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HD to SD with AJA

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Pete CamdenHD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 4:55:05 am

Hello folks. I am another who's asking about HD to SD conversion.

The show I am doing is a mixed bag of 720p and 1080i50 footage. Europe. PAL.
It will air SD so I need to convert the final timeline and what I've gathered is that AJA will do the best job compared to let say compressor.

Would you guys and girls just export the final seq to AJA Kona LH 625 8 bit (720x576)? Is that it or should I take something more into consideration?

It's a bit tricky show to master because most of the graphics provided by the format holder is SD, but the show was shot in HD to get more depth for grading. Graphics looks awful if I first edit them into HD timeline and then convert the timeline to SD. Therefore my approach is to get the best HD-SD conversion for the edited HD footage and then re-scale the graphics on top of that. Does that sound reasonable or would yous do something else?

Thanks again Cow folks. You are dynamite!

It's like what Lenin said... you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh...


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Bret WilliamsRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 5:35:19 am

The two are completely different things. Compressor encodes media. AJA outputs media to tape or monitor. Yes, AJA will do a much better job. You simply need a SD tape deck (or other device) to record the AJA output. If you have two workstations, you can take the output of one AJA to the input of the other AJA I suppose on the other workstation. Instant perfect downconvert with no tape involved.

I use the MXO2 mini and it's downconvert is seamless. While I edit I have the hdmi of the mini output HD to an HD LCD and an SD center cut output to a SD monitor at the same time. Very helpful to feel how it's going to look when viewed in 4:3 SD.


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Pete CamdenRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 6:07:42 am

Thanks for the quick answer.

In practice, how do you go from one AJA to another? Have never done such a thing and sounds great.

Otherwise I could put the HD timeline through AJA to a digibeta and capture it back to apply the graphics. The turn over for the show is quick and there are 40 eps to do. So I would really need to find the most streamlined workflow.

Cheers mates,

It's like what Lenin said... you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh...


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Michael GissingRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 6:56:09 am

Do you need an HD output? Whilst I understand the extra control of grading in HD if you never output as HD, then I would capture the original in via the AJA SDi input and downconvert to SD, then edit all in an SD ProRes422 timeline.

An alternative is to render the grades from Color to SD ProRes422. Color does a much better scaling job than FCP.


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Pete CamdenRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 7:22:16 am

Cheers Michael, you might be on to something.

Since I have to factor the media to broadcast safe, would following work and how well:
Finish the edit in HD, export QT current settings (bake), send to Color and render broadcast safe SD.

Have anyone tried this? Originally, I was thinking even AE for downconversion but since I found out that my edit suite does not have one, it's not an option.

Any experience anyone about down conversino with Color?

Pete

PS. I really don't know why they ever shot it in HD. The depth for grading was fine idea, but in reality, the advantage it's not that massive.

It's like what Lenin said... you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh...


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Michael GissingRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 7:39:33 am

Only problem there is you are using FCP to upscale the graphics to HD and then they need to be downscaled again later which won't be good for your graphics.

My idea is to downscale when the HD is graded and then finish in an SD timeline.


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Pete CamdenRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 26, 2011 at 8:07:13 am

Yes. The graphics won't like it.

So, the plan is to finish the edit in HD with graphics. Down convert the shot footage. Copy the graphics from the HD timeline to newly created SD timeline, remove scaling and distort attributes and finally, fix position changes it there are any.
Then:
Export 3 movs.
a. Master with shot footage and graphics, b. Master without graphics, c. Master with graphics only.
Then I can remove the raw footage from the G-Speed, but still have control over the graphics in case of typo or something.

Now I just have to test the best approach for the down conversion. Time vs. quality.

Cheers,

It's like what Lenin said... you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh...


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Pete CamdenRe: HD to SD with AJA
by on May 30, 2011 at 1:06:23 pm

Hello again,

As an export settings there are lots of options to go through AJA. Like mentioned before there's the: AJA Kona Lh 625 25 Apple Pro Res for example.

Does just exporting HD timeline with AjA's settings do a decent HD to SD job?

Long live cow folks,

Pete

It's like what Lenin said... you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh...


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