS 3 or 4 in, uh, 199x :)

using the built in text filter also works well too
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Old April 5th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #8
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Glad its working out for you bill.

Just a thought. Why dont you put a duplicate of the the video layer in place instead of the background and tint it down a little or blur it or something like that. even half mix it (or choose an overlay method) with the background. Makes for a nice effect and shows more of the video. It kindof feels less chlaustraphobic (spelling?)

By the way. Theres nothing wrong with ae 5.5, its just a little more manual than the newer ones with very few presets. 3d layers are missing but it can easily be worked around with keyframing position and scale and using the basic 3d filter.

Just a few thoughts.

Ger.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 09:26 AM   #9
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Ger,

thanks those are some great ideas! I'll see what I can come up with. I knwo what you mean with the claustrophobic feel. Over all it just seems a bit dark to me. My first idea was a brick wall, and then red, but when colorizing that background it looked a bit too much like swirling blood! Not a real good feel for a video about child support. LOL
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #10
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in case anyone cares, I took some of Ger's suggestions and changed it a bit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s-Apivgk5g

thanks again!
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Old April 8th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #11
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Bill, I must commend you on an excellent ability to perceive what I meant.
Thats really nice.
Well done.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #12
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LOL thanks. I thought what you said was very clear.

I had the video in separate layers so I rendered that out and brought it back in as one layer, and changed the jumpback transparency. It looks a lot lighter and cleaner.

I just noticed what you said about blurring, that might look cool. I was out taping a seminar today (boorrriiinggg!!) and will mess with it a bit more. the video is nearly complete, I just need to get this opening finished, do some more music, and put in the flying folder wipes. This is one of our more ambitious training videos, completely dramatic except for the three "Bill in a box" scenes. So I created a spinning, flyin and out folder to use as a wipe between locations, and added a "woosh" to highlight it a bit.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #13
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Good stuff, its a pity we can't all be shooting music videos, but we gotta do it the best we can, no matter what the material.

Just in future instead of rendering out the stuff to bring it in as one layer, just highlight whatever layers you want to merge into one & hit shift-ctrl-c to precompose them into one layer. a composition containg just these layers is then in the project window for editing at a later time. Its related to nesting and all that. just keeps things more flexible and allows anything to be changed, tweaked at any time.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #14
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Thanks for that tip Ger. I did wind up blurring the copied layer as well.

I'm an old TV news guy so my stuff is pretty basic and straight forward. But that is changing. ;-)
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