Character exporting VERY blurry. Not scaled up.

Explorer ,
Oct 21, 2017 Oct 21, 2017

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Hello!

First time using character animator but not new to Illustrator or AE. I've drawn a character in Illustrator and animated in CA - no problems. When I export the timeline from CA, however, the character renders as super blurry. I made the character deliberately larger so that I could scale down rather than up. I have the resolution playback at full. I've tried exporting the sample puppets from the welcome screen and they export blurry as well.

Here is a small snippet of the project exported as H264 using the PNG workflow into Premiere Pro. I've also tried to render through Media Encoder and AE but no difference.

Any ideas? Any help would be super appreciated!! I'm at a loss!

Thanks!

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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I've worked out the PNGs export blurry.

Any ideas anyone?

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Can you attach a screenshot of the scene in the Scene panel at 100% zoom, as well as a PNG frame?

Is the Stream Live button (in the lower-right corner of the Scene panel) enabled or disabled?

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your reply! Here's a screen shot at 100% zoom. Stream Live button disabled.

This one has me stumped! Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 6.11.15 am.png

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Can you post an exported PNG as well? Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Sure!

SO - the above exported perfectly fine (yay!) however when I scaled the character down for a long shot it exported blurry (although it doesn't look that blurry in the PNG below it is really blurry in playback as per video posted above. I didn't scale the character up at all in Premiere. Is this normal? All I did was scale the character down in CA - it was obviously made larger in AI.

Do I need to create a different AI of the character for each shot size I intend to use?

Scene - MushroomgirlREDRAWN 2.003.pngScene - MushroomgirlREDRAWN 3.002.png

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Scaling the artwork in Character Animator would be the way to go because vectors aren't transferred over Dynamic Link connections to Premiere Pro or After Effects at this time.

However, for Illustrator artwork, make sure you have the Render as Vector option enabled. Select the puppet in the Project panel, then enable that option located near the top of the Properties panel. See if that improves things.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 20, 2018 Apr 20, 2018

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Also, in Version 1.5, Illustrator-based puppets have a Resolution control (in the Properties panel) when Render as Vector is unchecked. Increasing this rasterization resolution to High (400%) might help, too.

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Render as vector already checked. Doesn't help sorry.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Hmm, and the Ch scene in Premiere Pro is in a 1920x1080 sequence, correct?

Is the Premiere Pro project using hardware acceleration. If you switch to software rendering does it improve things? Or is there some other playback setting in Premiere Pro that affects scaling?

If you have After Effects, can you see if it's also blurry there when you import the Ch scene into it? Just want to identify if it's something specific to Premiere Pro or affects any Dynamic Link client.

Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Yes for 1080p size. Nothing to affect scaling in PP. The actual PNGs that come out of CA are blurry. I've tried a bunch of different characters with scaling, but everytime I scale down this happens.

Just imported into AE and rendered without accelerator. Still blurry. Don't have time to upload to YT but here is a screenshot of the .mov file.

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 7.36.05 am.png

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 23, 2017 Oct 23, 2017

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Can you export the puppet (select it in the Project panel, then choose File > Export > Puppet, and save a .puppet file), and send me a shared link (via Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) so that I can take a look?

It might be due to the thin-lined artwork, but ideally if the Scene panel is showing 100% zoom and the Transform Scale is also 100%, the PNG export would hopefully match.

Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Oct 24, 2017 Oct 24, 2017

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Yes - can do! Thanks. Will PM you the DropBox link. Ta!

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 24, 2017 Oct 24, 2017

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Thanks for the .puppet file. Placing it in a 1920x1080 scene in Character, and scaling the puppet track (using the Transform > Scale parameter) to 40% so that the puppet can be visible completely within the scene, seems to look OK to be when I export the scene to a PNG sequence (File > Export > PNG Sequence and WAV). See attached still image. The lines are a little soft, but they're not aliased or broken up like in your example from yesterday.

scaled_40pct.00.png

I then dragged the Character scene into Premiere Pro CC sequence of the same dimensions, and it looks OK in the Program panel. I then exported to a QuickTime Movie and it seemed OK there. The lines seem similar. See attached still from the exported movie as well.

still_from_exported_mov.png

In my test, I turned off the camera so that there is no movement in the head. If you disable the Face behavior or turn off the webcam input, does it look different? Use a Transform > Scale of 40% in Character.

If you export from Character (File > Export > PNG Sequence and WAV), is it then very blurry (blurrier than my example)?

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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Hey Jeff,

Sorry for the delay. Had some client work to catch up on.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to replicated your results. I'm be happy with your results (if I could use the clipping mask) but I've tried as you indicated - with 40% transform and camera disabled - but still quite blurry and aliased.

TEST for Adobe.003.png

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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I tried without the clipping mask and LP groups, but same.

TEST shapes only.002.png

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2017 Oct 27, 2017

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Just for comparison - I've made up a quick face in illustrator with shapes and lines only.

It exports at 100% like this:

Scene - blue blob test.007.png

I'm happy with these results, but love using clipping masks and patterns and fine line work. Do you think it's the art style?

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 27, 2017 Nov 27, 2017

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Sorry for the delay. The lines are thin, but am wondering if Premiere Pro might be doing some additional softening. I'm assuming the Premiere Pro sequence is being viewed at 100%?

If you export your Character Animator scene as a PNG sequence (i.e., File > Export > PNG Sequence and WAV), then import the .xml file that also gets created into Premiere Pro, is it also softer?

In other words, is the PNG sequence looking OK outside of Premiere Pro, but not as good inside of Premiere Pro?

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2018 Feb 03, 2018

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Hi Jeff,

Sorry for the delay too! No it's not Premiere. It's coming out of CH soft in the PNG export. I still don't know the problem. Have somewhat abandoned trying to figure it out. Nothing seems to fix it. Am hoping that future updates will magically fix this problem for me!

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Explorer ,
Apr 20, 2018 Apr 20, 2018

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Hi Jeff,

Yes the 400% resolution helps! Thanks!

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