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Old April 1st, 2006, 11:04 AM   #1
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Cropping HD-Footage for SD-Delivery - Can It Be Done?

Hello all!

The final product of a recent shoot I've done in HDV (1080/50i) is to be delivered in SD (16x9 PAL). Most of the B-camera footage is not framed well (not tight enough). As a result, I was asking myself if it might be possible to crop some of the HD-footage at SD 16x9 resolution or above, convert it to SD and only then start editing.

I use FCP 5.0.4 (soon 5.1 - it's on order), and don't really know if such a thing is possible in FCP or with any other video editing tool. Exporting all the footage to image sequences with QT Pro, cropping the images in Photoshop, and then converting the cropped image sequences back to something like DVCPro is what I currently see as a (theoretical) possibility. But there may well be a much easier and smarter way of doing this. Since I haven't started editing, I am completely open to adapt my workflow as needed. Any ideas would be most welcome!

As always, TIA,

Ron
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Old April 1st, 2006, 11:22 AM   #2
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This is all very easy in FCP because it is resolution independent. Therefore, just edit your HDV source into a normal PAL 16x9 sequence. When you insert any HDV clips they will require rendering and will be scaled to fit. You can simply scale the clip up and reframe with the arrow tool. Make sure "Image + Wireframe" is selected so that you can grab the corner to scale it.

If all of your footage is HDV source, then for a workflow I would suggest the following:
-Edit in a HDV 1080i50 sequence - don't worry about bad framing yet, just do your cut.
-create a new Pal 25fps 16x9 sequence.
-select all of the clips in your original sequence and copy them
-past the clips into the PAL sequence
-scale and reframe the shots that need it and render
-output PAL to tape
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Old April 1st, 2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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This is excellent news, Tim! Thanks for sharing it!

If the customer later wanted an HD-version, my crops would still hold up in 1280x720, I imagine. Could I then just copy the clips from the final SD sequence, paste it into a new 1280x720 HD sequence and all the crops would travel along? I.e. are the crops resolution independent as well?

I just noticed, however, that there are only 720p30 HD presets of several flavors in FCP, but nothing PAL-compatible. Does a 720p25 or 720i50 HD standard even exist?

Edit: I found some info on this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/720p . I wonder when FCP will be supporting PAL 720p formats??

Thanks for any pointers!

Cheers,

Ron
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Old April 1st, 2006, 03:19 PM   #4
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720P25 exists, but there are no 720 interlaced formats.

However, if you shot 1080i50, just use a 1080i50 preset. If your client wants 720P25, then create a 720P30 sequence, change the frame rate to 25, and then paste your clips.

Yes, scaling is clip independent, but you would have to redo the work for a higher resolution (higher values.)
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