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This post was made in the SDK forum. I moved the post to the general forum. The SDK forum is for questions about creating plug-ins for After Effects.
This is also the 3rd time I am seeing this post in 3 different threads. Please stay with one thread, Robin. If someone can help you...they will.
The question is, how are you providing vision to the monitor in playback?
From a computer? If so, generally always square pixels.
But more info about your playback requirements/hardware/codec requirements would make answering the question easier.
Sorry that you think I am harassing anyone...I was not aware the other posts went through because I was not a member until I posted this one.
I will try to explain better. When I set up HD content in AE, I set up the comp size to match the aspect ratio of the monitor it will be displayed on. The content has to be HD because it is shown at tradeshows for the actual manufactures of plasmas/LCDs.
So if I have two monitors that will be setup side-by-side in a 2x1 matrix, I need the same content to fill both 1366x768 monitors at once.
If I set up my comp size as 1366x768 and overlay in a layer a template of the two monitors (I need to do this to take into consideration the bezel widths so type does not fall in that area) of course I will have a black bar top and bottom of both screens. This is true also if I change the aspect ratio to 2732x768. I cannot have black bars...
So if I set it up as 2732x1536 will my content be somehow distorted when viewed?
First consideration - How are you going to playback the content?
If from some type of HD playback device (tape or disk) then you setup each of your render comps using standard HD presets and you figure out how you're going to sync the playback devices.
If you're playing back from a computer, then you have to determine how you're going to send the signal to the monitors. It's a mistake to even consider the pixel dimensions of the playback device, but it's critical that you know how you're going to feed the displays. Do you want to send the entire image as a single file to a dual display graphics adaptor? If so, your primary consideration is data rate. Trying to fill both screens with a full screen image is going to take a very serious disk array to keep up with the data rate.
As for designing your project, I'd start off with a 2X wide 720 HD comp rather than a 2X wide 1080 comp since your monitors are not full 1080I HD capable. That wold mean your comp would be 2560 X 720 and that you'd drop that comp into two 720 HD comps and adjust position of each to give you the left and right sides. The rendering 720 comps would be set up using the presets so they would have the proper PAR for output to tape or to BlueRay disk.
Hope this helps. These are only suggestions. Without knowing exactly how you plan send the video to these two monitors, it's impossible to give you exact guidelines.
Thanks Rick, this is exactly what I am talking about. I do my final output render as one .mov file in AE on a PC (I do the original AE artwork on the MAC because its faster). Then I use Windows Media Encoder to compress into a workable file size AND more importantly I do not get skips in playback that I get from a .mov file. The files are played 2 ways. First with a BlueRay player and the second is on HD of PC (there are actually two sets of two matrixed monitors.
I know I may sound stupid but because the type runs across the two displays (like a ticker tape) I still cannot understand how the one monitor can pick up a smooth transition of the line of copy that will be read across the two screens. Maybe I am just tired and over thinking this. I do know the test run when I set it up as 2732x768 caused black bars top bottom across the two monitors.
With the right compression I like QT much better than Windows Media. Just re-compress using QT pro if you have it to H264 with multi pass.
Make sure that all of your comps rendered for output for computer are square pixels.
The only way to tell what's going to happen with the text and twin displays is to run a test. When I've done multiple display projects in the past I've just put the type in motion so that it doesn't matter as much if words or letters aren't complete at any given point in time.
I'd use 2560 x 720 and set the player to full screen. This should eliminate your black bars. Compression will also work better if the pixel dimensions that are evenly dividable by 16. You'll end up with far fewer compression and motion artifacts.
Unfortunetly my clients like to run them on their windows pc's and QT for the mac is far superior than QT for windows. Plus the file size of the .mov file is so large that it chokes the windows run systems. I do always use the sq pixel setting and your right, I have never had this problem with 1x2, 2x2 or 3x3 matrixing BUT this 2x1 is a nightmare. The client wants this ticker tape running across both monitors so I can't get around it. Thank you for sharing...bty...I look for outside help on some AE projects development...this time of year I have 3 clients that all have the bulk of their shows 1st quarter. If interested forward a link of past work please!