Thanks, though I knew about that bit, and I was doing that. Exactly that, and it was still wrong. But I just found a 'pixel aspect ratio toggle' switch at bottom right of the comp panel.... I think maybe that's it. Hope so as this is driving me nuts. Will try again later
Even if it IS that: why on earth would you ever need to see your comp without the correct PAR applied? I've been scratching my head, but I honestly can't see why that it's even an option to view it uncorrected. Something technical that I don's understand yet?
> Even if it IS that: why on earth would you ever need to see your comp without the correct PAR applied? I've been scratching my head, but I honestly can't see why that it's even an option to view it uncorrected.
Your computer monitor uses square pixels. Showing a non-square-pixel item on your monitor involves a scaling operation. Scaling diminishes quality. So, you can choose whether to see the perfect pixels unscaled (as square) or you can scale them to see the image at the frame aspect ratio that it will show up as on a TV (or other device that uses non-square pixels). This is all about previews and has nothing to do with final output.
Here's a note from After Effects Help:
Note: To preview non-square pixels on a computer monitor, click the Toggle Pixel Aspect Ratio Correction button at the bottom of the Composition panel. The quality of the pixel aspect ratio correction for previews is affected by the Zoom Quality preference in the Previews category. (See Viewer Quality preferences.)
Thank you Todd, that is a helpful, no, a REALLY helpful answer.
As a newb I kind of get my head around this, and then it's all gone again in a haze of mismatched PARs!
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If it were me I'd just change the comp settings to the HDTV 1080 25 preset. Now you're working with square pixels, your footage will fit the composition perfectly because AE is designed to do that automatically, and your rendered output will be compatible with all standard formats. That's the easiest, cleanest, and safest way to work with any of the non square pixel formats.
Excellent answer. Thanks Rick. Very elegant solution.
And I used to think all pixels were born equal ...