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Apr 02, 2015, 12:01 AM
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The 4k plan

Playing 4k video in Linux is a big deal. The days of software playback are decidedly over. The XVMC interface was the 1st method of hardware decoding. In 2007, it was replaced by the VAAPI interface in Intel cards & VDPAU interface in NVidia cards. Support varies from card to card.

Integrating hardware decoding in an editing program requires intimately dissecting each codec, replacing the specific functions the card supports with hardware calls. The mane codecs to support would be H.264 & JPEG. It's still in the realm of purpose built demos, nothing that could reach a wide user base.

Suppose you had hardware decoding in an editing program. What would you watch in 4k? The format most often viewed is still 640x360. Only rarely is it ever worth downloading something in 720p. The bandwidth to download 720p is now $110/month & rising daily.

The old timers were on to something when they designed the 1st TV resolution, in the 1930's. Motion blur & compression artifacts make most scenes look like 640x360.

It's a lot different than the serious cinema going days of 1999. Most movies are watched on phone screens, in a window, 15 minutes at a time. No-one shuts down for 2 hours to do nothing in front of a big screen, except for single women. They're always shut down.

4k is useful for archives. Probably in the next 10 years, everything is going to start as 4k. Today's 1920x1440 starting footage is still reduced to 1280x720 to make stabilization easier. That 1920x1440 footage is still edited in 1920x1440 resolution before scaling & stabilizing, which is extremely painful. The idea is to minimize the generation loss by scaling & stabilizing directly from 2k to 720p instead of scaling, editing, then stabilizing. In the future, it's going to have to be edited in 4k resolution.

The idea of proxies has thus gained momentum. With such small returns on features like split windows, nested EDL's, 3 way color correction, not much is envisioned for proxy support. It would merely be a menu item to scale down a project & all the assets by a fixed ratio. All the assets would be transcoded into a completely new set of assets, with some encoding of the original filenames & different codecs. If new assets were added, the program would look for existing files with the encoded filenames or the user would have to repeat the menu item to scale down anything that wasn't already scaled down. The same menu item would have an option to restore the project's original scale factor & revert to the unscaled assets.

The project settings would only show the scaled resolution. There would be 1 field in the EDL to specify how much bigger the original sizes were.

The proxy could be used for editing & color correction. The user would have to scale everything back up for stabilization or do some tricks to scale after stabilizing. Masks, camera movement would be scaled, but effects would not.

It would be a minimal answer to the 4k archiving problem. At minimum it could generate a movie a standalone player could play in hardware where without proxies, nothing could be done. It would make the current 2k workflow slightly faster.
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Apr 02, 2015, 01:21 AM
A regular at PP
Originally Posted by Jack Crossfire
No-one shuts down for 2 hours to do nothing in front of a big screen, except for single women. They're always shut down.
That's damn sexist, yo!
Apr 02, 2015, 04:26 AM
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Actually, 640x480 (or thereabouts) have stopped being my standard resolution since around 2002 or so when I switched to 800x600. These days almost all the videos I watch are 720p - including youtube. 720p in mp4 encoding downloads faster than real-time for me. And there's no reason to not download such resolutions because my internet fee is flat-rate and I pay the same if I use the bandwidth or not.

1080p is another story. It's wasteful for most things except videos of movies with very high levels of detail. I think the first movie I considered needed to be 1080p was Avatar. There have been a few others since but they're rare. I think 4k would be the same for me.

Oh, another thing. I think 720p became the standard for me the day I bought my LCD TV. The difference was seriously noticeable and I couldn't watch most of my movie collection. I had to re-download or re-encode them all. I guess the same thing can happen again if I every buy a 4k TV.

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