How to record puppets at higher resolution for zooming in on face without jaggies

LEGEND ,
Nov 24, 2017 Nov 24, 2017

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I have a puppet in Illustrator format (so vector art - should be able to scale into any resolution). When in Character Animator however, when I zoom into the face it is pixelated. I tried changing zoom in the preview window, changing scale in the properties, and changing resolution of the file up to 8k x 4k. No difference from what I can tell in preview mode (and when I play back).

I came across Re: Three puppet Character Animator show example  which mentioned "recording at higher resolution", but it did not explain how to do it. I am after a full size puppet, with ability to zoom in on face without pixelation. E.g. Look at the hair - its quite jaggy over the face.

2017-11-24 (1).png

The original in illustrator looks crisp (as expected).

2017-11-24 (2).png

Could someone explain how to do a close up shot without the jaggies? I have a fully body puppet. Best I can think of is creating two puppets - one with just head and shoulders so I can scale it up.

Thanks!

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Participant , Nov 24, 2017 Nov 24, 2017
Have you tried checkboxing 'Render as vector'?? That should achieve what you're after.This can be found when in the 'record' screen. Select the puppet file in the project panel (top left). Render as vector is then an option on the right of screen.If you have any transparent layers they won't work though.Good luck!

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Participant ,
Nov 24, 2017 Nov 24, 2017

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Have you tried checkboxing 'Render as vector'?? That should achieve what you're after.

This can be found when in the 'record' screen.
Select the puppet file in the project panel (top left).
Render as vector is then an option on the right of screen.

If you have any transparent layers they won't work though.

Good luck!

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LEGEND ,
Nov 24, 2017 Nov 24, 2017

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Thanks for the suggestion. I did try the vector mode as well, but it did not work well. The face came out blotchy and I did not understand why. Thanks for the pointer on transparencies. I do use transparencies for the hair highlights and some shadows etc. Maybe some other areas are slightly transparent as well without me realizing. I will give it another go to see if I can eliminate the transparencies.

(I used Adobe Draw on my iPad to create the first cut of the illustrator files. Adobe Draw on the iPad with the Apple Pencil is actually really nice, but its really a drawing app that happens to output an illustrator file, as distinct from an illustrator structured editor where you can control all the Bézier curve controls etc. So drawing a line really creates an outline path which it then fills at the low level. I could also believe there are some things that Adobe Draw outputs that are not working as well.)

Thanks again, this has given me something to keep experimenting with.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 24, 2017 Nov 24, 2017

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Tweaking the file to avoid gradients and some of the other affects seems to have helped. Using the vector mode does scale well for everything else. It renders much more slowly, so I may leave vector off during normal editing and preview, then turn it on for the final render.

My saddest thing is the eyes are currently a gradient, and in Anime/Manga the eyes are important and quite detailed. I might need to put an oversized image in there to allow zoom in face shots without using a gradient.

The other mild disappointment is I had a few places I was using opacity for shadows. I use a black transparent area as a shadow - you can still see the original details through it, just darker for the shadow. This does not work with vector rendering mode, so shadows over a moving eye pupil are not possible to do. The shadow cannot be a part of the eye as it is not meant to move with the eye. (Oh well.)

Eren10.jpg

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LEGEND ,
Nov 25, 2017 Nov 25, 2017

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My latest solution - I increased the Illustrator file to a 5000pt high character (a ”giant”) and set it to “High Resolution”. So I am not using vector rendering afterall, but the default bit map is effectively a giant so I only need to scale down and never scale up the resolution. Then all the gradients etc still work.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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Can you explain this one?
I'm having an issue with mouth layers pixelating and this is the only issue I've seen similar.

You scaled the whole puppet up to a 5000pt artboard? And when you say you set it to "High Resolution" where did you change that?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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I start drawing on Adobe Draw on the iPad frequently. It asks for settings - I always select a 6000pt square art board to draw on and max resolution for any question it asks. I was just trying to find "resolution" in Illustrator afterwards via the menus, but cannot. (Document Setup is the closest.) So I have no idea what it does. It might only be the artwork size and unit scale related, not actually change anything. Just grasping at straws a bit what the difference could be.... Oh, I brought up an Artboard window and "Artboard Options" and it has width and height listed in points. So I probably created a 6000pt x 6000pt artboard. No idea if that affects final image quality - just sharing what I do (and I don't have pixelization issues). I would be curious to see if that fixes it (if your old artboard was a lot smaller). Would be good to know for the future.

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Render as vector does help indeed, but transparancy, complex gradients and sometimes also clipping masks will not work properly (especially clipping masks from 3rd party artwork may act like a pin-tag, distorting your puppet in motion).

Therefore I had to convert my Illustrator objects to bitmaps within Illustrator.

I found, that the resolution of the bitmap does not influence the qualilty primarily!

When using bitmaps in illustrator, change the Artboard to a matching size equal to your scene settings (e.g. 4k template in illustrator). The artboard resolution is the important parameter. If your object Bitmap or vector is crisp on a matching artboard (e.g. document size), it will be crisp in Character Animator. If, on the other hand, you have a vector path on an 800x600 artboard, you will need to scale it by 3x to match a FullHD scene. It will look like a bitmap 3x magnified without smoothing. Vector will not make a quality difference! (as the Illustratorfile seems to be pre-rendered on import, using Artboard resolution in pixel).

 

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Participant ,
Jan 04, 2022 Jan 04, 2022

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Alan: Did you ever try your idea of using two versions of puppets--full body and only head and torso? I'm using bitmap art and thinking of doing the same, because I will be using extreme closeups of eyes at some point. But I don't fancy the idea of making edits to two versions of the same character, like if I change the hairstyle, etc.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 04, 2022 Jan 04, 2022

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No, I never did get around to trying it. It should work - its just two puppets. I mainly used Illustrator vector artwork so it is not an issue.

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