11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2011 11:49 AM by digitlman

    A certain madness of Adobe software engineering


      I posted a recent thread asking about the question of font resolution. You see, when I composed in the default screen of AE, I assumed that was the image I would see if I played it back at a larger screen size. Now let's get something straight. If I go to Youtube or any other video site and start to watch a video, the images, fonts, or whatever, are a given size. If I make expand the screen, everything grows proportionally.


      Not so in AE. What on earth is going on? Why would the principle workscreen one works in upon opening AE not display what the end result will actually look like? Who wants to spend time composing something, only to discover that at the end it will display as something entirely different, namely half the proper size or rather completely wrong? Surely there is a setting that will allow me to create the scene in the right final proportions, and if so, why is this not the default setting?

        • 1. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Clearly you are misunderstanding one or more of the fundamentals of working and/or previewing with After Effects.  The size and resolution of your After Effects composition defines the size and resolution of your output (although you CAN actually rescale content as it renders if you later choose to.)


          So long as your composition viewer is set to 100% size and Full Resolution previewing, and your preview window is set to Active Camera if you are working with 3D content, then you will see a pixel-for-pixel preview of the output result.  If you are previewing any camera view other than the Active Camera, your renders may end up looking different than the preview.  Alternate cameras are provided for convenience during the design stage, but the Active (uppermost) camera always defines what will be rendered.  Cameras are irelevent if you're working in 2D.

          • 2. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
            jmm2255 Level 1

            "So long as your composition viewer is set to 100% size and Full Resolution previewing"



            This is not true from my vantage point. 100% seems to be the wrong choice, because my size is wrong after encoding or viewing on a full screen.


            It looks like the parameter I have to control is the "magnification ratio popup".


            The two best candidates for proper proportioning are fit, and fit up to 100%. Both selections seem to leave the text at the same size. Which one do I use, so I can resize my text to be in proper proportion?

            • 3. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Sorry if I'm missing something obvious.  It's still not clear what your actual problem is.  It seems you expect video to be working with resolution independence, which it does not and never will.  You need to understand that any video content has a fixed number of pixels.  Changing the preview settings or viewer settings or magnification setting has absolutely no effect on the rendered output, and nor should it.  The resolution of your composition under Composition Settings defines the resolution of the video file you render.


              Or are you just saying you want full screen previews?


              Perhaps if you give a detailed explanation of exactly what you are trying to achieve as an end result, we may be able to assist with a resolution.

              • 4. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                jmm2255 Level 1

                While I am truly grateful for the reply and will take all the help I can get, I remain baffled as to why my explanation is inadequate. The bottom line is, when I created my credits in the screen with the "Magnification ratio popup" set at 100%, my credit font size was well proportioned with respect to the screen itself. As an example, one sentence might be equivalent to say half the overall width of the screen. I was happy with the proportions.


                Then I encoded the video. When I play it back using Quicktime, the type is now miniature in size. It is incorrect in size with respect to what I created.


                Now the major discovery I just made is that if I change the "magnification ratio popup" value (found at the bottom left corner of the screen) to "fit to 100%" it appears to be doing exactly what I expected it to do, namely have the font size stay the same when previewing, and presumably after encoding as well.


                The new problem is, the fonts have pixelation.


                I simply want to work and create in a screen environment that is the same as what I will see after the video is encoded.

                • 5. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                  jmm2255 Level 1

                  I will concede that I am almost certainly missing some key aspect of the program's function. Further, in the last few moments I think I made a small breakthrough. While there may be a lack of accord with others interpreting my questions or difficulties, sometimes talking out the problems is itself of benefit.

                  • 6. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                    Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    As I suspected, you are talking about video in terms of its size rather than it's resolution.  It is a fundamental error made by many new guys, so don't be too bothered by it.


                    A common question asked here is "how many dots per inch (DPI) should my graphics be?" DPI is a print terminology - as soon as a video person mentions DPI, you know they don't really know their stuff.  Video doesn't have inches. Video plays back at the size dictated by its playback device.  Unlike a printer, which always knows the size of it's target media, video designers do not.  A DVD player connected to a 60" plasma plays the same resolution as a DVD player connected to a 9" car LCD screen.


                    All that matters in video is resolution and pixels.  If you want your work to look perfect on your own computer monitor, you should design it at the exact same resolution as that monitor.  If your computer's screen is 1920x1080 pixels, that's the size you should design at.  Then, if you run a RAM preview at full screen, you'll see every pixel as it should be.  Render a Quicktime file of that same product and it'll look just the same when viewed at full screen using Quicktime Player.


                    But there are hundreds of different monitor resolutions.  And other devices have different restrictions again - DVD in PAL, DVD in NTSC, Blu-ray, iPad, iPhone - these are all formats in and of themselves, with different codec capabilities and different native resolutions.


                    As I said earlier, design for the highest denominator, then create delivery files that suit the delivery target.  Don't worry about how big or small your preview screen in AE is, worry about the resolution of your composition.  That is ALL that matters. 

                    • 7. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      Your problem is not AE, your problem is that you have gaps big as the Grand Canyon in your understanding about video processing, compositing and how it will display on different devices in general. No offense, but all your posts only end up being complaints because your don't have a grasp of the most fundamental things and then it gets annoying on some level. I really suggest you do a full reset, buy the Chris & Trish Meyer books ("After Effects Apprentice" and "Creating Motion Graphics")  and read them to at least alleviate your biggest confusion, then actually only start to work. Your result-centric thinking is not gonna get you anywhere, if you cannot even differentiate between YouTube fullscreen (= scale to fit regardless of size) and AE's fullscreen (= exact 1:1 pixel mapping) and then complain about pixelation, hoping for a simple answer when anything from the font itself to OpenGL to potential scaling and degeneration issues due to effects processing may be involved. But even then it's impossible to help, because you lack the terminology to describe what's going on. I know this all sounds arrogant and rude, but it would be in your best interest to not be a hotheaded spitfire kid and instead take a methodical approach, if you are really interested in learning any of this...




                      (and no need to reply, that's al lI'm gonna say about the matter)

                      • 8. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                        jmm2255 Level 1

                        Thanks for the comprehensive reply Andrew. To be honest, I have not the foggiest iota of what you said, and nothing jumps out as being parameters or menu choices I have been working with, but in the last short while, I solved the problem(s) with relentless button pushing and empirical observation. I now can manipulate the type size, screen size, preview size, and resolution in exactly the way I wanted to, with no pixelation or anomalous shrinking. Of course it is a virtual impossibility for me to articulate where the problems were, but they are solved, and that is all that counts at this point.

                        • 9. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                          jmm2255 Level 1

                          Mylenium, I have to respectfully disagree on a few counts, but there is not much point in indicating where and why. There is enough to attend to in learning this program.  Mind you, one point I will not argue is the gaps in my understanding of video processing.

                          • 10. Re: A certain madness of using AE without training
                            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                            I solved the problem(s) with relentless button pushing and empirical observation.


                            I'm with the other After Effects professionals on this forum in confusion over what your actual problem was, but I'm glad you were able to solve it! The problem is that you had to solve the problem with "relentless button pushing". It would be better if you could solve your problem by understanding the problem and coming up with a solution. (Or, at least, understanding the problem enough to explain it so others can help you find a solution.)


                            I've seen several posts from you that indicate your lack of knowledge of some of the very basics of how video creation works and especially with how to use After Effects. You will find yourself very frustrated if you continue down this road without taking the time to get a basic understanding. You can't build a house without a good foundation and you can't learn to run until you've mastered walking. (And I don't think you've even gotten to crawling yet.)


                            • This page offers links to lots of great, free resources that will start you on the right path.
                            • For the cost of a new video game this resource is an excellent way to learn AE with much more depth.
                            • A subscription to Lynda.com is a great resource. Where I work, all the graphic designers and video designers are given subscriptions to Lynda.com so we can keep on top of AE, Photoshop, and everything else we use on a daily basis.
                            • When I was just starting off learning AE, it was with a DVD series from Total Training. It gave a very deep understanding of how AE works from the ground up.
                            • The books by Chris and Trish Meyer are another great learning tool. The Meyers have been teaching AE for a very long time. Not only do they understand AE very well, but they also know how to teach it.
                            • Many more learning resources here.


                            It's expensive software and it works very well, but in untrained hands, it can be a nightmare of frustration. Expect to spend a couple of months of training before you begin to understand it.


                            I hope you're getting the idea that there are a lot of great and useful resources out there for learning AE. And that they're all needed. You cannot figure AE out by just poking around. There are too many deep technical issues involved with video (broadast legal color, pixel aspect ratio, interframe compression vs. intraframe compression, etc.), much less learning how to use a deep program like AE. If you keep on rushing blindly ahead and mashing buttons in the hope of getting a result, you will be frustrated.


                            Even professionals in the field like Andrew, Dave, Mylenium, and I - who have been working with Adobe products for over a decade - keep up with training. You cannot expect to start off in the field without any.


                            If nothing else, a bit of training would help you be able to explain your problems in a way that people can understand.

                            I hope this helps.

                            • 11. Re: A certain madness of Adobe software engineering
                              digitlman Level 1

                              I went back and read your original post and i think i may have discovered your issue, it sounds like your comp consisted of ONLY text? That would explain why you made it a certain size on the screen and expected it to be that exact same size outside of afx.


                              most people create text over video or gfx and size the text in proportion to the background, then it will be the exact same proportion no matter what the output is. If you had background video you might have noticed you were not seeing it all and changed your zoom level.


                              by your description of looked perfect in afx and then was tiny in quicktime. that tells me you were possibly zoomed in on a large canvas maybe at actual pixel size and did not see the rest of your canvas, then quicktime showed you the full comp and had your text down to its "tiny" actual size.


                              good luck