11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2008 2:26 PM by Jonas Hummelstrand

    Problems with rendering to MPEG 2

      I'm working on After Effects 7 on Windows XP on a Dell inspiron 9100
      The file format is 1024 by 768 pixels and the work includes sound.
      The final project is to be played on a flash card which takes MPEG2.
      I can't output my file as an MPEG2 as After effects says its an illegal data ratio.

      My questions are:
      1) Are their any other codecs I can use that are available in After effects 7 that can a) keep the sound and image together and b) will be compatible with being played on a flash card that plays MPEG2 files

      2) If I use the Final Cut Compressor on a mac to export to MPEG2 will the flash card have problems playing the sound. If not can someone give me idiot proof instructions of how to use compressor.
        • 1. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          >The file format is 1024 by 768 pixels and the work includes sound.

          Not to be rude, but there's your one and only problem. It's simply not a valid resolution for any standardized MPEG-II encoding. You will be hard pressed to even find an encoder that will accept it. TMPEG might, but even then you will have to manually adjust matrices and other settings. You will also end up with nothing more than an elementary stream (video and audio separate!!!) that may be possible to play via alternate players like VLC, but not something standard. So for what it's worth - adjust your project and adhere to the specs or choose a different compression and format. Your composition could be nested in a standardized 4:3 ratio broadcast composition for instance...

          Mylenium
          • 2. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
            Level 1
            Problems with rendering to MPEG 2

            Hi Mylenium,
            Can you recommend any good 4:3 pixel dimensions which can be output to MPEG2 from After effects 7 and would ensure good resolution on a plasma screen?
            ta for your help
            Litza
            • 3. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              Well, basically your only option is DV PAL (720x480, 0.9 PAR) with all the downsides. A better idea (if the plasmascreen and other hardware support it) might be to create a HD resolution composition (1280x720, square pixels), if you can afford to loose a few pixels at the top and bottom. This could then be rendered and converted to a HD-compliant MPEG-II. You cannot do this directly with your version of AE, you need CS3 for that or resort to an external transcoder such as the TMPEG encoder I already mentioned.

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                Are you sure you want 4:3 and not 16:9? I have never seen a 4:3 plasma display (and why would you want black pillars on both sides of the image, which is what you get with 4;3 images on a 16:9 display.)

                The correct setup for PAL 4:3 is actually 720x576 non-square pixels (1:1.07), the figure Mylenium quoted is for NTSC DV. But as I said, you probably want a 16:9 variant. There are a presets for all these, but the most important thing to know is if you are planning on using PAL or NTSC in standard-definition (I doubt the flash card can play out HD.)

                Please report back!

                - Jonas Hummelstrand
                http://generalspecialist.com/
                • 5. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                  Level 1
                  The playout device is 4:3 but the screen is 16:9. (pixel dimensions-1366 by 768). I was told to do it at 1366 and squish it to 1024 by 768 so that on playout it stretches back to fit 1366 by 768. I think its pal
                  • 6. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                    Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                    PAL is always 720x576, so your system resolution is not PAL.

                    That said, it feasible that you are feeding a computer's VGA/DVI signal to the plasma at 1024x768 and the plasma has a "stretch" function to fill the screen.

                    MPEG2 seems a strange format for that kind of job, however. If the playback system supports MPEG4 (or variants like wmv or Quicktime H.264) you'll have much greater flexibility to encode at your resolution of choice.
                    • 7. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                      Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                      1. A playout device doesn't care if it is 4:3 or 16:9 in SD (standard definition = normal TV broadcast) since it is the same amount of data. The difference is that a widescreen video has to be stretched more than a 4:3 video.

                      2. You mentioned the pixel size of the screen, but you must have some playout device that can feed the screen, and if you are not playing from a computer, you are most likely stuck with either a PAL or NTSC SD resolution. Feed the screen SD and let it stretch the video to fit its own resolution.

                      So, use a composition size from the presets, I'd recommend "PAL D1/DV Widescreen Square Pixels." In the Output Module in the Render Queue, check "Stretch" and squueze it together to "PAL D1/DV Widescreen."

                      The next question is what codecs your player can play out.

                      - Jonas Hummelstrand
                      http://generalspecialist.com/
                      • 8. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                        David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
                        Can you post a link to a website for your playback device?
                        • 9. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                          Level 1
                          Hi David,
                          the specs I was sent seem to be found on: http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/ShowProductCategory.action?site=biz_en_GB&category=LCD
                          The specs are for model FWD-32LX2F,FWD-32LX2X, 40LX2F,40LX2X.
                          thanks for your help
                          Litza
                          • 10. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                            Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                            Litza,

                            The monitor specifications aren't specifically important, but those models can contain an optional media playback card (BKM-FW50), which I presume is how your material will be played.

                            You can download the manual and get specifics about what the BKM-FW50 is capable of playing:

                            MPEG2 PS format
                            (Up to 15 Mbps, 480i/480p/576p recommended)

                            Audio in video files can be Linear PCM, MP2 or MP3.

                            Extensions can be .mpg, .m2v or mpeg

                            This means that they recommend you encode standard PAL resolution MPEG2. You should be working with a standard PAL D1/DV Widescreen composition - 720x576.
                            • 11. Re: Problems with rendering to MPEG 2
                              Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                              ...and remember to render with "Field Render: Off" to get progressive 25 fps video.

                              - Jonas Hummelstrand
                              http://generalspecialist.com/