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Old May 10th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #1
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best HD to SD footage conversion

All the footage is in HDV or DVC Pro HD.

So now we've decided to post in SD - 4x3 aspect ratio.

I'm thinking I should convert the clips first and then edit in SD, rather than editing an HD program and then downsizing on export?

But some of the shots may need pan & scan.

And if I down convert the footage to "SD widescreen", wouldn't that lower the quality, since there's the same number of pixels as non-widescreen SD - the pixels are just wider (less detail)

I'm editing with PPro CS4.

any thoughts? Thanks...
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Old May 10th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #2
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Robert, your best quality result is to edit in HD and convert to later. If you export to a CineForm file then HD Link can rescale your HD to SD for you including adding letterbox for you.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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"your best quality result is to edit in HD and convert to later."

Really? That means I'd be rescaling all the graphics and animations and effects. Seems like it would be better quality to rescale first and then do a nice clean edit (?)

also, I want the final program to be without letterbox - just full screen 4 x 3 SD.

So some of the HD clips need to be 'pan & scan'd so the best action is in the 4 x 3 frame.

any other suggestions?
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Old May 10th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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i do lot of full screen SD 4x3 output and i resize to SD first (in AE) using cineform codec. Then i import it into a SD timeline and export it to DVD etc giving me crisp output. My previous workflow of doing HD and then exporting to SD resulted in soft clips.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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Anish,

are you down converting the raw HD footage to SD in AE, or are you first converting to an HD cineform intermediary format?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:24 AM   #6
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cineform hd first..then down to sd (cineform codec)..i found that once i convert to sd, the color gets bit washed out but i fixed that by going to the cineform properties when in AE render queue and changing the encoding to use RGB instead of bt.709 colorspace.

Iam keen to hear of better workflows but this one worked fine for me. This workflow worked best for me because my timeline is SD and i have some clips which are SD 4.3 which are in every episode i do (intro etc.). I only need to color correct once as the footage is usually from same light conditions so doing color correction in AE and then downconverting to SD makes life easier. i keep codec to cineform until the final export.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 04:29 AM   #7
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Good topic

First does Neo HD have the compresor that Prospect HD has?

If you are working on a HDV project 1440x1080 and want to output to both BD and DVD do you use HDlink to resizes your project to say 720x480 ntsc wide and you take that into Encore to output to SD DVD. Encore compress more correct when it transcodes?

If so how much is that degrading the output? Beccause we all know that Adobe compressor really stinks
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:30 AM   #8
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I'm also wondering if HD link is better at conversion than AE?

In AE I put 1920 x 1080 footage in a 1440 x 1080 comp to convert it from 16:9 to 4:3 aspect ratio - then did a "stretch" down to 720 x 480.

It looked good.

Another approach might be to try downcoverting the original 16:9 format 1920 x 1080 to a 16:9 format SD 996 x 480 (.9 PAR) via HD link or AE.

Then this footage could be pan & scanned in the SD NLE timeline.

guess I'll try that next!
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Old May 13th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #9
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16:9 SD format

When HD link converts 1440x1080 HD footage to widescreen SD, I'm assuming it's the widescreen SD format....720x480 with 1.2 pixel aspect ratio (PAR)? so all the widescreen info is schmooshed into 720 pixels, that are then stretched sideways to give the widescreen effect.

(I just tried this and the video looks soft)

Since I'm going to pan and scan - I think the quality would be better to go right to a .9 PAR, instead of reducing the size and then having the pixel stretch sideways.

But HD link only has pre-sets - you can't choose your own export format.

AE DOES let you choose the exact frame size and PAR, so seems that would be the best solution. Downsize to 960x480 with .9 PAR and then import that into an AE comp of 720x480 .9 PAR....then pan and scan.

any thoughts?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #10
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Best HD to Sd workflow

I think that there is not only one best workflow to go from HD to SD with Cineform – there are few of them.

The best workflow depends on many different factors like:
- do you prefer quality or speed
- do you want to work more, or you want that most of the work (time) is done with your
PC
- which software do you have (becide Cineform)
- which Cineform do you have
- do you make only SD (DVD) or only HD (Blu Ray) version of video, or both in the same
time
- do you want that SD copy and HD copy are exactly the same (from the same Project)

But, the most important for HD and SD video is to go just once in Cineform, edit and eventualy scale from one to another resolution there, and after that to go just once in mpeg2 (mpeg4) for DVD or Blu Ray. You shouldn’t do that more than once because most degradations of video are happening when you render to mpeg (and they are cumulative). If everything is done right, first generation of mpeg losses is OK and hardly visible, but second is very visible.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #11
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What's wrong with using David Newman's method (#2 in this thread as well has his blog note at the bottom of #2) or Robert Young's method mentioned in the same thread (#5)?

John Rich
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Old May 13th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #12
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"What's wrong with using David Newman's method (#2 in this thread as well has his blog note at the bottom of #2) or Robert Young's method mentioned in the same thread (#5)?"

John -
Where are these #2 and #5 methods? in this thread? or in the 'cineform software showcase' section? are they in one of the 'stickys'???

and Ivan -

I'm starting with raw .mpeg or .mxf files and converting thru AE so I can get a 960x480 SD file.

are you saying I should convert the raw files to the cineform HD intermedairy format first, and then input to AE?

I tried exporting the 960x480 SD from AE as a cineform .avi file. I'm guessing that's the cineform intermediary formate?

That might make the editing in PPro CS4 easier?

or should I just stick with a standard .avi file?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #13
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Tim Bucklin please comment

Yes I was looking for #2 and #5 also?

I think you want CF to do all of your compression. ADOBEs compressor for SD is really crappy! weather you use 960 or 720 you want to use CF to get you there first. The either AE or Encore or what ever to do the final transcoding to DVD. My question is how much does ADOBE hurt the CF file when transcoding to DVD. If CF would build a transcoder for Encor and AE I think that would the best picture.

Tim Bucklin or Dave Neuman or Jake can you comment on the best compression method and what harm does Adobe do in the final output? I know you are very busy with first light!
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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #14
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Sorry. I can't believe I left out the link
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/cineform-...ne-br-dvd.html

#2 is David's answer and #5 is Robert Young's located in this thread ie they are responses.

John Rich
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Old May 13th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #15
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As you see from all treads from Cine to BR & DVD thread, I am not an expert with Cineform (I am using only trials) and I am thinking that NEoHD would be better investment than Scene (and especially now with the First Light). The main reason is different HDLink and its advaced features.

I tried #2 (#5 is very similar) and found that it is great method to get clean and sharp SD video from HDV cam. I work with Vegas, Vegas can't use Cineform compresor, so you must do that with HDLink.

I was trying few months really very hard to get clean SD video with Vegas scaling down (and some other programs), but never could get it. Instead, I captured twice from cam - once in HDV and second in SD and it was always better than scale down in SD with Vegas. Most people from other forums didn't agree, but, well it's their problem. Important is, I am talking only about interlaced video here. When I tried to do that with Cineform workflow from #2 or #5 I get it from the first attempt.

But I tried and this: convert with HDLink 1440x1080 m2t from cam to Cineform SD (16:9); edit that Cineform SD on Vegas timeline and render it to mpeg2 for DVD - it was also good and I can't say that I could see any difference between this and first method. First method is more practical if you are doing both in the same time (DVD and BluRay). I can't imagine situation in which I would make only DVD copy of video (much more, there are situations that I am doing only BluRay copies of video).

Somewhere on this forum I also found this method: convert m2t from cam to Cineform 1440x1080 (or 1920x1080); edit in your NLE program; when finished, render that to mpeg2 HD for Blu Ray; for SD, scale this new m2t with HDLink to Cineform SD; render this Cineform SD with your NLE program to mpeg2 for DVD - this is not good, because you have not so good SD video like with first two methods - you have two Cineform to mpeg2 transformations for SD video - such video is also without scaling artifacts, but you can very easy notice that it is darker and with much less colours (it looks greenish).

But, this third method is fast and you can use this method if somebody ask you for DVD and you don't have you Project and Cineform master anymore and you don't want to do everythig from the begining - but you shuld compensate for colours and levels in video. Even this method is for me better than method of scaling HD to SD with Vegas (and most other Programs), becuse you can do something with colours and levels, but you can't do nothing with scaling artifacts. Again, it is only for interlaced video. If you want progressive SD video (form interlaced HD video) Vegas will do it very good.
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