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converting 1080i to 640x360p with AE CS5

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Kevin Hagaconverting 1080i to 640x360p with AE CS5
by on Jan 5, 2011 at 10:09:44 pm

There have been a lot of posts here about how to get great web video from HDV source (1080i), using PP and AE.

For the last 2 years, I have been using CS3 (Windows) to edit HDV video for web delivery, using the following workflow:

1. capture/edit in PP3 using 1080i timeline.
2. Export Movie to Debugmode Frameserver --> AviSynth to properly deinterlace and then scale down the video, typically to 640x360p AVI (square pixels). Use Lagarith Lossless codec from AviSynth.
3. add graphics and animation in AE, using a 640x360 comp.
4. Render out from AE to 640x360p AVI, again using Lagarith Lossless codec.
5. Compress in Sorenson Squeeze.

The results are about as good as you can get - this workflow deinterlaces into separate fields and then scales down - only once, and Sorenson does a great job on the compression.

So... now I need to move up to CS5, and have decided to utilize an already available beefed up Mac Pro instead of investing in a new Windows system. Unfortunately, this move will prevent me from utilizing the same workflow to deinterlace/scale down the video (no Mac support for Debugmode Frameserver or AviSynth).

I am happy to use AE for this task - but I'm NOT clear on how to actually do the proper or best deinterlace/scaledown. What steps would I take in AE? And with CS5 linking available to me, I can bring the PP project into AE for graphics/animation. Sounds great.

But my question is - what is the best workflow between PP and AE for me to convert edited 1080i into wonderful 640x360p video that I can feed into Sorenson for final compression?

Thank you for any thoughts or advice.


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Dave LaRondeRe: converting 1080i to 640x360p with AE CS5
by on Jan 5, 2011 at 10:36:20 pm

If this Mac comes with Final Cut Suite installed, you'll be pleased to know that an application called Compressor comes bundled in it, and it doesn't do a bad job at all of deinterlacing.

Straight out of the box, AE isn't a really great tool for deinterlacing footage -- you'd do well to get a plugin that does a proper job of the task, like ReelVision's Twixtor or Magic Bullet.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kevin HagaRe: converting 1080i to 640x360p with AE CS5
by on Jan 5, 2011 at 11:09:46 pm

ok, thanks - the Mac Pro will not have FC nor Compressor - extra $$...

I'm certainly open to a plug-in for helping. Still not sure about the workflow that is used by professionals to go from 1080 down to 640x360.

If I have a 1080i in PP, what size comp would I create in AE? If it's 1080 and I use the plugin to deinterlace, where does the scaling to 640x360 occur? I am used to large outputs - for example, I have 10 GB files for 15 minute videos already. I just feed these into Squeeze.

I like the current flow, since I can scale the video down, then add graphics in AE at the scaled down size (640 x 360). If I have a 1080 comp in AE with graphics/animation, how do well do they get scaled down?

Thanks again


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Dave LaRondeRe: converting 1080i to 640x360p with AE CS5
by on Jan 6, 2011 at 3:49:47 pm

I'm not the brightest candle in the chandelier when it comes to Premiere knowledge; you might want to ask about deinterlacing on the Premiere forum. The latest version may be capable of doing it well.
There is always Premiere CS5 Online Help, where you can search the term "deinterlace" to get the answer straight from the horse's mouth.

But let's assume Premiere stinks at deinterlacing. Here's what I'd do:
  • Export the full-size video from Premiere.
  • Import into AE, and place in a 640x360, square-pixel comp.
  • Scale the layer to fit the comp, and apply the deinterlacing plugin, and add graphics.
  • Render a lossless or uncompressed file; since this is a Mac, I recommend Quicktime's PNG codec.
  • Import the file into either Sorenson or Adobe Media Encoder for transcoding to the delivery codec.

That would be my workflow, and I'm confident you'd get excellent results.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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