17 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2011 2:32 PM by Movie Geek

    Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry

    Movie Geek

      Hello everybody. This is my first post, so bear with me.

       

      I am fairly new to After Effects -and the Adobe Production Premium in general, actually- I spent most of my time in film school editing with FCP (I've found that I do like PPro better, though).

       

      In any case, I am attempting to create a promo video for my company, and I prefer to do my color-correction in AE (since PPro's stock color correction isn't exactly the best) and so I am utilizing the "Replace with After Effects compositon" command in Premiere Pro. It will load into AE fine, I will do my effects and color correction and whatnot, but when I go back into Premiere Pro, the video that I had manipulated in AE is blurry and unattractive, even after rendering and/or exporting as an .AVI.

       

      My export settings are not in question, as regular PPro video looks great when I export, only the AE composition portion is blurry.

       

      Am I doing something wrong? Is there anything I can do to preserve the video quality when linking AE compositions and PPro projects? Could it be a hardware issue?

       

       

      For reference:

       

      Video shot on Canon XL-2

      720x480

      16:9 (1.2121)

      NTSC

      29.7 FPS

       

      System:

      Operating System: Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit)

      Processor: Intel Core i5 2.67GHz

      RAM: 8GB

      GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 210

       

      I know my system sucks for editing, but I haven't been able to convince my bosses to buy me a turnkey system yet. But, I've still got hope!

        • 1. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          How does that same video look in AE?

          • 2. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
            Movie Geek Level 1

            The video looks just fine in After Effects. I realized after posting that one of the issues was that when interpreting the footage in AE, the "Seperate Fields" option was set to "Lower." I switched it to "off" and that, at least, removed the scan lines that I was getting when porting the comp back to PPro.

             

            The video still looks a bit blurry, though, and I'm sure it must be some sort of user error on my part that results in the degradation of the image quality. I'm just not sure what it could be.

             

            I double checked my framerate and image size, and they match.

            • 3. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              OK.

               

              Why are you interpreting the footage in AE?  Doing so will change it from what it was in the PP sequence.  If you want to Interpret it, you should do so inside of PP before it get's to AE.

              • 4. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                Movie Geek Level 1

                AE was displaying that it was only using the lower field, so when I sent it back to PPro it had scan lines. So in AE I went into Interpret Footage and just turned Field Separation off.

                 

                That removed the scan lines, but the video itself -once I go back from AE to PPro- is still blurry, even if I don't interpret the footage in AE.

                • 5. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                  OK, something's not right here.

                   

                  What are the exact specs of your PP sequence?

                  • 6. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                    Movie Geek Level 1

                    SEQUENCE SETTINGS:

                     

                    Editing Mode: DV NTSC

                    Timebase: 29.97 fps

                     

                    Frame size: 720 x 480

                    Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 16:9 (1.2121)

                    Fields: Lower field first

                    Display format: 30 fps drop-frame timecode

                     

                    Audrio Sample Rate: 48000 Hz

                    Display Format: Audio Samples

                     

                    Video Preview File Format: NTSC DV

                    Codec: DV NTSC

                    Width: 720

                    Height: 480

                     

                     

                    CAPTURED VIDEO SPECS:

                    (shot on Canon XL2)

                     

                    Type: AVI Movie

                    Image Size: 720 x 480

                    Pixel Depth: 32

                    Frame Rate: 29.97

                    Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 16 bit - Stereo

                    Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - Stereo

                    Average Data Rate: 3.6 MB / second

                    Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.2121

                     

                    Reel name: Untitled Tape

                    User Timecode: 00;53;52;21

                    Reel name: Untitled Tape

                    Contains 1 video track(s) and 1 audio track(s).

                    Interleave: 1 : 28.73

                     

                    Video track 1:

                    Size is 341.94M bytes (average frame = 123.44K bytes)

                    There are 2988 keyframes.

                    Frame rate is 29.977 fps

                    Frame size is 720 x 480

                    Depth is 24 bits.

                    • 7. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                      Movie Geek Level 1

                      After Effects Composition Settings:

                       

                      Preset: NTSC DV Widescreen

                      720x480

                      Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 1.21

                      Frame Rate: 29.97 FPS

                      Resolution: Full (720x480, 1.3 MB per 8bpc frame)

                       

                      AE Project Settings:

                       

                      Timecode base: 30fps

                      NTSC: Drop Frame

                       

                      Color settings

                      Depth: 8 bits per channel

                      Working Space: none

                       

                      Audio Settings: 48.000 KHz

                      • 9. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                        Movie Geek Level 1

                        My Program Panel is set to display both fields.

                         

                        I discovered that the scan lines issue was because After Effects was using only the lower field, so I turned Field Separation off, and that fixed THAT issue.

                         

                        The problem I'm still having is that when I go back into PPro from AE, the video that I linked is now blurry. Even more so when using Color Finesse for my CC.

                         

                        I'm not aware of any issues with image quality when using Synthetic Apeture's Color Finesse. Quite the contrary, I've heard it's actually rather good. In any case, even when not using Color Finesse, the linked composition is still blurry and unattractive in PPro, even after rendering and exporting.

                        • 10. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                          I discovered that the scan lines issue was because After Effects was using only the lower field, so I turned Field Separation off, and that fixed THAT issue.

                          By saying, "that's OK" in my screenshot, I was trying to tell you that you *don't* want to try to correct the scan lines by turning off field separation in AE.  When displaying both fields on a progressive device like a computer monitor, you're *supposed* to see scan lines (otherwise known as interlacing artifacts).

                           

                          By fiddling with the footage interpretation in AE, you're likely lowering the resolution of the video, which could easily result in soft output.

                           

                          The Program Monitor settings in Pr only affect what you see while you edit; it's your export settings that determine the final output quality.

                           

                          -Jeff

                          • 11. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                            Movie Geek Level 1

                            Turning Field Separation off was something I tried after many many failed attempts at fixing the issues I am having.

                             

                            Even before I started messing with Field Separation, the video from AE was blurry, even when doing simple effects like color correction.

                             

                            And before I began turning the FS off, the portions of the exported video that had been altered in AE had interlace artifacts (thank you for the correct terminology), while the clips that I had edited only in PPro did not, which led me to believe that the interlacing issue was somehow caused in AE. Disabling the Field Separation seems to have fixed that, but the video quality of my AE compositions (when viewed in or exported from PPro) are still as soft and fuzzy as they were before, only sans interlacing.

                             

                            Turning FS off has not made the sharpness of the video any better or worse, and restoring FS to "Lower" has only reintroduced the interlacing artifacts into my video, even after exporting at my usually working settings.

                            • 12. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                              Jim_Simon Level 8

                              I discovered that the scan lines issue was because After Effects was using only the lower field

                               

                              Given the information provided, that is almost certainly not true.  I'd recommend taking a step back here and going into AE and disabling any Interpretation you have enabled.

                              • 13. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                                Movie Geek Level 1

                                Ok, I went back and started from scratch. I kept the settings all the same as they are listed above, but didn't touch the footage interpretation. Scan lines appear again, even after exporting, and the video is still blurry.

                                • 14. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                                  OK.  Let me sum up in my own words, see if I have everything right.

                                   

                                  You have Anamorphic DV interlaced footage running at 30 fps. (29.97)

                                   

                                  You add that to a sequence in PP that matches your footage.

                                   

                                  You right click on a clip and Replace with AE Comp.

                                   

                                  You go into AE, which now has an anamorphic, interlaced DV comp set up at 30 fps.

                                   

                                  You apply effects.  (Which ones?)

                                   

                                  You go back into PP, export out the sequence.  (Using what settings?)

                                   

                                  You observe the footage looks soft, and with interlacing issues.

                                   

                                  Have I got all that correct?

                                  • 15. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                                    Movie Geek Level 1

                                    You have Anamorphic DV interlaced footage running at 30 fps. (29.97)

                                     

                                    All of my footage is shot on a Canon XL-2, which shoots in native 16:9, not anamorphic, from what I understand.

                                     

                                    Shot at 30p: So that would be 29.97 fps, progressive scan.

                                     

                                    • I think this might have been my problem. The video was shot at 30p but the sequence was set to interlaced (Lower field first).
                                      • Along that line of reasoning, PP was interpreting my footage as interlaced, even though it was progressive, yes?
                                      • Could this be the problem? Progressive-scan video being interpreted as interlaced, then being ported to AE where it also thinks it is interlaced, so it would be compounding the scan-lines issue?

                                     

                                    You add that to a sequence in PP that matches your footage.

                                     

                                    Yes

                                     

                                    You right click on a clip and Replace with AE Comp.

                                     

                                    Yes

                                     

                                    You go into AE, which now has an anamorphic, interlaced DV comp set up at 30 fps.

                                     

                                    See above

                                     

                                    You apply effects.  (Which ones?)

                                     

                                    Synthetic Apeture Color Finesse

                                    Color Correction > Photo Filter

                                    Blur & Sharpen > Sharpen (amount: ~10)

                                     

                                    *These weren't all used at once.

                                    • 16. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                      Canon XL-2, which shoots in native 16:9, not anamorphic

                                       

                                      The camera does have genuine 16:9 imagers, but the recorded image is 720 x 480, whether 4:3 or 16:9.  The difference will be the Pixel Aspect Ratio.

                                       

                                      Shot at 30p: So that would be 29.97 fps, progressive scan.

                                       

                                      That will be an issue.  You'll need to create a custom 30p sequence, and you will likely need to Interpret the footage in PP to read as progressive.

                                       

                                      Try that and report back.

                                      • 17. Re: Replace with AE Composition - Video Blurry
                                        Movie Geek Level 1

                                        Yup, that was the issue. My footage was progressive scan and both PPro and After Effects were treating it as interlaced.

                                         

                                        Not only are the interlacing artifacts gone and the video quality immensely improved, but my render and export times when dealing with the PPro and AE linked video has decreased considerably.

                                         

                                        Thanks for all of your help, guys!