Upscaling before of after editing?

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Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:12 am

So, I need to upscale some DVDs for a video. Shut up. It's not negotiable.

From a work flow perspective, It's faster to work with and render the standard size, then upscale at the end after final export.
From a visual quality perspective, if I'm doing a lot of effect work, resizing after final render will make the result look worse.
I've always done pre-editing cleaning and filtering. This source I'm using looks so nice on the DVD as it is, I'm not planning on using much of anything to clean it. I would, obviously, need to clean it a little if I unscaled.

Is it better to upscale before or after? I'm leaning towards before, but am I missing anything?

EDIT - clarity
Last edited by BasharOfTheAges on Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby ngsilver » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:33 am

Well, it depends on if you are already using any other source.

If you're just using the 1 source, and you're not going to do any effects, then up-scaling after would work just fine.

If you're doing effects work, I'd suggest up-scaling before in order to make sure the final product will look good.

If you are using multiple sources, and some are already HD (I'm assuming your upscaling to HD) then I would recommend up-scaling before so that all your sources match and you get the best quality out of your HD sources.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:39 am

wut ng said^

But I should add that, depending on your method of editing, resolution is a non-issue. For instance, I edit almost exclusively with 320x180 proxy files then when I am ready to export, I Bait-and-Switch with 1280x720 .avs scripts (bastardized as fake .avi MakeAVIS files). I don't know about other programs, but with MagixMEP10, resolution doesn't matter. It's a little annoying to get the process to work the first time, and the Guides mention this method can be unstable, but theoretically you could edit 4K footage just as easily as SD material.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby DriftRoot » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:13 am

ngsilver wrote:Well, it depends on if you are already using any other source.

If you're just using the 1 source, and you're not going to do any effects, then up-scaling after would work just fine.

If you're doing effects work, I'd suggest up-scaling before in order to make sure the final product will look good.

If you are using multiple sources, and some are already HD (I'm assuming your upscaling to HD) then I would recommend up-scaling before so that all your sources match and you get the best quality out of your HD sources.


Same question as Bashar, possibly for the same reason. Here's the twist: I've already made 75% of my clips in 848x480, but haven't started editing with them yet. Can I just upscale these clips to 1280x720 with AVS, or should I go to back to my VOBs and redo these clips from scratch at the higher res? I have no idea what - if any - quality drop might take place by upscaling now vs. going back and getting the footage from the VOB files all over again. The con wants widescreen, HD videos and I don't want to screw it up at the get-go if I can possibly help it.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby Zarxrax » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:05 pm

DriftRoot wrote:Same question as Bashar, possibly for the same reason. Here's the twist: I've already made 75% of my clips in 848x480, but haven't started editing with them yet. Can I just upscale these clips to 1280x720 with AVS, or should I go to back to my VOBs and redo these clips from scratch at the higher res? I have no idea what - if any - quality drop might take place by upscaling now vs. going back and getting the footage from the VOB files all over again. The con wants widescreen, HD videos and I don't want to screw it up at the get-go if I can possibly help it.

Is your source HD to begin with? If its originally HD, then resizing to 848x480 THEN upscaling is just dumb.
if its not HD to begin with, then just wait and upscale after you finish editing (which is still dumb... why is a con requiring HD??)
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby DriftRoot » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:29 pm

Zarxrax wrote:Is your source HD to begin with? If its originally HD, then resizing to 848x480 THEN upscaling is just dumb.
if its not HD to begin with, then just wait and upscale after you finish editing


I agree it would be dumb if this was an HD source, but it's not. I wish it was! From NG's comments and my own knowledge, I would expect that upscaling afterward would produce lower-quality effects, which I will be using. I just don't know how noticeable any degradation would be. If it's nothing anyone will really see on the big screen, then I'll upscale at the end. But if it WILL be noticeable...perhaps I should run some tests.

Zarxrax wrote: (why is a con requiring HD??)

These aren't my rules. Bashar probably has more insight into the HD requirement than I do. All I can gather is that the con will have bigger, better video capabilities next year, so they're going full throttle in that direction. From an AMV standpoint, this just seems unnecessary right now - I can't imagine most people will be editing with HD, but those who are will have that advantage. Then consider all the videos which won't get sized correctly or have to be massively scaled up and consequently look terrible at that big 1280x720 size...ugh. I'd rather see a contest of small, decent looking videos than one with all kinds of crazy ARs and quality issues. Who knows, maybe the contest will look awesome and everyone will be glad they went HD. I assume that's their overall goal, after all.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby Zarxrax » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:43 pm

Well if all your source is SD, then I don't really see any point in upscaling it, just so your effects can be HD. You are going to make your rendering times increase a huge amount just for a little extra sharpness on effects. It might even make it clash with your video a lot, since your video will be much blurrier than the effects...
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby DriftRoot » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:44 pm

Well, I ran a test and the results so far point to upscaling before I start editing, though that's not the whole story (see below). There is a minor visible difference between the 848x480 and 1280x720 footage, but not enough to warrant re-ripping four DVDs to the higher resolution.

After I add some effects (of the sort I am most likely to add) and resize the final 848x480 video to 1280x720 with AVS, the quality of the effects is quite poor compared to the same effects applied at 1280x720. They actually come out worse than the video underneath, which survives upscaling fairly well, as previously mentioned. (There should be a law against modern anime series with huge budgets turning out crappy animation.) If I resize the 848x480 to HD upon export from Premiere, however, the results are more favorable, although the video gets a little whacked - squishes inwards a tiny bit because Premiere adds a border to the sides that I'll then have to remove and resize. Not sure why...perhaps it has to do with some ratio Premiere is trying to correct?
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby mirkosp » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:55 pm

DriftRoot wrote:Not sure why...perhaps it has to do with some ratio Premiere is trying to correct?

848x480 is somewhat far from perfect 16:9 (which is somewhere between 853 and 854x480). Also, avisynth's spline36resize is probably better than any resizer that premiere uses internally.
TL;DR: Export at your project setting, use avisynth to upscale, if upscaling is required for whatever reason.

To actually reply to Bashar: I'd prolly upscale before editing. If you're planning on using zooming and masking, especially, some effect tricks will allow you to have many frames full of proper detail if you edit at a higher resolution to begin with. Another funky solution would be editing at 848x480 or whatever other resolution you'd wish and then letterboxing+pillarboxing the video to 1280x720, if that is allowed... on a con projector you might not even notice or be bothered by the borders all that much. And I'm saying this because I saw a similar thing with the Paprika BD: I swear that thing was done at something like 1000x540 (which is curiously close to 1.85:1...), then boxed to 1280x720, then upscaled to 1920x1080, or some process of that sort.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby DriftRoot » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:28 pm

I think I like your reply to Bashar better, since I plan on zooming and masking, so thank you! ^_^
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:37 pm

Actually, there is no forcing of stuff to be in HD. If it's not in HD, it will be letterboxed and pillarboxed until it gets there. I don't really want to have my video be over 55% black by volume (1 - (848x480 / 1280x720)). I also didn't plan to release it in HD on the org (why bother if it's just an upscale, right?) but if i'm upscalling, doing HD effect work, and then downscaling it to upload it's going to look even worse.

The footage in question, for me at least, is Soul Eater, which was aired in HD, but hasn't even been released in BRD in Japan yet - I assume because they backed HD-DVD and they legally can't as part of some contract. Mirko pretty much hit on my exact issue with his response.

@ DriftRoot, this will actually be the 2nd year they've done it, and even the upscaled stuff looked better than the bordered stuff last year. I actually had all BRD sources last year, so this wasn't an issue. I just had to downscale to get to 720p. My other vid this year is using BRDs too, and those already look decent enough.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby DriftRoot » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:25 pm

Second year, huh? Yeah, I didn't enter last year so it's "OMG NEW RULE!!" for me this time around. I'm just a bit nervous about upscaling some of my more non-up-scalable effects. As mentioned above, it looks hideous in my tests. :|
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby Qyot27 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:04 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:The footage in question, for me at least, is Soul Eater, which was aired in HD, but hasn't even been released in BRD in Japan yet - I assume because they backed HD-DVD and they legally can't as part of some contract.

Actually, I found the following:
http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=ZMAZ-5971
http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=ZMAZ-5972

It would appear that it is going to be released on Blu-ray, although not until early next year. I suspected something like that because it's getting rebroadcast this season (not that rebroadcasting is at all uncommon, but with a Blu-ray release looming it looks more like the rebroadcast is a primer).


Unless of course that 'yet' had the above two sets in mind, rather than being a hypothetical 'yet'. In that case, ignore this post.
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby mirkosp » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:12 am

I just asked since I didn't remember. Seems like it was a 540p or so show (being BONES).
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Re: Upscaling before of after editing?

Postby ngsilver » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:46 am

Generally, if a source looks good enough in SD then it should look pretty fine if the upscale is done properly. I've done many tests with my own videos and equipment in the past with up scaling to HD resolution. As long as the source is widescreen to begin with and you're only going to 720p it doesn't look that bad at all. You won't be gaining any detail, but if the contest is going to black bar your video (seriously? rather then run a simple ffdshow script to upscale the footage they're forcing black bars????) you are better off up scaling. The flip side always is any DVD or compression artifacts will be magnified by the upscale, so pre-processing your footage is a must. (I doubt either of you would overlook this though)

In that case I'd just upscale after the fact and run a light sharpening on the video after scaling up. You're effects will appear a little soft but at least it shouldn't appear any softer then the footage, which is the whole key to what I was explaining above.

Still, I can't wrap my head around the idea of leaving a video at it's normal res by adding black bars until the edge of the screen. At Youma and ACEN in order to allow for HD content we have our hardware scale all video to the same size. I'd much rather have my SD videos simply blown up to HD res with no real processing done then have them shown at their normal res with black bars all over......
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