"Best" way to upscale SD 4:3 footage to HD

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 1:45 PM

I realize Vegas has an "Upscale" video effect -- but the V20 docs only talk about the older "Smart Upscale".

So I'm wondering -- what's the best way to render an HD (720p or 1080p) video from an older SD 4:3 source? It's not being mixed with any other footage .. just two source SD videos I'm working with.

Looking for recommendations on render settings, project settings and whether or not to use the Upscale effect. If test best outcome would require retaining the 4:3 Aspect then I'd accept having the bars on the sides.

With Vegas being as intuitive as it is, I'd like to think that when it sees SD media on a 720p project, it'd automatically use the smartest methods to scale it up... but if so, then why would Vegas have a separate Upscale effect?!

Last changed by RedRob-CandlelightProdctns

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

Comments

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 5/21/2023, 2:24 PM

I've wondered the same thing myself about how to upscale 720p to hd or 4k. Far as I can tell, Upscale FX and Smart Zoom FX are both of a digital zooms rather than resolution upscalers. I just alter the project settings and render frames to match the resolution upscale I'm after.

But when going from 4:3 to 16:9 a little zooming and cropping is involved so those fx should help. Upscale and Smart Zoom operate almost the same way with the same parameters however the reference points are different. So if I copy parameters from one to the other, the zoom window will shift unless I manually reorient them to match... not sure what possessed developers to make that change. The more significant difference is internal. Upscale FX is AI driven and Smart Zoom is not. So the Upscale FX will run substantially slower. I've A/B'd results of both and don't see the difference. But I usually use Smart Zoom while editing and switch to Upscale FX for the final render. Btw, Smart Zoom needs to be enabled in Deprecated prefs otherwise it won't show up. If there's more to it, I hope someone fills us in.

edit: corrected my name scrambling... sorry about that.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 2:45 PM

In my very brief test, applying Upscale (not Smart Upscale which is deprecated) *does* seem to have some impact, even when not zooming... but it's just not obvious to me what it adds (other than slow rendering) vs what Vegas natively does when lower-res media is rendered to a higher-res project.

I do get the zooming to compensate for aspect ratio change, and having to move the window around through the project as needed -- but may choose for this low-budget "help a friend" project to leave the bars on the sides.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 3:11 PM

I've been upscaling some movie classics from my home collection. I don't go above 2x Upscaling, so typical 4:3 resolutions are 960x720 (1.5x), or 1280x960 (2x). A 1080p television handles the latter with excellent clarity.

Here are some typical project settings I use, although there are many ways these old movies were put on disc. Many of them are IVTC Soft Telecine, so you can recover the native 24P film frame rate.

I don't use any of the Sharp models with Vegas Upscale, because they are slow. Instead, I put a very light Unsharp Mask on the media.

 

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 3:43 PM

 

I don't use any of the Sharp models with Vegas Upscale, because they are slow. Instead, I put a very light Unsharp Mask on the media.

 

 

I've never used "unsharp mask", but regularly use the Sharpen effect which seems quite fast. What's the difference?

Last changed by RedRob-CandlelightProdctns on 5/21/2023, 3:43 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 3:45 PM

I've been upscaling some movie classics from my home collection. I don't go above 2x Upscaling, so typical 4:3 resolutions are 960x720 (1.5x), or 1280x960 (2x). A 1080p television handles the latter with excellent clarity.

You haven't had any issues with playback, since 1280x960 isn't a standard HD resolution (1280x720)?

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 4:04 PM

It is a standard HD 4:3 resolution, just isn't used as much any more, YT doesn't have a problem with it. I think it was called QuadVGA.

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 4:56 PM

That said, an upscale factor of 2.25x (1080p) can still look good if the source media is of excellent quality.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 5:06 PM

That said, an upscale factor of 2.25x (1080p) can still look pretty good if the source media is of excellent quality.

Using which method of scaling?

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 5:31 PM

The one I showed, Vegas Upscale plugin with a very light Unsharp Mask, seems to work placed first.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 5:45 PM

The one I showed, Vegas Upscale plugin with a very light Unsharp Mask, seems to work placed first.

Ah -- I misread what you wrote earlier thinking you were saying you don't use upscale because it's slow.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 7:18 PM

I don't use the "Sharp AI Models" in the "Vegas Upscale Plugin" because they are slow on my system.

I use the "Smooth" Model with a light "Unsharp Mask", because it is not as slow.

To be clear, I always use the "Vegas Upscale Plugin" for this kind work. I don't use the legacy smart plugin or old school bicubic upscaling, having tested all of them at some time.

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 7:32 PM

I've never used "unsharp mask", but regularly use the Sharpen effect which seems quite fast. What's the difference?

The regular Sharpen effect is a high-pass filter, which is more destructive because it is too easy to blow out pixels.

Unsharp Mask works the other way -- it is a low-block filter that works from the shadows up, but has a more subtle effect.

Unsharp Mask is the choice of archivists and scan operators, because it is the least invasive choice.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 8:32 PM

I looked at the Unsharp Mask after you mentioned it -- seems to make the footage look more "old VHS" and muddy by working in the dark areas.

My bigger issue now is my interlaced DVD media (.VOB) having banding after applying these filters in my 720p project. Maybe I'm not using Upscale plugin properly -- I tried it on the event (pre pan/crop) and media, rendered "best mode".. I'll keep playing until I get this.

I did note that using NeatVideo in the chain helps.. it has a *fantastic* sharpen that it applies to non-noise areas that I've been really happy with... but I may need to change the project to an interlaced one before applying it so it properly applies.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 8:50 PM

Yes. If I still had NeatVideo, I would use it on my stuff.

For deinterlacing, I set the project to "Progressive" and the Deinterlace Method to "Smart Adaptive."

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 5/21/2023, 8:58 PM

I got the names scrambled in my post above and just corrected it. Sorry for the confusion. Apparently the newer Upscale FX (the ai one) needs to be applied at the event level before pan/crop to get the full effect. The deprecated Smart Zoom runs much quicker so I use that while editing. The other deprecated one, Smart Upscale, has much different controls and I've never used that one.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 10:44 PM

@mark-y and @Howard-Vigorita  You guys rock -- I appreciate you! 🙂

I did try the Upscale on the media, and event pre-pan/crop (it gave an error otherwise and actually my video preview glitched when placing it after). Still, got weird interlace effect, even with my project set to progressive (720p) and deinterlace set to Smart Adaptive.

I'm guessing it had to do with me applying Neat Video. I've found Neat Video creates its profile using the project settings, not the media settings. So if the media is interlaced but the project is progressive, it'll create a progressive profile for the video which causes weirdness. I could be missing the mark here.. but that's my theory.. I'll play more with it later.

When applying Upscale to the media I can change the "scale amount" which seems to do nothing to the size of the image, but affects what it looks like. When applied to the event, I don't have the option to change that setting. I honestly don't understand how it's working.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

mark-y wrote on 5/21/2023, 10:48 PM

You would probably need two passes, one with Neat Video, and one with Vegas, hadn't thought about that.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/21/2023, 11:33 PM

You would probably need two passes, one with Neat Video, and one with Vegas, hadn't thought about that.

If I set the project to interlaced SD, apply the Neat filter, then set the project to 720P, I believe things might work properly -- a kludgy workaround IMO, but it is what it is. Doing two passes means lowering end quality I fear.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

crown2020 wrote on 5/21/2023, 11:36 PM

This works good in some situations. You will need to play with some of the "models". In Vegas, we would call them "presets". Some models are more customizable than others. Some vids do better with Neat Video.

https://www.topazlabs.com/topaz-video-ai?gad=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo6GPg4yI_wIVYQZlCh0FZwIAEAAYASAAEgL6kPD_BwE

"Doing two passes means lowering end quality I fear". In most cases, the above link will produce good results. Of course, garbage in, garbage out. The link should at least provide "good enough" results. I have found results to be middle of the road to stunning.

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/23/2023, 9:40 PM

@crown2020 I may download the eval of Topaz.. at $220 I'm not sure it'll be worth my investment if Vegas's AI Upscale and Neat Video can do a good job.

I'm currently rendering with Vegas's "Upscale" applied to the media, and just an Unsharp Mask on the event. For the Upscale I set it to 1.5 and "denoise" -- WOW that's slow! It's rendering .21fps yes... .21 fps.

Neat video looked good but I was getting interlacing artifacts. And I haven't even pan/crop'ed my image yet to adjust from 4:3 to 16:9. I'm afraid that will make things worse since it'll have to push into the image to do that.

Grrr.. this is getting frustrating.

 

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/23/2023, 9:43 PM

@crown2020 So with Topaz.. what would the workflow be?

1. Use Topaz to deinterlace and upscale the two source videos I have from SD 4:3 to 720p 4:3, saving the new 720p renders.
2. In Vegas edit the 720p 4:3 videos (I have two source videos I'm editing together) and pan/crop to push it to 16:9 target 720p Aspect?

I probably shouldn't even consider 1080..

The source video FYI seems to have a bit of video noise.. Neat Video is giving it a 2.3

 

I downloaded Topaz -- am I wrong in my observation that it's actually just a wrapper for FFMPEG which is doing the work? Not sure -- for my selected 3-minute test video the performance is akin to what I was seeing with Vegas's Upscale (using denoise).. .6fps, 3h 53m to render remaining after 3% done. This performance will be a non-starter for me.. currently trying to use Topaz to upscale from SD to 1080p

Last changed by RedRob-CandlelightProdctns on 5/23/2023, 11:11 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

Former user wrote on 5/23/2023, 11:14 PM

@crown2020 I may download the eval of Topaz.. at $220 I'm not sure it'll be worth my investment if Vegas's AI Upscale and Neat Video can do a good job.

I'm currently rendering with Vegas's "Upscale" applied to the media, and just an Unsharp Mask on the event. For the Upscale I set it to 1.5 and "denoise" -- WOW that's slow! It's rendering .21fps yes... .21 fps.

 

I get 1.3fps with your same settings using denoise. I think it best not to use any of the Vegas denoise settings uses a lot of GPU power and poor performance. The sharp model gives acceptable speed but it needs a lot of GPU power, the smooth model uses least GPU power and highest frame rate, so I think your idea of smooth model with unsharp mask maybe be best option for you with your 3070ti

 

RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/23/2023, 11:20 PM

Problem is -- I really don't like the results I'm seeing. This is with Upscale x 2 (smooth) on the media, then Neat Video on the event to clean and sharpen (it thinks it's "progressive" now since the project is a 720p project, and the frame it's being handed at the event level is now 720p) and an Unsharpen Mask.

There just seems to be lots of interlacing still remaining.. looks pretty bad IMO.

I think it's Neat Video actually adding lots of the stepping I'm seeing on shoulders here and there -- trying another render in Vegas with the same "upscale x2" on the media (can't tell if it's doing anything!) no high sharpening, a bit of mid and lows sharpening only -- no unsharp mask, but adding sharpen. Currently using my RX470 for this rendering... yeah.. if I was smarter and it was earlier than 12:30am I'd have brought this to my 3070ti! *headdesk*

Last changed by RedRob-CandlelightProdctns on 5/23/2023, 11:36 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Vegas 20.214

My PC (for finishing):

Cyperpower PC Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.2GHz, 64GB mem @ 2133MHz RAM, AMD Radeon RX470 (4GB dedicated) with driver recommended by Vegas Updater (reports as 30.0.15021.11005 dated 4/28/22), and Intel HD Graphics 630 driver version 31.0.101.2112 dated 7/21/22 w/16GB shared memory. Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 10.0.19045 Build 19045.

My main editing laptop:

Dell G15 Special Edition 5521, Bios 1.12 9/13/22, Windows 11 22H2 (10.0.22621)

12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, 20 logical processors), 32 GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU w/8GB GDDR6 RAM, Realtek Audio

 

 

Former user wrote on 5/23/2023, 11:37 PM

Wow that looks like poor de interlacing except it's showing on still video without movement.

I don't actually use Vegas upscale, use Topaz instead. I was interested in your poor performance results as I thought that could mean your Vegas was not using GPU like I was experiencing and fixing that would fix performance, but no, it's the denoise to blame.

There may be experienced vegas upscale users that can help with this.