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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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HD to SD workflow?

Being new to HDV for a few weeks I've tried to figure out how to get my best output to DVD. So far this is what I came up with. All tests done include exporting to AECS3 w/o actually doing any effects or grading and importing back to Premiere Pro for comparison tests.

1: Capture HDV to PP or HDVSplit
2: Make a sequence and render out to Uncompressed AVI 8 bit YUV (After many tests this proved to be the best.)
3: Bring 8 bit avi into after effects and export back out using same 8 bit YUV (also tried many options and this was the best)
4: make dvd in PP with both original clips and imported 8bit clips from after effects for comparison.
5: Final results of this workflow are very good. Cant really see any difference on 52" lcd series 7 Samsung.

Questions: When I tried exporting 10 bit YUV to AE and from AE quality was not good, alot of artifacts. Could it be too much data for my computer to handle?

Scenario #2:
1: Downconvert from XHA1 to computer: Terrible, not worth mentioning

Scenario #3
2: Open new Standard Def project in PP and import HDV footage
3: Make DVD, Image quality near identicle, I cant see difference from HD project.

Now heres what I dont get:

Try to export to AE from SD project: again tried regular uncompressed .avi and 8 Bit YUV
Export back to PP and they just dont look good anymore. Why is there a quality loss in this workflow. When I would use my old SD camera and export to AE and back to PP with standard uncompressed.avi there would be no loss of quality. I would thin the extra data of the HDV files and using 8 bit export would help. The HDV files in the SD project look the same when burned directly to DVD in PP.

I was hoping that since I'm not exporting to blue-ray if the quality was just as good in SD project it is that much more faster and easier to edit in SD.

Any thoughts? Am I not exporting to AE correctly?
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Old December 8th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Churgin View Post
1: Downconvert from XHA1 to computer: Terrible, not worth mentioning
That sounds odd to me. For a lot of people going out to SD DVD the in-camera down convert works very, very well. I suspect something's amiss. Either that, or your expectations are much higher than mine.

I cannot get my old head around what you are trying to do here. If you never want to output your projects to BD, the goal would seem to be getting the cleanest SD source footage you can and working with that. When I do SD, I just down convert in the camera and live with the footage in DV through to the project's final output. Yes, I live with the dreaded DV artifacts but I'm willing to give that up in the interest of time.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #3
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I think youve got what i'm trying to do correct. its not that I dont ever want to go to BD but I dont right now and I want the best SD image possible. I will try the downconvert again. Do you just set the camera to downconvert in the menu? or do you do something else.

Either way why does the imported footage from AE back to PP loose quality?
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Old December 9th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #4
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Yes... I'm pretty sure setting the downconvert in the A1 is a single menu setting. I actually use an HV30 for capture and that's how it works there. If you get nasty looking footage from doing that, perhaps you can post a frame grab here or a short video clip elsewhere for us to see.

I cannot explain the quality loss you're seeing between PP and AE since it's not a workflow I use. In theory it should not happen since you're using low/no loss intermediate formats, but I've not worked with 8-bit YUV. You might want to try working in QuickTime with the Animation codec. Reports are pretty good with that and I haven't had any issues. The files are huge, but then you probably knew that already.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #5
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I've tried QT animation, 10 bit, and a few others. The best I thought was the 8 bit. I see the loss in the edges and crispness of the video. It is most noticeable on 52" lcd. You dont see it too much on crt tv, but I can tell even when comparing on lcd 21" monitor. I tried the downconvert from the camera and I guess its not as bad as I said. I was just comapring it to the new HDV captures. The down convert is no worse and maybe a little better than the old SD camera, but the difference between HDV is night and day to me.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 06:28 AM   #6
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Ah, we're getting spoiled now, aren't we? (grin)

You have to be of two mind sets when it comes to HD vs. SD. After working with HD for a while, SD starts to look like dung. Our challenge is to make the dung look as good as we can.

Things really were so much simpler a few years ago.
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