Avid Media Composer Forum
4K transcode settings for a 1080 project
4K transcode settings for a 1080 project
by Thomas Quinn on Aug 3, 2019 at 6:14:53 pm

This is my first time posting here, so please let me know if I should be posting somewhere else.

I moved from Premiere to Avid recently to work on a project, I’ve worked with Avid in the past, but this is my first time using it for a serious gig.

The project I’m working on was shot mostly in 1080 23.976 so our project is setup up as such and our footage was AMA linked and then transcoded to DNX 175. We also have a good amount of 4K (1.90) drone footage. The editor wants to work with this drone footage at 1080 with an online workflow, he doesn’t care much about being able to punch in to different areas, but doesn’t want the system to be bogged down by the 4K.

Initially what I had planned to do was AMA to the 4K, then convert it to DNX LB and maintain the frame size so we could use frame flex with the intention of re linking to the AMA 4K at the end.

But since the editor wants to work in a native 1080 workflow and never take anything offline, I’m wondering what the best way to downres the 4K to 1080 would be. Should I AMA link and just transcode the 4K to 1080 DNX 175 like we did with the rest of the footage? If so, what’s the best option under the reformat option in source settings to maintain the 1.90 aspect in my 1080 project?

Any advice or tips on this workflow is welcome, thanks so much.

Re: 4K transcode settings for a 1080 project
by Pat Horridge on Aug 4, 2019 at 8:03:39 am

I'd crop the 4K to 16:9 to avoid scaling the source. The conversion down to 1080 is then exactly 1/4
But beware a lot of 4K drone footage can look pretty crap at 1080

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951

Re: 4K transcode settings for a 1080 project
by Thomas Quinn on Aug 4, 2019 at 4:05:41 pm

Thanks for the response.

So from my understanding, the best way to do that would be to set the aspect ratio to 16:9 in Frameflex on the AMA 4K footage, then transcode the AMA to 1080? This would make it so I’m not scaling or cropping the source after transcoding, and give me the size that we want? The only thing I’m unsure about then is the reformat tab.

If this is correct I’ll at least give it a shot, if the drone footage ends up looking really bad then we will probably have to go the offline route.

Re: 4K transcode settings for a 1080 project
by Jon Hensen on Aug 7, 2019 at 6:57:03 pm

Hey Thomas,

Yep you're right on the money there. Get your frame flex tab open when raw 4k clips are selected, change the Frame aspect ratio to 16:9 (within the Frame Flex window). From there you will choose you 16:9 frame which cause a little pillar box crop. Apply to all. Transcode to desired HD res.

Your editor can still choose to punch in on the clips using frame flex, knowing he'll have the resolution, and come time for finishing you can just ama relink those clips and re-transcode (ama only) to maintain your resolution. Food for thought!

Re: 4K transcode settings for a 1080 project
by Thomas Quinn on Aug 7, 2019 at 7:40:20 pm

Thanks for the clarifying info. Definitely going to go this route, appreciate your help with the workflow.

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