I do it all the time, but


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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