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Using the BCC UpRez Filter in After Effects

Media Used in this Exercise: Artbeats

Let's take the example of a client that needs to use an SD clip in an HD project. In this project we'll use Adobe After Effects as our host application but you could just as easily do this with any of the host applications that are supported by BCC such as Avid, Apple, or Autodesk. We'll start by creating an HDTV 1920 x 1080 project. Into this new project, we'll import the Artbeats Forest (SD 702 x 480) clip, and create a new composite into which we will place the imported media file.

After Effects plugin

With the clip selected in the timeline, click the S key to reveal the transform scale controls – we’ll use this scale parameter to make the SD image clip fit the HD composite window. The scale value to fill the screen is 296.5 percent so we’ll just enter that value and view the result.

After Effects filter

Create a second HDTV comp and add a second instance of the original clip to the new comp. Add a new solid color HDTV layer to the comp and apply the BCC UpRez filter to the solid. The solid color layer should be above the forest clip in the timeline.

3rd party AE

In the UpRez filter go to the source parameter group and select the media that we are working with from the source layer pop-up (the filter includes the capability of reading information from any clip in the timeline into which it was dropped, all of which are listed here.) Because the media source that we are using is D1/DV, we can leave the source pixel aspect ratio at it's default setting.

video resolution

Next we go to the transform parameter group in the filter. Click on the disclosure triangle to reveal the parmeters within this group and change the frame size pop-up to the HDTV 1080 preset. Set the framing pop-up to Fill Frame (crop). The SD image now fills the HD frame.

fix resolution

The media has been scaled to fit the window in both composites, one with host transform and the other with BCC UpRez. And comparing the image generated using the host scale controls to the image that was generated with BCC UpRez, we can see how the results are quite similar, almost identical. This is because we are still using a standard transform algorithm.

better video resolution

So now it’s on to the Filtering group. This is where we control the image sharpening or smoothing that the UpRez filter is going to apply to the clip. By default, the filter is set to use an algorithm that was designed to take the least amount of time to render while still offering an improved image result over the host transform scale alone, however the sharpening value defaults to 0 so no additional image sharpening will occur until we enter a higher value in the sharpening parameter. Set the Sharpening parameter to 100 percent and review the image result. Although this result is indeed better than the host scale result, the UpRez filter can deliver more image detail and we'll enhance it further by selecting the Magic Sharp algorithm from the Filter pop-up menu. Observe that now the image appears much clearer and closer to the original untransformed clip.

better video resolution

Now let's go back to the result that the host transform scale generated, make a snapshot and again compare this to the result that was generated with the UpRez filter. Notice the high level of detail that has been returned to the image with the additional filtering from within UpRez. Because every clip is different, both in terms of the image quality and content, there will be times where you may want to use one of the other Filter algorithms that are provided with this filter. If the clip was shot in low light conditions and has a lot of noise or heavy grain then the Magic Smooth algorithm will generate a more pleasing result than the Magic Sharp setting. Experimentation is the key here.

uprez for AE