13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2014 3:58 PM by Shane Ross
Boris69 Level 1 (0 points)

I shot and edited in 720 x 480. Client wants ProRes 422 1920x1080 file. How can I do this without stretching or squeezing image? Thanks!

  • Russ H Level 7 (20,300 points)

    You can scale it up. At some point, however, the image quality will soften to where it is unacceptable. You can't change the aspect ratio without distorting it, so you will have a pillar-boxed image within a 1080 frame. See whether Compressor can do a better job than FCP. There are also some third party filters like Instant HD, (which has a trial version).


    You can experiment with moving the clip to v2 and putting mattes on v2 – solids, gradients, or another copy of the clip that is scaled way up to fill the frame and intentionally blurred – as a kind of background layer.

    Good luck.



  • Boris69 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Russ,


    I exported a few tests, and wow - it looks absoluely terrible. I'm going to check with client and see if there's another solution.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    Compressor can do a pretty amazing job of scaling up the material IF you turn on Frame Controls in the Frame Controls panel and set the resize filter to best.  I

  • Shane Ross Level 8 (42,795 points)

    The other options are After Effects...and then the hardware option of using an AJA Kona card to upconvert the footage when you capture it.


    Does the client know you shot 720x480?  Them wanting an HD master of a DV shoot seems silly.

  • Shane Ross Level 8 (42,795 points)

    Well, OK, not really. I've delivered HD shows that consisted entirely of SD footage.  I used the AJA Kona 3 to upconvert when I captured.  Footage looks great.

  • Russ H Level 7 (20,300 points)

    BTW, just re-read this thread and saw that what I wrote about using mattes has a typo. Should have typed v1…though you're probably not focused on that detail now.



  • darbypsnm Level 3 (720 points)

    For $99 this works really well.




    After Effects, FCP7, & Premiere friendly

  • Warren Heaton Level 3 (575 points)

    Just to toss another option to consider into the mix...


    Do a hardware up-conversion via Blackmagic Design's Intensity product.


    Export the 720x480 footage to DVCAM or MiniDV.  As with any tape format, put long enough slugs at the head and tail to allow for pre-roll and post-roll.


    Capture the DV tape via a Blackmagic Design Intensity product using the included video capture software set to HD settings.


    The result is a very good, low cost up-converesion.


    Getting great results from software solutions typically takes a good deal of processing time (be it Compressor's frame controls set to "best" or Red Giant's Instant HD).  A hardware up-conversion happens in real time.  A ten minutes short film can be upconverted in an hour or less.


    Of course, you would need to have a Intensity card, intensity USB3 box or Intensity Thunderbolt box.





    Video graphics tend to suffer the greatest quality loss during an up-conversion.  If you have a textless master, up-convert that and then add graphics back in a HD timeline.  Textless masters are pretty common if your client's program was generated for traditional distribution.  Atlhough, that part of the industry has forever changed.  I have clients giving me H264, MPEG1 and MPEG2 like it's high quality source footage with high peak signal noise ratios and will recompress without any quality loss.  Or, some have even said, "The source footage is already up on YouTube."





  • Shane Ross Level 8 (42,795 points)

    Sorry Warren, the Decklink cards...ALL of them...only do software upconversions and cross-conversions. Only the AJA IO cards, MOTU and Matrox cards offer hardware upconversion.  I know this because I wrote an article on upconverting SD to HD via the AJA Kona 3, and contacted BMD to ask about their cards, and they said software only. 




    It is still software only. The downconverts and upconverts rely on computer processors and software, and thus aren't quite as good.  AE nd Compressor do a better job. And yes, I did extensive testing with the Kona 3, Decklink Extreme 3D and Compressor and After Effects.



  • Warren Heaton Level 3 (575 points)

    Blackmagic Design Intensity is software only, huh?  Their specs page seems to carefully leave out "hardware based" and "software based" under "HD Up Conversion".


    In light of that, the only thing I would change about my prior post is that I'd swap  "hardware up-conversion" for "Do a real time up-conversion via Blackmagic Design's Intensity product."  It's very cost effective, fast and looked very close to upconversions I've done via Taranex products (which are not Blackmagic Design products since their purchase of Taranex).


    For anyone using AE, be sure to use a 3rd party plug-in (like Resizer, Boris UpRez or Algolith). And, be patient and throw a really, really fast workstation at it.


    Now that UltraHD is finally upon us, it will be interesting to see what, if any, viable options show up for converting SD to that.


  • Shane Ross Level 8 (42,795 points)

    Yeah, it's cost effective. Close to what Terranex gets you?  I'd argue that point. The Terranex does a hardware upconvert...BMD doesn't.  The Kona 3 (and LHi, and IO Express and IoXT) all do hardware, and they are like mini-terranex boxes.  Their upconverts are very good.


    BMD is cost effective, for sure.  So if that's what you want...great.  I often choose quality over cost...but I'm in broadcast where it does matter.  Most of the time, the subtle difference in quality might not matter.


    BUT, that's neither here nor there.  For upconverting existing media, using Instant HD, or Compressor, or AE are good choices.

  • StevenEsqTwo2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but what is the current thinking on SD to HD upconversions?  We have about 200 hours of broadcast SD programming recently captured to ProRes422 from Betacam masters.  We obviously can't go the hardware Aja Kona 3 route as we already did the captures.  Is Instant HD the best solution?  Thanks for any input!





  • Shane Ross Level 8 (42,795 points)

    It's an "OK" solution. Compressor is better....but to be honest, it will take longer do use Compressor to do this than to recapture the tapes. And the Kona 3 will look better...