For whatever reason, the default safe area guides in Adobe After Effects and Premiere still come set as the old-school 80% Safe Title / 90% Safe Action, guides established in the 1960s. Well, we live in 2016 where almost all HDTVs display the full raster pixel-for-pixel, or come shipped with at worst a 2-3% crop (which you should really turn off because it's making your image soft.)

In any case, both SMPTE and the EBU revised their safe area guidelines years ago to a still conservative but much better 90% Safe Title / 93% Safe Action setup. Here's some numbers you can punch into After Effects and Premiere to use the new guides.

 

After Effects

From the pulldown menus, go to Edit > Preferences > Grids & Guides where you will find a group at the bottom called Safe Margins:

smpte-guides-aftereffects.png

As shown, change Action-safe to 7% and Title-safe to 10%, and Center-cut Action-safe to 25% and Center-cut Title-safe to 32%.

NOTE: I am using the Center-cut Action-safe value of 25% which does NOT represent Safe Action, but rather shows where the left and right borders of the 4x3 raster would be, as I think it's more useful to know what part of the image will be completely cut off. If you want the proper 93% center-cut Safe Action, enter 30% instead of 25%.

 

Premiere

Safe areas are set at the project level rather than the application preferences level. From the pulldown menus, go to File > Project Settings > General and you will find a group at the bottom called Action and Title Safe Areas:

smpte-guides-premiere.png

This is a little bit different than After Effects as Premiere gives you separate control over horizontal and vertical size, but doesn't give you a separate set of guides for center-cut reference. However, you could instead just use the Action Safe areas to represent center-cut Safe Title area, putting in 32% for Horizontal and 10% for Vertical.

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Command & Conquer Generals in Windows 7 x64

Posted by BobM on March 9, 2014

Update 20-Jan-2016:

If you buy Command & Conquer on Origin it should work fine without having to hack anything. Even runs in Windows 10. Unfortunately, Generals and Zero Hour can't be purchased separately anymore on Origin, but they are available in the whole Ultimate Collection.

While Command & Conquer: Generals and Zero Hour seem to install OK in Windows 7, actually running them, well, not so much.  When you try to launch the game, you might find you get the first splash screen (where the DRM checks disc 1) followed by a slightly larger splash screen, and then... nothing.  Eventually you'll get an error dialog that "a serious error has occurred" and that "game.dat" has crashed.

For whatever reason, C&C seems to have trouble writing out a default options.ini file when launching the game for the first time, or otherwise dies because it can't find one.


G-Speed eS PRO 12TB Review

Posted by BobM on May 9, 2013

gspeed-espro.jpg

To call this drive array "whisper-quiet" – as G-Tech likes to tout on their literature – is to call the Grand Canyon a "small drainage ditch."


Simpsons Tapped Out - Fastest Money

Posted by BobM on March 9, 2013

I've been playing SImpsons Tapped Out and started to wonder, when I send one of the characters off on a task, what generates the most money and/or XP the quickest?

With some free time while it's snowing outside and a little bit of easy math, here's what I've come up with based on a few of the characters I currently have access to on Level 12.  The summary?  The longer a task takes, the less return you actually get for the time.


So this is funny. I'd sent a message to Colorado state representative Daniel Kagan on some issue or another months and months ago, and subsequently have been getting little email updates from him once in awhile on whatever his issue of the day happened to be.

Thursday morning I got another one, a whine about some mailer that his opponent this year sent out that said "I'm tired of political [ass]s" -- except [ass] was a picture of a donkey's head.

I thought it was funny, and decided to reply back to Kagan's complaining with a short one-line suggestion that he obtain a sense of humor.

Well, today I received his reply:

"You have been unsubscribed from all communications from the Office of Colorado State Representative Daniel Kagan."

I guess maybe that was his picture on the mailer...