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Old March 18th, 2004, 06:58 PM   #1
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After Effects = poor?

I don't know what's going on. I expected some resolution loss, but I mean, this is ridiculous. I took a finished product, and applied some enhancement filters to it; nothing too drastic. Some curve adjustment, and letterboxing. I output the product, then put it in premier to record to tape. I watch it on TV, and there is visible pixelation! What's the problem? I want it to be clean and crisp, just the way I shot it, just with the changes in place...Anyone?
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Old March 18th, 2004, 07:04 PM   #2
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Make sure you understand all the image quality settings in AE -- there are a bunch. See page 93 ff. in the AE manual.

You don't say how you are viewing your adjustements so it's hard to troubleshoot. Did you print to tape? Just watching a RAM render? What render settings did you use etc.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 08:03 PM   #3
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After Effects ROCKS!!!!

Just like Pete said, make sure you have your Quality set correectly. When you go to "Make Movie", be sure to select the following under Render Settings:

Quality: Best
Resolution: Full
Effects: All On

Yeah!
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Old March 21st, 2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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I selected "Make movie" and then I put the finished product in a Premier timeline with the audio so I could export it to tape. The pixelation I notices was visible on the TV screen.
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Old March 21st, 2004, 08:51 PM   #5
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Corey

You still have to make sure that all your settings are on "Best" or "Full." If I recall correctly (I just don't feel like opening AE at the moment), AE defaults to "Draft" resolution when you drop an item into a composition. Also make sure that your original is at least 720x480 and that your output resolution is the same. I usually export as a DV avi file as well (unless I need the alpha transperancy), and this doesn't cause any pixellation either.
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Old March 22nd, 2004, 06:48 PM   #6
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You can override the draft setting in the Render Que menu.
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 06:24 PM   #7
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Also which codec you use makes a big difference. AE will let you export just about any codec on your computer.
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Old March 28th, 2004, 01:53 PM   #8
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I had this same problem with AE6. All my exports using the dv settings resulted in very very ugly artifacting. What I ended up having to do is output my projects completely uncompressed, then import them into premiere and use premiere's print to tape feature with out rendering the timeline at all before hand. That gave me acceptable results.

It takes up a butt load of hard drive space, and its a pretty clumsy process, but at least it works. Lucky for me I only work in the world of 30 second spots.

If you do a search you'll probably dig up my old thread.

Eddie
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Old March 30th, 2004, 03:30 AM   #9
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AE is very "manual" to give the compositor as much control as possible. If you don't know the program you're going to have problems like the ones described above. In addition to knowing how AE works it's also a good thing to know how different codecs within the .avi and .mov containers work.

The only reason a print to tape command in PPro would give you better quality than a DV render from EA is that they are not using the same codec setting. Find out what codec setting PPro uses and use the same in AE and you'll be fine. It's all simple logics really.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 07:38 AM   #10
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Yeah, I seem to have the same problem. But i'll try this later on.
thanks guys.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #11
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If you are exporting QuickTime Movies out of AE and are using QT6.5, there is a major problem with QT causing bad artifacting (look like tape drop outs) when rendering. You need to upgrade to QT6.5.1 to solve this problem.

If you are not rendering using teh DV Codec, your next best option would be to render using the QT Animation Codec.

Of course it sounds like the rendered movie is not the problem.

Here are some things to check when you are rendering:

Make sure each layer in the Timeline is set to Best Quality. You can do this by taking the quality hash mark and making sure it is pointing to the 1:00 position/uphill/(/) position and not (\).

You can also, as previously mentioned, Change the Quality in the Render Panel. This can be found uner Render Settings>Quality>Best.

Also make sure that Render Settings>Resolution is set to FULL and that you are using the correct aspect ratio for your format (720x480 for DV NTSC). Anything smaller than your resolution size will cause problems when you try to resize it.

Finally, just in case you are doing/have done all of the above, you might want to check the quality of your elements you have brought into AE. Make sure any still images are large enough so that you don't have to scale them up in the Timeline, and make sure your video is being brought in with the correct codec as well.

I have over 75 After Effects tutorials on my site (along with 32 Final Cut Pro, 3 combustion, a dozen lighting tutorials, and more). I have been using After Effects for nigh on 10 years now and it rocks. If it were a "Poor" application, then it wouldn't be used in films, television programs, commercials, corporate video, etc.

Check some of them out if you want to know more

Cheers
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Old May 20th, 2004, 08:19 PM   #12
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Make sure you're using the "Make Movie" command under the Composition window, which puts the movie in the render que and runs it from there.

If you choose File>Export Movie or whatever, it dumps out a real crappy looking, low resolution video. Apparently "Export Movie" and "Make Movie" are TOTALLY different options.

Also check your manual about setting your "render template" options or something to that regard. I now use interlaced, lower first, Microsoft DV codec on "best" settings (not lossess). This results in a very clean looking interlaced file.

Good luck. I battled this one for the first week I owned the program.
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