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up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results

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Trevor Ward
up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:56:38 am

Ok, this is what I call a teaser. But I'm finishing a 90 minute documentary that was shot primarily with a 24p miniDV camera. But, for several reasons, it has been decided to finish the film in 720pHD. So I did my own tests, with my own footage, on various up rezing techniques.

I tried:
1. Using FCP scaling. Dropped the SD clip into the HD timeline. Scaled the clip to 200%. Then exported the FC movie.
2. Using Compressor to uprez the clip. Pulled the clip in compressor. Used the setting or ProRes422, 720p material and then compressed.
3. Using BorisFX UpRez. I used the "slug" technique to uprez the shot.
4. Using Red Giant software Instant HD. They have another tool called Instant HD Advanced, but that doesn't work inside FCP. It's for after effects. And although I own after effects, It seemed like WAY too big of a hassle to go back and forth and we all know AE isn't the fastest application out there.

I will post screen shots of my results here and let you decided which method gave ME the best results. You might be surprised.

-Trevor Ward
http://www.iMetWithanAccident.com


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Shane Ross
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:40:59 pm

No matter what you do, your footage will not look HD...just so you know. There will be no denying that your footage is, in fact, SD. Just so you know. You aren't doing your footage any favors.

FYI, I have ha better luck with hardware upconversions, with the Kona and Matrox cards.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Trevor Ward
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:51:17 pm

Uh, thanks Shane. Although I appreciate your contributions to the cow here, I feel like your last post came out sounding condescending. If so, then that's not very polite and not very professional. I think everyone knows that SD footage shot on miniDV won't look HD. The point is to compare the various methods of up rezing as described above. People have needs to uprez their SD footage to fit into an HD program and I'm exploring some of those options. I'm just try to be helpful and share some of MY experiences with other people.


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Shane Ross
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:54:14 pm

Sorry, I just didn't want you or your producers to have any illusions that it will look HD. I have had producers think that, so I had to be sure.

You need this to work with other footage that you shot 720p? Or is the whole program going to be this upconvert? I did one show that was ALL SD footage upconverted, they wanted and HD master. It was all SD, but looked OK. And I have mixed upconverted SD with HD a lot. I use the hardware though...but the first time I did use compressor. It looked good.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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walter biscardi
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:09:52 pm

[Trevor Ward] "I tried:
1. Using FCP scaling. Dropped the SD clip into the HD timeline. Scaled the clip to 200%. Then exported the FC movie.
2. Using Compressor to uprez the clip. Pulled the clip in compressor. Used the setting or ProRes422, 720p material and then compressed.
3. Using BorisFX UpRez. I used the "slug" technique to uprez the shot.
4. Using Red Giant software Instant HD. They have another tool called Instant HD Advanced, but that doesn't work inside FCP. It's for after effects. And although I own after effects, It seemed like WAY too big of a hassle to go back and forth and we all know AE isn't the fastest application out there."


Your best bet as Shane notes, is to use hardware conversion like the AJA Kona LHi or AJA Kona 3 cards. These will give you the best clean upconversion of SD to HD in FCP.

However, all of the attempts I've made to upconvert MiniDV to HD in FCP result in less than desirable results and if you guys want it to look the absolute best, go out of house to somewhere that has a Terranex converter and you will have the absolute cleanest upconvert and sometimes it will look almost indistiguishable from the true HD.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Trevor Ward
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 31, 2010 at 3:12:29 am

Thanks for the input. I understand the according to people who have traveled down this road, they hardware upconvert is the best. Terranex is the best of these. My film has an extremely low budget and there is no need for such expenses as of yet (unless HBO comes a knocking). If I knew someone with a Matrox or other hardware upconvert, I'd consider the time investment. If I had even a little extra money even, I'd consider the financial investment.

90-95% of the SD footage is being mixed with some beautiful 720p HD footage. And since the film is showing on at least one big screen, I wanted to keep that 720p looking as good as it is. So, I opted for a software solution.

Here is my take:
1. FCP Scaling wins. It's the easiest to do in terms of workflow. And the results for MY footage were visually the best.
2. Compressor is a bit of a pain because you have to take clips out of the timeline and upconvert outside of FCP.
3. Boris UpRez looks ok. But the workflow isn't very practical for a 90 minute film like mine. I suppose I would lay out footage on tracks and "lay off" video track 1 and then video track 2 etc. But it's not like you can just add the filter to a clip, change the settings, and then copy that filter to every SD clip. You have to use either nested sequences or slugs. It's not a complete show stopper, but it's a little messy.
4. Red Giant Instant HD is similar to Boris FX, but is even less flexible. These filters have to work this way because of the way FCP handles scaling or some other technical software reason. I don't really care other than it's not very clean. I think Graeme Nattress might have a plug in that upconverts but I didn't explore this option.

So here are the visual results. Judge for yourself. click on each image to download the full size image because by the time it gets squashed to display here on the cow, each image looks different.
Here is the original clip. miniDV captured through firewire FCP log and capture:


Here is my choice for winner. FCP scaling (the SD video clip was dropped into a 720pProRes timeline and then I used 200% scaline using the Motion tab in the viewer):


This is a screen shot of the exported BorisFX UpRez filter applied:


This is a shot of the clip with the Red Giant Instant HD filter applied:


And lastly, this is a copy of the clip upconverting going through Compressor:



So, I'm sure someone here will argue with these results. Ok. Whatever. I did what most experts here agree to do: TEST, TEST, TEST on your own footage and make up your own mind. Good luck to you all. And thanks Shane and Walter for everything you guys do help us all out.

-Trevor Ward
http://www.Imetwithanaccident.com
I Met with an Accident - The remarkable, inspiring story of Benedict.




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Chadwick Shoults
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:08:08 pm

If you are uploading to Youtube, even if your source is DV - you still SHOULD upres to 720 even if you do it with software. The youtube version will turn out much sharper at all sizes.

Just an FYI.



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Brad Minskoff
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:34:49 pm

Hello,
I am working on a FCP project, my sequence settings are 720x480 NTSC DV (3:2), NTSC - CCIR 601/DV (720x480). The video I am working with was captured off of 2 old FLIP camcorders as well as a mini Dv camera. I would like to try to attempt FCP Scaling to see if I can upsize to 720pHD. I am creating some Youtube clips which I would like to see if I can convert to HD as right now there are the black bars on the sides, but I am also creating a DVD which is my main focus. I know that I am working with SD video (which was captured as 640x480 which I converted to 720x480) so there is not to many options for me but was hoping I could resize and scale the video so the DVD plays much nicer on the TV and also the video looks better on Youtube.
"FCP scaling (the SD video clip was dropped into a 720pProRes timeline and then I used 200% scaline using the Motion tab in the viewer)" Do I just create a new 720pProRes sequence, and if so what are all of the settings I need to choose in order to create this sequence?
I appreciate any suggestions and all of your help!
Thanks,
Brad


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Brad Minskoff
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:54:48 pm

Hello,
I am working on a FCP project, my sequence settings are 720x480 NTSC DV (3:2), NTSC - CCIR 601/DV (720x480). The video I am working with was captured off of 2 old FLIP camcorders as well as a mini Dv camera. I would like to try to attempt FCP Scaling to see if I can upsize to 720pHD. I am creating some Youtube clips which I would like to see if I can convert to HD as right now there are the black bars on the sides, but I am also creating a DVD which is my main focus. I know that I am working with SD video (which was captured as 640x480 which I converted to 720x480) so there is not to many options for me but was hoping I could resize and scale the video so the DVD plays much nicer on the TV and also the video looks better on Youtube.
"FCP scaling (the SD video clip was dropped into a 720pProRes timeline and then I used 200% scaline using the Motion tab in the viewer)" Do I just create a new 720pProRes sequence, and if so what are all of the settings I need to choose in order to create this sequence?
I appreciate any suggestions and all of your help!
Thanks,
Brad


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Brad Minskoff
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:55:44 pm

Hello,
I am working on a FCP project, my sequence settings are 720x480 NTSC DV (3:2), NTSC - CCIR 601/DV (720x480). The video I am working with was captured off of 2 old FLIP camcorders as well as a mini Dv camera. I would like to try to attempt FCP Scaling to see if I can upsize to 720pHD. I am creating some Youtube clips which I would like to see if I can convert to HD as right now there are the black bars on the sides, but I am also creating a DVD which is my main focus. I know that I am working with SD video (which was captured as 640x480 which I converted to 720x480) so there is not to many options for me but was hoping I could resize and scale the video so the DVD plays much nicer on the TV and also the video looks better on Youtube.
"FCP scaling (the SD video clip was dropped into a 720pProRes timeline and then I used 200% scaline using the Motion tab in the viewer)" Do I just create a new 720pProRes sequence, and if so what are all of the settings I need to choose in order to create this sequence?
I appreciate any suggestions and all of your help!
Thanks,
Brad


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Rafael Amador
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Sep 22, 2010 at 2:04:42 pm

Hi Brad,
Forget about upscaling with FC, and read the posts on this thread.
Cheers,
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Trevor Ward
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Sep 22, 2010 at 3:05:41 pm

Upscaling in FCP for me was the best solution. It gave me great results and required the least amount of hassle. I recommend it.

If ALL your footage is SD though, why upscale? Create a new sequence in SD, say using the ProRes compression. The end file will be big, but you'll be working in the 4:2:2 color space and it'll look good when it's on DVD. Bottom line, though, is that SD footage, especial from sources like a FLIP cam and YouTube, will not look as good as higher quality sources.

However, if you're stuck on doing a 720p output, then create a new sequence. I recommend you use the Easy setup of either ProRes 720p30 in either regular, LT, Proxy. If you final output is just DVD or YouTube, probably proxy is fine. It's slightly more compressed. In my tests, it's hard to distinguish between proxy, LT, regular and HQ.

-tw

-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Mark Linthicum
Re: up rez SD miniDV to HD 720p results
on Sep 18, 2011 at 8:44:52 pm

Great post! This was my experience as well, Compressor is the best for up-rezing. one issue though, Anti-Alias and Detail do not work in the last 3.5 version so it is limited right now. I wonder if anyone has experience with Compressor 4? Do the Anti Alias and Detail sliders work?

Any new plugins out there since this post?

Thanks, Mark


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