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mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?

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Jason Brown
mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?
on Oct 14, 2009 at 1:34:12 pm

Hey Guys,

If I'm mixing HD and SD footage (all 29.97 - 1080 and D1 NTSC)

Would you scale the HD footage down and work in a SD SEQ? Or scale the SD footage up to work in an HD SEQ?

I'll bet the output is the big question, we don't deliver in HD, so it will be SD-DVD or transcoded h264 / wmv...at a size of 640x360.

What would you guys do? It's not for a specific project, I'm just trying to develop the best workflow for when this happens.

-Jason


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Matt Devino
Re: mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?
on Oct 14, 2009 at 2:42:39 pm

I know some people will tell you otherwise, but as long as the majority of the material is HD (say 90% or more) I like to scale up, especially if I am going to crop the HD footage to 4x3 anyway. I think making Mpegs from HD sources look a lot better than making them from SD sources, even uncompressed SD sources. Once the SD footage gets scaled back down to SD there are some artifacts but not enough for me to warrant losing quality on all the HD footage.

If most of your footage is SD than just work in SD.



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Rafael Amador
Re: mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?
on Oct 14, 2009 at 3:05:30 pm

[Jason Brown] "I'll bet the output is the big question, we don't deliver in HD, so it will be SD-DVD or transcoded h264 / wmv...at a size of 640x360. "
That means that in the end everything may be downscaled, so why to upscale something to be downscaled afterward?
Rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rebecca Gillaspie
Re: mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?
on Oct 14, 2009 at 4:43:05 pm

You can upscale it and then crop it.

I had this issue on my last project where I mixed pretty much every format, but most of the footage was a combo of DV and HD 1080i. Our original intention was to deliver an anamorphic SD version, which went to DVD and I was incredibly disappointed with the way it came out. Final cut did a great job with the up-rez. But the down rez looked like doo-doo.

Fortunately my hubby works at WB and uprezed everything to HD.



"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

Rebecca Gillaspie
Producer, Editor
rgillaspie@gmail.com


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Jason Brown
Re: mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?
on Oct 14, 2009 at 5:38:11 pm

Well...if you use that argument...then why did we shoot on Beta when the footage was mastered on VHS? Starting with a higher quality source will always yield better results when producing a lower res version.

My question revolves around system resources. In HD, is there a TON more render time vs SD? Obvious drive space considerations. But I'm just trying to find out what others do and how well it works.

-Jason


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Bob Flood
Re: mixing HD and SD footage. Scale up or scale down?
on Oct 14, 2009 at 5:22:43 pm

Hi

I used to digitize my footage at DVCPRO50 anamorphic, becuz it took up less space, and was faster for my mac to handle ie more real time.

Now we are using XDCAM EX, and rather than convert hours of footage to ProRes or a comparable codec, i am working in XDCAM EX 1080, and uprezzing where needed.

During the edit i just scale up the SD footage in a subtimeline and cut it into my HD show, but once we have signoff I use a tool like Instant HD to uprezz the select stuff with quality.

This workflow works well for us since each time we do a show, we shoot new material and gradually phase out the older footage, so for each show i am uprezzing less and less. (of course once our library is all HD, the client will want to start doing 3D HAHAHAHA!)

hope this helps!

"I like video because its so fast!"

Bob Flood
Greer & Associates, Inc.


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