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Old August 5th, 2006, 09:23 PM   #1
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Instant HD and scaling question

I understand the whole argument that you can't add pixel detail that isn't there in the first place. But I've seen footage that has been uprezzed using Instant HD and think it looks better. And, more importantly, I'm trying to understand how all this upscaling/downscaling stuff works (in terms of video file size, timeline size, output size, and then how it plays back on both computers and tv sets).

Let's say I have a video file that is NTSC DV 720x480 (.9) at 23.976.

If I take my video and place it in (extreme example) a 2k 2048 x 1556 timeline, AE blows it up so only a small portion of the middle of the 720x480 frame is viewable. Granted, one would normally upscale to a more reasonable size, but even so, the original framing is still lost. So how does this work without losing the framing?

Also, what size do I then output at? Using this extreme example of upscaling 720x480 to 2k, if I output at 2k, what is needed to view it? Do computer video players (like WMV) automatically detect the size and can therefore play it? Or does it downconvert the 2k video to the maximum screen resolution you have? Or do you need a 2k monitor for it to play?

Same thing for DVDs and tv sets...do you need a Blu-Ray dvd player to play a 2k video file on a tv? Will a 1080 HD tv set only play up to that size? Or does it automatically downsize a 2k or 4k resolution to 1080 so it can still play it? How does this work?

I don't know if this is how Instant HD works, but, in theory, why couldn't you take a 720x480 video and blow it up to 4k by filling in the missing pixels with the same colors, then downconvert it back to a normal playback size? Wouldn't you get a better rendition of the colors like we see when real 2k HD captured footage is downscaled? Granted, you can't fill in the missing detail that the real 2k HD camera captures, but shouldn't you be able to get better, richer colors?

I'd really appreciate someone taking the time to explain each step of those questions and the theory part too. Or point me to a thread or website that does. I haven't found one yet. Thanks.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 09:52 PM   #2
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I'm interested in how this works as well.

I have InstantHD, and I'm in full agreement that the uprezzed footage looks better than the original - especially after downconverting back to SD. Why this is? I'm not sure, but the images simply look better.

I'm not sure which term to use, because upconverting then downconverting certainly doesn't add definition or resolution, but the image looks "cleaner." What I just recently discovered (Ash pointed this out in another thread) that upconverting to HD, then downconverting to DVCPRO50, followed by burning a DVD, produces better results than if you were to burn a DVD from the MiniDV, DV25 format.

The exact formula and how it works...well, I'm not sure. Maybe someone else can shed some light.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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Check the forum and still cant find the right way. I have to edit SD and HDV material (captured with Cineform ProspectHD). I work with Premiere CS3 and After Effects 2.0

What workflow should give me the best results:

1.use InstantHD and uprez the SD, edit in a HDV timeline and the downconvert again to SD to export to DVD (btw, i cant make the trial of InstantHD to work)

2.downconvert HDV to SD, edit and export SD to DVD

Thanks in advance
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hernan Vilchez View Post
Check the forum and still cant find the right way. I have to edit SD and HDV material (captured with Cineform ProspectHD). I work with Premiere CS3 and After Effects 2.0

What workflow should give me the best results:

1.use InstantHD and uprez the SD, edit in a HDV timeline and the downconvert again to SD to export to DVD (btw, i cant make the trial of InstantHD to work)

2.downconvert HDV to SD, edit and export SD to DVD

Thanks in advance
Makes no sense to me to upconvert SD material and then down convert again. It sounds like you won't have a block of SD and then a block of HDV, so I think I would just capture it all in SD, using in camera convert for the HDV, and be done with it.

Alternatively, at least with NeoHDV, you can capture the HDV material in a Cineform codec at at reduced DV SD scale, though in Vegas, at least, it doesn't seem to be recognized as standard DV SD.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jeff Cottrone View Post
Granted, you can't fill in the missing detail that the real 2k HD camera captures, but shouldn't you be able to get better, richer colors?
In a word, no. Why would enlarging your footage and then shrinking it again give you better colors?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:53 AM   #6
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so if i take a small house, and build it bigger, and then take the bigger stuff back off, the original small house will look better.



hmm. i doubt it
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Old January 31st, 2008, 01:52 PM   #7
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I would beware of anyone selling software that proclaims to take SD footage and give you HD. There are good upres algorithms and there are bad ones, but none of them will give you an HD image that comes anywhere near the quality you can get with even a $600 HD camera. In my opinion, they're mostly snake oil...
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Old January 31st, 2008, 02:30 PM   #8
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Ben, I agree with you that caution needs to be applied here but Red Giant has a very solid reputation and they consistently provided tools, starting with Magic Bullet, that perform and provide great add-ons. InstantHD can be downloaded as demo version so anybody can do his/her own unbiased test. I did and, while not giving you the sharpness o HD, they don't claim that, it upsizes your footage to a new format without visible degradation, which I believe is the stated goal of the plugin.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #9
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Came across this after doing some searching.

I do all my work on the XL2 at 24p normally, and have seen Instant HD. Is it worth the buy? Can anyone post some stills of before and after?
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Old June 10th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #10
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I did a test with instant HD and compared it to simply scaling and adding a tiny bit of sharpness in after effects. I could see absolutely no difference, so I may be missing something but I don't see what it's doing beyond what you can do yourself.
Also, although I'm against upscaling videos... Upscaled SD to HD does in fact look better, so I don't see the harm if you have a situation that calls for it. I wouldn't do it unless you have to.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #11
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A better option that I see is to use Cineform...
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