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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Whitehorse Yukon Canada
Posts: 2
Best SD to HD MXO2 Workflow

Hi all,

I am looking for expert advice on the best workflow to Uprez SD 4x3 Betacam footage to 1080i 59.94. I am editing with FCP7 with input through an MXO2 with MAX. Betacam footage is fed in via component. The MXO2 will only upres to a Pillar boxed 4x3. Once in FCP7 I am forced to scale the clips by about 136 % to fill the 1920 frame. As well, many clips of this program will be footage shot on the PMW-EX1 in 1080p30.

What I've been doing is upresing the Betacam footage through the MXO2 to 1080i59.94 in Prores 422 (HQ) in order to preserve the largest amount of image info. Then I scale the 4x3 to fill the 1920 frame and position vertically to select the 4x3. This usually requires about a 136 % scale. Obviously softening the image very much. After this I render the timeline in the prores and send to Color. Grade in Color and send back to FCP7. At some point, either before sending to Color or after I need to do some editing and effects work.

At this point my plan is to output the sequence to blu-ray thru the MXO2 or FCP7's share feature as well as output directly to a DVD recorder thru the MXO2's analog outputs.

Sorry for the long post, but is this the best way to deal with this 4x3 Betacam footage? Is there a better way to maintain the image quality when cutting a 16:9 HD swath from the 4x3 SD footage? Maybe Motion or Compressor to move from Pillar boxed HD 4x3 to the full frame 16:9 1920?

Thanks very much for any info or direction on this.

Kurt Waddington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 645
Hi Kurt

Try a side by side comparison of uprezed footage a) captured as pillarboxed (and then scaled in FCP) and b) captured as anamorphic (and then distorted in y-axis in FCP). The latter may (or may not) provide better results as the additional scaling post process would be y-axis only versus both x-axis and y-axis.

I'd also recommend a full end to end test using (standard) ProRes instead of ProRes HQ as the target codec for your upresed footage to make sure that the additional overhead of capturing to and working with the HQ codec was actually producing appreciably superior real world results with your workflow.

Andy Mees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2009, 03:37 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Whitehorse Yukon Canada
Posts: 2
Thanks Andy, I did just that and I'm not sure yet if the anamorphic capture works out better. I believe it should be so I am leaning in that direction. I'm doing the Y-axis scale in Color though and can do the grading at the same time. I did some Compressor routes but I'm not sure about the Frame controls and other settings to get the proper quality. Same with Motion. I need a little more knowledge in This area.

Kurt Waddington is offline   Reply

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