Animation for Broadcast
ArtDes 300, Sec. 07, Fall 2008
Prof. Heidi Kumao

Tips for creating video and animation in HD


AFTER EFFECTS: For the highest resolution files, compositions should be set to HDTV 1920x1080 pixels (16x9), 29.97 fps. This format is sometimes referred to as 1080i (i=interlaced). This is the highest resolution format most TV stations will be using for years to come.
There is ALSO a 1080p (p=progressive) format which plays back better on computers.

files play ALL the lines of the image at once. Interlaced files alternate between playing back only the odd lines, then the even lines of each frame (each image now called a field) which is how TV works.

TV=needs interlaced
Computer = prefers progressive, can play interlaced

VIDEO AND FINAL CUT PRO: Shoot using either HDV cameras (cameras that shoot HD on standard miniDV tape) or a real HD camera. If you use real HD, be prepared for slow and irregular playback since a lot of our current equipment can't handle that much data at that speed.

If you are shooting HD to miniDV tape, be careful not to switch formats in the middle of shooting on a tape . At times the tapes have difficulty handling the back and forth between formats. Basically stick to one format throughout.

The other big issue, unless you have a good hard drive and fast processor, is that you will not be able to PLAYBACK "realtime" HD editing in FCP or After Effects at full res with a lot of effects etc. This stuff is changing rapidly and updates come online for HD editing.

You can, however, use the most recent iMovie and FCP to CAPTURE full res HD 1920 x 1080 in realtime very well (through firewire from tape), but playback can be spotty.

There are several HD formats to be aware of: (just to confuse things, all are considered HD...)

  • HDTV 1080 29.97 (highest)= 1920x1080 pixels (16x9), 29.97 fps
  • HDV 1080 29.97 (2nd highest) = 1440x1080 pixels (16x9), 29.97 fps
  • HDV/HDTV 720 29.97 (lowest) = 1280 x 720 pixels (16x9), 29.97 fps

    No matter what format you end up working in, it must be 16x9 aspect ratio.

Mastering down for current equipment: At this moment in time (Oct. 2008), WFUM, the station for which we are producing video, does not have the equipment to playback full quality HD. We will need to render lower resolution versions as a temporary measure until the equipment is changed. You will need to RENDER out a 720x480 16x9 anamorphic version for immediate use on TV.
Final Renders/Projects should be rendered TWO TIMES: 1) HD high res file and 2)lower res 720x480 16x9 file