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AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain

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Emon LizagubAE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:42:25 am

I searched and searched but couldn't find a concise answer. I am working with Canon 7D 1080p and 720p (for slo mo) footage for a video and am compositing in AE. The final output will be at 720p for youtube (H.264). I was wondering if there would be any noticeable benefits in quality if I were to work with the AE compositions at 1080p rather than 720p? I am using 32bit in certain compositions and will be exporting uncompressed avi and finally rendering out from Premiere in H.264 720p. And compression artifacting & banding has always been a nightmare for me on youtube so I was wondering if I were to just export everything out at 1080p (at the expense of longer renders) and leave the final render for 720p, will I gain anything?


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 29, 2011 at 7:43:02 am

You will always have a better picture if you work at a higher resolution and then scale down for final output. So if you can handle 1080 and then go to 720 I would say do so.
As far as banding in H264 from AE- do not compress from AE for final delivery. Either render out an uncompressed Master (or ProRes 422) and then compress to H264 using Adobe Media Encoder, or open the AE project/comp in Encoder and render directly to H264. Setting keyframes at every frame will increase your quality.
Also, in my experience, rendering f4v or flv for YouTube is better.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Steve RenardRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 29, 2011 at 1:56:01 pm

I would add a caveat to what Ted said: depending on the settings in your NLE you may experience a quality breakdown when the 1080p file gets scaled down to 720p. I don't work with Premiere much, but this is something I've noticed in FCP - if you haven't got the various preferences set right, you will actually end up with poorer quality when it scales that 1080p piece down than you would if you just did 720p in the first place, because it makes poor decisions about how to interpret the data.

That said, though, Ted's proposal seems like the way to go, to me.

------------
Steve Renard
Media Director, Cicada Design Inc.
and Freelance Know-it-all
647-406-7991
srenard@cicadadesign.ca
http://www.cicadadesign.ca


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:04:21 pm

Just to clarify one aspect: I was thinking of finishing everything in 1080 and then compress the final for delivery using Encoder to a 720 format.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Emon LizagubRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 30, 2011 at 6:44:40 am

Thank you both for the input. I always render uncompressed Avi from AE. To clarify, for your last post Ted, I will be editing a 1080p timeline in premiere with the AE exported uncompressed avi's, be it 720 or 1080. But now, I will take your advice and work at 1080, though I have one more question now: If I were to zoom in on a 1080p scene via AE, will I get pixelation even though my final output will be 720p? I hope that's clear, but just to clarify a little more, I want to make sure if I do virtual camera tracking with the 1080p footage (hence pixelizing at 1080), will that show in the end after exporting the final project out from Premiere at 720?

Also, was I wrong in assuming youtube doesn't accept .flv anymore? I'd love to try, because I hate the artifacting with the H.264 and youtube. The original H.264 looks fine, but youtube slaughters the footage.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 30, 2011 at 1:41:40 pm

Zooming in at 1080 will degrade the image - it depends though how much you zoom in, up to 120% you should be ok, more than that you will get softer edges and eventually pixelation. Resizing the image to 720 will make it look better but you will still notice a difference.
I'm not sure about YouTube and flv since I always use f4v, but the quality is great for f4v.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Emon LizagubRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 9:40:55 am

Thanks again Ted. And I meant f4v, which I'll test out for my next upload. But my apologies, just to clarify once more, zooming in on a 1080p AE composition (probably up to 150% in my case, which would make it the same as a 720 pixels of the original 1080p file), will still noticeably degrade the final video quality even though my final output will be at 720p. Is this correct?


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Emon LizagubRe: AE 1080p output for a 720p project quality gain
by on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:16:09 am

Thank you both for the input. I always render uncompressed Avi from AE. To clarify, for your last post Ted, I will be editing a 1080p timeline in premiere with the AE exported uncompressed avi's, be it 720 or 1080. But now, I will take your advice and work at 1080, though I have one more question now: If I were to zoom in on a 1080p scene via AE, will I get pixelization eve


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