Video Super Sampling ... SPOT please clarify

p@mast3rs wrote on 4/10/2004, 10:35 AM
After reading Spots book, I played around a little bit with the Video Super Sampling option but not in great depth. Just received a client who wants me to put their web materials (352x240 mpeg-1) back to DV resolution. Even after I explained that the quality would be no where near the same as the source they want me to give it a shot.

My question is this. Just how much should I use? Is there specific resolutions for each pixel increase (1-8) (i.e. 8 for HD, 4 for DV, etc...)? Or is using 8 overkill? Anything else I should know about super sampling other than the ungodly amount of time it is going to take to upsample all of this stuff? Thanks


Chienworks wrote on 4/10/2004, 4:56 PM
Supersampling only affects TIME, it has no effect whatsoever on spacial resolution. I'm not sure why people keep thinking it has anything to do with resolution because it doesn't. So in your specific case the best option is none.

What supersampling does is create new frames inbetween existing frames. It does not create new pixels.
p@mast3rs wrote on 4/10/2004, 5:56 PM
From what I understand from reading Spot's book, it does create new pixels.

Heres what Spot says in the book about video super sampling: "Super sampling resamples each pixel of video information in Vegas 4.0 and significantly improves the smoothness of the pixel edges and matches to adjoining pixels. This feature is primarily valuable when used in conjunction with Motion Blur envelope but it also beneficial when used in upsampling smaller resolutions to DV or higher levels. "

While it does go on to refer to interpolative frames, the example in the book does show an image from the 1900 film the Kiss thats heavily pixeled and then on the next page how the image is smoothed out and more viewable after being super sampled.

Hopefully Spot will weigh on this one.
farss wrote on 4/10/2004, 5:58 PM
That isn't that terrible a resolution. What might be more of an issue is the frame rate, if its not 30fps then new frames need to be created in which case supersampling would help.
BTW I'm still to work out just what supersampling does and I've seen an example of it from SPOT that seems to indicate it does increase resolution, the example was exactly the same as this, upsizing low res content.
There seems to be more FUD about this than any other Vegas feature and I'm yet to find any definative info on just what the heck it does.
Chienworks wrote on 4/10/2004, 6:23 PM
Vegas 4 manual, page 116:

Adding a video supsersampling envelope

There is absolutely no mention of pixel (spacial resolution) whatsoever in the manual or the help screens. All of the official SONY posts in this forum have described using this function for smoothing generated motion (it will not smooth existing motion in the video). SONY has never mentioned using this feature for increasing resolution or clarity. In fact, the manual says this can't be done with this feature!
p@mast3rs wrote on 4/10/2004, 6:31 PM
Chein, I dont doubt what you post. I am only referring to what Spot has written in his book that used spacial resolution as an example benefit of super sampling. Hopefully Spot weighs in on this discussion and perhaps explain it better for all of us to understand.
p@mast3rs wrote on 4/11/2004, 6:56 AM
Bump to top.
farss wrote on 4/11/2004, 7:10 AM
Now let's see if I've got what the manual is saying clear in my head.
If I had an animation that was say 15 fps in a NTSC project then without super sampling (SS) Vegas would duplicate every frame to give me 30fps where evry second frame is a duplicate so the motion would look rather jerky.
Now IF I set SS to 2 it generates intermdediate frames, I assume it does this by merging the two adjoining frames to create the new frame that goes in between but with a degree of motion blur.
All that sounds hunky dorry and most likely correct.
Still leaves the question of how SPOT used it to increase spatial resolution. I know this has been asked several times in the past and to date I don't recall either a reply from him or anyone being able to produce the spectacular improvement that he was showing in the demo.
Cheesehole wrote on 4/11/2004, 7:55 AM
farss you are describing the "resample" switch available at the video event level.

Go to help | index
Type super
Click "Add a video supersampling envelope"
You can see a picture illustrating the effect. It's for when you are using keyframeable events like pan/crop/anything along with motion blur... it will calculate inbetween frames and combine the results to give you liquid smooth motion blur that looks a lot more interesting. So yes we're talking temporal resampling.
filmy wrote on 4/11/2004, 9:42 AM
We had a long thread on this a while back ( and we cyber begged Spot to join in and clarify his tutorial where he shows a really poor image as a 'before' shot and than the supposed same image looking just awesomely restored via supersampling. Many of us tried it, many of us followed step by step his tutorial. None of us could get a poor image to be restored the way he did in the tutorial. Read the full thread to follow some of our tests.

So I want to say that I am still very interested in the restoration aspect of supersample as laid out via Spot in his tutorial.

For me I have used supersample for good end results in a few cases - titles at 24p being one of them. Also, very recently tired some 30i >24p tests where I did 4:3 > 4:3 both with and without supersample and 4:3 > anamporphic 16:9 with and without supersample. In cases where I used supersample the results appeared cleaner. The render time obviously takes a hit - and I was only using a setting of 2.
p@mast3rs wrote on 4/11/2004, 10:56 AM
Anyone have any idea why Spot hasnt responded to other thread regarding this? It just seems like his examples are impossbile to recreate.
BillyBoy wrote on 4/11/2004, 1:07 PM
Strange the SPOT and Sony remain silent on this.

Here's a couple questions from that older thread:

Subject: RE: What is supersampling?
Posted by: TorS (Ignore This User)
Date: 6/14/2003 10:05:09 AM

I noticed that in the "before" example, the whole image is of a poorer quality - not just the video clip, but even the part of the image that shows the application interface. I'm interested in learning more about how supersampling can improve my application interface.

Subject: RE: What is supersampling?
Posted by: BillyBoy (Ignore This User)
Date: 6/14/2003 2:02:24 PM

LOL! You noticed that too? How the heck does a FX filter change the application that you're viewing it on making IT as sharp as the video when before it was just as blurry?

If you look closely, note the difference in position of the scroll bar on Media player in the before and after shots. In the second picture it is much further right.

I think some of the confussion is coming from looking at the before and after shots and assuming (wrongly) is is the SAME frame before and after. Thinking about it, if supersampling is used at a rate of 4 then more frames are added and looking at the same exact frame before/after there would be no change, however several frames later there would be a change. Any one why I asked... still waiting....

Spot|DSE wrote on 4/11/2004, 5:45 PM
Gee golly damn whiz, I'm 6 hours different in timezones right now, so didn't see this post until just now. I'm on a working vacation. Sorry if that bothers you, BB. Regarding Sony's lack of response, Sony doesn't have employees often in on the weekends.....And I don't know that they've even tried this. I had a dialog with Dithermaster about a year ago on this project, that's the best I can offer. Remember that for me, the book is 18 months old at this point. Since I'm done with the new book edition, I haven't looked over the old edition in a while.

Gee damn whiz again, sorry they aren't the EXACT same frame, as this isn't easy to always hit in Media Player. Only a dork looking to create an issue would assume it matters whether it's the same exact frame or not. It's the whole file that's affected.
Regarding how I do this, the flow is twofold. First, you must apply the blur as indicated, I usually use a value of .001. Regarding the amount, I don't have a secret sauce. Then all I do is temp render to Best, a couple of frames because it's so proc intensive.
Hundreds of people have observed me doing this on the VASST tours, a few hundred will see me do it next week at the NAB show in 2 sessions I'm teaching at the post production conference. C'mon down and pay your nickel BB, and you can see it done right before your very eyes on an 18' screen.
Go to and download the clip. Apply filters as shown. I believe I used a value of 4 in the book, don't recall and I don't have a copy of the book with me to verify.
The original is 15fps, upsampled to 29.97. The original is also 176x88 if I remember correctly. That's about all I can recall.
As far as making vid appear sharper, sometimes making it softer makes it sharper.
Supersampling won't do anything for vid that is being resampled to it's existing frame size and framerate. It benefits only new frames. Moving from 15 fps to 30 fps generates a lot of new frames. Adding the touch of blur forces new pixels.
Were I not on a slow hotel dialup, I'd download the sample, rebuild the project, and post a veg. If you can keep your shorts on until Tuesday, I'll do just that. I do have the original veg stored on my office system, with the original media, and am happy to share.
filmy wrote on 4/11/2004, 5:52 PM
Thanks Spot !!!

Acutally BB wasn't just talking about this weekend - the thread I mentioned, and he was also talking about, was from June of last year and I am fairly sure your book was not out at that time. We were all going off of the Sundance site tut you did at the time. I know in that thread some people even talked about seeing you do it live - so no one was doubting that you really did it, we all know that - we just didn't understand *how* you did it because, to the best of my understanding (and testing) we were not able to do it, or even come close to getting the results that you seem to get.
Spot|DSE wrote on 4/11/2004, 6:06 PM
Ahh.. In June of last year, I was overseas on a VASST tour. So, I missed that one. But, the words at the top of BB's post were "Strange that Spot and Sony are silent" so those were related to today.
Thanks to the someone who called my cell to let me know there was even a thread before it disappeared. When I'm on dialup, I don't often check the forums. At 24.4kpbs, it's painfully slow.
farss wrote on 4/11/2004, 7:50 PM
And from experience with hotel internet connections it can be awefully expensive. In Taiwan last week Holiday Inn wanted NT$ 6 per minute, another place NT$20 per hour. (there's about NT$33 / USD).
Biggest problem though is keyboards covered with Chinese characters and trying to drive Win98SE in Chinese.
BillyBoy wrote on 4/11/2004, 8:19 PM
Funny, SPOT seems to find copyright threads and post several 100 lines rants 24/7 no matter where he is.

Obviously SPOT don't like to be called on things. I and many others as the old thread reports tried his "tutorial" to the letter and it doesn't do as advertised. Not even if you download and use the same image he did. So either he left steps out or he fudged it.

You'll notice he STILL HASN'T explained anything at all.

Spot|DSE wrote on 4/11/2004, 8:36 PM
Billyboy, ask Filmy. He figgered it out. In fact, most folks have. I don't carry copies of my book when I travel so I can't reference what I wrote, sorry if that bothers you. With over 60K words in there, it's somewhat hard to remember it all verbatim. I've explained it as best as I can remember it from a year ago. A
Piss and moan all you want, I said I'd post the veg and media on Tuesday. If you can't figure it out on your own before then, tough nuts.

On second thought, you caught me out. I fudged it. In front of hundreds of people. In dozens of cities. Me and Copperfield are tight. I've figured out how to make two files switch in the rendering process while a room filled with people are watching. And in the case of Streaming Media West, East, FilmIT, and the other shows that stream my classes, I've figured out how to fool all of them.
Damn, you are one smart cookie, BB. I'm ashamed you caught me. I would have thought only one of the smarter guys would have figgered it out already.
johnmeyer wrote on 4/11/2004, 8:37 PM
I assume you all have the PDF version of the manual, and also have looked at the help system. However, I just remembered the Vegas Whitepaper. Here are the two relevant quotes:

Video Supersampling

"Video Supersampling calculates intermediate frames between the project's frame rate to improve the appearance of computer-animated motion. This works especially well with video that contains slow motion, and also works in conjunction with the motion blur envelope to further improve the appearance of computer-generated animation sequences. Choose Video Supersampling from the shortcut menu, then adjust the envelope to achieve the results you want. Keep in mind that video supersampling can significantly increase your project's render time since you are asking your project to render more frames per second. You'll need to find the right trade-off between the benefits of supersampling and increased render times. "

Smart Resample

"Many times, the frame rate of a video event does not match the Vegas project frame rate. This can happen when the video in the event was shot at a different frame rate than you are using in your project, or when you use a velocity envelope to create slow motion. You can determine how Vegas treats video with frame rates that differ from the project rate. Right-click on an event, and choose Switches from the shortcut menu. At the bottom of the shortcut menu, notice that Vegas defaults to Smart Resample. With this option chosen, Vegas determines whether the calculated frame rate of the video in the event matches the project frame rate. If it does, Vegas does no resampling. If the frame rates are different (and your project frame rate is at least 24 frames per second), Vegas resamples the video in the event. This means that Vegas looks at two frames, and interpolates to create a new frame that acts as a transition between them. This process can help solve the problem of video that looks “jittery” due to low frame rates. "
BillyBoy wrote on 4/11/2004, 8:49 PM
SPOT grow up will ya? Stop being the prima donna you are. I'm not trying to figure out anything. Someone asked, I reread the original thread. That's all. Stop pretending you're God's gift to video editing.

You own words are very telling. You need your "book" to recall how you did something and you peddle yourself as a teacher. LOL!

When I take the time to write a turorial its because I KNOW HOW to do something and am glad to share. Take 'supersampling'. Its just a play on words. There is no such thing. There are several methods, all faster to upsample that will do pretty much the same thing.
PixelStuff wrote on 4/11/2004, 8:54 PM
Sounds like they both do the same thing doesn't it?

One is enveloped and one is not. I wonder what else is different.

Cheno wrote on 4/11/2004, 8:56 PM
BillyBoy, BillyBob, Hillbilly or whatever your trailer name is... You're stiring a lot of muck lately and I'm probably not the only one that's sick of it. This isn't the Cow, if you have crap to stir, do it offline and don't polute the Sony threads with it. I appreciate your input when it's in regards to helping someone. When it's beligerent and childlike, I'm sick of it already. Let it die.

Cheno wrote on 4/11/2004, 9:00 PM

and Spot's also in Hawaii on business / vacation.. let him have some time to his family before you rant and rave some more.
BillyBoy wrote on 4/11/2004, 9:05 PM
SPOT is the one engaged in childish name calling. Perhaps you're too stupid to notice. And now so are you.
Cheno wrote on 4/11/2004, 9:30 PM
if you want to email me at, I'll call you names privately. We don't need bantering like this on the forums.. if you disagree, great. That's your right. If you want to bash.. take it offline.. that's all I'm asking.