About the jaggies: if you have the pixel aspect ratio compensation switch toggled on, the comp window will be in the proper aspect ratio (16:9), but you get the jaggies. If you toggle the switch off, the video in the comp window looks squeezed horizontally, but smooth. When you render, it will be smooth and it should be in 16:9. It's one of those things you have to take on faith.
Reserve your judgement on the gamma until you bring the rendered AE clips back into FCP.
Another thought: if you shot 24p, did you remove the pulldown before your AE work?
Thanks for the quick reply, Dave.
Unfortunately, the PAR compensation switch is not on. I am monitoring externally on a JVC broadcast monitor, so I don't ever turn that switch on (I've dealt with it before before I had an external monitor, so I understand what you're talking about). The above captures (on the right) are from the rendered video...they look that way brought into FCP, played in a QT viewer, etc. The video after imported into AE and then rendered from AE look exactly the same.
I want to think it's an import issue or a project settings issue, but I don't know. As I mentioned, I don't know a lot about Working Space/Color Space...only that when I change the working space to SDTV NTSC, it doesn't look any better. I only have this problem with video I bring into AE.
EDIT: Sorry...didn't see your last thought...I did not shoot 24p...this was 480i.
The next thought that comes to mind is a field order issue. The footage needs to be both interpreted and rendered as lower field first.
OK, so we're making progress!
So when I checked the interpretation of the clip, it was already on lower field first, but I didn't have the "Preserve Edges (Best Quality Only)" box checked, which took care of the jaggies. Thanks for pointing me there, Dave. I'll make sure it's that way in the render queue as well.
Now, I hav to figure out why it doesn't "look" interlaced...it looks progressive. Maybe it's just me (which it probably is). You know what I mean...the example I usually give is the difference when you're watching "The Cosby Show" vs. "Cheers"...one's taped, the other is filmed. I'll check the calibration of my external monitor as well.
Other than that, I'm happy.
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Now, I hav to figure out why it doesn't "look" interlaced...it looks progressive.
Was the camera set to progressive scan? If it was, it will record two fields from the same instant in time, making the footage look progressive. The HVX 200 at my station can do that -- it's interlaced footage, but still progressive. Once you bring it into AE, you have to interpret the field order as None and render no fields if you make motion graphics that need to have motion that matches the footage.
I'll take a look, Dave, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't set to progressive scan. In FCP it looks "interlaced" or "live" and definitely not progressive (when I view it on the external monitor). I didn't know the HVX 200 can do that in the first place. Good to know. Good tip on the motion graphics as well.