6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2010 10:58 AM by Rick Gerard

    I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..

    MarkAE

      Hi all -

       

      I've been trying to figure out how to solve a few issues for the last few weeks without any luck.. I've search all of the internet.. adobe website/forums/adobeTV and Creative Cow.. and I've tried everything

       

      Basically all I'm trying to do is a high-res photo slide in AE, then render it out to a quicktime - none compress file which I will then use Adobe Media Encoder (as I've tried encoding in Encore, but the results were VERY BAD) to encode to Mpeg2 DVD file which I will insert into Adobe Encore to create my DVD photoslide..

       


      AE PROJECT SETTING:

       

      NTSC D1 Widescreen Square Pixel
      872 x 486 / Square Pixel / 29.97
      Tried changing from 8bit / 16bit /32bit ...

       

      The timeline consist of all large photos in 100dpi and 300dpi images averaging anywhere from 1500px - 6500px .. there are no effects applied to any of the photos, the only thing changed are POSITION, OPACITY, SCALE, ROTATE...

       

      The are several problems that I am encountering.. first, SOME parts (thought it was the WHITES) of the images would flicker or buzzing/jumpy when when playing back on TV/LCD screen.. original I thought it was the color range of the TV/LCD or NTSC screen limitation... so I've tried to apply the BROADCAST COLOR and brought the IRE down to as low as 100 .. and I've also tried to apply a Adjustment Layer and apply a LEVEL for the OUTPUT to 16-235... nothing.. same result.. All these was not happening on my Quicktime (None Compress) video rendered from AE, it was only on the DVD.. so I'd assume that the problem lies in the Encoding (from within Adobe Encore).. I then tried encoding from Adobe Media Encoder and it seems to kinda solve the problem... but still some flickering/buzzing in certain parts of the photos..

       

      Here is the 2nd new major problem... when playing back from the AE Timeline or rendering out to a Quicktime (none compress movie).. CERTAIN PARTS of the Photos would show horizontal or vertical WAVY, SHAKING or HEATWAVE-LIKE type of effects.. this distortion is always visible in different parts of the photo.. ie. a Wrist Watch.. it would show horizontal Wavy, Shaky, Heatwavy like distoration on the LEFT/RIGHT outside circle of the WATCH and Vertical distortion on the top/buttom of the WATCH as the photo is slowing animated from left to left or where every..  the POSITION, SCALE were changed for this animation... it almost seems like this distortion happens to all photos with circular products, such as Wrist Watch, Rings, etc..

       

      I've tried the SubPixel Positioning thing.. I've went and made sure that my image are in EVEN pixel dimensions to my COMP SIZE.. I've tried moving my image 1 pixel at a time, left/right/up. down etc.. I've also tried to RESIZE my image to smaller sizes.. nothing, still same distortion..

      Someone please tell me how to fix these problems?

       

      Thanks!

      Mark

        • 1. Re: I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The timeline consist of all large photos in 100dpi and 300dpi images averaging anywhere from 1500px - 6500px .. there are no effects applied to any of the photos, the only thing changed are POSITION, OPACITY, SCALE, ROTATE...

           

           

           

          First of all the term DPI does not apply to digital images. The correct term is PPI (pixels per inch) but Pixels per inch don't have anything to do with Video or the web. The only purpose of the PPI tag is to tell an output device like a printer how big to make the image. The only thing you need worry about is the total height and width of the image in pixels. Your images are at least twice the width of your composition which is better than being half the width of the composition.

          The are several problems that I am encountering.. first, SOME parts (thought it was the WHITES) of the images would flicker or buzzing/jumpy when when playing back on TV/LCD screen.

          Solid colors shouldn't buzz or flicker, but thin lines, high levels of detail, and geometric patterns will when you send the images to an interlaced display.

          Here is the 2nd new major problem... when playing back from the AE Timeline or rendering out to a Quicktime (none compress movie).. CERTAIN PARTS of the Photos would show horizontal or vertical WAVY, SHAKING or HEATWAVE-LIKE type of effects.

          This is a common problem with images that have areas of repeating detail. The interference between the fine detail and the scan lines causes a moray pattern to appear. We used to have a weather man that insisted on wearing a necktie with a fine line pattern on it. The tie always looked like a crazy electric rainbow. The solution, run the weather guy slightly out of focus.

           

          Here are some basic good practices for animating stills. First, your images should be somewhere close to 100% scale in your project. They should not be scaled to more than about 120%. If you don't get somewhere to these scale factors then your image is too big. For example, your 6500 pixel wide image would fill the frame when scaled to about 11%. at 100% scale you'd only see about 10% of the image. After Effects isn't going to do a very good job of interpolating the image and you won't get very good results, especially in an interlaced format like NTSC DV when you're generating 1 pixel for every 100 samples. You'll get a much better result if you scale the images first in photoshop, then apply just enough sharpening to make them snap.

           

          The second good practice is to reduce the detail in images lots of fine detail in them. If your images are ringing or having problems with moray patterns try applying a little dust and scratches filter to them in Photoshop.

           

          Third good practice is to make sure that the speed of movement isn't causing the horizontal or vertical edges to flicker. Any single pixel wide lines are going to flicker if you move them. Vertical movement is harder to deal with than horizontal. You don't have to render to know if the detail is going to flicker. Just step through the comp one frame at a time using the page up or page down keys and look at the detail at about 400% in your comp window. You'll see the edge flicker clearly if the speed is wrong. You can minimize this flicker by enabling motion blur, changing the speed, or removing some of the detail in the photograph before you start.

           

          If you'd like to post one of the problematic stills I'll tell you exactly how I'd treat the image to make it more video friendly.

          • 2. Re: I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            What Rick said.... Your photos have probably too much detail... You have to keep in mind that for things to lokk good on TV screens, human perception plays a vital part, so actually technically "soft" content will be perceived as more pleasing, beacuse, and that's the whole point, it will be better distributed to the alternating scanlines of the fields. resizing the images to only the actual final size you need is a start, but in addition consider adding a tiny bit of blur. This will also help encoding quality for the DVD output. Additionally, avoid strictly linear motion and perpendicular lines coinciding with the scan lines. Rotate the image ever so slightly and make it move in gentle curves, then enable motion blur. This will avoid aliasing, that is the same set of pixels being sampled for every frame in nearly the same position, which causes this wavy appearance in compressed formats...

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..
              MarkAE Level 1

              Rick.. thanks for your quick response!

               

              I now have a better understanding why this these distortion are happening to my images... mainly due to the limitation of TV/LCD screen technology, scan lines, etc.

               

              You statement...

              Solid colors shouldn't buzz or flicker, but thin lines, high levels of detail, and geometric patterns will when you send the images to an interlaced display.

              You're right on the money - these are exactly where the problem distortion area of the my animated images are.. these wrist watches have thin lines, high levels of details, and geometiric patterns, etc.  BUT my question is..  aren't there any other better ways to get around this while maintaining the sharpness, quality and smoothness of the image animation? After all, this is ultimately a Sales/Promo video that needs to meet their High Standard and Brand...

               

              I've tried to resize the images as close to 100% as possible but that didn't work.. and I can't imagine applying dust and scratches effect to the image.. wouldn't that just messup the quality of the image?

               

              I do have the settings to high quality, motion blur and frame blending turned "ON" ... and since this is going out to DVD, I've created another comp (720x480) where I dropped my original comp (872X486) in it..

               

              BTW, because this will be playing on a LCD TV (are these LCD progressive like computer monitor?) screen.. should I apply a LEVEL(16-235) Adjustment layer on top of my 872x486 comp layer in my final DVD Comp (720x480)??

               

              I will try to test more of your suggestions.. and try to upload a sample here soon!

               

              Thanks again!

              Mark

              • 4. Re: I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..
                MarkAE Level 1

                Hi Mylenium, thanks!

                 

                As I've mentioned to Rick above, these are high-end wrist watches and the quality need to be consistent with their brand, etc

                 

                Avoiding straight lines kinda difficult as there are straight lines in the watches,  I will try to add a tiny blur to it but worry that it will lost the quality and detail of the watches.. I did try rotating some images, but that didn't make much a difference.. I do always have motion blur turned ON..

                 

                BTW, for something like this where high quality is of high importance.. in order for me to maintain smooth fading transitions from one image to the next (which btw I've use a top layer of WHITE or BLACK SOLID using opacity key frames to fade in and out.. ) between before and after images.. should I be in 16bit or 32bit mode to get the smooth gradient???

                 

                Much thanks!

                Mark

                • 5. Re: I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..
                  MarkAE Level 1

                  BTW, since my comp is 872x486, square pixels and I am rendering out to QUICKTIME MOV - uncompress NONE..

                  when I encode it in Adobe Media Encoder.. should I be using the Match Source - Highest ... or NTSC Progressive Widescreen .. in order to bring them into Encore to burn??

                   

                  Thanks!

                  Mark

                  • 6. Re: I'm Going Crazy... Wavy or Heat Wave-like distortion when animating large photo images..
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    You don't need to run the footage through Media Encoder first. You can do this directly in Encore. Just make sure that you're using the right settings.