Any one film in 4K then edit in Full HD?

Any one film in 4K then edit in full HD? What results have you had?

I'm currently making another youtube series, called "Aussie Foods Down Under" which is a food review show but at the same time a Bear Grylls styled (parody if you like) show and basically as a one man production crew/actor my camera is always on a tripod or the ground.

Recently was thinking, if I shoot in 4k, but edit in Full HD I would be able to add camera movement and shake. Anyone think that's a good idea? Any advice?


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Shooting in 4K for extra room to adjust framing in post or add things like shake is very common. Go for it. Remember, 4K will slow your machine down, so pre-plan and only shoot 4K when you need to. 

    In fact, unless you're outputting to a movie screen, that's the only valid reason to shoot 4k. Especially on YouTube. Typical viewing distance from a computer monitor means one can't see the difference between 1080p and 4k until the monitor hits about 28 inches or more. At typical TV viewing distance the monitor needs to be 80 inches. Then realize YouTube is cramming the 4K signal into less bandwidth than a 1080p Blu-ray stream and most 4k ends up being a total waste of drive space. 

  • Most movies are finished in 2K at most, so even that isn't a good reason to shoot in 4K. If you're interested in getting it into channels like the Netflix and Amazon VOD services though, then it might worth it, since they require 4K capture and mastering to get into their channels. 

  • edited March 2016

    @triem23 ; Thanks for that, I was thinking to film the whole episode in 4k and edit in full hd, never thoughy to only film some scenes..... makes sense cause i know my pc is going to struggle...

  • If your computer isn't up to handling 4K and you're planning to deliver in HD, then shoot in HD. You don't really gain that much from shooting in 4K for HD release.

  • edited March 2016

    Yep, I do it all the time. I can also always go back and render the final video at 4k if I want to, even though I'm mostly outputting 1080p.

     You can always go down to 1080p from a 4k source, you can't go the other way.

    If your PC struggles, make some 1080 proxy files. If you don't use any hard numbers, just percentages, then you might even be able to swap the files out, change the project properties to 4K and have the final export in 4k, when you've been editing it in 1080p.

    I used to do that with an old editor with SD and HD files on a previous old PC, but I wasn't doing anything as complicated as you can do in Hitfilm, so it didn't even notice when the files changed from SD to HD with a simple folder rename.

    Simple editing might work OK. Complicated effects: proportionally more effort. Check regularly?

    Now I've remembered that, I'm going to have to try it again myself for what I know are simple edits. :)

  • Actually, my advice is to always shoot in 4K. The reason is that you then have the opportunity to zoom/crop in post. If you shoot in 1080p, then you have to get every shot exactly as you want it. Zooming/cropping in post will lower the clarity of your shots, although it is not bad if you don't do too much zooming. If you have a 4K camera, then you need a really good computer to match it. There is no sense in having one without the other.

  • edited March 2016

    You should be striving to get every shot to be the way you want regardless of the resolution you're shooting in.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2016

    Often, depending on what is being shot, yeah, shoot 4K for the framing potential, but most of Wishing Staff's videos are cooking shows. For Cookinator (as an example) once he's set up that countertop to neck shot he's not going to reframe,  so there's no need to shoot 4k.  Wishing Staff can totally shoot most of it in 1080p and save the drive space and render time. . 

  • I've been shooting in 2160p quite a bit lately and then stepping down to 1080p.  I've even sent a few things to YouTube in 4K just to try it out.  As long as you have the hard drive space to shoot and keep the footage, there's no reason not to use it for times when you need to crop in or stabilize the footage.  Like any tool, you use it when you need it for the job.

  • Sorry if I'm a bit late into this conversation but if you're worried your PC's performance then maybe shoot in 2k if possible and then add a small amount of wobble to a 1080p or even to 900p (1600x900) not many people will notice the difference. If you are not able to shoot in 2k, then just film in 1080p and then do minimal wobble to 90p or if you want more, 720p. If you go for the 900p or 720p option and you want to cheat your way to 1080p then just scale up the 720 p or 900p shot to scale the 1080p comp or editor timeline and add the sharpening tool "onto a grade layer", this is important because if you apply the sharpen to the 720p file(-for example) nothing willl change apart from the shot getting very ugly and "thick" if you know what I mean.

    Hope I helped, obviuosly if you're fine with 4K and it doesnt affect your performance then go with it, but this trick I find useful for on the move shooting, e.g. when you are low on storage for files or if you just don't have access to a 4k camera.

  • @TheAbstract. You lost me at 'wobble'.

    But, yes a tiny bit of sharpening to anything (1080p or 4k) that you've had to scale up to hide any visible edges after stabilisation can work pretty well and not be visible. I do this if I've had to scale up by more than about 4%. Below that: not really worth the effort.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Palacono I think "wobble" is just referring to fake camera movement. Shooting 2.5k for 1080p gives you just enough extra pixels to do a nice, subtle camera  shake or handheld look with having to upsample. 

  • @Triem23 Oh. Really? That's pretty backwards.

    I use 4k to remove wobble, then crop in to hide the edges, then export at 1080p, or even at 4k if the slight scaling+sharpening allows it.

    I don't understand this "adding in camera shake" stuff.  The whole first series of Murdoch Mysteries was spoilt by the cameraman appearing to have had itching powder dropped in his pants on top of having a bad case of St Vitus Dance. Thankfully he seemed to have got partially cured of that and got some new pants by series two.

    People will look back in a few years and laugh, just like we now do at crash zooms and other weird stylistic affectations.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Palacono of course shooting 2.5k for 1080p output also allows stabilization room without upsampling so it works both ways. 

    Being able to add shake and wobble in post is a powerful tool. While a lot of films and shows OVERDO it, a subtle handheld look added over a tripod shot--especially a layed composite (let's say I shot a splitscreen clone shot on a tripod) can give a very natural feel, and in this example, make the splitscreen less obvious. There's a lot of VFX work that's counterintuitive. Cinematographers spent decades avoiding lens flares and dirt--now we have flare/dirt effects.

    I'll have to find the article, but scientific study has shown that adding lens flares, lens dirt and camera shake makes VFX work less noticeable. We just cbuy it."

  • @Palacono

    Sorry, for the misunderstanding

    Triem23 is right. A subtle camera shake can make things look very lifelike and less artificial, I repeat "Subtle".

    A good example of this is in some of the shots of this video:

    Film Riot Rule! And so do the Hitfilm Forums!!!!!

  • I generally shoot 2k, but I also record the performances of a local ballet school (my daughter is a student). I shoot the whole performance in 4k with my camera locked on a tripod. Then, in post, I add all of the camera movement and different zoom levels to make it look I had just shot it with several different cameras.

    The final video is put on DVD that the school sells to parents for $5.00. Shooting 4k and being able to scale all the way down to 480p gives me an absolutely ridiculous range to play around with. I can show a whole class dancing while doing a slow pan to follow them, or I can isolate one student at a time if I want. I get a great response back from the school and the parents that buy the disk.

  • Like**

  • can you pleas make something to move the image while the vid is going and a record button....

  • edited April 2016

    So I did my first 4k test. Then edited in Hitfilm at 1080. Some background info, I do my filming via a tripod as a one man production/actor crew. So with the 4k footage, editing in 1080, I was able to add some pans, zooms and subtle camera shake to similate a handheld camera operator. Ok it wasnt perfect but has given me ideas for the future.

    Aussie Foods Down Under - Choc Banana Tim Tam



  •  @WishingStaffstudios ; Impressive that you've given your locked down shots movement. It all looks natural - like you have a camera operator.  No one would be the wiser.

    For example, your opening shot with you walking into frame, some camera pan and zoom, was all a 4K lock down?  Well done, I'd say!

  • @Stargazer54 ; yep all locked down, shooting in 4k at 25 frames then edited in hitfilm at 1080p, added pans and zooms, the camera shake fx but just a bit to help blend, could have been better but turned out ok....

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