We can't tell anything with that screenshot but I can guess that you have set the composition panel magnification factor to something like 800%. You cannot judge the final product of your render at another than a Magnification factor of 100%. This is really basic AE stuff.
If you have scaled down a layer in the timeline to 30%, then made the layer 3D and moved the camera very close to the image you have effectively scaled up the layer so the image will start to fall apart. The basic rule is that if a 3D layer is at 100% scale the distance from the camera to the image must be equal to the zoom value for the image to truly be at 100% scale. Move the camera closer to the image by half of the Zoom value of the camera and you have scaled the layer to 200%.
One last point. You cannot scale down thin lines and have them hold together. For example a 1 pixel line that is black that is scaled to 50% will turn grey and stay 1 pixel wide. The more you scale the lighter that line will become until it disappears completely.
These are AE Basic skills you need to learn.
I'm not using 3d. This is all 2d.
I scaled down the cell screen image to 30% to fit the cell screen. I need to do a digital zoom, and while it's wide the jpg image looks fine. But when I zoom in it's very out of focus or pixelated on the render. Regardless of the problem, what's the solution?
Here's a frame from the shot. I need to zoom in on the cell so we can read text.
Here is the high res jpg I'm using.
Regardless what I know or don't know, how do I get what I need to happen to happen? Thanks!
How are you "zooming in"?
Select the layer that has the image of the cell phone screen in the timeline. Press the u Key twice to reveal all modified properties and keyframes in that layer. Move the CTI (current time indicator) to the time when you are closest to the screenshot of the phone. Check the scale value or the value of whatever affect you are using to "zoom in" on the image. If the scale is no more than 100% the images going to look good. You can get away with about 120%. Anything over 150% is going to look horrible. And let me say this one more time, you can only judge the final quality of a video project by looking at the composition with the magnification factor of the composition panel set to 100% (200% for a retina or HR 4K display) and the render quality sent to full(Auto).
If you can't figure it out then post a screenshot showing the whole AE project making sure that you have selected the image of the cell phone screen in the project panel so we can see how big it is in the info and you have revealed all modified properties of that layer in the timeline then let us see it by dragging the full-sized screenshot into the reply field on this forum. Don't scale the screen shot down because we won't be able to read it.
If the scale of the layer is above 120% then you have three options.
There's actually a fourth option which is what I probably would do. Place the screenshot in a new illustrator document that is the size of your main composition then re-create the screen using the screenshot as a guide in illustrator. Delete the guide layer and import the Illustrator file into AE and use it as a vector art with collapse transformations turned on.Screenshots that just show your composition window or a capture of the image you're having problems with our almost completely useless without very detailed information about your workflow, your composition, And the files you are working with. Screenshots that show the entire timeline and all of the modified properties of the layers you are having problems with at least give us a clue about what you are doing.
- Redo the image at a higher resolution - take a close up with a 20 megapixel still camera for example
- Take the image in Photoshop and do the best job you can scaling it up 200% or 300%
- Create a new composition that is two or three times larger than the screenshot of the phone and then apply Quality Preserving Upscale to increase the size of the phone and use the new composition as the layer in your main comp
I should've mentioned that I'm not doing the zooming myself. I am compositing this shot for another filmmaker, who will do the zoom on his own in his editing software.
Wait! Are you rendering out a video file and expecting it to contain all of the data originally associated with your project? That's not going to happen. Once it's rendered, it's just pixels. There is no further information available. You cannot do what it seems you're trying to do.
Your workflow displays a complete lack of knowledge of how video, video editing, and compositing apps work. You cannot do what you're trying to do.
You're both wrong. The solution is to upscale, and then downscale a precomp. And Rick Gerard, I would appreciate it if you stopped insulting my AE skills. I have been a paid professional for 8 years. This is just something that doesn't come up every day.
You're both wrong. The solution is to upscale, and then downscale a precomp.
How could we be wrong? You said you were going to pass this video file to somebody to work on in their editing software. You can't pass an AE project to Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, or Resolve, so you must be rendering it...
It works. I've rendered it, and tested it in FCP. It looks fine. Get over it.
zoom in as close as you did in the other screen shot I'll bet it looks the same. Also when asked how you were "zooming in" you never clarified. But it seems you've got it figured out. I guess the problem was with the software
If you scaled down to 30% then "zoom in" (probably with comp magnification) of course it's going to look like crap.
Another solution would have been to parent the layers to a null, adjust the anchor point then scale up (not zoom in) the null.
As I said, what I posted was rough. However, previously, I wasn't able to get it even that close. I'll be able to get as close as the original image by upscaling some more.
I still don't understand what you're actually doing. I'm sorry if it seemed my tone was rude or something. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just confused. If you're "zooming in" by scaling a video file (what it looked like you were doing in your original post), there's nothing you can do to improve it. However, if you're "zooming in" by moving layers around in AE, then OF COURSE you can get it looking good, but you never gave us a clue what you were doing. You said you were going to be passing it to somebody who was going to "zoom in" with their editing software. However, your latest example shot doesn't look like that's what's happening.
I hope you can understand; I wasn't trying to be rude, I was trying to figure out what you were asking.
It's 4k video, so the phone screen image just has to be that size or close to it, so that when you zoom in, it is good quality. I eventually had to get a higher quality image from the filmmaker.
The workflow is:
-place the phone screen image in the timeline and scale it down to fit the cell screen. In my case I had to use the corner pin effect to fit the cell's perspective.
-then precompose the image.
-go back into the image in the precomp and upscale that image as well as the comp size to so that all the image is included. Upscale as much as you need to, depending on how close you need to get when zooming in.
-go back to the main comp and downscale the image to fit the phone.
-then render. The render now has high quality detail, including the cell image since we have made it to be like 4k video, so a zoom can be done in an editing software. The trick is to make the original image high quality enough (in the 4k range).