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Weird differences rendering to 640x480 vs 720x480 NTSC

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Jay Leap
Weird differences rendering to 640x480 vs 720x480 NTSC
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:45:32 am

Hi there,

Posting here because this seems like the most knowledgeable board I've found. I've learned much from reading the expertise here, but now I'm stumped. I'm seeing some weird, counterintuitive differences rendering to 720x480 NTSC vs 640x480.

I have to confess I'm using iMovie instead of Final Cut Pro, but I did import the codec pack containing ProRes 422 and used it when exporting.

Here's my chain:

Mini-dv video from tape (edited to 19 minutes of 720x480 NTSC per iMediaHUD, 24.4 Mbps for the video only, 4:3 ratio, 4:1:1 chroma subsampling, 8 bits color depth, interlaced)

to iMovie. Edited in iMovie

Share/Export using Quicktime, using Apple ProRes 422 (not HD), frame rate current, Gamma correction automatic.

Did the exact same above for both exports in question. The only difference was that in one case I used 640x480 VGA for dimensions, and in the other I used NTSC 720x480 4:3.

I would have thought otherwise, but the 720 version came out looking significantly more washed out color-wise than the 640 version, and even more strangely, the file size for the 720 version is 5.94 gb vs 5.99 for the 640 version. Audio is the same for both (24bit 48k PCM).

Any idea why this is happening? I would have thought the 720 version would be slightly wider and a bigger file, with no change in color.


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Jay Leap
Re: Weird differences rendering to 640x480 vs 720x480 NTSC
on Apr 18, 2013 at 6:43:07 pm

Also, I did it in H.264 since then with the same washed out colors, and re-exported with 422 with the exact same good color and size (it defaults to medium quality).

Any ideas why? Also, is there a good way to get the improved color in a smaller file (H264, for instance?)

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