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Upconverting SD to HD with Kona 3

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Sergey LevchinUpconverting SD to HD with Kona 3
by on Apr 25, 2012 at 6:52:56 pm

I am looking to convert some DV NTSC footage to HDCAM, and I have access to a Kona 3 card. And so I was pretty pleased to come across Shane's tutorial on this very subject.

But, after reading the tutorial I am still confused about a variety of things. So, I hope Shane or another brilliant scholar of the Kona 3 can help me sort these things out.

1) I have a 20 min. project, originating on DV NTSC footage, shot with a DVX at 24pA (advanced pulldown removal) - yes, centuries ago.

2) I would like to upconvert the finished film to 1080psf 23.98 and output to HDCAM

3) I plan to output the finished film from FCP to Digibeta; then recapture into FCP via the Kona 3 and upconvert on capture.

4) The questions I have are:

a) what to do about the framerate and the pulldown removal? Digibeta is of course 29.97i. Can I capture with a pulldown removal setting? Should I capture as 29.97 and then remove the pulldown later (in Cinematools, I think)?

b) the original footage is anamorphic. I'm not exactly sure how the Digibeta is treating it, but it seems to be playing back from tape in proper 16:9 AR. What setting should I use when recapturing into FCP via Kona?

c) I think I'm supposed to set the "Primary format" as 525i 29.97 and "secondary format" as 1080i 59.94. My "Easy setup" and my "Frame buffer" should also be set at 1080i 59.94 And on the "Conversion" tab I should select Anamorphic. Is all this right?

d) I still don't understand why in the tutorial there is video coming in at 525i 29.97, going through the 720p 59.94 buffer and then going out again as 525i 29.97. Please explain.

Before somebody asks - why should I want to upres to HDCAM and not master to Digibeta. The answer is that the vast majority of projectors (and this is a festival piece) will be doing their own upconversion when playing out a DB tape, and I'd rather avoid their messy scaling and have a proper 1080 image.

Apologies the post came out so long. Thanks for reading through.

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Doug BealRe: Upconverting SD to HD with Kona 3
by on Apr 27, 2012 at 4:26:19 pm

1) assume you are in a 525 23.98 sequence now? you have removed pulldown?
2) this can be done directly from the timeline to HDCam@23.98Psf
3) Not a good idea to print 29.97 an injest then bump up to 1080i. then attempt reverse telecine. this is the long painful way around
4(a) see 3 above
4(b) anamorphic is perfect no further scaling or zooming involved. set upconvert mode in the Kona control Panel to "anamorphic"
4(c) set primary format to the end result format you want. set the secondary to the format you have.
The primary format is set by your "Easy Setup" in FCP when FCP is the front application.
the secondary should be set in the Kona control panel to match the format you want to convert from.

if you are near a post house with an hdcam deck ask for a rate for prepping a short film for festival presentation. they should be able to take your timeline directly if it's 23.98 dv and print directly to HDCam via kona 3, 3G or LHi. They should also give you a rate break to help out

Doug Beal
Editor / Engineer
Rock Creative Images
Nashville TN

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Sergey LevchinRe: Upconverting SD to HD with Kona 3
by on Apr 28, 2012 at 8:30:16 pm

Thanks for answering my post, Doug.

I was under the impression that doing a hardware upconvert would give me better quality than outputting from a DV NTSC timeline to HDCAM. (And so the painful process of outputting to DigiBeta and reingesting at 29.97 was all worth it for that Kona 3 hardware upconvert).
Is this wrong?

I have a Kona 3 card and an HDCAM deck at my disposal.
Can you tell me what is involved in "printing directly to HDCAM via Kona 3"?
What is the workflow? What kind of settings should be used?
If there is a thread or tutorial somewhere on here specifically about printing SD material to HDCAM via Kona 3? I can't seem to find it.

many thanks


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Doug BealRe: Upconverting SD to HD with Kona 3
by on Apr 30, 2012 at 6:41:18 pm

you will use hardware to print to HDCm from a DV anamorphic sequence, the Kona 3 does this on the fly.
1. Make sure the sequence you want to upconvert is 23.98 fps.
2. set the HDCam deck to 23.98 Psf (if you don't have a tri level sync generator set to 23.98 and feeding ref to the HDCam machine set ref on the HDCam machine to input.
3.set the easy setup to the same as your timeline setting
4. set the Kona control panel primary 525 23.98, genlock to ref only if you have a trilevel sync gen set to 23.98 and feeding the ref on the kona card otherwise "freerun"
5. set the secondary to 1080sf 23.98 and the up convert dropdown to anamorphic
6. set the outputs feeding your deck and monitoring to "secondary" by clicking on the output icon in the control panel and select the secondary format 1080sf23.98.
7.stripe the tape with enuff black to be able to assemble edit in at the desired code and away you go.
be aware you'll need and HDSDI monitor, or component in monitor that is capable of displaying 23.98 psf.

if your sequence is 29.97 then HDCam settings will be 59.94 and black can be used for ref. the secondary will be 1080i29.97

Doug Beal
Editor / Engineer
Rock Creative Images
Nashville TN

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Sergey LevchinRe: Upconverting SD to HD with Kona 3
by on May 2, 2012 at 3:21:26 pm

thanks again, doug -

i will give this a go and see how it compares with the upconvert on capture that i did over the weekend.
that turned out not too badly. for anyone thinking of going through the same motions:

outputting a 525p 23.98 timeline to 525i 29.97 Digibeta tape,
then reingesting as 1080i 29.97 via the Kona 3
and finally running a reverse telecine on the captured footage -

this gave me a fairly decent quality 1080p 23.98 clip that is frame accurate to the original 525p 23.98 sequence. I ran reverse telecine tests with CinemaTools, After Effects and Compressor. There is virtually no difference - but there were a few moments where I thought CT gave a slightly crisper frame.

I will try the upconvert on output and see how the quality compares.

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