Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

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Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby JD_Lord1 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:17 pm

I'm about to start an AMV with footage that is 720 x 480. I was wondering if I should edit it in 720 x 480 with it's original DVD pixel aspect ratio or if I should resize it to square pixels at 640 x 480. Will there be a difference in quality between the two? I'm assuming that there will be a size difference but I'm not too concerned about that.

Also, if I wanted to send a lossless version like UTvideo or something to a convention would I HAVE to resize it to 640x480 anyway or is there a 4:3 flag for these types of codecs? Hopefully these questions make sense and aren't too far out there, aspect ratios are still coming to me slowly :sweat:
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:42 pm

It's a matter of preference, really. If you choose 720x480, You need to make sure you account for the 0.9PAR every step of the way, instead of just once at the begining. Personally, I don't like making things more difficult for me every step of the way.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:27 am

http://amvguide.blogspot.ca/2011/05/2-v ... ing-c.html
One of these days I have to re-write that whole section and add some pictures... but I think all the info you need is there.
-------------

See, logically, most people see that the footage is 720x480, and think that's the way it should be, but...
NTSC DVD's starts out as 720x480 and stretches during playback to become either 4:3 or 16:9
Which means, if you just leave it, your footage will be wrong. <--- happens all the time :sweat:

So, to make it look correct, you have two options:
    1. Resize it with avisynth before/after editing, using Spline36Resize(640,480); or
    2. Flag the final AMV encode as 4:3 (in Zarx264GUI there's an Auto-Calculate option in the Advanced Tab)

Personally, I resize everything beforehand so that any text/effects don't get ruined after AR-stretch.

Also, yes, any time you resize, there will be a bit of a quality hit because you are altering the original image. But if you are maintaining the same vertical resolution, so you probably won't care. Now, if it really is an issue for you, use option 2; or use a minor upscale to 720x540 (Just do the math, and you'll see it is also 4:3, 1.333); just keep in mind the files will be larger.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby JD_Lord1 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:42 am

Thanks Phantasmagoriat (that is a long name) for the info (and nice blog post by the way)! I understand that there needs to be a flag set for playback but to re-ask one of my previous questions: what if I wanted to send in a lossless copy to a convention? I'm not able to set the flag with these types of codecs, correct? So basically I would either HAVE to resize before I sent it in or make it clear to them that when they encode it it needs the 4:3flag?

Also, if I created lossless versions of my footage at 720x480 and imported that footage into my NLE with the right setup (accounting for the 0.9PAR every step of the way as Bashar put it) wouldn't my graphics stay how I imagined them in the first place? I'm pretty sure Premiere can stretch or shrink the footage to look right during editing so any effects added would look right with a 4:3flag attached to it in the final encode (just like the footage).

I do see that it would be much simpler to resize once before though and I think I'm starting to head toward this option because I also have plans to use other programs that I'm not yet familiar with. So I guess the above questions are a little more theoretical now, but I'm still curious for any future projects.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:05 am

Make it easier on yourself and use the square pixels. Most of your views will be from people watching on a computer screen with square pixels, so it's a bit stupid to gear your entire work chain to hit the edge case of an SD projector being run from a DVD player by someone that doesn't know how to handle AR correctly and is using DVD authoring tools that don't auto-correct PAR and is running a contest that you happened to submit to and managed to get in.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby JD_Lord1 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:05 pm

I suppose theoretical questions get theoretical answers.

I certainly like to make things easier but I think I was mostly interested in preserving as much quality as possible, even if this did complicate things a bit.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:43 pm

I'll have to echo Bashar here. The advantages of resizing outweigh the advantages of leaving everything at 720x480.

But to answer your questions:
what if I wanted to send in a lossless copy to a convention? I'm not able to set the flag with these types of codecs, correct? So basically I would either HAVE to resize before I sent it in or make it clear to them that when they encode it it needs the 4:3flag
Technically, it can be done... I mean, I have seen people try to flag their old XviD.avi files... but it just leads to more headache than it's worth because not all players support .avi flags. So, I'll just say: no. You can't flag your lossless files. (I think .avi flagging is something specific to XviD anyways. IIRC the container is supposed to determines AR flagging, and I don't think .avi is made for that unlike .mp4 Anyone correct me if I'm wrong...). I've also seen people send lossless files to a convention with clear instructions on what AR to use, and the con still fucks it up. And trust me, you don't want to be sitting in the audience --the proud creator of your work-- and see it shown in front of a packed room of rabid anime fans with the wrong AR. You don't want to be the guy running the contest either. I'm not saying that has happened to me, but I can sympathize.

So just do everyone a favour, and resize your footage. Ideally before starting your AMV, but at least afterwards if sending to a con.


Also, if I created lossless versions of my footage at 720x480 and imported that footage into my NLE with the right setup (accounting for the 0.9PAR every step of the way as Bashar put it) wouldn't my graphics stay how I imagined them in the first place? I'm pretty sure Premiere can stretch or shrink the footage to look right during editing so any effects added would look right with a 4:3flag attached to it in the final encode (just like the footage).
If your NLE is smart, it will TRY to compensate for the AR stretch, but sometimes it cannot do that, especially if you create custom graphics. An image that was nice and clean with crisp edges may become warped in the end due to asymmetrical stretching, unless you had enough foresight to squeeze each and every graphic beforehand so that it looks correct when stretched in the end. This is most evident for text. See, text is special in the sense that it has to be pixel-accurate to look correct. So, even the slightest resize messes with that pixel accuracy, and it may wind up looking like shit. NLEs can compensate for that by softening the graphic/text, but personally I would rather have crisp clear edges, which is achieved if you just resize to the proper AR, and use square pixels the whole way through.

Now, comes the tradoff. As stated earlier: any time you resize, you lose some quality, (because you are altering the pixel-accuracy... and sometimes detail really is that fine... though rarely...) so some people just like leaving it at 720x480 so the footage is completely unaltered. Yet, I would like to think the advantages described so far outweigh that. If not, here's three more: 1.) The 'extra' quality you gain by leaving your footage at native res will likely be lost when encoding your final AMV, unless using quality settings that you probably shouldn't be using in the first place. 2.) By resizing, it can act as a slight cleaning step by softening out fine noise in your footage. 3.) If you add effects/colour correction/sharpening/cleaning/panning/zooming, most quality you think you gain by not resizing will be lost anyway...

So yeah, you can totally leave it at native res if you want, but resizing beforehand just seems like the better option to me; at least when making an AMV; encoding for quality-sake is a bit of a different story though.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby Zarxrax » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:38 am

It seems the real question here might be that you are wondering just how big of a quality hit resizing actually makes. Test it out yourself by resizing from 720x480 -> 640x480, and then back again. Two resizing operations, so its double the quality loss, but will let you compare easily.
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Re: Resize Question (720 vs 640 x 480)

Postby JD_Lord1 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:51 pm

Well I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna re-size to 640 on this one. I would be willing to try out 720 but I have plans on experimenting with other programs I'm not familiar with and that alone is going to require a much bigger effort.

Thanks for the advice guys!
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