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I have a ripped DVD that I want to have digitally upscaled to 1080p. I have access to the editing software Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. I know Premiere is able to upscale when exporting, but I'm not happy with the results and I'm looking for a better solution.

So in short, what is the best way to upscale a 480p video to 1080p?

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  • Until now just simply 'set to frame size' in Adobe Premiere. The result was pretty noisy with visible artifacts Jan 24, 2018 at 22:21
  • Can you share a preview of your worst effect frames?
    – Ambo100
    Jan 24, 2018 at 22:22
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    Ripping we assume provides the best quality (unless it's compressing) so if you're getting noise and blockiness or blur it's probably multiple compression. Uploading a screenshot of a bad frame would be helpful. -- Also what do you mean "minimal quality loss"?, 2x and no compression will cause the least alteration but will be blocky, Lanczos3 + sharpen 64 will produce good results (for free) but alters the image (which is desirable), paying for infognition.com/articles/video_resize_shootout.html gives excellent results. Simple upscaling and double compressing is the worst.
    – Rob
    Jan 26, 2018 at 2:38
  • In the meanwhile I searched around as well and tried different methods. I got good results using a bit of a complex method. I exported all my 480p frames as png's, then used waifu2x-caffe (github.com/lltcggie/waifu2x-caffe) to upscale all png's times 2. Then I loaded the results back in Premiere. It's not perfect but the quality especially on frames with sparse movement is excellent. I'll try to answer my own question with image examples later. Jan 26, 2018 at 16:19

2 Answers 2

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You can upscale Premiere Pro footage using the Detail-preserving Upscale effect in After Effects via Dynamic Link. The results will never be as good as actual HD footage, but the Detail-preserving Upscale effect does a great job at scaling footage without losing too much quality. There's a short tutorial on how to do this at the following link:

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  • I’ve also heard that AviSynth’s Nnedi3 rpow2 function is good for upscaling. Any thoughts on how this compares to After Effects? Plus there’s Topaz Gigapixel AI which uses AI data for upscaling while keeping sharpness – I was quite impressed! That would be another tool worth comparing.
    – Simon East
    Sep 21, 2019 at 13:48
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I use Topaz Video AI. Works great. (But to get the best results it can take some time fiddling with different AI settings and previewing and comparing resultant 2second previews.) The improvement is “miraculous.” Cons: Topaz AI costs $250-300, is resource-intensive, enhanced file sizes can get very large, and it really needs a fast processor if you are doing lengthy videos (eg Mac Studio or computer with fast CUDA Nvideo). If the DVD footage is interlaced, I use Handbrake to first deinterlace the VOB files (under the “filters” tab) being sure to set to 60fps output (that way each interlaced field becomes a separate frame, rather than blending the interlaced frames and outputting 30fps), then use Video AI to either upscale the 640x480 to 1080p FHD (1920x1080 with black sidebars), or 2x to get 1280x960 (no bars), or 4x to get 2560x1920 (no bars). The improvement to DVD quality is amazing! Especially if the DVD was originally a VHS tape that was transferred to DVD using a VHS-DVD machine. For my purposes Topaz Video AI is well worth the cost.

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