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Old July 20th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

So here's our usual workflow. Let me know if you guys think there's a better way of doing things.

We shoot on a variety of HD cameras (XHA1's, XF105, T2i). Most of the time our finished productions are shown on a private website on a player that is smaller than standard definition.

Accordingly, even though our source footage is 720/24p or higher, we usually edit on a standard definition 24p DV timeline in Premiere CS5. For each clip, we go to Effect Controls/Motion and change the size to just a tad bigger than filling the frame (for 1080 clips, that's about 46%). This allows us to create all our graphics at SD, saving time and storage space. But more importantly, it allows us to push in on the footage, without really losing much quality. We can create nice subtle zooms after the fact, or smash cut to close-ups from the same wider shot, making it appear we had more cameras running than we actually did. We then render out to a square pixel 852x480 h264 file, essentially widescreen DVD quality.

Once in a while (rarely), if we want to put a project on youtube or something, I may create a 720p version by copying the project to a 720p sequence, resizing the clips, and recreating the graphics at a higher resolution.

So my question is--am I losing anything by doing this? Is it screwing with the color space of the final file or anything? Anyone have a suggestion for a better workflow?
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Old July 20th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

I do not see anything wrong with your workflow if it is working for you and nobody is complaining about quality.

The only thing I question is the occasional up-rezzing of a project back to HD. If I had a project where these was a possibility of needing an HD version of it, I would do the editing on HD timelines. Video down- rezzed to SD and then up-rezzed back to HD in PPro cannot look as good as it would if you instead worked with the original HD resolution.

I personally prefer working in HD for several reasons, and that workflow serves my needs. It may be more than you want for most of your projects. The small-window "private web viewing" avoids or conceals oddities and artifacts that could be detract from projects viewed on larger screens in different formats. .

Most of what I do will is delivered on DVD or Blu-ray or a High-Def web format, so there is the obvious advantage of staying in HD for that. Also, I use a Matrox MXO2 Mini to provide "third screen" timeline monitoring to a 1080 HDTV. With the tv as close as it has to be in my editing room, I much prefer looking at HD to looking at SD.

Also, I often shoot multi-cam projects that combine three AVCHD cams (which all match each other very well) and one or more HDV cams (recorded to CF cards) some of which have a color balance that may or may not match precisely with the footage from the AVCHD cams. (The magic of white balancing and camera presets works better on some days than others.) For color re-balancing/matching, I like working with Cineform's First Light. First Light works via the metadate for HD avi (or mov) files. Using FL is much faster than the tools in PPro and AE (Although the PPro and AE tools are there when I need them, I often find FL takes care of everything I need.) First Light does not require rendering, either, so it is a much lighter load on the editing computer. I can tweak things in FL, alt-tab back to PPro and see the changes immediately. I find that doing this in HD gives me a lot more to work with and much less chance of anything surprising turning up when the project is rendered out for dvd, web viewing or whatever.

None of this should be taken as criticism of your workflow to the extent that it is working for you. I am saying all of this say all of this simply to point out how the nature of the work will shape the workflow differently for different people and different delivery formats.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

From what I'm reading, I don't believe Bob is up-rezzing anything, but simply changing the project settings to output to SD. By going with 848x480 on the project settings, he's actually down-rezzing the original HD clips in the timeline when rendering to the final file, not up-rezzing downsized clips that have been rendered.

This sounds fine to me, I do this all the time if I need something rendered quickly for a preview or something. Just be sure to always hang onto those original HD clips if you find yourself needing to output an HD version of the project. If necessary, render your original clips to a different (but good quality) file type to keep quality and conserve space. I find that 40Mb WMV's tend to hold up very well on my system, alongside MOV files (set to full quality MJPEG-B), but take up only a fraction of the space. Render time is longer on WMV's, but I find that to be a fair trade considering the space I save.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Where I thought there may be an "up-rezzing" issue is if I took my cropped and edited widescreen SD timeline and nest it into an new 720/24p sequence, it seems to me that one of two things happens. Either

(A) The SD sequence would appear as a video frame smaller than the 720p HD frame (which is to say that the video would look as though it had been masked to a smaller size), and I would have to manually stretch it to fit the 720 frame size;

or

(B) PPro would do this automatically by scaling scale the SD frame to the 720 sequence's frame size (if I that selected in my project settings..

Either way, I would be stretching pixels to a larger frame which is what I would call up-rezzing. Am I wrong about this? Or, can you simply re-set your edited sequence from a widescreen SD sequence to a 720p sequence? (I'm on the road today, so I cannot test this myself with CS 5.5).
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

I haven't fully made the switch yet ,just getting into CS5.5, so I'm not sure how it works, but it seems to me that it wouldn't be different from FCP in this respect. If I drop an HD clip into an SD timeline, it renders as SD. Then if I move that clip to an HD timeline, it's like the footage is really SD...has to uprez and doesn't look so good.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

I actually just realized this is the Adobe forum, not the Vegas forum. My mistake. However, the principles should be the same. Yes, if he renders at 720p and has 720p footage in the timeline, any crop/pan zooming would create a kind of uprezzing, no different than the digital zoom feature on a camcorder.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay West View Post
Where I thought there may be an "up-rezzing" issue is if I took my cropped and edited widescreen SD timeline and nest it into an new 720/24p sequence, it seems to me that one of two things happens.
That is true, but I don't believe that's what Mr. Drummond was referring to. It sounds as if he outputs his project, which contains 720p footage in the timeline, as a 480p final file. And then, if necessary, use the same project with the same original 720p footage and render to a 720p final file for higher-quality viewing. The original footage in the timeline would be 720p *originally* just the same, but the output file can be whatever rez you want.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #8
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Also, and I'm sorry to keep repeatedly posting like this (lol), but to answer one of the original questions, I don't believe your color space will be effected unless you specifically change the color space settings. There may be certain file types which can alter this, but assuming you use the same file type to render both versions (high and low rez), the alteration would be the same on both. If you're happy with what you've been getting, I say stick with it.

....just don't delete those original files. ;-)
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Old July 21st, 2011, 10:55 AM   #9
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Sorry if I was confusing.

Kent is correct. I'm not up-rezzing anything. When you place an HD clip on an SD timeline in Premiere, each one needs to be scaled down to appear correctly. Otherwise you're playing a 1920x1080 clip through a 720x480 window, and you're only seeing a small fraction of the entire image. Then if you copy that project back to an HD timeline, you need to scale the clips up again to fill the screen correctly. But you're still pointing to the original HD source files, so you're not losing any quality.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Bob ---

Are you saying that you use "copy" (that is copying the contents of your DV24p sequence) rather than "nesting" (that is, dragging and dropping the 24p sequence into a new 720p timeline?) If so, I think you avoid the uprezzing problem that I saw.

That is, if you highlight and copy the entire contents of your DV24 sequence (using Cntrl-A, Cntrl-C or else highlight with mouse and click Edit-->Copy) and then paste them into a new 720/24p sequence, I think CS5 will point to your original HD files. Plus, you will not have to resize any of your video. Even titles should come over okay if you are bringing them from a widescreen DV24p sequence. I'm back in the office this morning and just ran a quick test that confirms this.

If you use "nesting" instead, then CS 5/5.5 will be pointing to files through the filter of the SD presets of the original sequence. That means you would have to resize your image to the new frame and you will get the uprezzing problem.

I just tested this using some 1080i AVCHD (m2ts) footage -- I did not have any 1080/24p to hand, so I used the 1080i. I put the footage into a sequence using an Adobe DV24p timeline preset. Added some transitions and a simple text title. Rendered everything. Opened a new 1080/24p timeline. I used a Matrox 1080 23.98p preset so that I could view the results on a large screen HDTV via the Matrox MXO2-mini. Playback and pause resolution was set to "full" for both timelines. (That being how I always edit, anyway.)

I tried both "copy and paste" and "nesting."

Nesting produced what we expect --- a reduced size image (in effect, occupying only the central 852 x 480 space of the 1920 x 1080 frame). I scaled the nested image to frame size.

Both "copy" and the "resized nesting" looked fine in the small program playback window above the timeline. It was a completely different story on the HDTV. The nested sequence looked like what it was -- an SD image stretched into an HD frame.

Since the "copied" material did not require any manipulation at all except for rendering the 1080i to 1080/24p, it seems you can re-purpose your edited DV24p sequence without a loss of quality. You just have to use copy/paste rather than nesting sequences.

Last edited by Jay West; July 21st, 2011 at 02:43 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Frost View Post
Also, and I'm sorry to keep repeatedly posting like this (lol), but to answer one of the original questions, I don't believe your color space will be effected unless you specifically change the color space settings. There may be certain file types which can alter this, but assuming you use the same file type to render both versions (high and low rez), the alteration would be the same on both. If you're happy with what you've been getting, I say stick with it.

....just don't delete those original files. ;-)
I agree with Kent that color space shouldn't be adversely affected by this workflow. For what Bob is doing, I don't think it matters whether he is using 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 color space or mixing a variety of footages.

It might or might not be different when it comes to making color adjustments --- as when matching dissimilar cameras in a multi-cam edit. I personally find these tasks easier and more accurate when editing in HD (and more so when using Cineform conversions). That is a reflection of my personal preferences, the kinds of video I work with, the computer system I use, and the delivery formats I provide.

That this is what works for me and is different from the way Bob does things means only that there can be alternative ways to accomplish things. it does not mean that everybody else needs to do it my way. One of the great --- and sometimes annoying --- things about PPro is that it gives you a lot of flexibility in how you accomplish tasks. Bob's workflow has benefits for speed and storage space constraints and it has been working well for him.

So, I second what Kent said: "f you're happy with what you've been getting, I say stick with it."
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Old July 24th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #12
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

Sorry, double post. Forgot I already mentioned what I said in this post. lol
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Old July 24th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

In reference to color issues when render, there is one thing I will say. First of all, I'm not sure if you get the same results in other programs than Vegas, but I've noticed that whenever I render to any derivative of MPG format, the blacks become completely crushed, and it generally darkens the whole picture. As much as I hate to admit it, As I mentioned before, I've noticed that aside from a good quality (but very large-sized) Quicktime (MOV) files, Windows Media Video (WMV) files set to a high Mbps rating holds up extremely well. I usually render to 40Mbps WMV and 320kbps audio get great results and not very large files at all. I've even considered converting all my original clips to this format to keep quality and preserve space.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 12:27 AM   #14
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

That's what you're doing. Output the final sequence to whatever you want as long as it's playable. If you so chose to look at your work in an HD timeline, create a new sequence in an HD format and nest the other sequence there.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #15
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Re: Shooting HD but editing on an DV timeline - is there abetter way?

"f you so chose to look at your work in an HD timeline, create a new sequence in an HD format and nest the other sequence there. "

At the risk of redundantly repeating myself too many times ;>), let me reemphasize this again: use "copy and paste" to do this in PPro. Nesting from an SD timeline will give you a shrunken SD image when nested into an HD timeline. Copy and paste will point to the original HD files, "nesting" in PPro will filter it through the nested item's sequence settings. That's how things work in PPro. They may work differently in other NLEs.
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