You simply put the source footage in multiple 1920x1080 compositions and position it accordingly, then render out the comps.
Are you sure the players are capable of doing the job in sync? The digital signage biz is fairly mature these days but the work I've seen blown up to monster proportions is rarely done with multiple players. It's usually done with a single movie that is scaled and parsed out to individual displays. Be sure you know the hardware before you commit to doing the renders. Also, be sure you and your hardware users agree on what to label the individual bits to avoid confusion and the playback end.
Myl has given you the basic method. Dividing up the master file is a question of precise positioning, right down to the pixel.
Please come back and tell us how your project ended up.
Thanks for all the responses.
My next question was how I can make sure I am positioning the video in the composition to the exact pixel. Seems a little inexact just dragging, but I will try the advanced sizing controls.
I am being told that the individual media players can sync up to the ms. We are going to test everything this week once we receive the final video. Since the entire video will be 60gb, there is the question of storage, so we are adding 64gb flash to each player.
We are doing a similar wall in Europe and they are using a single video server along with a matrixer to get the job done.
I've done 2x2 walls pixel perfect and most hardware will choke on that, so I am hoping the multiple media players will be better in handling smaller chunks.
I will let you know how it works out.
My method does not require moving anything, just resizing the comps using the various anchor positions. This will work because your comp is an exact multiple of the frame size.
Other than that, simple math will do the trick. It's nothing but looking at the values and doing some subtraction or addition.
I just received the final video and due to file type restrictions, the dimensions of the video is 4096 x 2304. So basically, each screen now needs to be 1365 x 768 (standard 16x9 format, but not HD). It is actually 1365.33 wide, so not sure why they didn't make the video 4098 wide.
I am thinking I can still use your method, I just have to create the comp at 4096 x 2304? It is still an exact multiple of the frame size.
I am able to get your process to work by making the left and right sides of the 3x3 wall 1365 wide and the center 1366 wide. Hopefully that will capture all the pixels and render it out smoothly when I piece together on the wall.
Another question I have is regarding the format I need to use for the source file. The original video file is an MOV that is 22.2gb (1:20). I was able to render it as mp4 that is 245mb, so about 1% of the size.
AE wants to output to a lossless format .AVI.
I am assuming that I need to use the MOV for the AE render from a quality point of view rather than start with the MP4 as the source. I would want to re-render the AVI output in any case back to MP4. Unfortunately, each MOV section takes 18 mins to render, vs. 4.5 mins for the MP4.
Nevermind - I see I can use Adobe Media Encoder to render directly into MP4.
Are you sure about the specifications????
Here's the deal. MP$'s ave very picky about the size of the video and an odd number of pixels wide is not in the cards at all. The compression scheme requires even numbers of blocks of pixels and color to do it's job. Even if you are somehow able to force an odd number of pixels into the compressor, color and motion artifacts would probably be horrific and horizontal edge detail would be impossible to compress or sample as a mpeg stream.
Here are the questions you must ask and get clear answers to or your project will not render to the specific frame size (1365 X 1366) that you are aiming for.
First, have they done this before? Second, can they send you a sample file, even if it is only 5 frames long? Third, what software are they using to playback the stream? You must know these things if you are planning to successfully deliver highly compressed footage at a NON STANDARD file size to your client.
Start here to understand MP4 compression standards and acceptable frame sizes:
Sorry to jump in to this thread but as a post house we need to deliver content from After Effects CC for a 4x4 video wall comprised of HD 16:9 screens. That would be a 7680x4320 canvas. I found your suggestion of using a signle comp and then resize the composition using the advanced sizing controls to break up your video into the 16 comps. But I don't seem to find how to make it work on a 4x4 canvas. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.