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HD to SD workflow blues

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jeremy Loftus-Hills
HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 18, 2009 at 12:22:23 am

I edit HD EX footage mixed with some SD PAL anamorphic on a pro res timeline. I resize the SD footage to fit the HD display. The timeline runs fine and the sequence renders true.

Then I copy and past all into an anamorphic SD PAL timeline. The HD clips play normally on the new timeline, but the SD clips seem to resize themselves and I have to replace them using the original clips.

The end result of all this is an SD DVD.

Has anyone had this problem and fixed it?

Jeremy


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Don Greening
Re: HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 18, 2009 at 4:16:09 am

[jeremy Loftus-Hills] "The HD clips play normally on the new timeline, but the SD clips seem to resize themselves and I have to replace them using the original clips."

Let's see if I've got this right. It would seem that you're initially editing in a Pro Res HD timeline and dragging the SD clips into it. Then you're creating another timeline for standard def. This is an unnecessary step, not to mention that you're up converting SD footage for an HD timeline then down converting it for SD again. Try going the other way. Create a PAL SD Pro Res timeline and drag your SD and EX HD footage into it. Do your edit and export a PAL SD movie using current settings. Bring that into Compressor and encode to MPEG2 for your DVD.

- Don



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Tom Parke
Re: HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 18, 2009 at 2:24:28 pm

I have a similar situation. I guess I'm like others who are "snookered" into thinking all is well when combining different resolutions/formats in an FCP timeline.

I have an EX-1 timeline [1080i60, 1920x1080] and edited in HDV footage from a Z1U [1080i60, 1440x1080]. All looked great while editing, however, when I exported into a QT self-contained file using the same settings, the HDV footage size was not retained. My end product will be SD DVDs.

I used the workflow that Ric Young provided in a Ken Stone paper and have had great success with just EX-1 footage. I believe I needed to "transcode" the HDV footage first [to what I am not sure]; is there a way to get past this or do I start again and replace all the HDV footage with something that will provide consistent results when combined onto an HD 1920x1080 timeline?

I was able to test a small portion by first exporting just the HDV footage into a self-contained QT file and then editing that into EX-1 footage, however, the resultant SD product was much softer than I had experienced with just HDV or EX-1 footage by themselves.

Thanks much for any suggestions.

Tom Parke
ProScan DP


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Don Greening
Re: HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:13:06 pm

Tom,

Sometimes I get the same result when I combine EX 720p footage into an EX 1080p timeline. It's because one is anamorphic and one isn't. FCP 6 is usually pretty good at figuring out the aspect ratio of all these different picture sizes when combined in one timeline. But sometimes it gets it wrong. If it turns out that your 1440x1080 HDV footage gets distorted you can fix one of the clips and then paste the changes on to all the other clips that are also messed up.

Double-click one of the clips in the timeline to load it into the viewer. Click on the Motion tab in the viewer then use the sliders for the Scale and Aspect Ratio parameters until the anamorphic picture looks right. Any changes you make to the clip in the viewer will be reflected in the canvas window because it's the same clip. Once you've made your changes highlight the same clip in the timeline if it's not already highlighted and then hit "Cmd-C" to copy the clip's attributes to the clipboard. Deselect the clip where you've made your changes then highlight all the other clips that are messed up. Now hit "Option-V" to paste the attributes of the first clip on to all the other ones. That should take care of the the messed up aspect ratio of all the other clips.

This is a way to fix the messed up clips but it still doesn't address the problem of why the clips got messed up in the first place. I'm working on that. One thing I have observed is that my aspect ratio screw-ups only occurred when using 720p overcranked clips in a 1080p timeline. The regular speed 720p clips were fine after export. But I have discovered that if I export "Using Quicktime Conversion" that the result retained the proper aspect ratio of the 720p clips together with the 1080p clips.

The research continues.

- Don


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stephen may
Re: HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:53:17 pm

You guys, Don's 100% right about the best way to get where you're trying to go. Plus, the reason the SD clips look out of scale is because if you go into the motion tab of those SD Anamorphic clips in the HD sequence that you took them from, their scale will likely be way up to something like 220, so in the SD sequence, they're wacked out.

Anyway, even though you have gotten excellent direction from Don, and you should force yourself to follow that advice and workflow next job, to at least save the hard work you have put into the edit thus far, this might help a little: You should be able to take segments of your original sequence where it is mostly the SD clips and set IN and OUT points around that and save that as it's own sequence and nest it into the SD sequence where you can then adjust the clip as a whole by right clicking that nest and opening it into the VIEWER. Then you can make motion adjustments to the entire nested clip.

But Blue-Sky is to begin the edit in the SD setting and FCP6 will work miracles to downconvert the HD into the SD sequence, and the SD anamorphic clips will not only be at res, but they will stand up well when you take the sequence to compressor to prepare the final edit for DVD asset.

Stephen May
Keystone Media Productions
Freelance Videographer


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jeremy Loftus-Hills
Re: HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 18, 2009 at 10:38:12 pm

Thanks everyone. A few workarounds I can try next time. You've got me thinking about the logic from FCP's point of view and given me new hope that I can work along with it instead of fighting it, so to speak.
I still want to master in HD Don, although with the slow pace of adoption here (downunder) I'm starting to wonder why. One thing I'm going to try is leaving SD frame size adjustments until I get to the SD timeline, which will make them look undersize on the HD timeline, but maybe it will correct itself as we downsize. Thanks again.
Jeremy



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Rafael Amador
Re: HD to SD workflow blues
on Feb 19, 2009 at 3:24:56 pm

I don't know which program are you editing with.
If is FC, just select all the SD footage and "Remove Attributes> Basic Motion+Distort".
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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