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Forums Adobe After Effects expanding 320 .mov cleanly to 720?

  • expanding 320 .mov cleanly to 720?

  • Tod Elkins

    May 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Hi all – I have a client who is giving me a piece of animation, which they can only source to a 320×240 quicktime. I haven’t seen it so I don’t know the codec.

    I need to encode it to DVD for a presentation, and it has to look decent. I tested AE CS4’s expansion straight up on a different 320×240 file, looks lousy. Ditto AVID’s expansion and FCP’s. I’m on a Mac.
    Is there a different way to proceed from within AE that would be cleaner?

    Another way to go could be to export the 320 QT as frames, bring into Photoshop, expand each with Genuine Fractals to 720, then re-assemble the sequence.

    Any other suggestions?



  • Simon Bonner

    May 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Tod,

    I think the most important thing to do is tell the clients that it’s going to look bad ahead of time, and that it’s THEIR fault and NOT yours. How are you supposed to conjure pixels out of thin air? You’re not a miracle worker!

    Having said that, maybe add a slight blur to smooth out any jaggies?

    Simon Bonner

  • Tod Elkins

    May 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks, Simon. Yeah, we’re all aware of the limitations. It’s my client’s client, really. We’re sending them off to try to find the source elements, or at least a larger version – but, no luck so far.

  • Brendan Coots

    May 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    The genuine fractals approach may be the most effective. Needless to say there are plug-ins out there for scaling SD to HD (like Boris Continuum Complete), but since you are starting with such a small amount of pixels they probably won’t produce very good results.

    The small starting size guarantees any solution will be kinda booty because there just aren’t enough pixels.

    Brendan Coots
    Splitvision Digital

  • Bartek Skorupa

    May 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Oh yes, how many times did I have this kind of requests…
    I always say that to the client (It sounds better in Polish, but I’ll try to translate it to give you the main meaning):

    “If you have a fresh egg, you can make a scrambled out of it, but what would you say to someone who wants you to make a fresh egg out of scrambled?”

    Bartek Skorupa
    Warszawa, Poland

  • Steve Roberts

    May 3, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    … and we don’t know what the codec is, do we?

    If it’s 320×240, I doubt it’s in the Animation codec.

    So, extending Bartek’s analogy, if it’s the Sorenson codec, you’d be taking a rotten scrambled egg and making a fresh, whole one out of it.

    So I’d be prepared to say you can’t do it and make it look good.

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