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Upscale clips to 4K or downscale project to 1080?

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    Upscale clips to 4K or downscale project to 1080?

    I'm working a project that was mostly shot in 4K and will be distributed via YouTube and there are a handful of clips that I want to add digital zooms to (as well as a few 1080 clips to scale up) and I'm wondering if there's a quality difference in the final export between a 4K export where clips are scaled up beyond 100% on occasion or a 2K export where the digital zooms stay under 100% (because of being 4K native). Since the majority of people will never watch it in 4K anyways, if their phone/laptop, etc. chooses to auto playback at 1080p will that look any different than if I just mastered in 1080 in the first place?
    👉 My Filmmaking YouTube Channel

    #2
    IMO, if you're editing on a 4K timeline and keeping the zooms reasonable (175% vs. 300%) then most people will not see a difference, especially if the source footage is high-quality (like CRL).

    1080p in a 4K timeline:

    - Soft 1080p will be noticeable if the master is 4K and playback is 4K.
    - Really good 1080p/2K - like from ARRI - may not be noticeable.

    But with all that said if the majority will be watching on their phones/etc. in 1080p then it doesn't really matter. In theory, you should get slightly better quality from the super-sampling but who's going to really notice?

    4K masters only matter when you're playing back in 4K on 4K screens.

    [When you buy your new C500 Mark II, you can shoot in 6K and have a ball in post.]

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      #3
      Originally posted by NorBro View Post
      When you buy your new C500 Mark II, you can shoot in 6K and have a ball in post.]
      Well, then the problem will be what to do with the 4K footage on the 6K timeline!

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        #4
        haha, well that is true...but I think most people will settle with 4K masters for a while.

        You would dump all of your 6K footage into a 4K timeline and go crazy.

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          #5
          Originally posted by chris f View Post
          I'm working a project that was mostly shot in 4K and will be distributed via YouTube and ... if I just mastered in 1080 in the first place?
          Youtube rendering of 1080 is ac1 whereas if you deliver in 1440 ... or higher ... it is vp9 which is a much better compression format and will deliver a much
          more detailed look. 1080 to 1440 is not much of a jump and you will notice the difference.

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