The purpose of the video is to present many pictures taken at a photoshoot. So what I'm aiming for is simple transitions with little effects.
This is the layer area in After Effects. The composition is 1080 x 720 and the photographs average at about 4,000 x 4,000 pixels. My goal is to scale it down to where it fits the composition, yet it's just so large! So large infact that when forced to fit with the composition size, it becomes distorted, and sometimes pixelated. What I mean by pixelated is: when I look at the original and the resized photo you can clearly see a pixelation of the resized photo, as if from going from 360p to 240p. But lets focus on the distortion.
Photo is first inserted.
Photo is then resized.
Yet, this is the photo in Bridge.
I may just have to suffice with having the video being filled with the each photo constantly moving to be able to show the entire picture. (with the help of keyframes) From my assumptions, the possible remedies would only to be cropping the photo in Photoshop first.
To scale and center selected layers to fit the width or height of the composition frame, while preserving the aspect ratio of the layer, choose Layer > Transform > Fit To Comp Width, or Layer > Transform > Fit To Comp Height.
See After Effects Help:
I'm curious why you're using an unconventional composition size like 720x1080. The standard for 720p is 720x1280 and the standard for 1080p is 1920x1080. If you're going to share this video online it might be worth it to consider choosing a standard comp size.
Having said that, you won't be able to fit a square photo or an almost square photo at 4000x4000 into a standard sized comp without cropping it. Even a 3:2 comp, which is much more square, will still crop your photo on the edges. Even Todd's suggestion will crop your photos:
Here's how it looks with Layer > Transform > Fit To Comp Width selected:
Here's how it looks with Layer > Transform > Fit To Comp Height selected:
If you don't care about fitting your images into a standard sized comp you can simply drag your photos onto the Create a New Composition icon at the bottom of the project panel to create a new comp with the same settings as the footage you're dragging into it:
That will bring up the following box where it will ask you whethere or not you want to create a single composition or multiple compositions, which photo to use for the dimensions, how long you want your still duration to be and whether or not you want to sequence the layers and create an overlap with a dissolve. Creating an overlap with a cross dissolve might make it extremely easy for you to make a slide show of your photos. I would start by trying these settings and then adjust accordingly:
Finally you can go to File > Scripts > Scale Composition. Then change either the height or the width to scale the composition and all of its contents:
I think I will just have to make a larger standard composition size. So if I work in 4,000 x 4,000p for a project, will it render (through AE then Media Encoder) in 1080p with good, high quality? I don't want to use the cross-dissolve for transitions, I'll probably add transitions in manually when I use them. The slideshow is intended to have minimal effects.
I'm a beginner in video productions, here at Uni. The professors don't know much past the basics of the software.
If you want your final result to be 1920x1080 (True HD), then the final comp you render should be 1920x1080. If your pictures are never going to be larger than 1080 tall, then I would suggest resizing them in Photoshop (using the sampling type best suited for downsizing). If you have a lot of pictures to do this to, you can set up an action and run it as a batch on a whole folder of images (creating a new folder with your edited images). That way you don't have to worry about any scaling in After Effects.
Szalam is correct. 1920x1080 is true HD, which is probably all you need for your purposes. Also, downsizing your images to 1080 pixels tall in Photoshop will make your After Effects project run faster and it will allow you scale all of your images the same if they're different sizes. What manual transitions were you thinking of adding?
My apologizes for the week-late reply. Starting htis new semester has been busy for me.
To Szalam: How could I go about setting up an action to automatically downsize/rescale my photos? This is interesting.
BenMarkus, what is your recommended method of sizing down in Photoshop? And to answer your question, I had the mindset of:
(photo)>(photo)>*quick flash*(photo)>(photo)>(photo)>(photo)>*fade in, slow music*(photo)>etc