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Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?

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Sascha Engel
Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 8:30:53 am

I guess, that is an ongoing Q for a time: I finished a rock concert, shot in full HD, edited & graded in FCP 7.
Now, have to down scale it the best way possible to an SD File, for creating a SD DVD.
Here are my two options:

1. Taking the final Online File (Apple ProRes 422) to compressor directly and using the resize filter in there at Best setting to create the DVD File in SD

2. Taking the HD File to AE, resizing there and then take that SD ProRes File to Compressor for encoding for DVD.


I really need the best resizing solution fo this two: we see a lot of close ups of guitars, and guitar strings usually, when not resized properly look terrible very easy.



Thanx for any input.


Greetz,

Sascha


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 11:01:38 am

I've seen arguments for both options.
Can you test a short clip to see?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Michael Gissing
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 11:34:08 am

I have no direct comparison but a lot of people have reported that AE is better than Compressor for scaling.

My preference is to use my Kona3 card and it is also the quickest.


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John Pale
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 4:54:05 pm

Make a short test file of your most challenging material and compare.

In my experience, I have found Compressor, when using the Frame Controls set to Better or Best, does an excellent resize. I also found doing the downscale first...and not trying to do it combined with the MPEG-2 encode, results in better quality. Make an SD intermediate, either Uncompressed or Pro Res, then encode that to MPEG-2. If its a relatively short piece, use CBR for the MPEG encode and not VBR.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 5:13:08 pm

HI John,

out of curiosity, when you do CBR, what is the max Average Bitrate you choose?
I know, that some cheaper DVD Players cannot handle too much. I try never to go over 7,5 MBs.
Is that a reasonable value?


Thanx.

Sascha


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John Pale
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 9:56:57 pm

I usually set my CBR no higher than 7. Any higher is asking for trouble with burned DVDs.

Also use AC3 for your audio instead of Aiff/PCM.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 3, 2012 at 4:59:50 pm

HI GUys,

thanks for sharing all your advice.
I usually never use VBR, but CBR.

I do now 2 tests: One with Compressor and one resizing in AE and then encoding in compressor.

Will let you know, what version comes out better.


Greetings,

Sascha


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Sascha Engel
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 4, 2012 at 3:32:27 pm

Hi GUys,

for future encounters with that issue:

My test shows, that the first AE downscaling to SD and then encoding with compressor wins a tight race over the direct in compressor encoding.
The difference is minimal, but there is less Moire issues and less problems with thin lines and stuff like this.
Overall a bit cleaner. Taking a little longer, but not much at all.


Sascha


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Michael Gissing
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 4, 2012 at 11:55:17 pm

Thanks for the update Sascha. It confirms previous wisdom espoused here.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 5, 2012 at 12:20:50 pm

more than welcome!


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eric pautsch
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 6, 2012 at 9:30:28 pm

Ive been using this workflow using Avi Snyth for several years now and will absolutely blow away and down converting methods on the book

http://www.precomposed.com/blog/2009/07/hd-to-sd-dvd-best-methods/

Also here's a good tutorial video:

http://bellunevideo.com/tutorials/hd2sdTutorial/hd2sd.html

its PC only but its all freeware



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Sascha Engel
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 7, 2012 at 5:26:32 am

That sounds all great, but as you said- PC based. So, it does not help me a lot.

Sascha


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Matt Burrows
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 18, 2012 at 12:06:50 am

This is all really helpful information but there's still one thing I don't understand that doesn't seem to be covered in this thread- If you're working in an HD timeline and down-converting to SD what about the difference in field order??

If HD is upper first and SD is lower first, at what point in the workflow is the conversion to lower fields first supposed to happen?

I tried the methods discussed in this thread and the quality difference is stunning but in my case I'm still seeing what appears to be a field dominance mismatch in my conversion to SD. If I can get this part straight, my problems will be solved.

The only woman I'm pimping is sweet lady propane! And I'm tricking her out all over this town.


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Matt Burrows
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 18, 2012 at 12:22:37 am

This is all really helpful information but there's still one thing I don't understand that doesn't seem to be covered in this thread- If you're working in an HD timeline and down-converting to SD what about the difference in field order??

If HD is upper first and SD is lower first, at what point in the workflow is the conversion to lower fields first supposed to happen?

I tried the methods discussed in this thread and the quality difference is stunning but in my case I'm still seeing what appears to be a field dominance mismatch in my conversion to SD. If I can get this part straight, my problems will be solved.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on May 18, 2012 at 3:29:13 am

Well, the field issue wasn't a part of the discussion, since all my HD material was progressive and so O wanted the SD to be as well. First of all why you want to change the field order? As far as I know if your HD is upper first, you can leave that also for SD. Besides, why not creating first a progressive from the Upper field first anyhow, since to my taste progressive always looks better.


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Carl Schuurbiers
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on Jun 7, 2012 at 8:04:01 am

Maybe there are other options?

I switched from FCP to Premiere, about the same time as I was getting HD footage instead of SD. I was shocked at the poor quality of the SD output that one gets from HD footage. (moire, aliasing, jaggies..)

If I do some "pre-processing" of the HD material myself before scaling, I get slightly better results, but I find the result still disappointing. Going the avisynth way I don't really find an acceptable workflow, but it shows that one should be able to get better results with software in general.

At the moment I am using one of the cheaper Blackmagic cards (Decklink SDI) so I can't really test hardware downconversion.

I would like to ask people with Kona 3G cards: Is the hardware downconversion in the card much better than any software? Have you compared it to what comes out of Adobe Media Encoder for instance?

Has anybody had a chance to try the Teranex processor in the version as it is sold now by Blackmagic? Better than the Kona, similar?

Last question: Have the software makers forgotten about SD? Why is the quality mediocre? Why are there no third-party solutions that do a good quality down-conversion in SOFTWARE?

If buying the Kona will get me a good quality conversion I would seriously think about getting one, but I would much rather have a software solution. It feels a bit funny to have to play something out in realtime and capture the file on another device and then transfer it back again, just for the downconversion?

I would be very grateful for some opinions about this subject.

Thanks,
Carl.


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Brent Hilgenkamp
Re: Down Scaling HD project for SD DVD- AE or Compressor?
on Jul 11, 2012 at 4:48:41 pm

I keep seeing everyone mention Kona cards for the best downconversion. How exactly does this workflow go? Are you laying to tape and then capturing that, or is there some type of utility AJA ships with it to avoid going to tape first?


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