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Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software

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Clay Walker
Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 1:35:15 am

I am working on a project right now for a very large live event that is going to show several 2 minute videos that we are creating pre-onsite and onsite on a very large screen in front of thousands of people.

The videos have been shot 720p using the HVX200.

The technical people playing back the videos have asked that I deliver the videos H.264 1920 x 1080i (29.97fps)

Based on the shooting format, I immediately recommended to the producers & clients involved that we needed to do the conversion via hardware - whether it was my Kona3 to tape and recapturing for the H.264 compression or going out to a deck and recapturing the media at 1080i for H.264 compression...

The camera operator, who's opinion carries greater weight than mine, has suggested to the producers & clients that we simply do this up-conversion/compression directly from FCP or Quicktime Player - in the essence of it being "no additional cost or time" and that it "works great" based on his professional opinion and testing.

Basically, I would never attempt to do this via software but I am about to be placed in the position of possibly having to do so.

I have tried several tests through Compressor & QT Pro & FCP at this point and in my professional opinion, the up-converted video looks really bad.

I have consulted with other editors about this process and their response to a software up-convert has been "No! No! No!" and "you should walk away from this project."

Also, when I am onsite several video will have to be turned around in a matter of hours so I won


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walter biscardi
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 1:41:24 am

[Clay Walker] "So, can anyone make the argument that you can get a decent uprez via these programs in a short period of time?"

Nope.

[Clay Walker] "The camera operator, who's opinion carries greater weight than mine, has suggested to the producers & clients that we simply do this up-conversion/compression directly from FCP or Quicktime Player - in the essence of it being "no additional cost or time" and that it "works great" based on his professional opinion and testing."

Then tell him/her to do it.

OR

Go ahead and start the conversion and when the client comes running in looking for that video to play back simply tell them to check back in a few hours when it's done.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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JeremyG
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:05:33 am

[Clay Walker] "The technical people playing back the videos have asked that I deliver the videos H.264 1920 x 1080i (29.97fps)"

Can't they accept a 720p file? If they can't, why don't you layoff to 1080i using the K3 to cross-convert (in which is does an awesome job, just installed my K3X today and the quality is outstanding), recapture that 1080i file, and then compress to H264.

What kind of device is playing back a 1080i h264 file for thousands of people? I know the future is tapeless, but at these kind of events, tape is usually the way to go. Sometimes, a DDR is used, but still that ingests material from tape usually.

If you are under the gun for time, encoding to H264 is not really the fastest. Walter is right, if the cameraman is suggesting the workflow, have him to do it. Since this can't be a reality, the responsibility falls in your hands and you have to work with guys back stage and see what can be done. Trust me, I do this type of stuff all the time. Either provide a 720p file, cross convert with the K3, or something. There has to be another way and 720p is probably the way to do it. Remember it is you that knows best in this situation.

Another thing to do is to use the advanced format conversion in compressor and change the 720p DVCPro HD to 1080p DVCPro HD. Then use Squeeze to convert to h264. Squeeze does a great job of compressing in pretty short order. I just finished 720p files the other day and they look great and they didn't take that long with the latest version of squeeze. This way, Compressor isn't converting to 1080 and H264 in the same pass.

Jeremy


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walter biscardi
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:14:13 am

[JeremyG] "If they can't, why don't you layoff to 1080i using the K3 to cross-convert (in which is does an awesome job, just installed my K3X today and the quality is outstanding), recapture that 1080i file, and then compress to H264."

If you read Clay's post, the client has already refused the Kona 3 option for god only knows why. They seem to be listening to the camera operator who claims this is easy to do in software.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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JeremyG
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:31:21 am

[walter biscardi] "If you read Clay's post, the client has already refused the Kona 3 option for god only knows why."

This is what I'm saying. There are times when you have to fend for yourself and get the job done. The client, usually, has no say in how the file is delivered. It's up to Clay and the projectionist to get the show up on screen. Clay, get your producer and the Technical Director on the horn and call up the staging company. You will need to work it out, or else you are the only one that will get blamed for this whole thing if you can't get the image up on screen in time. The Camera Operator is wrong because time is money and cross converting with compressor will cost you time. I am not suggesting to go around your client, but there are times when you know best. I truly speak only from experience, I have done many of these short turn around live events that are dripping with the latest greatest technology that sometimes only serves to slow you down.



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Clay Walker
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:39:11 am

[JeremyG] "The Camera Operator is wrong because time is money and cross converting with compressor will cost you time"

I forgot to point out that the camera operator is also an extremely well-established professional editor with several decades of experience as well. He doesn't offer his opinion lightly or carelessly. I just don't agree with it.

I still would be very interested to see if anyone can/will state that you can do a quality upconvert through software? If so, would you consider it almost as good as a hardware upconvert? Better? No where close?...




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JeremyG
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:53:06 am

[Clay Walker] "I forgot to point out that the camera operator is also an extremely well-established professional editor with several decades of experience as well. He doesn't offer his opinion lightly or carelessly. I just don't agree with it."

Hey, I'm not knocking the DP, but all the experience in the world is not going to help Compressor move any faster. The suggestion is wrong, no offense. It's up to you to convince the team that there's alternative ways to do this that will allow the job to get done in time.


[Clay Walker] "I still would be very interested to see if anyone can/will state that you can do a quality up-convert through software?"

I think we established that this will take too long. You would still be better off laying to 720p, capturing to 1080i and then compressing that to h264. I really don't think the h264 compression is necessary. Laying off to tape is going to suit you just fine.

And sorry if I seem gruff, but more often than not, I ma in your shoes Clay and it tans my hide when people tell me how to do my job, when they get to go to sleep at night while I'm up watching compressor. I'm trying to make it so everyone can get some sleep. The guy running the doremi is the guy you need to talk to, and that's where you will find your answer. If you suggest laying off to tape, I bet he or she will say, "yeah, that's how we always do it".

Jeremy



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walter biscardi
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 11:20:40 am

[JeremyG] "Hey, I'm not knocking the DP, but all the experience in the world is not going to help Compressor move any faster. The suggestion is wrong, no offense. It's up to you to convince the team that there's alternative ways to do this that will allow the job to get done in time."

Agree 100%. Don't care how good the cameraman is, how many years of experience he/she has or even how many years of editing experience he/she has. If you're the editor on this job then you dictate how Post is going to work, especially with something as important and intensive as HD cross conversion.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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gary adcock
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 2:52:23 pm

[Clay Walker] "I still would be very interested to see if anyone can/will state that you can do a quality upconvert through software? If so, would you consider it almost as good as a hardware upconvert? Better? No where close?..."

I will

I yet to find any software upconversion that rivals the hardwarebased conversion of the same file. The closest I have ever seen was from Shake.

My question is for your cameraman - why did they not shoot 1080 in the HVX to start with

"I forgot to point out that the camera operator is also an extremely well-established professional editor with several decades of experience as well. He doesn't offer his opinion lightly or carelessly. I just don't agree with it."

Well point him to this thread to let him know that none of us agree with it either.

ga





gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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walter biscardi
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:21:15 pm

[gary adcock] "
My question is for your cameraman - why did they not shoot 1080 in the HVX to start with"


Just a wild guess here, but I'm thinking the camera person doesn't have enough P2 cards or Firestores to shoot all the material they need so they're shooting 720 to save space. If you know the final output is 1080i, then shoot 1080i.

Sounds like the camera person is just being exceptionally lazy and passing off a lot of unnecessary work to Clay.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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gary adcock
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:28:23 pm

[walter biscardi] "Sounds like the camera person is just being exceptionally lazy and passing off a lot of unnecessary work"

Sounds like a camera person to me .....



gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Clay Walker
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:43:53 pm

[gary adcock] "My question is for your cameraman - why did they not shoot 1080 in the HVX to start with"

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your responses. This is a good question and I think I can somewhat answer it. The various pieces were shot all over the world. We learned that the playback format would be 1080i after one of the pieces had been shot and the crew was on the road / out of the country.

Why the switch wasn't made to 1080i at that point, I can't speak to... I would imagine that staying consistent and camera media storage were probably an issue.


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JeremyG
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 4:13:44 pm

[Clay Walker] "I would imagine that staying consistent and camera media storage were probably an issue."


4 minutes of 1080 footage vs 20 minutes to 720p24N footage on an 8 gig P2 card makes the decision pretty easy especially whilst traveling around the world.




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Wayne Carey
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 4:52:17 pm

[JeremyG] "4 minutes of 1080 footage vs 20 minutes to 720p24N footage on an 8 gig P2 card makes the decision pretty easy especially whilst traveling around the world."

Very good point!

We made that judgement call on a feature film for that very reason...

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://www.schazamproductions.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 5:05:02 pm

[JeremyG] "4 minutes of 1080 footage vs 20 minutes to 720p24N footage on an 8 gig P2 card makes the decision pretty easy especially whilst traveling around the world."

If you're traveling that much, that justifies purchasing a Firestore.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Clay Walker
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:25:08 am

[JeremyG] "Another thing to do is to use the advanced format conversion in compressor and change the 720p DVCPro HD to 1080p DVCPro HD."

This is what I used to do my initial test. When using the default settings, 2 min. of video will upconvert in about 10 minutes on my G5, if I remember correctly.

I tried a second upconvert where I tweaked the settings to highest quality, etc. and it gave me an approximate compression time of 70 hours - for 2 minutes of video.

I didn't let that finish to see the quality, as that timeframe obviously won't work.

It seems like the easiest, quickest & most portable solution is to lay to tape via a 1200 or 1400, and recapture at 1080i and then apply the H.264 compression.





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JeremyG
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:32:51 am

[Clay Walker] "It seems like the easiest, quickest & most portable solution is to lay to tape via a 1200 or 1400, and recapture at 1080i and then apply the H.264 compression."

And then use squeeze for the h264 compression.



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szumlins
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:51:35 am

[JeremyG] "And then use squeeze for the h264 compression."

If there is money to be spent, the Squeeze XCEL HD card with GREATLY speed up the H.264 encode. Right now it is a PC only option, but it will definitely cut some clock cycles out of the encode.

---

--

-Mike


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Wayne Carey
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 4:54:22 pm

Keep in mind.... Anytime you convert frame rates, you are talking lots and lots of time to compress... Especially H.264.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://www.schazamproductions.com


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Clay Walker
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:34:21 am

[JeremyG] "Can't they accept a 720p file?"

I don't think so. I think it's being fed into a doremi or something - but I don't know anything about those devices.

[JeremyG] "Walter is right, if the cameraman is suggesting the workflow, have him to do it."

I will point out that we are a group who work together frequently - remotely from different parts of the US. I really do like the cameraman and he has been a friend and colleague for many years. Due to my own experience, I just don't agree with this suggested work-flow.

I certainly want to explore every possibility here but I think my initial response, do this via hardware only, was definitely the correct solution - in terms of quality and speed.

But yes, I do agree with you both, I will suggest that he do the compressions before we travel onsite.

I really don't want to be held responsible for the quality and technical problems, obviously.


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JeremyG
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 3:43:46 am

See the doremi is a DDR. Usually the fastest way to encode on to those (as they usually have a proprietary codec) is to lay off straight from tape. My suggestion to you, is to suggest to the team that you layoff @ 720p. You can then walk the deck down to the doremi, set up the deck to cross convert 720p -> 1080i and then playout from tape to the doremi. That way the doremi doesn't have to reencode your H264 and will encode the tape in real time.


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Chi-Ho Lee
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 9:18:05 pm

El Gato just announced a USB Stick hardware H264 encoder. Sells for $99 Euros. It may only be available in Europe right now?

http://www.tuaw.com/2007/04/02/elgato-announces-turbo-264-usb-stick-h-264-e...

May be what you need?



Chi-Ho Lee
Film & Video Editor
Apple Certified Final Cut Pro Trainer
http://www.chiholee.com


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Chi-Ho Lee
Re: Uprez'ing from 720p to 1080i via software
on Apr 4, 2007 at 9:28:59 pm

Actually, this is a better link.

http://iphone-scene.com/iphone-forums/iphone-software-forum/2007/apr/02/h-2...

Chi-Ho Lee
Film & Video Editor
Apple Certified Final Cut Pro Trainer
http://www.chiholee.com


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