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Old March 11th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #1
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Mixing 1080 and 720?

Hi,

I'm working on a surf documentary. I will be shooting a bunch of footage over and under cranked and some timelapse. That footage will have to be shot at 720 but I want to shoot the interview footage and some of the b-roll at 1080. Is that a bad idea? Should I just shoot the everything at 720? The slow motion footage will be of actual surfing and I want it to be some of the best looking footage but I don't like the experience of watching 720 on TVs that add black around the picture so I'd like to bump it up to 1080. I'm just concerned that it will affect the quality too much.

Any advice on how I should approach this would be great!

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old March 11th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #2
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720 does not add black bars.

1280x720 is the same aspect ratio as 1920x1080

1280/720 = ~1.77 aspect ratio
1920/1080 = ~1.77 aspect ratio

1.77 is the standard aspect ratio for widescreen 16:9 (16/9= 1.77)

Movies that show black bars have wider aspect ratio such as panavision 2.35 aspect ratio.

Just create your project in 1920x1080 and have the 1280x720 fill the 1920x1080 frame.
I'm doing this and it work well in Vegas. Yes, the 1080 has better detail, but if you're only using the 720
for your occassional slo-mo, it's not all that noticeable.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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I'm a little new at the HD stuff but when I'm watching TV and it says that the channel feed is 1080 there will sometimes be footage that has a black border around it (top and bottom) but it's the same aspect ratio. I assumed it was because what I'm viewing at that point is 720.

What I'm mostly trying to figure out is if I should shoot my entire film at 720 if I have to shoot some of it that way because of the limitations of the camera.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old March 11th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #4
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Hmmm. Thanks for the info Steven. For some reason the first time I viewed your post the last paragraph (where you addressed my question) didn't show up.

I'll do some tests using your approach.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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If it's not a different aspect such as 2.35, the black bars were probably added
for looks. On some stuff I shoot, I add a mask to give the tighter 2.35 aspect look.

Again, 1920x1080 verses 1280x720 have the same aspect ratio, therefore there would be no black bars on a standard 16:9 widescreen set.

Last edited by Steven Thomas; March 11th, 2008 at 07:47 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jeff den Broeder View Post
Hi,

I'm working on a surf documentary. I will be shooting a bunch of footage over and under cranked and some timelapse. That footage will have to be shot at 720 but I want to shoot the interview footage and some of the b-roll at 1080. Is that a bad idea? Should I just shoot the everything at 720? The slow motion footage will be of actual surfing and I want it to be some of the best looking footage but I don't like the experience of watching 720 on TVs that add black around the picture so I'd like to bump it up to 1080. I'm just concerned that it will affect the quality too much.

Any advice on how I should approach this would be great!

Thanks,
Jeff
Hi Jeff,

Is this going to be land based surf footage? It is really hard to get close enough right now with no extenders available. For that reason, shooting in 1920 and cropping back to 1280 is a nice option.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 05:52 AM   #7
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I've mixed 1080/50i and 720/50p,slo-mo and fast-mo on the same vegas timeline,no problems at all.
When downconverted to SD,ie for dvd,i can't see any difference between what was originally 1080i or 720p,except,720p is slightly smoother on pans and much easier to edit with vegas,1080i gives that chopiness especially when the 2nd monitor is on,which gets worse when effects are added,ie rollong credits jump up the screen rather than roll smoothly,this is not the case with 720p,lots smoother.

Paul.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
720 does not add black bars.
Just create your project in 1920x1080 and have the 1280x720 fill the 1920x1080 frame.
I'm doing this and it work well in Vegas. Yes, the 1080 has better detail, but if you're only using the 720
for your occassional slo-mo, it's not all that noticeable.
This does work, but a bit depends on how hevily you are going to value the quality of your slow surf footage. You can go the opposite route and use 1920 in a 1280 timeline in which case everything looks great, but your final medium will let you know what needs to be done. If you do end up going with 1920, be sure that detail is set to off in PP's. Halos and srtifacts beome very visible when doubled.

Interested in hearing more about your project.

Best of luck,
Randy
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #9
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Sounds like I should test both dropping 720 in a 1080 project and 1080 in a 720 project (the detail to off is a great tip). Testing is getting so much more involved now that you have to think about different HD settings, different DVD formats, different TV features, etc.

The look of the slo-mo is going to be important. I definitely want the surfing footage to look as spectacular as possible. And the slo-mo is really important when shooting from the water because it smooths out the bobbing created by trying to hold the camera while swimming in water that isn't so calm.

As for not having access to the tele-converter yet, does anybody have any insight into trying to get closer to the subject by using lenses with a 35mm adapter like the Letus Extreme?

A bit more about the film. It's a surf film / documentary that will look at what it means to be a "soul" surfer. I'm interviewing a few famous surf explorers from the '70's and comparing their approach to the modern surf explorer who basically flies to a resort or yacht for a week or two and then heads back to work. I will also be looking at the surf industry in terms of it's impact on the environment (since we surfers are supposed to be so in tune with nature(?)). The majority of these interviews will be with a number of surfboards builders (shapers) who have been experimenting with using greener materials. All of this might be a little boring for surfers expecting a "surf" film so I want to make sure that there's some beautiful, top notch surf footage in here to increase the entertainment value of the film ... which is why I want the slo-mo to look really good.

Thanks for the feedback,
Jeff
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff den Broeder View Post
Sounds like I should test both dropping 720 in a 1080 project and 1080 in a 720 project (the detail to off is a great tip). Testing is getting so much more involved now that you have to think about different HD settings, different DVD formats, different TV features, etc.

The look of the slo-mo is going to be important. I definitely want the surfing footage to look as spectacular as possible. And the slo-mo is really important when shooting from the water because it smooths out the bobbing created by trying to hold the camera while swimming in water that isn't so calm.

As for not having access to the tele-converter yet, does anybody have any insight into trying to get closer to the subject by using lenses with a 35mm adapter like the Letus Extreme?

A bit more about the film. It's a surf film / documentary that will look at what it means to be a "soul" surfer. I'm interviewing a few famous surf explorers from the '70's and comparing their approach to the modern surf explorer who basically flies to a resort or yacht for a week or two and then heads back to work. I will also be looking at the surf industry in terms of it's impact on the environment (since we surfers are supposed to be so in tune with nature(?)). The majority of these interviews will be with a number of surfboards builders (shapers) who have been experimenting with using greener materials. All of this might be a little boring for surfers expecting a "surf" film so I want to make sure that there's some beautiful, top notch surf footage in here to increase the entertainment value of the film ... which is why I want the slo-mo to look really good.

Thanks for the feedback,
Jeff
The great advantage, I think, in putting 1080p material in a 720p movie is being able to crop/reframe without quality loss.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #11
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I would never put 720 on a 1080 project unless it was very necessary for me to use 1080 as the final output. I think that if you're going to be mixing 720 and 1080 on a project you should be putting the project to 720 and putting the 1080 on the project (make sure you're using the highest quality downsizing method) and then getting it out in 720). Now if I was shooting 90+% in 1080 and just had a clip or to that needed the slowmo in 720, that might be something different but it sounds to me like you're doing a lot of 720 and so I'd highly suggest using a 720 project and putting 1080 images on the 720 project.

(just my .02)

Dave
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Old March 14th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #12
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Hi Jeff,
I had another thought for you that I often forget about. If your end product will allow for a 24P project, you can overcrank 1920 to 30P. Doen't sound like a huge slo mo, but it is very pleasing for surf footage and certainly takes the egde off of a little camera motion.

Best,
Randy
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