11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2016 11:12 AM by Szalam

    After Effects CC Title Flickers Help

    bryced87 Level 1

      I have made a background with Text for a Title of a documentary film I'm working on. The Text was created right inside of After Effects CC. The text flickers. I exported this using Full Quality. How do I get the faint flickering (fuzzyness) to go away on the text?

      Link to Title https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4skfd5Aekgs

        • 1. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          This is a common problem. Here is how it breaks down and why you don't see flickering credit rolls on from TV switchers.

           

          Video, and TV, even if it is 1080 or even 4K progressive is drawn one row of pixels at a time starting at the top and moving to the bottom. Anything that is broadcast is still interlaced. If a broadcaster (cable or satellite or over the air TV) has original program material that was shot and produced progressive the signal is still interlaced which means first the odd numbered lines are drawn and then the even ones. OK, now that you have got that let's talk about aligning things to the pixel grid. As your titles move from bottom to top unless they move exactly an even number of pixels on each frame the top edges are going to be interpreted as having different pixel values. Imagine a one pixel thick white line straddling row 15 and 16. The RGB values of that line are 256, 256, 256 so when it does not line up perfectly with the grid a portion of the 256 is assigned to one row and the remainder is assigned to the other. In this example row 15 and 16 would each get a share of the total value so both of the rows would be something less than white. Lets say the line moves up to row 14 on the next frame and precisely lines up with that row. Now line  14 gets the full value of the line. What you end up with is a line that not only has an inconsistent with but an inconsistent color. In the worst case the line would go from one line of white to two lines one dark gray and one light gray to two lines both medium gray to two lines one light gray and one dark to 1 line white. That's what is causing your flicker.

           

          This does not happen when you use a character generator in a TV station or online edit suite because the character generator has only certain speeds that keep the edges of the text precisely lined up with the pixel grid. The fonts in character generator are also created so that the height of the fonts precisely line up with the pixel grid so there are no edges with half color values.

           

          It's really difficult to precisely line up the fonts in AE with the pixel grid but you can get close if you check the font carefully at a magnification factor of 400% or even better 800%. Take a close look at the top of the M, the the top and bottom of the o and top of the r. Check out the character panel. This is about as close as you are going to get and it will work just fine.

          Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 7.24.25 PM.png

          Once you get the font size worked out so that it lines up with the pixel grid you can use an expression to move the text up the screen. The expression takes the number of pixels you want to move per frame and multiplies that by the time. This expression works for any frame rate. You can enter any whole number for the speed variable but 6 is a pretty good choice for standard frame rates. DO NOT put in values like 5.25. The number must be a whole number. If you expect your video to ever be broadcast on cable or shown on TV the s value must be an even number.  I like to apply this to the Anchor Point of the Text layer then adjust the position so that the titles are just off the screen at the start of the comp. If you apply this expression to position you'll need to multiply the y value by -1 to get the titles to scroll up.

           

          Apply to Anchor Point:

          s = 6; // pixels per frame

          fr = time/thisComp.frameDuration; // frame number

          y = value[1] + (s * fr);

          x = value [0];

          [x, y]

           

          Don't forget to turn on and enable motion blur. A 180º or 230º shutter and an offset of half the shutter angle will work well for projects from 29.97 fps to 24 fps. Unless you specifically have a need for rendering at 60p (59.94fps) and you are sure that most of your audience can actually playback 60P footage you should stick with 29.97. 24fps projects are very susceptible to judder when played back and that can really be a problem if the screen is scaled at all.

           

          I usually just have the text layer in the comp and then I nest the credit roll in a main comp to render the final or I just export the roll for use in my NLE.  One other hint. If you have any fully saturated colors - any chanel at or near 256 (8 bit) and you are planning a dark background then you are just begging to introduce all kinds of ugly compression artifacts when rendering the final file for delivery. I'd stick with slightly muted colors. For white titles use something like 220 for all channels and bring the black background up to about 16. You've got to give the compressor some headroom or it will go nuts.

          • 2. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
            bryced87 Level 1

            bryced87 wrote:

             

            I have made a background with Text for a Title of a documentary film I'm working on. The Text was created right inside of After Effects CC. The text flickers. I exported this using Full Quality. How do I get the faint flickering (fuzzyness) to go away on the text?

            Link to Title https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4skfd5Aekgs

            • 3. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
              bryced87 Level 1

              If you watched the video you would have seen it's a title not credits

              • 4. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
                bryced87 Level 1

                Now I'm really confused. I turned off the Opacity key frame and the blurry text goes away. But it's fine in AE now just not when I render. I have a deadline and this needs to be fixed before Friday

                • 5. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Is your sequence in Premiere interlaced? Is your composition rendered out of AE as interlaced?

                   

                  I mean, I can't imagine something like that causing the flickering that looks like that, but then I can't imagine what on Earth might cause it to be flickering like that, so I'm just making some guesses.

                   

                  What were the exact render settings you used out of AE? Screenshots would be useful.

                  • 6. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.29.36 AM.png

                    This looks like compression artifacts caused by the fully saturated yellow color against the noise in the video. I'd change the color values as I indicated in my first post, raise the bit depth of the Project and try another render. If that is not the problem then you need to show us a screenshot of your composition with the modified properties of the text layer and the background layer revealed. (press the U key twice) You may also be using a funky blend mode...

                    • 7. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
                      bryced87 Level 1

                      the background is a still shot not a video

                      • 8. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
                        Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Check the blend modes for your layers. If one of them is set to "Dissolve" change it to back to normal and see if that fixes it.

                        • 10. Re: After Effects CC Title Flickers Help
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Hooray! Don't forget to mark the right answer as correct so that other folks in the future with the same issue can see the solution too.