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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old September 22nd, 2008, 01:32 AM   #1
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getting much sharper SD results from your HD footage

Downscaling HD footage using Avisynth | Fohdeesha Media

came out wayyy longer than it should have been. But oh well. Hope you all get as sharp results as I do!
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:34 AM   #2
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It'd be interesting to see a comparison between this and Lanczos3 resizing that's available in VirtualDub. That's what I've been using to downconvert my EX1 videos to SD.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:21 AM   #3
 
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I was using Virtualdub to downrez my EX1 footage until the following method was posted online. This method works with every NLE that supports nesting that I've used:

1-open your HD footage as the appropriate HD type in your NLE. Save the sequence(no need to render, just save the sequence file, in Vegas it's called the .veg file)
2-start a new project in the SD format of your delivery media
3-open your HD sequence in the SD project
4-render

This method works great.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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Using FCP I edit in HD sequence then open a SD sequence and transfer the whole project. So far this has been the best results for me. You can take either to Compressor for output.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Using FCP I edit in HD sequence then open a SD sequence and transfer the whole project. So far this has been the best results for me. You can take either to Compressor for output.
Hey Paul

What are your settings for your SD project. There are so many choices in FCP I'm not sure which one to use. Thanks

Mick Haensler
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:51 AM   #6
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It varies project to project depending on what the client is looking for with regard to output.

But you should look at DVCPRO50-NTSC Anamorphic quality 100%. But then again I have also had excellent results in Compressor bringing in the XDCAM EX1 then going to DVD settings. When you do this you can refine your choice and do a custom setting. I just sent out three DVD's this way to a client and they thought it was HD and I told them no it is DVD quality. Does not mean they know what they are always looking at but then again a very happy client.

Also H.264 has given great results. There are so many options to choose from. I suggest you experiment with a clip you like the quality and just go for it. From my experience it is worth the time.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 10:46 AM   #7
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There's a point where sharpening to SD goes too far and you get buzzing, ringing, moire patterns etc. Hard to expect incredible sharpness and clarity from 720x480 pixels. :)

Noah
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 11:36 AM   #8
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Sharpness has never been a problem for me. If anything I have had to add some softening to avoid jaggies and aliasing. I normally render out from FCP using compressor.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 12:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Adam Reuter View Post
It'd be interesting to see a comparison between this and Lanczos3 resizing that's available in VirtualDub. That's what I've been using to downconvert my EX1 videos to SD.
Lanczos3 is also available in avisynth, but spline36 is a couple steps up. A good description of all the algorithms is here - AfterDawn.com: Guides: Using AviSynth 2.5 (page 9/12): Resize Filters
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
It varies project to project depending on what the client is looking for with regard to output.

But you should look at DVCPRO50-NTSC Anamorphic quality 100%. But then again I have also had excellent results in Compressor bringing in the XDCAM EX1 then going to DVD settings. When you do this you can refine your choice and do a custom setting. I just sent out three DVD's this way to a client and they thought it was HD and I told them no it is DVD quality. Does not mean they know what they are always looking at but then again a very happy client.

Also H.264 has given great results. There are so many options to choose from. I suggest you experiment with a clip you like the quality and just go for it. From my experience it is worth the time.
Thanks Paul
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 03:36 PM   #11
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I also use the HD timeline to SD timeline and render way in FC. Had great results. We used a DV timeline to be able to make a DV master. This was then brought to the TV station and broadcasted. Looked great when I watched it at my 42" Plasma at home (broadcasted, digital SD signals)
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:31 PM   #12
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I've been struggling with this problem SO much as many of my clients want my footage delivered to them in SD (AND in 4:3) as they want to edit their own stuff. Some of them want .avi while others can use .mov. I'm getting such sketchy results that maybe I'm missing something really simple. It seems like there are so many ways to screw this up and I've found most of them!
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 06:44 AM   #13
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Dave,

The key I have found is to make sure you start with progressive footage! It always looks bad when you go from Upper Field first HD to lower field first SD. If you have HDV in 1080i instead of progressive, then here is what you need to do:
1) Take your edited HD sequence in FCP.
2) Create as others have said an SD sequence, but MAKE SURE THE FIELD DOMINANCE IS SET TO NONE!!! It usually defaults to lower field first!!!
3) Drag your HD sequence to it, render and output.

If the SD sequence is set to lower field first then it will look HORRENDOUS! Try it out...make one lower field, drag an interlaced HD sequence into it, you'll see all sorts of weird jaggies and bad interlaced artifacts. Then click "Sequence settings" and then make it "none" for field dominence. You'll then need to click on the timeline somewhere and it'll "snap" into great clarity!

It took me a LONG time to figure this out! Now, I give you this knowledge for free!! :) Seriously, this may not be the issue your having, but it was for me!
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 07:08 AM   #14
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Paul you make an excellent point.

"2) Create as others have said an SD sequence, but MAKE SURE THE FIELD DOMINANCE IS SET TO NONE!!! It usually defaults to lower field first!!!"
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frederick View Post
Dave,

The key I have found is to make sure you start with progressive footage! It always looks bad when you go from Upper Field first HD to lower field first SD. If you have HDV in 1080i instead of progressive, then here is what you need to do:
1) Take your edited HD sequence in FCP.
2) Create as others have said an SD sequence, but MAKE SURE THE FIELD DOMINANCE IS SET TO NONE!!! It usually defaults to lower field first!!!
3) Drag your HD sequence to it, render and output.

If the SD sequence is set to lower field first then it will look HORRENDOUS! Try it out...make one lower field, drag an interlaced HD sequence into it, you'll see all sorts of weird jaggies and bad interlaced artifacts. Then click "Sequence settings" and then make it "none" for field dominence. You'll then need to click on the timeline somewhere and it'll "snap" into great clarity!

It took me a LONG time to figure this out! Now, I give you this knowledge for free!! :) Seriously, this may not be the issue your having, but it was for me!
How do these settings look on a broadcast monitor? Computer monitors are one thing and they all look better with progressive (i.e. non-interlaced/field dominance) settings but not on an interlaced CRT monitor.

That's my lowest common denominator when it comes to video output and my experience has been if it looks great there it will look great anywhere.
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