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Any ideas what would make this happen?
167px width x 315px height
You are using "crooked" sizes which may cause scaling in teh output CoDec itself. Completely unrelated to AE itself, but many CoDecs prefer their footage to be to sizes which are multiples of 2 or 4 due to how their compression math works. Adiitionally, for similar reasons, whatever player software you are using may also scale your clips. Try a "good" size by adding 1px in eitehr dimension and I'm sure things will look better. If they don't, then you may be making a mess of fields somewhere or not rendering at Best Quality.
Thank you! I just tried that, I made it 168 x 316, same issue, poor quality and when I play it in QT it's basically the height of my monitor and I can't resize it smaller, it's so frustrating.
167x315 is your comp size for all three comps and you know this absolutely.
Your render settings are exactly the same for each of the three comps and you know this absolutely.
You shoudl be able to examine the properties of the output movies by either brining them back into AE or using the inspector in QT. Each will show a movie size and a display size. A tiny movie, like 167x315, will look awful if played at normal viewing size of 640x480 because it will be scaled up by twice, each pixel will be four times its native size. That can happen when a flag gets set in QT to display a movie at full screen size which is different from the falge that sets it to display full size.
Double check everything.
You shoudl be able to render out comp 1, which is good, and then dleete everything in comp 1 and fill it up with stuff copied and pasted out of comp 3. Then you use the exact same render settings again.