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Video-Safe Zones and Grids

You can superimpose a grid or video-safe zones over an image to better judge its placement. Obviously, these simple visual guides aren't included in the final output. In addition, because video-safe zones indicate the viewable area of standard video monitors, you should display safe zones for images that match television's 4:3 aspect ratio. For more about the safe zones, see the sidebar "Better Safe Than Sorry: Video Title- and Action-Safe Zones."

To show video-safe zones and grids

In the Footage window, do any of the following:

  • To view title- and action-safe zones, click the Title-Action Safe button ( Figures 3.70 and 3.71 ).
    03fig70.gif

    Figure 3.70 Use the Title-Action Safe button to see video-safe zones or grids.

    03fig71.jpg

    Figure 3.71 Click the Title-Action Safe button to view video-safe zones.

  • To view a proportional grid, Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (Windows) the Title-Action Safe button ( Figure 3.72 ).
    03fig72.jpg

    Figure 3.72 Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (Windows) the Title-Action Safe button to view a proportional grid…

  • To view a standard grid, Command-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows) the Title-Action Safe button ( Figure 3.73 ).
    03fig73.jpg

    Figure 3.73 …or Command-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows) the Title-Action Safe button to view a standard grid.

You can display any combination of zones and guides at the same time.

To set the default safe-zone areas

  1. Choose After Effects > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Windows) ( Figure 3.74 ).
    03fig74.gif

    Figure 3.74 Choose After Effects > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Windows).

    The Grids & Guides panel of the Prefer ences dialog box appears ( Figure 3.75 ).

    03fig75.jpg

    Figure 3.75 The Grids & Guides panel of the Preferences dialog box appears.

  2. In the Safe Margins area of the Prefer ences dialog box, enter a percentage value for Action-Safe Margin (10 percent is standard for video).
  3. In the Safe Margins area of the Prefer ences dialog box, enter a percentage value for the Title-Safe Margin (20 percent is standard for video) ( Figure 3.76 ).
    03fig76.gif

    Figure 3.76 In the Safe Margins area of the Preferences dialog box, enter the default safe margins.

  4. Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.

To customize the standard grid display

  1. Choose After Effects > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Windows) ( Figure 3.79 ).
    03fig79.gif

    Figure 3.79 Choose After Effects > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Grids & Guides (Windows).

    The Grids & Guides panel of the Prefer ences dialog box appears ( Figure 3.80 ).

    03fig80.jpg

    Figure 3.80 In the Grids & Guides panel of the Preferences dialog box, choose default settings.

  2. In the Grid section of the Preferences dialog box, do any of the following:

    Color— Use the color picker or eyedropper to choose a color for gridlines.

    Style— Choose whether you want the grid to appear as lines, dashed lines, or dotted lines.

    Gridline Every— Choose the spacing for the grid, in pixels.

    Subdivisions— Choose how many times to subdivide each cell of the grid.

  3. In the Proportional Grid section of the Preferences dialog box, enter values to set the horizontal and vertical size of the proportional grid.
  4. Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.
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