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Old August 31st, 2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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ClipBrowser does superb HD-->SD Downconvert

Hi :)

I downconverted the same EX1 footage (with very fine Detail, like tube structures) with Premiere, Aftereffects, a Matrox realtime downconvert and finally the EX Clip Browser.

I am completely stunned how well and much better the clipbrowser does that downconvert compared to Aftereffects, which is absolutely the 2nd best.

What are they doing so different in Clip Browser ?
And how are Your experiences with that and other downconvert methods.

It reminds me ay little, that the Z1 in-Camera donwconversion was alway better that any other software-solution. There is a Sony secret :)

Thanks!

Peter
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Old August 31st, 2008, 04:30 PM   #2
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Rendering time?

How's the rendering time for the HD to SD conversion in Clip Browser versus a full NLE?
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:03 AM   #3
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I didn't measure, but feels not really longer.

A big advantage is that you can convert a whole folder and get files with the same filename and perfectly in sync. I can then reassign the files in premiere and get a finished SD Timeline from my existing HD. Fantastic :) You see, I am still excited :)

Peter
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:56 AM   #4
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When I tested HD->SD via Clip Browser it was taking almost double real time. I'd be interested in what timings others are getting.

Ian
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Briscoe View Post
When I tested HD->SD via Clip Browser it was taking almost double real time. I'd be interested in what timings others are getting.

Ian
It's very fast for me, too (about as fast as MP4 --> MXF!).
But the quality is very bad:
- many DV artifacts
- Interlace artifacts (progressive not possible?!)
- much more scaling artifacts than with virtualdub (maybe due to the non-possible progressive-setting?)

PS: I always shoot progressive with Detail=Off, quality is stunning, even if converted to SD using virtualdub. ;)


Dennis
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:51 AM   #6
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Interesting ... I do no interlacing. My test was progressive.

But virtual dub reads the MP4 ?!? Really ... I'll give it a try.
Thanks!

But still. My clipbrowser downconverts look fine.

Peter
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Old September 1st, 2008, 06:53 AM   #7
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I too, did not like the end result of the HD-SD downconversion via the clip browser. It is not always apparent this lack of resolution. However if you zoom in on a face and then slowly zoom out, the low quality downconversion can be easily seen. The SD downconversion is as if the camera has a severe backfocus issue. The close up is nice and sharp, the wide shot is severely blurred.

Whilst on this subject of downconversion, I've managed to get very good looking SD footage by exporting movie (as mpeg2) from PPro CS3 HD timeline. The resultant SD footage is again with severe loss of resolution. Then a sharpening effect (an effect of Premiere) is applied to this movie in a SD timeline and voila, the SD footage is brought to life. The down side of this is the severe rendering time involved. Even though I have an HP workstation (quadcore with 4GB RAM) and a Matrox Axio LE (which in this case does not offer any hardware acceleration since it is a Premiere effect) I've calculated that for an hour of footage one needs about 5-6 hours of rendering time!! However the end result is worth it.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 05:31 AM   #8
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Could someone enlighten me
Im having a bit of a hard time converting HD to SD, without losing clarity.
Im shooting for German broadcasters and most of the are still broadcasting SD

what version of clip browser are you using?
and how exactly are you doing the conversion in the CLIP BROWSER?

Have you bought the upgrade software from http://www.mainconcept.com/site/index.php?id=21901

??????????
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Old December 4th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #9
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Hi Kenny,

to me still the (free) clipbrowser does the best HD > SD.
I've read so much about this topic and meanwhile got the impression, that so many want HD quality after downconvert, which of course is impossible :)

Also I found that many are viewing their HD clips on HD-LCD monitors, which then have to upsample the SD after it has been downconverted. That looks terrible, but does the same with any SD footage not only EX1 footage.
SD from my EX1 watched on a good old SD-Tube looks fine.

I guess the core of the problem is, that HD is too sharp for SD. Especially interlaced SD. So after all, the only way to compensate flickering is blurring.

But if anyone has the ultimate solution for better downconversion - I am still interrested :)

Peter
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Old December 4th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Schmitz View Post
It's very fast for me, too (about as fast as MP4 --> MXF!).
But the quality is very bad:
- many DV artifacts
- Interlace artifacts (progressive not possible?!)
- much more scaling artifacts than with virtualdub (maybe due to the non-possible progressive-setting?)

PS: I always shoot progressive with Detail=Off, quality is stunning, even if converted to SD using virtualdub. ;)


Dennis
Dennis: Do you shoot 720P/50 or one of the other progressive formats. If not 720P/50 which one?

I have had very good results with 720P/50 but occasional line twitter (too much detail)
I usually shoot with detail on and -30. So interested in your choice to switch detail off.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rixner View Post
Hi Kenny,

to me still the (free) clipbrowser does the best HD > SD.
I've read so much about this topic and meanwhile got the impression, that so many want HD quality after downconvert, which of course is impossible :)

Also I found that many are viewing their HD clips on HD-LCD monitors, which then have to upsample the SD after it has been downconverted. That looks terrible, but does the same with any SD footage not only EX1 footage.
SD from my EX1 watched on a good old SD-Tube looks fine.

I guess the core of the problem is, that HD is too sharp for SD. Especially interlaced SD. So after all, the only way to compensate flickering is blurring.

But if anyone has the ultimate solution for better downconversion - I am still interrested :)

Peter
Hey Peter, Thanks for the reply and I see your point about perhaps expecting too much from the SD material...


my question is: how exactly are you using the free version of the Clip Browser to convert?
What resolution are you shooting in and what are you converting to?

I tried to convert HQ HD(1920 x 1080i) MP4 files to AVI DV and noticed that it loses so much definition, it all gets a bit blurred, which makes me think that I should have taken a BETA SP for the shoot instead.......

I havent tried 720 p material yet....

anything you could let me know about your experiences?

All Im really after is max. possible clarity once converted to PAL SD

should I be shooting progressive?
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Old December 4th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #12
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I am shooting all formats, depending on the job. But the "worst case" is surely 1080, because of the huge difference in size.

I recommend 100% to shoot progressive.
Unless a customer definetly wants that, I NEVER shoot interlaced. It only makes trouble.
If you need the higher framerate (for rapid movements in sports e.g.) I'd prefer 720p 50.

Your question about how I use the clip browser:
As simple as can be and like you described it. Convert to DV AVI.

Again, it's by nature a big loss in sharpness to reduce the resolution from 1080 to 576.
And if you compare it to HD on the SAME monitor, you'll never be satisfied with the results.

And as SD displaytechnology on a TV or Broadcastmonitor is ALWAYS interlaced, even if you have progressive material (a fact that so many ignore) you get flickering if your material is to sharp (what it is when you come from hd) or you have to blur it to reduce flickering.
Still I think the clipbrowser does a good ratio of softness to flickering. The theoretic "perfect solution" that I know is doing scene by scene with manual amounts of blur. But that's most of the time impractical.

BTW: if noone else is interested in the tread you can also write german, as I seem to live less than 50km from You. But english is fine with me.

Peter
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Old December 4th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #13
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NO lads keep it in English please. There are people who don't post who are intersted.

Danke.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rixner View Post
I am shooting all formats, depending on the job. But the "worst case" is surely 1080, because of the huge difference in size.

I recommend 100% to shoot progressive.
Unless a customer definetly wants that, I NEVER shoot interlaced. It only makes trouble.
If you need the higher framerate (for rapid movements in sports e.g.) I'd prefer 720p 50.


Still I think the clipbrowser does a good ratio of softness to flickering. The theoretic "perfect solution" that I know is doing scene by scene with manual amounts of blur. But that's most of the time impractical.

Peter
Hi, guys,

I so glad about this thread as often I supply SD material to client.
I'm no way an expert but few things I can share which is from experience:

1. For SD the best setting seems to be 720 50 p. Progressive 50 helps you with the motions while 720 is less trouble for the PC ( you can't shoot 1080 50p)

2. The Clip browser 2.0 does a great job, however the downconvert takes time but much faster than real time capturing.

3. The Shotput Pro is a great software to mange your offloadings,
I just bought it yesterday for the todays job and I'm fully satisfied.

4. Within a Clip browser you can select the parts of the clip you want to downconvert, the downside is if you wanted two different parts of the same HD clip, you need to SDing it to different output folders to prevent overwriting.

5. All NLEs I tried on Windows gave the SD downconverted footage with artifacts or other problems, however direct HD editing with NLE and SDing the output file is faster for short clips the one I work with ENG than via Clipbrowser, but as it was stated above Clipbrowser 2.0 gives a good SD quality for SD TV

-----------------

All in all Clipbrowser is the simple and quality downcovert way at the moment.

May I ask someone to confirm that when you are coming from the HD material
choosing SD DV avi output as squeezed DV is equivalent to the SD 16:9 ?

Thanks,
Atti
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Old December 4th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Danke.
Very funny, Steve. :-)
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