Welcome! My name is Alan Shisko, and I'm a freelance motion graphics artist working out of Toronto, Canada. I've been very lucky in my career to have had many inspiring teachers, and decided to start this blog to give back to the community that has enriched me both technically and aesthetically. Perhaps my words and images will inspire you to do the same! If you wish, take a minute to view my demo reel at Shisko.com, or view a comprehensive gallery of my past work Here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Figuring Fields

If you live in NTSC Land, you've probably got a bit of a love-hate thing going on with video fields in your footage. Yes, it can make your renders look 'smoother' (some might argue 'unnaturally smooth'), but one must admit that dealing with interlaced video footage in After Effects can be a bit of a hit 'n miss affair.

The problem lies in dealing with fields in video footage that you've digitized and imported into After Effects for further manipulation. In a general sense, you'll have to de-interlace this footage so that when you tranform it (ie. scale, move etc.) you don't end up with a - pardon the technical term- wacky strobing pile of goo.

Now it's easy enough to de-interlace in AE: just go to the 'Interpret Footage Dialog box' (Ctrl+F with a footage item selected in the Project Window). There you can change the interpretation, or verify how AE has chosen to 'auto interpret'. Yes, usually AE is right, but if you're dealing with footage of unknown provenance, you HAVE to know how to confirm the field order interpretation, or risk the messy consequences.

Fortunately, it's an easy (if somewhat obscure) thing to do in After Effects. Take a look at THIS little clip (QT h.264, 8.8 mb, 6:25 duration) to see how it all works.

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