8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2014 1:40 PM by Rick Gerard

    Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere

    tkpippin

      I've created a composition with animation in After Effects.  Because of the complexity of the composition and its many layers, adding a 3D camera layer to it spawned a whole lot of issues with the wipe effects I had on the pre-existing layers and movement of my layers.  So I rendered the composition without the camera layer, nested the .mov into a new comp and added a camera layer.  The animation works great but I'm getting a lot of pixelation.  Highest HD settings, full resolution, preserving quality of layers when nesting and not sure what's happening.  Any ideas?  Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Not nearly enough info. We need to see a screenshot of the comp with all problem layers revealed with all changed properties revealed (press the u key twice with layers selected) and the info on your rendered movie from the info section of the project pannel.

          • 2. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
            Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            As Rick says, pls provide more info.

             

            But it sounds like you're probably just moving too close to your rendered footage with your camera (or zooming in too much).  Once you render something, it's resolution is fixed and finite.  As soon as your rendered pixels are magnified larger than your comp pixels, ie not 1:1, your pictures will start getting soft.

            • 3. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
              tkpippin Level 1

              Ok, so here is a screenshot of the original composition.  There is no camera layer added here and as you can see the resolution is very clear with little or no pixelation.

              screenshot_initial_comp.jpg

               

              Next, is a screenshot of the above composition, after it has been rendered and imported as a .mov in the second composition.  Here is where I added the camera layer.  The reason I did this is because when I added the camera layer to the first composition (pre-render) my layers would move or resize and my initial animations with the doors opening would be thrown off and my wipes wouldn't work correctly.  It became so time consuming to do it this way and have to go back and adjust everything, so I decided to go the quicker route and export then nest the .mov and then add the camera layer. As you can see it becomes more pixelated and as Andrew says "soft" around the edges.

               

              screenshot_camlayer.jpg

               

              Here is a screenshot from the above rendered comp's .mov file.  In the .move it seems even more pixelated and the color is not as sharp either.  It looks faded.  While it's not too bad, it differs from the rest of the composition I have it combined with in my final composition, so it stands out.  This section is my most complication and it should stand out in a good way, and we don't want the quality to distract the viewer from message and fun animation.

               

              screenshot_video.jpg

               

              So if Andrew is correct, then do I have to go back and add the camera layer to the original composition and if so, is there a way to do so that won't alter the layers and animations?

              • 4. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                tkpippin wrote:

                 

                So if Andrew is correct, then do I have to go back and add the camera layer to the original composition and if so, is there a way to do so that won't alter the layers and animations?

                It depends on how you've created your other animations. It sounds like your workflow is a bit wonky, but it's hard to figure out.

                 

                Although, as I'm reading what you've written, I don't understand why you are rendering your footage and then importing that. Why not simply precompose? You could enable continuous rasterization on the precomp and that might fix your whole issue (or not - it's hard to tell without actually seeing the comp).

                • 5. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
                  tkpippin Level 1

                  Hi Szalam,

                   

                  It may be a bit wonky.  This is my first AfterEffects video for work.  I dabbled in it a bit in a motion graphics course, but we really didn't get in to deep, and defintiely didn't do any pre-compositions, or use the camera layer, just small animations.  So this is the first time I've used the camera layer. 

                   

                  I initially used a null object with the camera and was able to get the animation I wanted but not without having to move around a bunch of layers and sacrificing some that were altered when I turned on 3D.  However, I had to convert the video to HD afterwards which proved to be another daunting task, so I just started over...and tried it a different way to try to save myself some time and headache, but seems I'm running into other problems now. 

                   

                  I tried nesting the composition but not prec-composing...I guess I thought they were similar in theory and that precomposing would give me the same outcome as nesting... but I will give it a try and see what happens.  I appreciate your help!

                  • 6. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    If you're this new to AE, you should probably slow down and start here. A solid foundation in how AE works will prevent much frustration such as you're experiencing now.

                    • 7. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
                      tkpippin Level 1

                      I definitely realize that. That will be something I have to do in my spare time. I feel I have a basic understanding, but do wish to get a more "solid foundation" as you say. I found a tutorial on using the camera orbit null, which produces a different effect than just adding a null object layer, which I initially did. 

                       

                      Working with a pre-comp layer, camera layer and camera orbit null layer has the composition working as expected and is so much simpler to move around in. I did have to lock the pre-comp layer b/c I already had 3D objects inside it and found that adding the camera without locking the layer and making the pre-comp 3D would alter those 3D objects inside the pre-comp.

                       

                      The solution is really quite simple, but getting here was not. I really like After Effects to creat motion graphics and animations so this project, while rocky in some spots, has really been a lot of fun and very rewarding. I really appreciate everyone's input here! The forum has helped me a lot.

                      • 8. Re: Getting pixelation when I add a camera layer to my imported .mov.  Even more pixelation when rendere
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Here's your basic problem with the camera:

                         

                        Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 1.23.00 PM.png

                        Pay particular attention to the position of the Provide.movie.  Z value is 0

                         

                        Now look at the Zoom value of the camera and the position value of the camera. The camera Zoom value is 11,000 pixels so you have a long or telephoto lens. Depth of field is off so you don't have to worry about focus but if the camera was at 1/2 the comp width in X and 1/2 the comp height in Y (950, 540) and -11,000 in Z the effective scale on your movie would be 100%. The camera is just positioned at 800, 535, -3454 which is slightly left and very slightly above center. Because the camera is pushed closer to the Provide.mov layer the scale is 11,000 / 3454 or 318%. That is why your movie goes soft. It looks exactly as I would expect it to look.

                         

                        You should have stayed working inside your main comp. Just add a camera and a null there and animate the position of the null to move the camera around the project. Seeing that you want to push in to show almost the entire truck I would have made my Illustrator artboard big enough so that the truck was about 900 or 1000 points or pixels wide. I would have then imported the .ai file as a comp maintaining layer size and before doing anything, resized the composition to standard HD. I would then add a camera with a more normal lens, say 35 to 50 mm, added a 3D null at the comp center. Made the camera a child of the null layer and then animated the position of the null by looking at the position of each of the layers that are of interest in the project to move around the comp. Once the initial camera movement is in place I would have either animated the position and opacity of some of the layers or added a few keyframes here and there to the camera to fine tune the movement. If you tie the Camera's point of interest to your camera null with an expression that leads the move by a few frames you'll get more natural camera movement.

                         

                        The way your comp is set up now, I'd do about the same thing. Just add a camera to the main comp, put a null at comp center, then animate the null.