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vpe scene can produce such strange behaviors when the Photoshop file size dones'nt match your AE comp size.
You can still precompose your vpe Composition and add a new camera. Dont forget to activate the collapse all transformation switch on your precomp.
Hope that helps
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To give myself a little bit of room I make the photoshop file about 1.5 to 2 times the size of the comp. Anything bigger doesn't buy you any increase in resolution. In fact, AE almost always requires adding an unsharp mask to an image that's scaled below about 50%. The interpolation just isn't that good. You're better off with fewer pixels.
If the plan is to push into the image to reveal some detail then a single VPE image isn't the best solution. When the image is a lot bigger than the comp you end up with some very odd scale and camera position solutions. If you try a big move the perspective also breaks.
A sample of your original image and a more complete description of what you're trying to accomplish would help us find a solution.
Thanks (again!) to you and Sébastien - that's all very helpful. I'm starting to get the idea that my large source files are the source of my problems. But if, as Sébastien suggests, there will always be difficulties so long as the Photoshop file does not match the AE Comp size then .vpe becomes useless. (I dolly in and interpolation-up reduces resolution, I dolly out and the void around the image is revealed).
I've attached two examples. The original size of _DSC3313-Panorama is 5139 x 5433 (16 bit TIFF). The clip made from it (SdesPDolly) is compressed from my AE render of 1400 x 1050 lossless Animation. The other clip (Ang3D) is reduced from the same render setting, the original .tif (not attached because of 3 file limit) is 2848 x 4288.
Ang3D is my first ever AE camera move (I'm new to AE, having come to it from editing live video in Final Cut Pro). I made it following a tutorial I found on videocopilot.net using AE's solids and grids - so no .vpe. SdesPDolly uses .vpe, and follows another tutorial by Andrew Kramer on the same site.
I have been unable to reproduce the result seen in the clip SdesP (for the curious - Salle des Pèlerins, Hôtel-Dieu, Toulouse) - I just got lucky while stumbling around in the dark. Nor have I been able to reproduce the result seen in Ang3D (Ang - la Duchesse d'Angoulême) using .vpe
What I'm after (apart from control of the tools of my trade!) is a 1400 x 1050 Animation that retains as much as possible - whatever the camera move - of the resolution of my original files. Your remarks an interpolation are an eye-opener, and your "1.5 to 2 times the size of the comp" rule of thumb is something for me to think about, and run tests with. (Another rule of thumb I came across in my searches is "comp size width multiplied by five time the zoom ratio = minimum number of pixels required in source image.")
I really appreciate your help.
Well to help AE with the "crazy" camera paramters, you can try to get your PS comp a perfect ratio of your AE Comp.
If you export at 1400*1050, try to have your PSD file at 2800*2100 or 4200*3150 and see if it improves something.
If it still produce strange values, you'll definitly want to precompose, add your own camera and collapse transformation on your precomped vpe comp.