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Old July 17th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #1
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Mastering 1080p to DV PAL

Hi folks. I'm using Vegas 8 to edit some 1080p footage I got shot on an EX1. Although the video looks fine on the timeline everything goes nuts when I render out to the required format which is DV PAL standard. The image is blurry and soft and hard to believe it was shot on HD. I could have used my trusty FX1 camera and gotten better results. So what gives? Why is this happening?

I suspect its the pixel aspect ratio conversion from the square pixels of the HD format to the not-so-square pixels of SD. If so then what's the answer?

A friend told me to render out an image sequence and then use Adobe photoshop to resize the 1080 frame size down to a 576 frame size and then import it back onto the timeline as SD footage. Haven't tried that yet, but would that work?

I'm quite disappointed in this whole HD to SD downconverting. Any answers or explanations would be most welcome!
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Old July 17th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #2
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Try setting the project properties to the desired output aspect ratio (e.g. PAL DVD widescreen) and then rendering that.

Just a thought.

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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:05 AM   #3
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HD to SD via Photoshop?

Thanks for the suggestion Mark, I already tried that though. I've been really careful where project properties are concerned.

By the way, I've tried rendering out an image sequence from the timeline and importing it onto photoshop, then resizing it to fit a 576 frame with letterboxing. When I export this image sequence from photoshop I get a MUCH sharper result which is also more rich in color!

I have still to experiment with this concept and will let you guys know how it turned it.

Question is: can't I get this done within Vegas? Do I have to render the video twice and take it all about the place to make it look half-way decent?
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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Vegas does quite a good job of resizing I think, not quite as good as VirtualDub, but better than After Effects etc.

Are you rendering at 'Best' quality?
Are you outputting to interlaced or progressive PAL format?
What are you viewing the output footage on?

PAL Widescreen footage will look blurry on a PC monitor because of the pixel aspect ratio thing (It's quite a squeeze), although some programs uprez it better than others. Obviously interlaced footage also looks bad.

If you're resizing to letter boxed in Photoshop it will obviously look better for two reasons - you're ending up with ess vertical resolution so it will appear sharper, but you end up with a tiny image; and you're only getting the standard PAL 4:3 pixel aspect ratio which doesn't look so bad on a PC screen as the Widescreen pixel aspect ratio. But the squeezed Widescreen will look better on a bigger 16:9 TV screen.

I've found 1080p resized to 576i or p in Vegas looks great.
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