PSA: Best way to mix DV and HDV at

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Old February 16th, 2007, 02:08 AM   #1
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PSA: Best way to mix DV and HDV

Just posting this so hopefully someone can benefit from my pain:

I'm editing a wedding in Premiere Pro 2. I shot with two cameras - one HDV, and one DV. I could have set my HDV cam to capture in DV as well, but purposely did not so I would have the flexibility to pan-n-scan in post. My output is a DVD, but since Premiere doesn't import HDV clips into DV projects, I created an HDV project to work in. I imported both the HDV and DV clips, made my sequences, used multicam, made my cuts, added effects, fixed the audio, hit export, and thought I was going to call it a night... WRONG!

The next day when I went to review my rendered output (DV AVI), I discovered that all of my HDV footage looked fine, but all of the DV footage looked absolutely terrible.. worse than an old analog VHS camcorder. It had lost resolution and undergone significant blurring.

After two days of trying to figure out why, I finally figured it out. Since the DV clips were much smaller in resolution, I had used the Motion:Scale property to increase them to 225% size, thereby filling the frame. When I exported, the whole video was reduced again by 225% for the DV output. Logic dictated to me that either Premiere would be smart enough to do nothing in regards to size, or second best, the two actions would cancel each other out and there would be little difference.... WRONG AGAIN!

As it turns out, Premiere's scaling engine is quite bad, and scaling it up then down again absolutely kills any detail it once had. It made the VX2100 video look like it had come from a cell phone. The solution, in PP 2.0, is to right-click the clip on the timeline and select "Scale to Frame Size", which will intelligently compensate for the difference in resolution, and since using that method I have not noticed any significant loss in quality.

Whew! I suppose some of you are going "duh" but I hope it saves at least somebody the trouble of wondering why the heck their video looks so crappy.

Sean Schult is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Cairns- Queensland - Australia
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Well Sean glad you worked it out..but....
If you have EDIUS you don't even have to do that.

Just edit HDV or DV in a HDV or DV timeline all in real time, then just render out a MPEG 2 DVD file.
Paul Wags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Clermont, FL
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Premiere Pro has no problem importing HDV footage into a DV project. That is the best way to go about it because you can then make decisions on what is the best part of the larger frame to show in the smaller frame. Mostly people scale it all down to see the entire frame, however, I often scale back up to 100% to effectively zoom in on a section of the HDV frame.

I am interested in why you think "Premiere doesn't import HDV clips into DV projects" ?
Steven Gotz
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 09:30 AM   #4
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I thought it didn't support it because a few months ago I had tried importing some HDV footage in M2T format into a DV project, and Premiere gave me the unknown file format message. After reading your post, I just opened it up and tried it again, and this time it worked!! :confused:

Oh well, someday perhaps I'll learn *something* the easy way :-)
Sean Schult is offline   Reply

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