AE CS4 bad imports

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AE CS4 bad imports

Postby Bloodworth » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:47 am

I am trying to use After Effects CS4 on my Macbook Pro to make an AMV and have encountered a problem (I've tried this on my friend's Windows version of CS4 After Effects, and the same exact thing happens):

First I import the footage, which is H.264 .mov (mpeg-4 .mov and mpeg II .mov yield the same results), then I drag it onto the 'new comp' button to make a new comp with it, and the footage appears as if the diagonal lines are not anti-aliased.
Example:
Image

Yet the footage appears perfectly fine in other media players, and double clicking the file in the project panel shows it perfectly:

Image

I've tried changing view/display/render options to highest quality or 'full' resolution, and nothing changes the footage. I've checked the 'interpret footage' window and 'separate fields' is set to off. Rendering the clip using the default 'best quality' and 'lossless' gives the same quality as I see in After Effects.

Converting it to 'DV' footage with ffmpegX fixes the weirdness, but is really big, somewhat squashed, and on 2x speed O.o

It's possible I'm missing a setting somewhere, but I won't know where else to look. Does anyone have an idea on how to fix this?

I have a possible theory on this, though:
The source video is identified to be 720x480 (16:9 video, no letterboxing), yet converting it with 'size and aspect-ratio as input' gives a video that is 853x480, yet this videoframe is the same size as the source. Could the problem lie here somewhere in this discrepancy?
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Re: AE CS4 bad imports

Postby mirkosp » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:21 pm

The "problem" here, which actually is a non-issue, is that premiere has a very rough internal scaler for ar flag. Basically, if you try exporting from premiere as 720x480 with the 16:9 ratio flag again, you'll notice that it'll look fine. It has to do with the fact that the pixels aren't square, but slightly wider on the width, so that the image appears as 16:9 while saving space.
Don't worry, just edit and rest assured that the final export will be fine.
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Re: AE CS4 bad imports

Postby Bloodworth » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:21 pm

Unfortunately I am not using Premiere. I have a really good understanding of After Effects and intend to do all of the AMV in it, without ever touching Premiere, already having the processes figured out logistically/work-flow'd.

I tried throwing a quick drop of some footage from After Effects into Premiere (wtf at Premiere's settings just to get a single clip O.o (another reason why I'm only using After Effects)), and it still has the above issues (tried a couple different settings, even).

I think I recall seeing the video stream information in the converter I used for my source say that it was 0.85 pixel aspect ratio (if that's what that field was, it said something about bit/frame or bit*frame.....)

In anycase, if I actually prepared the footage with avisynth or whatever programs you guys suggest using, I'm sure I could figure out the problem easier, but I don't really have access to a Windows computer to use those programs.... is there a way to prepare an H.264 source for editing in After Effects on a Mac?
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Re: AE CS4 bad imports

Postby Bloodworth » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:43 pm

Edit: looking at it now the information given by 'Multimedia Analysis Box' says
Code: Select all
Bits/(Pixel*Frames): 0.158
so not .85 like posted earlier....

Also why can't you edit your posts?
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Re: AE CS4 bad imports

Postby post-it » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:02 pm

Bloodworth wrote:... why can't you edit your posts?
once Admin sets that option for you, you can edit your posts.
That option is not up to us;
it is given as a prevaledge to those who are deemed worthy by the MODs.
(( basically, it keeps people from erasing their messages -or- changing the
subject ... which makes those who are answering their questions not look
stupid for answering the wrong question. )) 8-)
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Re: AE CS4 bad imports

Postby Pwolf » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:08 am

a few things to look into:

1) turn off fast previews, your screen shot says it's on (the icon there with the lightning bolt).
2) check the source's interpretation settings (right click the source in the bin and select interpret footage -> Main). Make sure, under "fields and pulldown" the "Separate fields" option is set to off.
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Re: AE CS4 bad imports

Postby arithine » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:14 am

Is the comp size the same as the videos? It could be that the comp is smaller so when you zoom in to see your clip the pixels are being scaled up. Not sure if that's what it is and I bet you would have noticed having to resize your video to fit the comp but it's worth a shot to check out.
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