14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2013 7:08 PM by winchestercanoe

    Upscaling, preserving Image Quality

    winchestercanoe Level 1

           I had thought from reading previous postings (PPro CS4?, 2009?), that the transform effect was superior to using the motion (fixed effect), when upscaling video.  I have found the exact opposite using Premiere Pro CS6.

           I examined still images taken under the following conditions...

           Project is DSLR 720p 60fps with edit>pref>default scale to frame size - enabled.

           Sequence is 1080p 30fps upscaled to 150% and also 160%. 

           Frame captures were TIFF. 

           The 150% case is really a straight crop rather than an upscaling, (720x1.5=1080), but images scaled @160% showed the same degradation using the transform effect compared to the motion effect. 

           Has anyone else had similar results?  Maybe under other conditions, upscaling using the transform effect, is actually best.

        • 1. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
          Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Upscaling always means quality loss.

          Download the trial of Red Giant HD Instant and see if that is any help to you.

          http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/magic-bullet-instant-hd/

          • 2. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
            winchestercanoe Level 1

            Thanks Ann,

                 I guess what I'm really tring to do is decide on an optimum workflow within Premiere Pro.  I may have stumbled on a special case where the Premiere "Motion Effect performs better then the "Transform Effect".  I was curious if anyone had any detailed information about when to choose one effect over the other?

            • 3. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
              Jim_Simon Level 8

                   Project is DSLR 720p 60fps with edit>pref>default scale to frame size - enabled.

                   Sequence is 1080p 30fps upscaled to 150% and also 160%. 

                  

               

              That's confusing data.  PP no longer has Project settings like that, as you can have many sequences with various settings in the same project.

               

              So...which is it?  720p/60 or 1080p/30?

              • 4. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                winchestercanoe Level 1

                     It's 1080 media in a 1080 sequence in a "720" project.  Having a project setting of 720 merely effects how one sees the media; (and possibly how exporting is handled, I don't know).   I agree that I might have done well to not mention 720 at all, but I'm new to Premiere and still trying to learn how it processes information. 

                     After the 150%, (and 160%) upscaling one sees a 720x1280 version of the frame, in the program window, from which a 1080x1920 TIFF snapshot is made.  Using the 'motion effect' produces a superior image to the 'transform effect', as far as how the information is recoded in this still frame.

                    Taking snapshots from inside Premiere may not indicate how well information is exported in a final video export project.  I've spent most of the day exporting from 720 & 1080 media, and the conclusion I've reached so far, is that project settings of 1080 and 720 are pretty much interchangeable as far as exports are concerned.  I think I'll try exporting 1 frame clips next, I just haven't figured out how to view these yet.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                       It's 1080 media in a 1080 sequence in a "720" project.

                   

                  What I'm saying is that there's no such thing as a 720 project.  There are no project settings for resolution or frame rate.  Those are all sequence settings now.

                   

                  You're saying you have a 1080 sequence and 1080 media.  So I don't understand where the 720 comes from.

                  • 6. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                    winchestercanoe Level 1

                    Thanks Jim,

                                   When a new project is created, they ask for the file type and/or resolution for Sequence 1.  I used 720 for my project.  This coupled with the edit>pref>gen> scale to frame size setting decides how frames will look in the 'progam monitor'.   And I believe this setting does very little else.

                         When I export 1080 video as 720p or 1080p I get identical results whether the original project setting of 1080 or 720.  There are 4 permutations; the two 720 exports look idential, and the two 1080 exports look identical to my eye.  (Although file sizes can differ by 3000bytes).

                         When I 'export?' single frames using the camera icon, premiere definately outputs different information depending on whether the 'motion effect' or "transform effect' is used.

                    • 7. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      I used 720 for my project.

                       

                      Again, there are no resolution or frame rate settings for a project.  What you chose was a sequence preset.

                       

                      So now the question is, are you using a 720 sequence, or a 1080 sequence.  You've claimed both so far.

                      • 8. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                        winchestercanoe Level 1

                        Thanks Jim,

                            From 1080 Media in a 1080 project, I upscaled to 150% then took screen shots using in the TIFF format.  The media that showed the most dramatic difference between the 'motion effect' and the 'Transform effect' were shot in full sun; the media was contrasty.  The transform effect gave a softer, (more low-pas filtered), image while the motion effect showed greater local contrast.  This 'softer' approach to upscaling, I ASSUME, is better suited to to media with more compression artifacts; ex. more highly compressed media, shots from rapidly moving subjects, noisy images, and similar.  I consider the 'transform effect' to be a 2 part effect to which a variable amount of USM filtering is applied following upscaling. 

                            Premiere Pro crashed a couple times from using the warp stabilizer in 'synthesize edges mode' not long before I collected my screen shots.  The program crashes may he effected my screen shot.

                         

                        Thank you,

                         

                        Charles

                        • 9. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                          nw42 Level 2

                          it is importont also to check if your sequence is:

                           

                          -> Programm monitor is to set to full resolution

                           

                          a) set to "Render in maximum quality"

                          b) set to "Render at maxiumum bit depth"

                           

                          c) if you are using Adobe Mercury Playback Engine MPE in GPU mode all scaling is done with Lanczos3 that will result in sharp high quality scaling by default...

                           

                          -> Would be interesting to see differences from older effects that are not GPU accelerated - but I would avoid them because they are too slow to render...

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                            Jim_Simon Level 8

                            in a 1080 project

                             

                             

                            Third time. There's no such thing at a 1080 project anymore.  It's a 1080 sequence.

                             

                            Sequence, sequence, SEQUENCE!  Write that out 100 times on the chalkboard, Bart Simpson-like.

                            • 11. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                              winchestercanoe Level 1

                              Thanks Jim,

                                 Your questions certainly got me back on track after being mostly wrong in my original statement and again in item '4'. 

                                  If there still is any such thing as a 'project setting' in Premiere Pro, I would consider edit>preferences>general>default scale to frame size (or else don't)  to fit the bill.  Were it possible to change this setting in the middle of a project, it could change how crops were interpreted, making a giant mess.  

                                 My project includes about 50% 720 media and 50% 1080 media and I appreciate being able to place these in the same sequence when I wish.  This is a great new feature. The alternative seems like it would create a more confusing and choppy work flow.    

                              • 12. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                                winchestercanoe Level 1

                                Thanks NW42,

                                   I always worry about image quality with the tremendous degree to which video files are first decompressed, and then again recompressed. 

                                • 13. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                                  Were it possible to change this setting in the middle of a project

                                   

                                  You can, but as always, it only affect newly imported items, not those already imported.

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Upscaling, preserving Image Quality
                                    winchestercanoe Level 1

                                    Thanks Jim,

                                        It makes sense that things should work that way.  Very Flexable.

                                        Every day I'm surprised by just how much there is to this progam.