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Professional 4k -> 1080p sharpness in Premiere

Discussion in 'Phantom 3 Help' started by bgunsberger, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. bgunsberger

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm shooting with a Phantom 3 pro for a 1080p finish and trying to get the maximum sharpness possible. I want to shoot 4k to give me latitude in cropping/panning, and I'm looking for the best workflow for exporting 1080p.

    I've tried using a 1080p project and resizing the clips in the timeling (and then trying to both export quality opstion) as well as a 4k project and then resizing on export and the latter seems to give WAY more sharpness. Here's what I'm getting:

    [​IMG]

    You can see that there's basically no difference between regular and 'max' quality in a 1080p project, but keeping the project at 4k and resizing on export give a much better result, although it makes the editing workflow VERY slow and painful. Does anyone know if there's a better way? Amy I missing something?

    FWIW, this was all shot with the lowest sharpness possible in the camera (-3).

    Thanks,

    Ben
     
  2. jcknows0

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    From what i understand it's better because you have 10 bit color depth vs 1080p 8 bit standard and there no way to make it less painful in the interim until GPU become more powerful. You are shrinking 12 million pixels per frame to 3 million so it's going to tax your system. I for one just edit in 10 bit uncompressed fcpx relying on my SSD raid to handle the hard work. Then I export 4k h264 master to YouTube and let Google servers do the heavy lifting. Will be nice when h265 is available export in editing platforms
     
    #2 jcknows0, Jun 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  3. jadebox

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    I've never done it myself, but one option is to edit using "proxies." Basically, you re-encode your source videos at 1080p, edit them in 4K sequences, then, before export, replace the proxy videos with the real ones.

    You can search Google for "adobe premiere 4k proxies" for more info. Here's one site that describes one way to do it:

    http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/premiere-pro-quick-tip-how-to-create-proxies/

    -- Roger
     
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  4. 3TailsMedia

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    are you choosing "set to frame size" or "scale to"?

    former is the one you should be using, preserves pixels.


     
  5. Steve Moore

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    Just for the sake of asking, why did you shoot everything at minimum sharpness if you are trying for the most sharp end result?
     
  6. toto

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    It's better to turn down the sharpness, contrast and saturation to give you the 'flattest' image possible off the card. This gives you more room to maneuver when it comes to colour grading. You can add contrast, sharpness and saturation back in to an image in post production but taking it out is a different story!
     
  7. toto

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    Does 4k recording definitely produce a 10bit image? I would be pleasantly surprised if it did.
     
  8. Steve Moore

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    I get
    I get the contrast and saturation. Thats why I shoot in LOG. But you cant create sharpness. If the pixel doesnt exist it simply doesnt exist. But you can infinitely soften.
     
  9. toto

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    Turning down the sharpness in the camera settings is not taking any detail away from the pixel, it's simply removing the sharpness that the processor within the camera is applying to the footage. Whether you add in sharpness in camera or in post production, it's going to manipulate the pixel in pretty much the same way so therefore it's best to start with as little sharpness in-camera so you can then choose whether you want to add it in (and to what extent) in post. Hope that makes sense :)
     
  10. Steve Moore

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    It does, but doesnt. I assumed a factor of zero would record essentially just as the sensor sees the image. A negative value would somewhat blend the adjacent pixels. And a positive value would sharpen blurs between adjacent pixels.
     
  11. toto

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    I think in that case '0' is just what DJI have set as a benchmark in relation to how much sharpening they think should be introduced as an average. I would highly doubt they would allow pixles to be blurred by going to -3. A question to ask them, perhaps?
     
  12. Steve Moore

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    In any video production of any quality you can modify the sharpness during production. I guess I see your point, but dont know that I can agree without something actually documenting it. There are a lot of instances where you would want to shoot in 4K but still have a soft image. Ill have to do some testing
     
  13. bgunsberger

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    Thanks everyone - a few things to unpack here:

    1. 10bit vs 8-bit. Extra bit depth MAY make a difference in colour reproduction/banding etc (although considering it's coming in as 4:2:0 h264, that's hardly a given. Either way, it has nothing to do with sharpness

    2. Proxies. I tried this workflow last night and it's definitely the way to go. It also has the benefit of being able to do a 4k finish but work on whatever resolution material your system can handle (which happens to be 1080p on my Macbook Pro).

    3. Camera sharpness settings. The 'Sharpness' setting in the DJI Pilot app is just some parameter to the debayering/sampling algorithm that's exposed to the user. AFAIK, there's no documentation on what filter they are using or what the parameter corresponds to. Keep in mind that because the Phantom 3 uses a CMOS sensor with a Bayer pattern, you can't reconstruct an image the way ''the sensor sees the image". However, after testing it, I can confidently say that with any setting other than the minimum (-3), it introduces ringing artifacts. These artifacts could cause problems with any other filtering operations (grading, panning/zooming, retiming, etc), which is why I prefer to shoot with the minimum sharpness in-camera and save any sharpening until the end.

    4. I know most people are recommending shooting in Log, but in my tests, this reduces your grading latitude, because you're distributing your luminance samples in a very different way than your final image, so you're effectively performing a very heavy grade just to get back to a neutral image. It makes sense when you have 10 bits or more, but with only 8 (and those 8 aren't sampled very accurately) you're stretching out the distance between those samples significantly.
     
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  14. Steve Moore

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    Big words.. but makes sense to me. Thank you.
     
  15. bobmyers

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    Sounds all very expert and scientific -- if you understand all the terminology-- which I don't-- I need it as automatic as possible and the P3 camera and platform pretty much does that.. That being said, I am liking the post edits that I have done-- and will continue to learn from every one of you pros. Thanks for the great discussion and input.:):):):)
     
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  16. snerd

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    I was just about convinced to start shooting in Log from reading the forums here. So, what do you recommend shooting in?
     
  17. bgunsberger

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    It's one of those 'it depends' questions. Shooting in log gives you much more information in the blacks than you would otherwise have, at the expense of the rest of the image. So, if you plan to grade your footage to reveal more detail in the blacks then it's a good idea. However, if you're after a more natural representation, then you're best capturing an image that is as close to your final look as possible.

    Also, keep in mind when shooting log that when you de-log your image you're increasing contrast significantly, so any compression or sharpening artifacts are going to increase as well.

    The important thing to keep in mind here is that with an 8-bit image, you only have 256 levels of intensity to play with (in each colour channel). That's fine under normal circumstances because the video colour space has been carefully constructed to arrange those levels such that your eyes can't tell the difference between adjacent values. However, if you start playing with the footage too much, you 'stretch' adjacent values so far that you can start to see the difference between them. This manifests as compression artifacts or banding.
     
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  18. snerd

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    Good info, thanks. Being totally new to video, let me ask another question.................. can video not shot in Log still be color graded? Or is it even necessary if not shooting in Log?
     
  19. bgunsberger

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    Again it really depends what you're after. I personally do slight adjustments on all stills and video that I shoot, but it's really up to you. You can grade any footage, it's just that shooting in log gives you more latitude in some areas and less in others.
     
  20. snerd

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    When I picked up photography as a hobby 2 years ago, I started out shooting raw. I've never shot it any other way. That gives me lots of data to work with in Lightroom. Video is like starting over again....... so I'm picking up the basics as I go. Thanks.