OK to mix HD and SD?

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    • #47424

       I haven’t tried this but is it OK, technically, to mix HD and SD?  I’m using Premiere Elements 8 for editing?

    • #195364

      No rules against it, so long as you understand the consequences.

    • #195365

       What would the consequences be?

    • #195366

      Different aspect ratios – 16 X 9 vs. 4 X 3 – You’re gonna have to crop or letterbox

      Different resolution – 1920 X 1080 vs. 720 X 480 – You’re gonna lose data moving down or lose clarity (and probably add pixelization) moving up.

      That said, I have done this with acceptable results.

    • #195367

      Primarily Bill, the outcome will be how you instruct your NLE and how your NLE will handle mixing standard definition and high definition resources. When using a program that easily handles both it would be equally easy for an inexperienced editor to wind up with something that looks and plays horribly due to unplanned application of 4:3 aspect (640×480 pixels) ratio and 16×9 widescreen with its assortment of (and the gamut of HD-rated resolutions from 1,280×720 pixels (720p) to 1,920×1,080 pixels (1080i/1080p) for starters). That unplanned outcome could come out looking radically unattractive.

      And, when applying the range of SD vs HD, high definition has a bounty of recording formats from HDCAM & variants, to DVCPro HD, AVC, XD HD, AVCHD, HDV and others … you can wind up with a convoluted mess if you haphazardly mix any or all of these … NOT SAYING this is your intent or the scope of your question, but still.

      Then, of course, there’s the fact that a person can also shoot some type of widescreen with some SD model camcorders, and the resulting playback from all these elements might not work well on the end user’s system, which might, or not, have up-res capabilities. Blah, blah, blah …

      So, the answer is technically, yes you can (I know nothing about your Premiere Elements 8 or its capabilities for this) but the echo is do you REALLY WANT to do this? Like commercial productions that use old footage, amateur footage, mixed quality to represent footage shot with crappy security cameras, up and down the quality scale in an effort to represent these various elements in the storytelling process, a planned approach might work for mixing these, or dirtying up resource footage to represent one or more types, including SD & HD.

      So, to goof around, practice and explore the boundaries, there’s nothing that says you cannot, and many have in fact done so. But when doing something “serious” or commercial, you might want to establish your reasons for mixing the two an be sure you can make it WORK together the way you intended.

    • #195368

       Thanks for the input.  The reason I asked is my wife is going on a hot air balloon ride in a couple weeks.  She’ll shoot some SD footage from the balloon and I was going to shoot HD footage from the ground.  After hearing the comments, I think I’ll shoot SD footage instead.  Thanks again.

    • #195369

      You can create an SD video from the HD just make sure that you capture the HD video so that everything is in the safe portion for SD and it should come out fine.

    • #195370
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      I mix em all the time. Never been a problem/big deal.

    • #195371

      I mix all the time, too. I mix HD with footage fromoutdoor trailcameras. When done correctly it gives the videos what I like to call “flavor.” You can put them full screen with an explanation so the audience understands the different quality. You can put them PIP so they’re small and don’t pixelate out. Sometimes I mask the HD video and implant the smaller SD video in it, depending on the effectI’m looking for.

    • #195372

      I hope this thread is still active — With the Canon hfm41a, using the camera to convert 1920 (MXP mode) to SD results in an out-of-focus clip.

      Is there on-line software that would not have this effect?


    • #195373

      @Bill, Switch cameras, give your wife the HD, If she is going to shoot from the air HD is the way for her to go. My mind is racing because of the thought of shooting SD when HD is an option from the air.

      OK let me get a grip, Give her the HD camera, let her shoot from the air, you use the SD camera. Shooting from the ground to the air of the balloon in SD will not be that bad, you will have a mostly blue backdrop with a splash of balloon, not a lot of worry about detail, and no need to zoom tight on the wife once she is far up, but while on the ground yes.

      Once you goto editing edit the SD video first, trip, crop remove the audio what ever you want to do with it. Just make sure you edit all the footage from the SD into a separate file. If the SD camera is shoot in 4:3 do not alter that setting.

      OK now save the file in the highest and best quality format your software will allow without altering it. Mine is set to default at 720, if I want better I have to choose.

      Now bring in your HD video and edit out what you do not intend to use from it. Then save in 1080.

      Now in editing make your movie, use what footage you want and splice together.

      When saving save in the 1080 of the HD, (use part of this footage as first clip) and the effect will be that from the balloon the viewer sees the HD and from the ground SD. It will go back from 16:9 (HD) to 4:3 (SD) but it may work out good since the SD will be from the ground. You have a very workable idea, just let your imagination take off with the balloon on how to use the HD/SD footage.

    • #195374

      also remember split screen or picture in picture edits having the sd footage inside or side by side with the hd footage could easily be done and maintain image quality with little or no compromises..

      I did this when shooting my first hd weddings as I had one sd cam and one hd cam.. simply did the wide angle shot on hd and the closeup details on sd and dropped a pic in pic effect or overlays with the mixed footage..

    • #195375

      I do it all the time, but it is not for the lazy. My HD is in ‘m2ts’, which I reprocess to high quality DVD-compatible mpg2 using TMPGEnc ‘Video Mastering Works’.

      Instead of logging clips in, I spend the evening after ariving home with HD footage, (typically about 100 clips after an afternoon’s work), cleaning up the footage, normally removing the first two-secs and final one-sec of each shot to minimise camcorder-handling noise close to a very sensitive mic. (Panasonic HDC – SD900). My shots are all of generous length and I usually go to some trouble to see that what I convert is all usable. It is easy, then, to set up overnight batch-processing, although sometimes I work far into the night roughing-out a commentary-script while everything is fresh in my mind. I can be batch-processing at the same time. An ‘overnighter’, typically, produces 25 to 40 clips.

      ‘VMW5’ makes a very good job of the conversion, far better than any of the ‘short-cuts’, such as doing the conversions in a video-recorder. The outcomes are in mpg2 of 720 x 576 px (PAL here in NZ). Now, everything, including my SD footage is in widescreen HD, (I’ve used nothing but WS since the mid 1970’s, 16mm and anamorphics). I select only the best quality SD, which is usually material taken comparatively close-up; a lot of ‘landscape’ shots develop objectionable ‘fringing’ on the margins of areas of high contrast, and are, therefore, unacceptable. There is no problem, with the ‘mix’ because both the SD and the HD have been mixed to a common format, the SD having been converted from DV-AVI.

      It is possible, using ‘Virtualdub’ and other such software to slightly increase the size of good quality SD footage to, say, 1280 x 720. At that degree of blow-up, the quality of SD is not greatly reduced, if everything has been setup carefully. The one thing I have to keep in mind, is that any stills-derived shots must be expanded to 1024 x 576 (not 720 x 576), to keep the correct aspect-ratio.

      This is a field which is ripe, for future investigation, I feel.

      Ian Smith – Dunedin, New Zealand.

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