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Export Lower or Upper field first?

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Zvi_TwerskyExport Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:00:17 pm


I've heard and read that it's best to choose "lower field first" when exporting. I have tried both on PAL and NTSC exports and don't see any difference in quality though the file size comes out different but just slightly. Can anyone explain to me what the best setting is?

Thank you


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Zvi_TwerskyRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:03:15 pm


Just to be clear, when I said "I have tried both", I meant that I have exported both with "lower field first" and "upper field first". If the only difference between lower and upper fields is odd and even numbers of lines... why would it make a difference in quality when exporting one or the other first?


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Harm MillaardRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:19:38 pm

Watch the results on a interlaced TV and you will see.
In general do not reverse field, if you capture LFF, export LFF.
If you capture UFF, export UFF.


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Zvi_TwerskyRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 25, 2007 at 4:21:23 am


O.k. Thank you but I have another question on this subject.

Ususally, I export using the Adobe Encoder. When using this, I can choose LFF or UFF and now I understand what you said about that.. but.. What about deinterlacing my video? I for sure need to do this. The footage was shot with HD. When using the Adobe Encoder, there is no place to check "deinterlace video footage" like there is when you do "exportmovie". Furthermore, when DOING "exportmovie", when you choose "deinterlace", the LFFUFF become greyed out so you don't even choose that at all.

Can you explain this to me?

Thank you


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redgumRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 25, 2007 at 5:56:06 am

Yes. When you deinterlace you no longer have upper or lower fields, simply a "frame" much like film. Of course, you only deinterlace if your video is to be shown on a progressive medium (i.e. computer). For TV you need to maintain fields.
For PAL or NTSC in standard definition you will use "lower field first". For HD transmission, "upper field first"

Redgum Television Productions
Broadcast & Corporate Documentaries
Brisbane, Australia


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Mike_SRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 25, 2007 at 8:45:39 am

For all PAL formats except DV, you will want upper field first.



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Zvi_TwerskyRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 26, 2007 at 4:01:00 am


redgum and Mike, you both answered different things.
redgum says that with SD you use LFF both with PAL and NTSC. Mike says no, PAL will use LFF everywhere except DV.


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chip whitleyRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 26, 2007 at 6:38:27 am

Re-read Mike's post, he says Pal is UFF except for DV. I think all DV (miniDV) is LFF or field 2.

Be careful on MJPEG cards, the field dominance is typically based on the card, so you could capture analog betacam into a Blackmagic card and it is one dominance but do it in a Media 100 system it might be another. You have to get the field dominance from the manufacturer typically.

If you shot progressive (24p or 30p for ex) it is not interlaced so you don't want to induce fields when you export.


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redgumRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 26, 2007 at 1:19:45 pm

Sorry, Mike said that PAL DV uses lower field first. He corrected me in saying all other PAL formats are upper field first.

Redgum Television Productions
Broadcast & Corporate Documentaries
Brisbane, Australia


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Zvi_TwerskyRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 26, 2007 at 7:49:23 pm


I use a Matrox video card so I export with that. The truth is, I never noteced a difference with UFF and LFF and every time I choose something else and the picture always looks the same. Is there an explaination for this?


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Zvi_TwerskyRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 27, 2007 at 6:13:26 am


So are you saying that:
NTSC: always LFF
PAL: always UFF except DV?


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Mike_SRe: Export Lower or Upper field first?
by on Apr 27, 2007 at 9:33:16 am

For DV and family, yes. Though Matrox is a complication: for their RTX 100 card they used a non-standard version of PAL DV with upper field first. Don't know about their other cards, but it would probably be worth checking the documentation if you are using PAL.

It was quite reasonable of Redgum to assume anyone posting this question was likley using DV or DVCAM I think, and answer accordingly.

The most likely explanation for UFF / LFF looking the same is viewing on a non-interlaced screen e.g. a computer monitor, LCD or Plasma screen. You'd want to check the stuff on CRT before distributing ; reversed fields look horrible. Another possibility is that you may be editing only material filmed using a progressive scan setting in camera (but you'd know that and have told us, right!). A third possible - and I don't use Quicktime a lot - there are reports that Quicktime discards fields and interlacing on playback in QT player - I don't know if this is true, and doubt you are viewing that way if using Matrox card ...

Otherwise, if it doesn't matter / show up to you and your viewers, then it's no problem. If you want to send stuff to others for, say, DVD playback, it might be good to be confident that your stuff meets normal standards and will play back on most setups ...






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