13 Replies Latest reply on Aug 27, 2012 10:15 PM by Rick Gerard

    How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?

    ElcioS Level 1

      I'm new to AE, and making a painful transition form FCP to Premiere, so please be patient, I don't understand many of the subtalties of these apps yet.  :-)

       

      Also, please forgive the long explaination, I'm having trouble articulating the problem...

       

      I'm shooting in 1080p/60, AVCHD.  I plan mainly to output to 720p/60.

       

      The idea being, that if I need to warp stabilize footage, or zoom/crop, I can do so without any quality loss.

       

      I don't want to edit the project in 1080p/60, because if I stabilize it, and it blows up the image, it will result in quality loss. Then when I scale down for final output, that pixilated/crapified footage will be present just in scaled down form.

       

      I don't want the footage to be scaled down first, then, when I stabilize it, I'm blowing up 720p footage (thus defeating the whole purpose of doing this) and once again, outputting pixilated/crappified footage.

       

       

      What are the steps / workflow to set up Premiere and the stabilizing shots in AE, such that I'm working in 720p, but using the 1080p footage, so that extra resolution is available when I need to crop, zoom, stabilize, etc. the footage... and can do so without any quality loss?  It would be great to have that ability to zoom in on elements in post, almost 2x, and not see any loss of quality.

       

       

      Thanks in advance!

       

      -Jason Wallace

        • 1. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          I'm shooting in 1080p/60, AVCHD.

           

          Are you SURE about that?  Isn't it actually 1080p/30 or 1080i/60?  The only cameras I know that can shoot 1080p/60 cost as much as a brand-new Corvette... lens, matte box and viewfinder extra.

          • 2. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
            ElcioS Level 1

            100% positive.  There is a family of lesser known Prosumer Panasonic cameras (my particular model is the TM700) that record 1080p/60.  It's a 3-chip, CMOS, that genuinly records at that resolution and frame rate.  Has audio input, headphone output, shoe mount, zebra stripes, touch screen, good battery life, and a manual focus ring (fly by wire, can be set for exposure, framerate, or focus).  Also has very good low light capabilities, that are much better than the published specs would lead you to believe.  The firmware is a bit goofy, and was clearly designed by engineers, not people who have ever shot video.  For example some things that should be easily accessible, are buried in menus, while other useless "fluff" features are front and quickly accessible.... but if you can live with a few stupid firmware compromises, it's absolutely AMAZING bang for the buck, and well under $1k to buy.

             

            Note: if I'm not mistaken, the camera can only output via HDMI 1080i/60, but for absolute certain the video files being recorded are genuine 1080p/60. (This has lead to some confusion and forum arguements as to whether the camera is actually 1080p/60)

             

            This was one of the main reasons for my moving from FCP to Premiere, as Premiere Pro handles the 1080p/60 AVCHD files, while FCP requires they first be transcoded and inflated to a intermediate codec.

             

            -Jason W

            • 3. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

              Why do you want to work at 720? Why not just work at 1080 and output to 720 at the end?

               

              Also, regarding the cropping/scaling with the stabilizer: Why not just use the Synthesize Edge option and not do any scaling and cropping? That's shown in the tutorials linked to from here, including the first of the Video2Brain tutorials linked to from that page (which I made).

              • 4. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                ElcioS Level 1

                The idea is that by shooting at higher resolution, but using the HR footage in a lower resolution composition, it gives you lattitude to enlarge the video, or use stabilization that requires the enlargement of the video to cover the camera movement reduction.

                 

                If I shoot at 1080p, and edit in 1080p, and use the warp stabilizer, it will want to enlarge the video (depending on how crappy the shot is, and how much stabilization is applied, this can be a significant enlargement, sometimes more than synthesize edges can handle)  Maybe 125% or more.

                 

                If you are scaling down 1080p video into a 720p production, you have that extra resolution available to make that 125%+ enlargement, without resulting in pixilation / softening of the footage.

                 

                Or, maybe, a shot is framed poorly and needs to be cropped significantly, with the cropped video enlarged to fill the video frame.  Or, maybe you are interviewing two people side by side with a single camera... you could "zoom in" on individual speakers (as if it were a 2nd camera) without quality loss...

                 

                Wouldn't starting with higher resolution video would allow these things to be done with no quality loss?

                 

                Thanks!

                 

                -Jason W

                • 5. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                  Jason-W wrote:

                  Wouldn't starting with higher resolution video would allow these things to be done with no quality loss?

                   

                  It would indeed.  I regularly shoot at 720p to make standard-definition TV spots.  Doing so has saved more than one hastily-acquired chroma key shot done on location with a portable green screen.

                  • 6. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                    ElcioS Level 1

                    Dave,  your experience should be applicable to the question then...

                     

                    How do you setup your sequences / settings?  It should translate to the higher resolutions that I'm using...

                     

                    Do you make a sequence that is SD, and just load 720p footage into it?  Does it automatically scale the footage to fit, and when you need to crop or zoom it's all good?  Or do you have to manually scale down every individual shot to fit in the smaller SD frame?

                     

                    Whatever you're doing, should be the same as what I'm wanting to do, just one step higher up the HD resolution scale.

                     

                    Thanks,

                     

                    -Jason W

                    • 7. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                      I deal in 30-second spots.  The demands of the shot determine how something gets shot.  I've rotated the HD camera 90 degrees from vertical to get a bigger image of a person on a green screen.  Then I can zoom in.

                       

                      But that's effects work.  Normally we shoot everything in HD, frame it for 4x3, and produce SD spots with the thought that the video may one day be used in HD.

                      • 8. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                        ElcioS Level 1

                        Ok, so I have my 1080p/60 footage loaded, and I made a 720p sequence.

                         

                        1080p footage drops right into it, but, comes in highly zoomed.  (it's at full resolution, not scaled to fit in the 720p window).  So I can manually scale the video to fit, giving me that margin...

                         

                        New question:

                         

                        Is there a modifier key, or a way I can drop higher resolution footage on a lower resolution sequence, and have the video automatically come in scaled down to fit?  (So I don't have to manually resize each clip to the sequence's size setting?)

                         

                        There is bound to be a way to do this, since premiere is so tolerant of different resolutions, and file types...  People would need a fast way to import footage sized to the sequence resolution...

                        • 9. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                          > Is there a modifier key, or a way I can drop higher resolution footage on a lower resolution sequence, and have the video automatically come in scaled down to fit?  (So I don't have to manually resize each clip to the sequence's size setting?)

                           

                           

                          Here's a search for 'scale to fit' that pulls up the answer.

                           

                          Please, before you dive into the deep end with After Effects, take some time to work methodically through the basic learning materials. It will greatly decrease frustration. If nothing else, it will teach you the terminology with which to ask questions.

                          • 10. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                            Dave LaRonde Level 6

                            Jason-W wrote:

                            Is there a modifier key, or a way I can drop higher resolution footage on a lower resolution sequence, and have the video automatically come in scaled down to fit?  (So I don't have to manually resize each clip to the sequence's size setting?)

                             

                            AHA!  Instantly-recognizable FCP Lingo!  Welcome to AE with its own arcane lingo.  To make communications more effective, you'll have to learn it. 

                            Lesson One: the entity in which you put your footage to manipulate it, animate it, add effects, etc. is known as a Composition, or Comp for short.

                             

                            Todd's given you some valuable links to scrutinize; I suggest you do so.

                            To ease the pain of learning AE even more -- for the mere cost of a new video game -- you also might want to check this out:

                             

                            http://www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321734866

                             

                            The Good Mr. Kopriva is one of the two instructors.  Being a somewhat modest gent, he doesn't often mention this learning tool.

                            • 11. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Not to toot my own horn here but I've been mixing media and formats since the Trash 80 and Commodore 64 days. Here's what I'd do. Work with a full HD square pixel comp. Make sure that your camera footage is properly interpreted as 60i which should be 59.97 fps. Drop the footage in that comp and step through the comp one frame at a time to make sure that you don't have doubled frames.

                               

                              Now, do all of your work, you compositing, your motion graphics, your everything in that comp. If you're doing some work with a NLE follow the same steps there. Make sure that you are getting what you want to get.

                               

                              Once the project is complete then render out a lossless or nearly lossless master (assuming you want to do more with the footage than post it on YouTube) at full HD resolution. Then I'd take that master and load it into Adobe Media Encoder or some other 3rd party encoder like Sorenson Squeeze to compress your footage and size it for output.

                              • 12. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                                pk4real

                                Todd, I know this conversation took place over a year ago, but I have a similar concern.  I normally shoot 24fps 1080p on my Canon 5DMK2.  I have a project coming up where I want some slow motion footage.  The 5DMK3, which I will be using for this project, shoots at 60fps (which I will step down to 24fps to get the slo-mo), but only in 720p.  So I am thinking if I want to use slow motion footage, I should shoot everything in 720p.  But I am afraid of losing quality.  Thoughts?

                                • 13. Re: How to shoot 1080p/60, output to 720p/60, so Warp Stabilizer or zoom/crop has no quality loss?
                                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Test run some tests. Anytime you change the size of the original footage you lose quality. Scaled up, scaled-down doesn't matter. If you resample pixels you loose. You can scale down without things being ugly more then you can scale up. And, if you're going to shoot slow-motion, always shoot at the highest frame rate you can.

                                   

                                  You also have to make sure that your 720 P footage is really at 60 frames per second and it's just not interlaced footage without the interlacing. What I mean by that is you have to make sure that you have 60 individual slices of time per second and not 30 pairs of the same slice of time.