Thanks for your snarky reply - I'm not a 25 year old student. I'm 67 years old. It would have been nice to get a simple answer
There are quite a few composition presets in AE. The one you want is among them.
But Mylenium does have a point with that link -- using AE ain't no stroll in the park for the uninitiated. If you don't know the basics of the application, you're in for some tough sledding.
The default for a new composition is the setting used for the last comp created. If you want to work with standard definition compositions I would choose the standard definition square pixel preset.
You will also need to learn about pixel aspect ratios and the proper way of combining footage.
Thanx Dave & Rick
"The default for a new composition is the setting used for the last comp created." I completely understand that.
I didn't mention I'm resonably good with AE7 - I'm not a novice. CS5 has a very familiar interface, (very grateful for that).
I was simply looking for an option in the drop down export menu and didn't immediately see anything that resembled 720x480.
There is something for 720 @ 29.97 but it squeezes a standard still image.
You can use the "NTSC DV" preset instead of the HDTV 1080 29.97 preset.
Back when standard definition was the most common video format, I always found it helpful to work at a custom 720x540 width and height with the Pixel Aspect Ratio set to Square Pixels for "full frame" standard definition work. This gives you a 4x3 canvas where source artwork, like digital photos, will always appear proportionally correct without having to account for non-square pixel aspect ratios in Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, or whatever other applications might make it into your workflow (and you can probably completely ignore Pixel Aspect Ratio Correction). Then, when you're ready to render, nest your 720x540 Square Pixel Comp into a NTSC DV Non-Square Pixel Comp. While the nested 720x540 Comp is selected in the 720x480 NTSC DV Comp, choose Layer > Transform > Fit to Comp. Add the NTSC DV Comp to the render queue. Set the Render Settings to "DV Settings" and the Output Module to "QuickTime DV NTSC 48kHz". Then, render.
I'd like to encourage you to consider adopting a HD to SD workflow or a UHD to SD workflow. That is, you could still work with the HDTV 1080 29.97 preset, then nest that into a NTSC DV Comp (choosing Layer > Transform > Fit to Comp Height to "center cut" your 16x9 to 4x3) for rendering to standard definition.
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That is why I would work in square pixels. 720x480 is NTSC DV and that is rectangular pixels. If you have DV footage it will perfectly fit in a NTSC DV Square pixel comp and you can render that comp for web and mobile devices without distortion. You can choose to work in non square comps but you will have to turn on par correction in the comp panel to view things without distortion then turn off par correction to accurately position your assets. There is a lot to know about working with non square formats but it is easiest to just use the appropriate SQ Pixel preset and let AE handle the conversions automatically.
Hello again Rick & Warren
"I'd like to encourage you to consider adopting a HD to SD workflow or a UHD to SD workflow. That is, you could still work with the HDTV 1080 29.97 preset, then nest that into a NTSC DV Comp (choosing Layer > Transform > Fit to Comp Height to "center cut" your 16x9 to 4x3) for rendering to standard definition."
This makes perfect sense. Perhaps I might not see as much of a loss in pixels using this?
Would love to give CORRECT answers to both of you as I could see you both maintain a professional, courteous, and very helpful attitude.