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4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)

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Joe Lukus
4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 15, 2017 at 5:30:54 pm

Ok my so I have a 4K video and I want to output it in 1080....
So really my main question is there any difference from just editing the 4K video in its own 4K timline and then choosing 1080 when exporting vs putting the 4K video in a 1080 timline and just exporting it straight out that way!?

Seems to me apple would just processes it the same way ether way you go??
So Does one produce a better quality output than the other, is one way the right way and or is there a benefit?
Because you can change you timline settings at any point correct? Except I think for FPS....

Also when upscaling would the same steps be the same?

I just started downsizing... for the purpose of sharing etc. so trying to make sure I do it the right way to produce the best quaility...

Also as a sidenote would there be a reason that the1080 version looks sharper more vibrant on my iPad 2 (not the new ones) then my new MacBook Pro with p3? To get the video on my macpro to look like the 1080 on the iPad I pretty much have to play the true 4K version??? Does any of that make since?
Thanks!


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Noah Kadner
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 15, 2017 at 7:04:49 pm

Exporting 1080p from a 4K timeline is what I do- much simpler.

Noah

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Claude Lyneis
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 15, 2017 at 10:45:49 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Exporting 1080p from a 4K timeline is what I do- much simpler.

Noah"


I just been experimenting with some 4 k footage. It started out H.264 3820x2160 59.94 fps at 150 Mbs from a Panasonic Hc-X1000. Impossible to edit natively on my mid 11 27" i5 iMac,. Editing worked fine with proxy media. I then used Compressor with 4k "Youtube" settings to output it (H.264 3840 x 2160 at 59.84 fps and 19.5 Mbs), which worked fine although the 3 min 27 sec video took 3 hours to compress. That was impressive. It would play on my imac, but not on my Apple TV because our TV is only 1080 p. Then for comparison, I compressed it to 1080 p with "Youtube" settings (H.264 1920x1080 59.94 fps at 15 Mbs, which took 1.5 hours. Since my iMac is not 5k I will have to wait to see if I can tell the difference between the 4k and the 1080 p.

I have been thinking about upgrading to a 4k camera and a new high end iMac, but not sure 4k is worth it, since I am my own client. The idea of buying a 4 k camera would "future proof" it for a while, but I seem to buy cameras about every three years anyway. How fast is 4k or about catching on? Certainly slower that the transition from analog to SD to HD. Any thoughts?


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Joe Marler
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 16, 2017 at 11:31:34 am

[Claude Lyneis] "I have been thinking about upgrading to a 4k camera and a new high end iMac, but not sure 4k is worth it, since I am my own client. The idea of buying a 4 k camera would "future proof" it for a while, but I seem to buy cameras about every three years anyway. How fast is 4k or about catching on? Certainly slower that the transition from analog to SD to HD."

My doc team transitioned to all 4k about two years ago. The decision was not about distribution resolution but primarily about reframing in post, improving shelf life of footage, and ability to take 8 megapixel frame grabs. We don't distribute in 4k.

For productions of significant size, 4k can be an *immense* burden in post. If the acquisition codec is long GOP H264, this usually requires transcoding to proxy for smooth editing. If acquisition is in ProRes or DNxHD, this may avoid transcoding but increases storage size by typically 6x to 8x.

Of course years ago we transcoded everything to a "mezzanine" codec and that was the accepted practice. However since around 2009 or 2010 Premiere became fast enough to edit most camera-native formats including DV and 1080p H264 without transcoding. Even today on Adobe's web site, the Premiere intro video says: "allows editors to work with 4k and beyond, without time-consuming transcoding", and "never needing to render until your work is complete" : https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/how-to/what-is-premiere-pro-cc.html?se...

FCPX users also got used to similar performance. However this mostly came to an end with 4k long GOP H264, which is why Adobe fairly recently added proxy capability. Whether you use Premiere or FCPX -- if you're accustomed to 1080p, 4k is just a huge burden in post if you shoot much of it.

If you accept the space and time requirement to transcode, then almost any computer can edit 4k in proxy mode. But if you want a computer that edits H264 4k with the comfortable, easy workflow of H264 1080p, that is a tall order indeed. The new top-spec 2017 iMac 27 is the only computer I've used that is remotely fast enough to edit 4k long GOP 4k single-camera material without transcoding on FCPX, and even it is a bit laggy. On the Windows side you could probably build a workstation that would do this in Premiere or Resolve but it might be expensive. Resolve has recently made great performance improvements so that might be an easier path forward.

Good quality 1080p is very good indeed. The problem is 4k is like color TV was in the 1960s -- it's an unstoppable tidal wave of inevitability. But this doesn't mean you should jump to 4k without a good reason. Nowadays a fairly high % of audience views content on mobile devices or laptop computers. I doubt many of those can see the difference between 1080p and 4k from a resolution standpoint.


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Claude Lyneis
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:05:28 pm

Joe Marler: Thanks for the informative response. The deeper I look into 4K the less enthusiastic I become for switching at this time. Since I mainly shoot sports, which generate about 80 minutes of video per game ,which I edit down to about 5 minutes, storage is an issue as is the time to generate proxies and then compression during output.


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Joe Lukus
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 16, 2017 at 8:34:43 pm

Well I can tell the difference like day and night!!! just think back to yourself the progression of video resolution/quality VHS...DVD digital... 720... 1080...4k.... could you tell a difference heck ya!!! its funny how when you start watching the new and improved "HD" and then go back to the earlier "HD" how much you can tell, well at least me!!

This is why I was wondering if I am doing something wrong because the downscaled 1080 from 4k is so much worse! I have been reading how everyone says when downscaling from a higher res you actually will get a good output with sharper edges etc because you have so much more info to downsample from!!

my 4K to 1080 looks so much more washed out/not as sharp!!! don't like it at all! is it is because I am so use to seeing all this great detail and sharpness and the 1080 is just that much more less resolution?
I have been researching and will apple compressor give me a better output? anyone using that instead? It sounds like everyone is just doing it the way I am, but man I am not happy with the results!! Is apple compressor my answer!?
Will I be able to improve my output quality significantly? I guess apple just has a preset it uses from the compressor software, is that preset set low??


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Claude Lyneis
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 16, 2017 at 9:06:35 pm

One question are you doing the comparison using a 4 k monitor or at 1080 type monitor? On my 2011 27 inch iMac I looked at a number of frames from my 4k footage, either at 1080 p or 4k, see post above for details. On this monitor, the differences were extremely limited and not obvious to my eyes. In both cases I used the compressor setting suggested by Apple for Youtube. It sounds like to me Compressor may to a better job than trying to go straight out of FCPX. For $50.00 you can buy Compressor, which I find very useful for a variety of tasks involving outputting video. Of course, your mileage may vary.


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Joe Lukus
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 17, 2017 at 3:44:55 am

Thats the thing I am not even watching it on a true 4K but can tell the different! I would think you have to be crazy not to see! the title I am using is a wood grain and on 4k you can see all the detail with the 1080 the grain really blurs together not any were sharp!!!
Now I just got a free compressor like handbook and bumped up the encoding quality and sure enough yep it is starting to get better! so that lets me know if you want better quality outputs you don't want to depend on final cut pro outputs!!
Looks like I am going to be looking into apple compressor a bit more before pulling the trigger!


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Joe Lukus
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 28, 2017 at 11:33:29 am

Hey guys had a quick question which I think should be straight forward..
If I have a source video no matter the format, but lets just say it's a compressed h.264...
And I want to export it with the hugest quality basic no loss, pretty much just a replication of the same original file with the editing of course... would I choose one of the 8/10bit uncompressed export settings? Because all the other ones would be compressed to some extent correct? And then my next question would be is the uncompressed format a "playback" format that others would be able to use easily?or Is the h.264 really the only "playback" deliverable format that is used?

Thanks guys!


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Sam Lee
Re: 4K to 1080... or other downsizing (what's the best way)
on Jul 29, 2017 at 1:50:48 am

Hmm. Not sure if you want do to this in the long-term. Downsizing anything always seems to have trade offs. There are small aliasing artifacts and chroma noise as a result when doing the software/desktop method when footage are not shot in RAW.


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