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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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downsampling 1080p to 720p

I shot basketball footage with my EX1 in 720p and 1080p. I am creating a project in 720p, so that i don't have to upsample. I understand that 1080p footage isn't going to look as sharp when it is in 720p, but final cut's rendering is making it look very, very blocky and pixilated.

Is there a way to convert your 1080p footage so that it looks mostly normal in a 720p project? Thanks!
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kyle McConaghy View Post
I understand that 1080p footage isn't going to look as sharp when it is in 720p
Why not? Unless the Mac is somehow less capable than a PC (and I don't think it is), this isn't too hard to pull off at all.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 11:18 PM   #3
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thanks! that's good to know... just curious why 1080p looks so bad in a final cut 720p sequence. anyone have any ideas?
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Old March 5th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #4
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Did you render it before you previewed it?
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kyle McConaghy View Post
just curious why 1080p looks so bad in a final cut 720p sequence. anyone have any ideas?
You might try using Compressor instead of FCP to do your 1080 downconvert. Compressor will give you more control over the conversion process, including the very important "Frame Controls". Make sure this is turned on in Compressor when you're downconverting from a larger frame size. Set the frame control preferences to one level below the very best of everything. These lower quality settings won't have much effect at all on the overall quality of the conversion but will make a HUGE difference in the time it takes to DO the conversion.

Some people (including myself) feel that the XDCAM EX codec is fine for acquisition but not the best for all editing scenarios. For projects where the frame size will not be changed, minimal graphics used, not combined with other types of footage, etc. then editing in XDCAM EX is fine as long as your sequence renders are set to Pro Res.

In your case I would recommend creating a straight Pro Res 720p sequence, do your 1080 downconvert in Compressor and transcode to Pro Res. Drop your XDCAM 720p clips directly into the Pro Res sequence, render a few seconds of that and view the result. If it looks good then just wait until final output to render the 720p stuff. The big reason to use an iframe codec like Pro Res is the time saved because every time you edit something in the native long GOP codec FCP has to "conform" the edit which takes a lot longer than when editing in the "iframe" Pro Res or even DVCPRO HD 720p.

- Don
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Old March 7th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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No need to convert. Just drop the 1080 footage in the 720 project. You must render first to see it cleanly. Can you see a green or yellow colored band above the clip in the timeline? The means you need to render. Command-R. And every time you make a color correction or filter change you'll have to re-render. The end result will look just fine. Remember every time you make a new file it's a lossy process with XDCAM files, even if it's not very detectable by the eye. So it's best to work with original files as much as possible.

Also when working with 1080 files in a 720 project, you have the option of zooming in without losing resolution. You can do digital zooms and pans like this:


It's always best to shoot 1080 and work smaller to to the extended options you have.
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