10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2009 12:55 PM by craulmedia RSS

    PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects

    spamnchips Community Member
      Hi, I wonder if someone else has bumped into the problem I have and has a solution. I am working with Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro(all CS3 levels) to create a project using still and moving images. I am using PAL widescreen (16:9) format for the first time so have cropped my still images in Photoshop to 1024 x 576 pixels. Starting a new project in After Effects I chose PAL/Widescreen and set the resolution to 1024x576. When I bring in my images and drop them to the timeline they have the same height as the AE screen but are significantly shorter than the displayed 1024 pixel size. If I drop the images into Premiere they will size to 1024 x 576. Am I doing something drastically wrong here ?
        • 1. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
          Jon-M-Spear Community Member
          PAL widescreen is not 1024 x 576. It is 720 x 576 with an aspect ratio of 1.42. I think this could be why you are getting the results you are.

          You may need to go into AE and right click on the image in the Project window and interpret it (AE gives you options). The same options are available in PP CS3.

          Hope this helps.
          • 2. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
            Andrew Yoole CommunityMVP
            To clarify, PAL Widescreen is represented in two ways in CS3 products: with a 1.42 widescreen pixel aspect as 720 x 576, or as square pixels (1.0) at 1024 x 576.

            It sounds like you've used a square pixel resolution (1024 x 576) in PS, but the image is either defined as Widescreen aspect pixels in PS, and/or mistakenly being interpreted as Widescreen aspect in AE.

            You can reinterpret them in AE by right clicking on an image in the Project Window, selecting Interpret Footage, and changing them to square pixel aspect.

            And be warned - when you move to CS4 all of the standards have changed slightly, so all the numbers mentioned above will be different.
            • 3. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
              spamnchips Community Member
              Thanks for the replies. I changed to Widescreen square Pixels and it now works OK.
              • 4. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                Just to add to this, I am confused over exactly what is happening inside
                After Effects with regard to interpreting PAL footage!

                When you go to the Compositions Settings dialogue box there are two Presets
                on the drop down list for non-square pixels; PAL D1/DV and PAL D1/DV
                Widescreen.

                Both comps are 720 x 576 pixels.

                However when you go to the drop down list for Pixel Aspect Ratio the two
                options there for non-square pixels are PAL D1/DV (1.09) and PAL D1/DV
                Widescreen (1.46)

                According to my calculations:

                PAL 4:3 in square pixels = 768 x 576 (768 / 4 * 3 = 576)
                Doing the maths the Pixel Aspect Ratio rounds up to 1.07 not 1.09
                768 / 720 = 1.06666666667

                PAL 16:9 in square pixels = 1024 x 576 (1024 /16 * 9 = 576)
                Again doing the maths the Pixel Aspect Ratio rounds up to 1.42 not 1.46
                1024 / 720 = 1.42222222222

                If the Pixel Aspect Ratios given are correct then the Width of both
                Compositions should be 704 not 720!

                768 / 704 = 1.0909090909 which rounds up to 1.09

                1024 / 704 = 1.454545454545 which rounds up to 1.46

                Using the preset comp Width with the preset Pixel Aspect Ratios doesn't seem
                to add up or am I missing something fundamental here?

                Perhaps I should just import the footage using whatever Pixel Aspect Ratio
                into a PAL comp with square pixels and then just use the fit to comp command
                to make sure it really does fit!

                John (aka Jack)
                • 5. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                  Community Member
                  Ah, I should have looked at this Wiki page on Pixel aspect ratios first:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_aspect_ratio

                  It explains it, kind of.... Still good to know my maths wasn't wrong!

                  The next task on my "to do list" is to get my head round why Cineon files
                  are only 10bit but have to opened up in a 32bit project in order work!

                  ;-)

                  John (aka Jack)
                  • 6. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                    Community Member
                    Jack,
                    You're making this much too difficult. Your math and your assumptions about what is actually 16:9 are not quite right.

                    There are 720 samples of a scan line whether it is NTSC, PAL, DV standard or Widescreen.
                    ]A NTSC frame is either 480 or 486 scan lines.
                    A Pal frame is 576 scan lines.

                    Pixels are what we make from the samples and the scan lines. Widescreen is about 16:9, not exactly and it differs slightly between NTSC D1 and DV formats. It's also almost 16:9 in PAL. CS4 gets the numbers exactly to the broadcast standards, CS3 and earlier is so close that you can't tell the difference.

                    From the numbers you gave you're looking at CS3. Here's the math done the right way.

                    720 * 1.06666 = 767.9 (768 pixels)
                    720 * 1.422 = 1023.8 (1024 pixels)

                    The test that never fails. Create a new square pixel solid. Double click on the Elliptical mask tool to create a perfect circle. Put that circle in any comp using any of the standard presets and when you rotate the solid it will not wobble. It may not look round, but it will not wobble. If it does, then you've messed up the PAR or the interpretation somewhere.

                    You should also NEVER use the fit command because this will give you different X and Y scale values. Unless you specifically want to distort a layer X and Y scale must always be equal.

                    Hope this helps.
                    • 7. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                      Community Member
                      Cheers Rick... I looked up a Wiki which sort of explained it.

                      The gist being, if I understand this correctly, that analogue video only has
                      scan lines along it's height that are defined, 576 in PAL which carry
                      picture (625 lines in total but 49 carry tech stuff) and a picture aspect
                      ratio, 4:3 for standard and 16:9 for widescreen and a whole load of
                      confusing blather about what parts of the width of the scan line are really
                      viewable picture information.

                      When converted from the analogue realm to the digital one, which needs a
                      defined width as well as height, the height was set at 576 pixels and the
                      width ended up being a kludge with much tweaking of the pixel aspect ratios
                      to make computational conversion between PAL and NTSC more convenient but
                      without making them a defined standard.

                      I realise now that Adobe is wiser than I am on most points and I should
                      trust them, although killing off FreeHand is still a dubious decision in my
                      book.

                      I should have said before but for the record I'm actually using AE CS4.
                      • 8. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                        craulmedia Community Member
                        Assuming you're working for TV

                        - open new document in PS
                        - use preset >> film & video
                        - use >> PAL D1/DV Widescreen (shows 720x576)
                        - Pixel Aspect Ratio >> D1/DV PAL Format (1,42) (by Default)
                        - OK
                        - Pixel Aspect Warning: OK (you can toggle that anytime under: menu >> view)

                        now create your image. save it.

                        - open AE
                        - new comp >> preset = PAL D1/DV Widescreen (720x576 lock aspect ratio to 5:4)
                        - PAR = D1/DV PAL Format (1,42)(by Default) = 16:9 Frame Aspect Ratio !!do not change anything here!! >> press OK

                        this refers working: Non-square ANAMORPHIC

                        everyone tends to change always to 1024x576 which is square and it is wrong especially when you work outside of Adobe and put your stuff to Avid or Final Cut pro images will be squished, degraded, whatever.

                        Remember: if you're working PAL widescreen, means 720x576 Anamorphic.

                        What Adobe has done to AE CS4 and its PAR changes (clean aperture) is another story. we'll see what impact it will have to other NLEs interpretation rules @ import.

                        read here on upgraded PAR in CS4

                        http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906c6dea-7f3aa.htm l#WSA803DAFB-1445-4870-840A-4599ECBC3066

                        have phun
                        • 9. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                          spamnchips Community Member
                          I solved the problem by choosing Square Pixels in the PAL Widescreen choices.
                          • 10. Re: PAL Widescreen format between photoshop and After Effects
                            craulmedia Community Member
                            question. are you working for TV, DVD-Production or Web?