10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2011 10:28 AM by Dave LaRonde

    Understanding the size of screen and images on it.

    jmm2255

      First, a quick thanks to you Todd and others who are providing excellent help. Even deciding what a given thing is can be problematic, let alone knowing where to look for an answer.

       

      I created a credit sequence with 20 pt font. It seemed appropriate in the basic frame, which is perhaps a third or bit less than the screen width. I have the magnification ratio set at 100%, with view set at 1 at the bottom right of the screen.

       

      However, when I previewed the credits at full screen using the check box in the preview pane, the font stayed the same size, rather than appearing much bigger as expected, and almost all of the text was visible on the screen, instead of most of it being concealed below the screen line. My first question is, which image is the correctly proportioned one? Or rather, how can I view the credits in the exact proportion as they would appear on another device, like a television or movie screen? And can I preview the credits on my full computer screen, to better simulate how the image would appear on a bigger screen?

        • 1. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          It's time for a little AE Basic Understanding.  AE will ALMOST NEVER be your ultimate destination when you make things.  It won't be the thing in which you use your animations.  You'll prerender and you'll import completed animations to check them, but the only time you'll say, "I'm rendering this for use in After Effects" would be when you make things for another AE user or for a tutorial, which I somehow suspect you won't be making for a while.

           

          You'll almost always make them for some other application, and you have to know how it will be used BEFORE you begin your project.  Among the various things you'll need to know are:

          1. The NEXT application that will use your work
          2. Horizontal & Vertical resolution
          3. Frame rate
          4. Pixel Aspect Ratio
          5. Type of file: movie, still image or image sequence
          6. Codec for Delivery

           

          That's the basic list.  I won't get into minutiae like the difference between 30 and 29.97, 60 and 59.94, 24 and 23.976, but just know they're important.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
            jmm2255 Level 1

            Hmmm... In a way I am sorry to hear that. I was just starting to get the hang of AE, and even managed to get a wav. audio file in my composition for music, and thus would like to have been able to complete the project there rather than import it into another Creative suites application. So, what program would you suggest I move the composition into, to finalize it?

            • 3. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              Since you don't mention the application or device you intend to use for playback, I have no idea what to tell you.

              • 4. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                jmm2255 Level 1

                Well, what does everyone else do? I mean just like home audio recording, everyone seems to be a producer today, what with Youtube, webcasting, independent movie makers etc. What is the most common application or playback device targeted by others who want to have their video accessible to as many viewers as possible, regardless of the specific device?

                • 5. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                  What is the most common application or playback device targeted by others who want to have their video accessible to as many viewers as possible, regardless of the specific device?

                   

                  Ain't no such thing.  If you want to concentrate on just two, author yourself a DVD (720x40, 29.97 fps) if it's just for you, or make a 1280x720 h.264 file at either 29.97 or 59.94 if you're going to post it for your friends; use Adobe Media encoder to make the h.264, because AE is crummy at the task.

                  • 6. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                    jmm2255 Level 1

                    I have to admit that I cannot comprehend that answer on any level. My first (perhaps naive) question is, what happens if people try to share a video or file of a video encoded say at 1280 by 720, and their player's are not compatible with the codec? Will the video appear as jibberish? Will it be compressed in the horizontal or vertical orientation? Will it play too fast or slow?

                     

                    I just cannot believe that in this day and age when it appears to an external observer -who is not tech savvy- that everything is interconnected, and people will watch the very same video content on everything from a computer (with all kinds of playback options, Windows media player, Real Player, and many others) to a TV, blackberry, iPad, DVD player, or even a fridge(!), that there is no conformity of standards, or that video cannot be played on multiple media sources. It just makes makes no sense. How do you explain the apparent ease with which video content is exchanged between persons, programs, or devices?

                    • 7. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                      Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      jmm2255 wrote:

                       

                      However, when I previewed the credits at full screen using the check box in the preview pane, the font stayed the same size, rather than appearing much bigger as expected, and almost all of the text was visible on the screen, instead of most of it being concealed below the screen line.

                      I don't understand your description here.  Can you post a screen grab to better illustrate the problem?

                       

                      jmm2255 wrote:

                      My first question is, which image is the correctly proportioned one? Or rather, how can I view the credits in the exact proportion as they would appear on another device, like a television or movie screen? And can I preview the credits on my full computer screen, to better simulate how the image would appear on a bigger screen?

                      As I've mentioned in the other thread you've started on this topic, your composition settings define how your file will be output.  To view RAM previews at full screen size, you could (a) render a Quicktime file and play it at full screen, (b) define a second computer monitor as your Video Preview monitor in Preferences, or (c) use a Firewire device or similar to output previews to external video hardware.

                       

                      But typically it's far better practice to view previews pixel-for-pixel (as RAM previews do by default) rather than rescaled.

                      • 8. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                        Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        jmm2255 wrote:

                         

                        I have to admit that I cannot comprehend that answer on any level. My first (perhaps naive) question is, what happens if people try to share a video or file of a video encoded say at 1280 by 720, and their player's are not compatible with the codec? Will the video appear as jibberish? Will it be compressed in the horizontal or vertical orientation? Will it play too fast or slow?

                         

                        Resolution and codecs do not directly effect each other.  If a device or application does not have access to the codec a given media item uses, it will be unable to play the file, simple as that.  Natively, there are many files formats that a Mac or Windows PC are unable to play, but most are usually playable with simple software installations.  An iPhone or iPad, as another example, cannot play Flash video files.

                        I just cannot believe that in this day and age when it appears to an external observer -who is not tech savvy- that everything is interconnected, and people will watch the very same video content on everything from a computer (with all kinds of playback options, Windows media player, Real Player, and many others) to a TV, blackberry, iPad, DVD player, or even a fridge(!), that there is no conformity of standards, or that video cannot be played on multiple media sources. It just makes makes no sense. How do you explain the apparent ease with which video content is exchanged between persons, programs, or devices?

                        Unfortunately, the variables within the digital video world are greater and more confusing than ever before.  Long gone are the days when video was just PAL or NTSC.  There are thousands of permutations of video codecs, resolutions and playback devices to consider.  Even YouTube provides multiple playback resolutions to suit different viewers, different platforms and different bandwidth issues.  There are, of course, more common file formats and resolutions that are often preferable if the end user is unknown. 

                         

                        In general, design for the highest common denominator.  You can easily make a big video smaller, but doing the opposite is very hard if you want top quality.  So if your audience ranges from HD blu-ray watchers to low-end Youtube, design in HD (1080p) and then create multiple output resolutions as required.

                         

                        Remember, AE is a design and compositing tool, not a compression tool.  For the best results, render lossless files from After Effects, then use a dedicated compression tool like Adobe Media Encoder to create your final delivery files.

                        • 9. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                          Regarding your contetions that their must be some best/universal format to export to, see these resources:

                          FAQ: What's the best export format or codec?

                           

                          FAQ: What is the best format for rendering and exporting from After Effects?

                           

                          As Andrew says, there are a lot of video formats and codecs and "standards". It's a mess created by hardware makers and web video services and all sorts of other interests. The best that the makers of video-production software can do is to try to provide presets for the most common cases and lots of flexibility for output. And this is why people like Andrew and Dave have jobs: because they've learned this mess and know how to work with video. It's not a simple industry.

                          • 10. Re: Understanding the size of screen and images on it.
                            Dave LaRonde Level 6

                            Dave LaRonde wrote:

                            ...author yourself a DVD (720x40, 29.97 fps)...

                             

                            Well, that's all wrong.  It should have been 720x480.  Sorry.