The first idea that comes to mind is that the screenshot taken was small or low quality. I would check the resolution and clarity of the original screenshot before it is imported into AE to make sure that it's alright.
Without knowing your process from screen capturing to importing, here is how I would do it.
1. Take the screenshot using the Print Screen button (this coming from a Windows user, I don't about Macs)
2. Make a new photoshop file using the default Clipboard settings (make sure the Pixel Density isn't too low)
3. Paste the picture
4. Save it out as a high quality PNG or other picture file
5. Import picture into AE
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply. I did a standard Mac screenshot which is full quality and not compressed. In fact I get the same issue even when importing an eps file. It happens with every graphic in every format.
Screenshot of what? Most graphics on your computer screen have 1 pixel wide lines and the text is very thin also. Bringing a screenshot into an AE comp and having to scale it down will result in those thin lines and that thin text being soft because of sub-pixel sampling. If you keep the screenshot at 100% scale and your comp is at full rez it will look just like it does on your screen but this will not work if you render interlaced or if you scale down the comp for render.
It would help a lot to know what you are trying to do. Taking full rez screenshots of a computer display and then outputting that as a full screen movie can be a rather tricky business.
I am not resizing anything. I tried screenshots because everything else I tried also resulted in fuzzy graphics. I have imported PNGs, JPEGs, EPS files. It doesnt matter. For some reason they always import a little fuzzy.
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You may have to adjust the image's anchor point. If it's a fractional vertical value, change it to an integer value.
Please post one of your screenshots.
Do you have previews set to full resolution? The pixel dimensions should generally be even numbers to avoid sub pixel sampling. Are you using open GL?
We also know nothing about your system except that it is a Mac. We also know nothing about your output goals, your version of AE, or anything else that may help us help you.
Anchor point is an integer, resolution is full, showing at 100%. Don't know if I am using OpenGL. I am on a 5yr old Mac Pro using AE CS6. I plan to output a video as high quality as possible.
Attached is a screenshot. Not sure if there is a way to see this image full size here. The colors always import very differently in AE, but that is a different issue I was going to address later. thanks
I see nothing wrong with your stuff. AE uses simple bilinear filtering which will always look soft as soon as any resampling is involved - whether that's a transfrorm with sub-pixel values, an effect or things like motionblur doesn't matter. In fact your image on the left seems aliased and would be one hell of a nightmare to deal with on video - it would flicker like crazy, even more so with compression on top. And your color issues stem from the fact that you're doing screenshots and your system color settings are out of whack. Well, whatever, this is one hall of a hack that you're doing here and it's no wonder nothing realyl works liek you expect it.
Ok, thats unfortunate. Just don't think my company will be happy with text in their presentation so fuzzy.
Is there any way to get a graphic in ID or PS to be the same color in AE? I am happy exporting in any way that works.
Well, the short answer is: Color management. The long answer is: Color management. And finally the only correct answer is: Color management. There are no shortcuts here. You realyl need to read up on that and establish a consistent workflow. As a start, un-mistweak your monitor and graphics card color bey resetting them to factory defaults. Then set your screen color profile to none or a standard sRGB profile and use that profile for proof preview in Photoshop (View --> Proof Setup --> Monitor Color). Then make sure in AE color management is set accordingly and again use the same profile for previewing your composition. That pretty much should eliminate all color shifts - for computer screen based work at least and on your system - and give you a crude, simple workflow that is halfway predictable. Everything else really requires some reading up. And again - you type in the image looks soft because it's being resampled which is merely a matter of pixels not aligning with AE's pixel grid. The simple, dumb solution here woulkd be to set the layer to draft quality, but as I said, the text is pretty thin and looks aliased to begin with. It would be less than ideal for any kind of video work. If possible, rebuild the graphic using AE's text layers and otehr tools.
How well do you know Illustrator?
Your example is dead simple to recreate in Illustrator. SWhould you want the text to move separately from the background, put the text on a new Illustrator LAYER. Everything will remain razor-sharp using the Collapse Transformations button. Don't forget to work in RGB.
The Collapse Transformations button did the trick!
I will work on the suggestions for color management.
Thank you all for your help!
You should fatten up your text. The Photoshop example is way too thin to use in any kind of video.
Video isn't the web or Photoshop. Even HD needs at minimum 2 pixel width text to look good. It's just the nature of moving images, scan lines, and some other stuff that's still hanging on. If you're outputting to DVD then there are even more limitations to the thickness and the movement of lines and text. You'll end up with video that is nearly impossible to look at if you're not careful.
I know this is a really old thread, but thank you! I had a similar blurry image problem today and I couldn't figure it out (importing tiff, gif, png from Photoshop to After Effects), tried a bunch of stuff but nothing worked, then I found this post via a search engine, and your suggestion to adjust the anchor point worked perfectly for me, everything is nice and sharp now. Thanks again!
Using integer values for the anchor point did the trick for me as well! Thanks Dave!