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After Effects: December 2008 Archives

pixel-aspect-ratios.pngWhy do your graphic supers have funny jagged edges in Photoshop, but they look fine on (television) screen?  For that matter, how can anamorphic formats cram so much width into a regular NTSC-type signal?  The answer, simply put, is that pixels come in all shapes and sizes.

Recall that pixels are the individual points of color that make up a picture on your screen.  While computer screens and similar displays usually use pixels that are square, televisions, historically, have not.  In fact, the concept of a "pixel" didn't figure into analog television signals at all -- the NTSC specification called for 480 "lines," but the signal within those lines did not specify discrete units of width.

When the notion of digital video became a reality, the standards bodies that be decided that -- for both NTSC and PAL -- there would be exactly 720 pixels per line.  Thus, the 480i resolutions we know and love: 720x480 NTSC, and 720x576 PAL.
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After Effects is a very RAM intense program that utilizes your RAM to preview your compositions when your press the 0 on the numeric keypad. You will notice that a green bar will live in your timeline any time you RAM preview your composition. This is necessary so that you can render your work and put it in motion. The one big issue that you may run into when you go to open your favorite editing application is that your computer will start running very slow or it may lock up and crash, this especially true if you are running a Windows machine. After Effects will keep your RAM hostage until you purge your cache. Every time you RAM preview your composition After Effects uses your RAM to store the Render information and does not release that amount of RAM until the next render or until you decide to purge your RAM. If you do not purge your RAM and open Avid, Final Cut Pro, or another RAM intense program you will for sure run into problems. The After Effects crew has put in a great feature so that you can do just that. Under the edit menu you will find the Purge menu. You must use cation when you use the purge function. You will notice that there are five options under the purge menu, All, Undo, Image Caches, Snapshot and Video Memory. Purge After Effects RAM.gifIf you select All everything all the list will be purged. This includes all of your Undos. Once you select All you Undos will no longer be available, you want to select All with great cation. The Undo selection will just clear all the Undos, the Image Caches is the most important one to clear out to release the most amount of RAM. This is really the only one to worry about so that you do not run into problems. The Snapshot and Video Memory normally will not give you problems, just make sure if you select All the you do not need to use you Undo feature.
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This page is a archive of entries in the After Effects category from December 2008.

After Effects: September 2008 is the previous archive.

After Effects: March 2009 is the next archive.

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