October 27, 2016 at 1:25PM


Editing 5K and 4k footage in same timeline?

I am editing a short film that was predominately shot 5K RED EPIC months ago. We recently went back and did a pick up shoot with 4K RED SCARLET.
Already started editing the 5K footage on a 5120 x 2560 timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro. Now I have this 4K footage.

It's a short film so at the most, we do expect it to play on larger screens at some festivals.

Do I stay with my current timeline settings and just scale up the 4K footage? Or edit both 4k and 5k in a completely new timeline with which settings?

Thanks in advance


As other NFS threads have pointed out, you are going to be very, very hard pressed to find an actual theater screening a film in 4K. Yes, YouTube supports 2160p, and yes, you can find decent TV monitors that will play 2160p. But there are not many 2160p projectors in theaters.

I shoot 5K and 6K footage on my RED Weapon cameras. I use a certain amount of the excess resolution for reframing. The rest I scale down to reduce noise. I finish for 4K (to make YouTube subscribers happy). When I edit in DaVinci Resolve, I'm happy to set the timeline to 4K resolution, because Resolve has intelligent scaling. If you scale 6K down to 4K and then zoom in 50%, you don't lose any resolution unless you do something that would blur or filter the pixels. In Adobe Premiere Pro, you lose resolution when you scale down 6K to 4K, and you don't get it back when you reframe. So for Premiere Pro, I set the timeline to be the largest resolution I have, and I scale up lower resolutions to the largest. Then, when I punch in, then scale down, I get (mostly) the original pixels I started with.

TL;DR for Premiere Pro, put all footage on a 5K timeline and scale up 4K to 5K to match. Then scale down to 2160p (for YouTube) and 1080p (for theatrical).

October 27, 2016 at 2:40PM


Thanks Michael. When you say "then scale down for Youtube/theatrical" after scaling up the 4K footage, do you mean to make a new timeline that's 2160p and scale down the 5K or scale down when exporting?
Sorry, new to Premiere/editing RED footage. Thanks for your help!

A Wills

October 28, 2016 at 9:30AM

Scale down when exporting. Keep your timeline at 5K.

Michael Tiemann

October 28, 2016 at 5:10PM

That's one of many things I hate about Premiere, the inability to change project properties after you started (at least, not that I've found).
Any way, the vast majority of output channels for your movies will be 1080 at most. A VERY small percentage may support 2160 and NONE support 2560. So, the logical work-flow would likely be to set up a new project for 2160 and render the final to 1080.
Since you're starting again any way, I highly recommend Vegas. It's much faster, more flexible and better quality than Premiere. I was a skeptic at first, but I could intuitively figure out how to do things that required manual diving in Premiere and I no longer had to use a separate program for audio and another for compositing.

October 28, 2016 at 8:48AM


Thanks Stephen. Im not actually starting again. I'm just continuing but with additional footage that was shot. So thanks for the advice but starting all over again in a new program I have yet to use (Vegas) probably wouldn't work right now with a tight deadline.

A Wills

October 28, 2016 at 9:32AM

That is understandable. You asked in your original post if you should start again with a 4K or 5K timeline, so I assumed you open to starting again. If you don't start from scratch, the only thing to do is up-res the 4K video (which loses quality), work at 5K and scale back to 4K (which loses more quality) for output.
For future projects, it's better to work at your planned output resolution, which can only be 2160 or 1080 for cinema, with 98% of theaters only doing 1080. All resizes harm the quality, so when shooting in 5K, it's likely better to crop to 4K than resize. I'm assuming you're using good lenses.

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