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I made these that I use for centercut work (one for 720 / one for 1080). Drop them on the top of your timeline and apply the "Screen" Blending Mode to get rid of the black background:
No, all current versions of AE do not support pillarboxed safe area overlays. Certainly one of the things that would make a good feature for CS4, now that everyone is doing HD work. ;-) Simply use the templates provided, import them and use them as locked guide layers. It's still a kludge, but works...
It is a simple process to make up some .psd Safe Area Templates of your choice if you have CS3 PhotoShop. Use the Markers provided in the appropriate size PhotoShop project (eg 720p) and draw in the lines tracing the markers. (Red looks cool)
The psd (alpha) does not require any keying /blending in Premiere or AEFX. Use a Transparent BG option.
Many thanks for those links silversurfer. When I compare them to the ones I
got from the BBC they don't match up though; your Action Safe is their 3:4
picture area and your Title Safe is wider than their Action Safe. This is
the other issue I have run into, that different broadcasters have different
The guides the BBC give as safe margins for 4:3 Title Safe within a 16:9
widescreen frame are 10% top and bottom and 20.5% left and right. Doing the
math for an HD 16:9 frame makes a box 1132 pixels wide by 864 high with the
margins set at 394px left, 1526px right, 108px bottom and 972px top. (Their
4:3 Action Safe is 5% top and bottom and 17% left and right.)
It would be great in CS4 to be able to set templates that can quickly be
called up across comps and projects, the single percentage option they have
right now for both width and height is pretty useless. I have been importing
a Photoshop template but it's an inelegant kludge.
I was hoping I was being dumb and had missed a vital feature, but it seems
My bad...didn't notice you were in the UK (I am in NTSC land).