Unless you specifically need to deliver a non square pixel project it's always best to have all of your comps square pixels. In your case your camera shoots non square HDV so the best option would be to make your compositions 1920 X 1080 and match the frame rate of your camera. If the camera adds 3:2 pulldown then you've got some work to do interpreting the footage so you get actually frames in the comp. AE will automatically adjust the footage in the square pixel comp.
Here are the advantages. First, you end up working with more pixels for everything you add to the footage so you get a better result. Second, you don't have to turn on pixel aspect ratio correction in the Composition Panel so you are seeing the actual pixels that will be rendered without distortion instead of seeing interpolated pixels on the screen. This allows more accurate positioning of the elements on the screen at the pixel level. Third, advantage, and biggest one, if you render a non square comp you'll end up with a distorted playback on any computer, mobile device or anywhere else that does not support non square pixels. That means that unless you use a playback device that is specifically designed to playback your video and fix the distortion, your image will be fouled up.
Thanks for responding! That last part of your answer I'm not sure about (unless I'm reading it wrong). Like I said in my original post. Renderings from AE play fine everywhere in nice 16:9 format. They just look compressed in AE. Just AE! In fact, they do not look compressed in Premiere!
Now, I tried setting the AE comp to 1920x1080. It gave me the right size raster but I had to stretch the image out to fit it. The rendered result was a smaller image with black borders around it. Would be usable if the borders weren't there.
Any other ideas?
If you changed your composition to 1080 X 1920 and you did not change the pixel aspect ratio to square pixels it will not work. If you footage is interpreted as square pixels, which is incorrect then the automatic conversion will work. Check your composition settings, check your footage interpretation. Working with non square pixel footage in AE has always been easy as long as the settings are correct. AE will automatically guess correctly 99.9999% of the time.
If you are using AME presets and rendering h.264 then the AME will do the conversion to square pixels. Premiere Pro automatically corrects for rectangular pixels in the preview windows.
If you are working with non square footage from any source you need to study up on how it works. To simplify everything let me repeat again. AE should properly interpret the pixel aspect ratio of all footage based on the format and the frame size. You do not want to change the PAR of any imported footage unless you know exactly what you are doing and the footage comes from a weird source.
Here is the exception to that rule. If you create an Illustrator file with a standard non-square frame size like your 1440X1080 or your create a standard Photoshop image or crop an image to a non square frame size (1440 X 1080 or 720 X 480 for example) AE will assume that you knew what you were doing and interpret the images as non square. THEY ARE NOT, they are square pixels so you will have to either change the aotrboard size in AI, resize the image in Photoshop, or fix the problem with AE's interpretation settings by selecting the asset in the Project Panel and going to File>Interpret Footage>Main.
AE will automatically and precisely deal with all standard non square footage inside any standard comp. It's only when you set your own custom PAR in the Composition settings that things get fouled up and assets start getting distorted.
Last Point... there are very few media players for computers or mobile devices that will correct for non square pixels. It is a bad practice to ever render anything for the web, computer displays, or mobile devices that is not a standard square pixel frame size and standard frame rate. Video is not like still images. Delivery codecs are picky about frame size and frame rate. Highly compressed delivery formats are even more picky. If you want odd frame sizes you muse letter box your output to keep it looking right. That's why, when you watch a movie shot in Cinemascope on your new 50" flat screen TV there are black bars at the top and bottom of the frame. Study up. Use the presets. Make sure your footage is interpreted properly and you'll have no problems.
Okay, I think the problem is in my understanding and not with AE. I've been working with AE a long time, but only with 1920x1080. I've never had to reset any of the program.
What are AME presets and where do I set them? So, if I use these AME presets, set the comp to 1920x1080 and set the pixel aspect to square,(where?) I should be good to go?
I realize that I'm starting to sound like a dummy, but believe me, you're being quite helpful!!
Hey!! I reread your last reply closely (I could feel my brain heating up) and did the following:
1. Import the file and place in work screen.
2. Reset the composition from 1440x1080 to 1920x1080.
3. Choose Square Pixels
4. Press the Toggle Pixel Aspect Ratio Correction button (next to camera number under screen).
And...it worked!! Perfect;y! I don't know for sure if no:4 was necessary, but it worked! The new file shows 1920x1080.
If you are working in Square pixels there's no reason to toggle the pixel aspect ratio correction to on.