5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 15, 2010 10:01 AM by Todd_Kopriva

    Nested Compositions

    ldsphilosopher

      For the past 8 months, I've been working on a video that has a mixture of motion typography and animation. I am nearing the completion of the project, but I fear that I've made a fatal error.
      I've noticed that in some segments, the text is fuzzier/blurrier than in others. Also, the sound is softer in some segments than others (even though the original track has uniform volume).
      I've discovered that the text is fuzzier/blurrier and the sound is softer when they are in a <i>nested</i> composition. My video is full of them. Dozens, if not over a hundred, of them (it's 6-7 minutes long and has hundreds of component parts).
      Do nested compositions dilute the quality of what they contain? If so, how do I fix it?
      Nested compositions have really simplified my work, because there are many scenes where I animated a block of text, and then I precomposed it, and then animated the entire pre-composition in 3D space.  "Collapsing transformations" or "Rasterize continuously" undoes these higher-level animations. However, when the text or sound is 4 or 5 nested compositions deep, the quality of the image/sound becomes intolerable.
      Have I made a completely avoidable, amateur mistake?

        • 1. Re: Nested Compositions
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          Have I made a completely avoidable, amateur mistake?

           

          Yes, quite likely.

           

          a) You placed your nested comps at sub-pixel position values, enforcing resampling over and over again

          b) You may not inherit switches correctly due to combinations of features you use, like e.g. layer styles always taking precedence over other effects

          c) You may use OpenGL and ultimately simply exhaust your resources

          d) Different framerates, motion blur and time remapping settings in comps along with incorrect footage interpretation

          e) Any other destructive operations like e.g. the use of distortion effects on insufficient resolution footage

           

          It's definitely not the program's fault; I do this all the time nesting comps inside comps inside comps. So check. Audio is a different matter, but AE is not an audio sequencing program. It is well imaginable that based on yourr timing certain audio snippets in the pre-comps will also be resampled unfavorably and since AE isn't too smart about it, this may introduce any number of artifacts. You would do this much better in Soundbooth or Premiere and then only include the flattened track in your AE render.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Nested Compositions
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

            Sorry to butt in, I have an observation to make.

            The post implies After Effects is being used as an assembly system, a nonlinear video editor. This is a common misperception, probably caused by the apparent capabilities of the interface, and a misapplication of AE's limited editing capabilities. Nesting nests within nested nests only complicates inappropriate efforts.

             

            Strongly urge the OP to try to back out of the project and objectively analyze the flow of one comp to the next comp. The rarely used graphical display can help deconstruct the problems caused by dependencies and interactive nesting.

             

            Make a copy of the project.

             

            Carefully consider renaming many of the nested comps so they make sense. These are some of the names I often use: Generators create new media, containers hold many different nests or the reimported rendered output from generators, boxes are 3D containers, Worlds are collections of 3D boxes.

             

            Then try to determine what can be rendered and imported as movies instead of using precomps.

             

            Then consider creating finished movies that will be imported into Premiere or FCP for assembly.

             

            bogiesan

            • 3. Re: Nested Compositions
              ldsphilosopher Level 1

              a) You placed your nested comps at sub-pixel position values, enforcing resampling over and over again

               

              If this is the case, how can I know? And how would I fix it? I've never heard of the concept before...

              • 4. Re: Nested Compositions
                ldsphilosopher Level 1

                Excellent suggestions! I'm aware of the difference between Premiere and After Effects that you describe... but maybe I'm doing too much with After Effects and too little with Premiere.

                 

                The video I'm making is similar in style to this one (except mine is between 6 and 7 minutes long): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT_nuwm252I Kinetic Typography is accompanied by animations that sometimes interact with the words, and each scene flows seamless into the next one. It would be very difficult to create the kinds of transitions I'm doing in Premiere, since the transitions involve content of the scene itself. Would it be inappropriate, therefore, to use After Effects to generate the entire length of the video?

                • 5. Re: Nested Compositions
                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                  > a) You placed your nested comps at sub-pixel position values, enforcing resampling over and over again

                   

                  If this is the case, how can I know? And how would I fix it? I've never heard of the concept before...

                   

                  See "Layer image quality and subpixel positioning".

                   

                  When confronted with a term that you don't know, try the After Effects Community Help search.