How to upscale an SD source to HD?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mikeheenan, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. mikeheenan macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    I have a movie which is on bluray, and a dvd of the same movie which is in it's uncut version. I'd like to do a hybrid fan cut, using the HD source as the main movie, and splicing in the SD DVD into the HD source. My question is how can I upscale the SD DVD source?
  2. Bkxmnr macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    I don't think you can. You can't create resolution that isn't there.
  3. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    you can't. You could do what a lot of news outlet do when they have SD footage. If you have final cut or other software is to create 2 video track. the lower track (V1) should have the video zoomed in/increase the size to fill the frame and then maybe add a little blur to it. then the V2 later has your video
  4. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    You can't. What you are wanting to do is analogous to to taking a 12 ounce soda can, stoping it flat (the compression for DVD) and then taking the can to a machine shop and asking them to not only restore the can to its original form, but to make the can 2+ times bigger without altering the appearance or the physical integrity of the can.
  5. mikeheenan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    Oh ok... I'll try this. Thanks!


    Good point. I was slightly aware of that, but not fully aware of the technical issues with doing so. I've seen SD footage in HD documentaries on Blu Ray supplements, but like one of the other posters suggested, is to do the V1/V2 track, and when I need the SD footage, to stretch/expand the footage to fill the frame. I know it'll probably look like crap but it's only about 1 or 2 minutes that I need.

    Criterion seems to do really good work on their SD to HD footage. On the Brazil disc, they have the TV version in SD, but it fills a HD frame. I'm guessing they had access to the 1" master (or whatever it was), and were able to tweak it a bit so it doesn't look too bad.
  6. Thuc5dides macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2012
    Teranex units have great upscaling, look for local dub shops that have the hardware. Otherwise use the cheaper software option.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I think there is a semantics problem here or rather, a misuse of terms. Yes, you can convert 720 to 1080p. You are not upscaling but interpolating the information (video). Some software/hardware combinations do better than others.

    What I suggest you do is look at Final Cut Pro forums and also information on a software called ffdshow.

    Understand that interpolating is not without drawbacks. If you want to do it with some reasonable amount of success and make it look somewhat decent, you will have to go over the video and possibly do some colour correction, adjust contrast and more.

    Also - the output should be in m2ts file format as are blu ray. Some software will let you re-edit media by inserting the 720 files among the 1080p files and then at the end save it all to 1080p. This is the brute way to do things and results don't look very good without some work on the 720 media. Since not all proportions are the same, you will have to take that into consideration along with the fact you have now taken the 720 media and made it a lot larger so that should be considered with the final product being a bit "bulky." Also - remember the audio should be matched if you can. If your blu ray is DTS HD and your 720 files are AC3 or DTS, you'll want to reduce the DTS HD to its core of DTS to match and for AC3 convert the DTS (assuming you have the software tools to do it).

    So the short answer is yes it can be done and there are some challenges that you will have to deal with to make a decent looking end result.
  8. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
  9. mikeheenan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Speaking of misuse of terms... ;)

    Scaling is the proper term (hence video scalers) and 720 refers to 720p HD. Short hand for standard def is 480 (or 576 for 50Hz areas).
  11. MacJediGirl macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2014
    The Correct Answer for SD to HD

    So far no one answered this question with any level of practical information. He wants to know how to make SD resolution look as close to the HJD resolution as possible and use the SD in the HD edits.

    Two answers: one of which is useless because I can't find the software anymore but useless answer #1 Rezorect which was created by PHYX Inc.

    Now for the current and most accurate answer to this question:

    "Red Giant" makes the software "Magic Bullet" "Instant HD" which is used in After Effects and Premiere Pro as a plugin and it is the best possible answer for attempting to make Standard Definition into High Definition.
  12. HobeSoundDarryl, Mar 21, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Unless I'm missing something, OP is not asking about converting 720p to 1080p. He references "SD" from a DVD, which is not 720p but something (non-HD) less than that.

    Some have said that it can't be done and others have said that it can so I'll try to give a "both" answer: it can be done, but the quality of the SD cut insertions will disappoint intermixed with the 1080p cuts. You see this often in documentaries and sports on HD channels where one switches from current (HD) video to showing something shot in pre-HD days. For instance, watch any sports documentary on ESPN or similar where they have players & coaches in the present (shot at HD quality) reflecting on some old team from before about 1999. If they slug in some video shot back then, the old ESPN HD bars are likely to pop up on the sides (because a lot of SD is not shot widescreen) and you'll probably see the lines of the old video because they are fitting about 525 lines of SD into the 1080p lines of HD. It's not quite as dramatic as color vs. old black & white footage intermixed but it's pretty glaring (hopping back & forth between say a modern Bball game on ESPN HD to an old game on EPSN Classic on the same "full HD" television might be a quick way to grasp this point). Since OP sounds like he's working with a DVD movie, he might not have a widescreen problem but there's no getting around having only 525 (or less lines) trying to fit into a 1080 lines of full HD (via that Blu Ray).

    phrehdd, I think you might be thinking of DVDs claims to (I think) 704 or so pixels. I think they are something like 704 X 525i lines vs. 720p which is 1280 pixels by 720 lines. If OPs "SD" version is as you think- 720p- it will be much easier and more effective to upscale 1280 x 720p to 1920 x 1080p instead of approx. 704 x 525i to 1920 x 1080p. The 720p to 1080p is not even close to having to make up so many pixels to fill in the gaps (and yet, it is still about a million pixels to be invented even there).

    Scalers- especially professional equipment- can work wonders but you're still likely to notice… especially if you are cutting & intermixing HD & SD such that it is flipping back & forth (again ESPN HD vs. ESPN Classic example). The eyes will notice a shift from relatively crisp to blurred and/or with SD scan lines showing, etc.
  13. Unami macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    i use red giant's "instant hd" for this - it obviously won't generate resolution that is not there, but it gives you better results than just resizing it in your nle. alternatively you could use a photoshop action (photoshop resizes pretty well). i think, you can get away with a good 720p upscaling of the dvd content intercut with a 720p downscaled version of the bluray. but it probably won't be worth the hassle, just watch the dvd :)
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I appreciate your comment. My error if the poster doesn't have any of the higher def files and only "SD."
  15. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    After Effects CC "Detail Preserving Upscale" is amazing. Well known editor Vashi Nedomansky talks about using it in his recent feature.
  16. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    second (or third) for Red Giant InstantHD. though i still don't entirely understand the built in pre-sets. i usually just use the custom setting and set it myself to 1920x1080, rather than trying to figure out which one of their presets is meant to do the same.

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