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Youtube 4K quality is so poor you might as well shoot 1080p


kye

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18 minutes ago, kye said:

 

By the time we factor in all the overheads, which may be hidden for many people at this point but are real nonetheless, I think that for many 4K isn't worth it.

Assuming of course you only deliver via Youtube and that this quality that Youtube delivers is maintained in the future.  

What are the hidden overheads?  Media.. hardly hidden.  Extra encoding time for 4K over HD; again not hidden, and to be honest, with better software and computer, comparable to my encoding HD 6 years ago.

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Yes, this is a big claim. Allow me to explain how I came to this conclusion, and prove it to you. First off, the evidence.  This is a video containing 5 compositions that were each shot with

In my opinion, this is one of the reasons to upload in 8K with YouTube. It doesn't really matter what display you're viewing it on, phone/laptop/1080p display/4K display, setting the quality to 8K giv

I think the highest possible resolution on the phone is dependent on the phone itself. Mine can do 1440p, for instance. You don’t necessarily have to do 8K, it’s just the best data rate. 4K is double

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3 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

Assuming of course you only deliver via Youtube and that this quality that Youtube delivers is maintained in the future.  

What are the hidden overheads?  Media.. hardly hidden.  Extra encoding time for 4K over HD; again not hidden, and to be honest, with better software and computer, comparable to my encoding HD 6 years ago.

It's the whole workflow.

Just off the top of my head:

  • Having to buy larger cards for capture
  • Spending time changing media in the field
  • Creative energy spent worrying about media management
  • Extra batteries (if higher resolutions take extra power, not sure) and worrying about batteries going flat
  • Having to wait longer for media to transfer to storage
  • Having to transfer more cards to storage
  • Having to pay for more storage
  • Having to scale up when a drive gets full, eg, having to manage multiple drives and adjust backups and figure out extra media management protocols due to having more drives, or having to go to an expensive NAS style solution when you get more drives than the simple and cheaper docks can handle
  • Having to buy larger editing SSDs for holding footage because the project is larger
  • Having to buy a more powerful computer to play footage smoothly, or time spent waiting for proxies to render is longer
  • Having to buy a more powerful computer / GPU to process the footage
  • Having interruptions to your workflow when you max out your hardware with effects and transitions and the NLE can't play realtime anymore, or having to spend more time working with caches to pre-render those heavy computational sections of a project
  • Having your creativity limited by sticking to processing options within your hardware performance (did you know Resolve has some time-stretching algorithms that use AI?  and that's just one effect, there will be more)
  • Having to wait longer for projects to render
  • Having to wait longer for files to transfer during delivery and/or having to buy better/more internet to cope with the increased sizes
  • Having to wait longer for backup cycles and media management tasks further down the line

There's even the minor stuff that probably isn't that much, but includes extra cost of electricity, extra cooling, extra effort or creative drain dealing with the extra noise in the studio due to more fans or faster spinning of fans required for cooling, etc etc etc

As a quick attempt at naming some stuff how was that?

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2 hours ago, kye said:

 

As a quick attempt at naming some stuff how was that?

Feeble... 🤣🤣🤣

Most of what you said amounts to media storage costs and extra encoding.  Both of which I mentioned and neither of which are hidden.  Sure, you've given extra details of individual media needed and cases of encoding.

Batteries aren't a good argument.  Will my GH5 use more power recording HD downsampled from 6K rather than 4K downsampled...??  IBIS and screen will be a heavier draw.  

As for issues with effects, I mentioned that my worst experience editing was working with HD AVCHD files.  I was still working with them when I was also working with H264 4K files and I had an easier time with the 4K.  So its not resolution dependant. 

Now I film with BRAW onto a SSD drive directly from the camera.  No media change needed and no stress.  It copies much quicker and can also be used for editing directly.  BRAW edits much quicker than H264 HD as I found when I worked on am old project recently.  The HD files played back worse after grading than the BRAW which had even more grade nodes than HD including noise reduction and grain.  My cooling fan can kick in just as quickly with HD H264 over 4K BRAW.  I never work with proxys or caches.  I don’t need to.  I did get a new computer a few years back, but only as my old one packed up.  Sure it was higher spec, but not more expensive than the old one when I bought it new.  

As I render overnight, the length of time is often immaterial, but I would give the edge to HD over that.  Also storage costs.  But again, these aren't hidden costs.  

I'm having a much easier time editing these days than I ever did back when shooting HD.  Colour and detail is better and I get results I'm happier with much easier than before. 

When you factor in things like crop, stabilisation, selecting areas of the video for fine tuning colour; the benefits of 4K outweigh the few negatives it has.  Stress of file management is as much a case for HD as it is for 4K.  If I shoot 100 HD clips I still have the same concerns over copying them all successfully.  In fact, last year I lost some HD clips from a Guest Message booth I setup.  My 4K clips were fine.  

If anything 4K ensures I don't have too many projects on a hard drive should it fail.  😉

 

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19 minutes ago, SteveV4D said:

Feeble... 🤣🤣🤣

Most of what you said amounts to media storage costs and extra encoding.  Both of which I mentioned and neither of which are hidden.  Sure, you've given extra details of individual media needed and cases of encoding.

Batteries aren't a good argument.  Will my GH5 use more power recording HD downsampled from 6K rather than 4K downsampled...??  IBIS and screen will be a heavier draw.  

As for issues with effects, I mentioned that my worst experience editing was working with HD AVCHD files.  I was still working with them when I was also working with H264 4K files and I had an easier time with the 4K.  So its not resolution dependant. 

Now I film with BRAW onto a SSD drive directly from the camera.  No media change needed and no stress.  It copies much quicker and can also be used for editing directly.  BRAW edits much quicker than H264 HD as I found when I worked on am old project recently.  The HD files played back worse after grading than the BRAW which had even more grade nodes than HD including noise reduction and grain.  My cooling fan can kick in just as quickly with HD H264 over 4K BRAW.  I never work with proxys or caches.  I don’t need to.  I did get a new computer a few years back, but only as my old one packed up.  Sure it was higher spec, but not more expensive than the old one when I bought it new.  

As I render overnight, the length of time is often immaterial, but I would give the edge to HD over that.  Also storage costs.  But again, these aren't hidden costs.  

I'm having a much easier time editing these days than I ever did back when shooting HD.  Colour and detail is better and I get results I'm happier with much easier than before. 

When you factor in things like crop, stabilisation, selecting areas of the video for fine tuning colour; the benefits of 4K outweigh the few negatives it has.  Stress of file management is as much a case for HD as it is for 4K.  If I shoot 100 HD clips I still have the same concerns over copying them all successfully.  In fact, last year I lost some HD clips from a Guest Message booth I setup.  My 4K clips were fine.  

If anything 4K ensures I don't have too many projects on a hard drive should it fail.  😉

 

You're confusing the processing power required for decoding the image from the original codec with the processing power required for doing effects once it's been decoded.

RAW, and BRAW especially is a radically easier codec to work with over AVCHD.  I'm guessing you don't put enough effects onto your files to really slow things down.  Try putting your BRAW on a 12K timeline and apply a bunch of OFX plugins and see how far BRAW gets you then 🙂

I'm not arguing that 4K is no use, I'm just saying that it has hidden costs.  It's a bit of a stretch to say that mentioning media size and encoding time covers things like the concerns of noise management from extra fans.  

It sounds like your 4K workflow doesn't have any hidden costs because you've already paid for them.  Think about what the cheapest system that could do what you do with 1080p BRAW would look like - probably a 2012 laptop - which is close to being free at this point, so in that sense the entire cost of your whole editing setup is the "hidden" cost you have already paid.

It's like trying to tell someone that there are extra costs involved in driving 400Km/h and the person saying to you "I don't know what you're talking about, I just get in my Bugatti and do it, so it totally costs the same!"

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To be honest, for my current computer (basic model iMac 2019) and my other computer (5+ years old PC), every types of 4K footage are a bit too much to handle, for some reason. Some run more smoothly, while some simply don't run at all. But so do some high bitrate 1080P footage. Once you add a lot of effects, they all act the same and I need to make proxy. 

In my opinion, the main reason why many shoot 4K is that the 1080P in their cameras are simply not that good. Many commonly used cameras have great 4K but 1080P ranging from not good to really bad. On the other hand, I am happily shooting 1080P with my FS5 and only occasionally shoot 4K for big cropping. 

However, I don't think the 4K workflow is really that bad. It's just some don't need it, while some other can't live without it. 

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35 minutes ago, kye said:

 

RAW, and BRAW especially is a radically easier codec to work with over AVCHD.  I'm guessing you don't put enough effects onto your files to really slow things down.  Try putting your BRAW on a 12K timeline and apply a bunch of OFX plugins and see how far BRAW gets you then 🙂

It sounds like your 4K workflow doesn't have any hidden costs because you've already paid for them.  

I'm not sure what a 12k timeline has to do with the advanatages of HD over 4K delivery?? 🤔🤔  

I'm only just getting into colour grading, but regardless of what effects I apply, the truth is, applying what I am applying to HD H264 or AVCHD files is much slower on playback than doing the same or more to my 4K BRAW.  So its not as clear cut a negative.  In fact, the argument could be more H264 or AvCHD vs RAW, rather than HD vs 4K.  

I'm not arguing there aren't extra costs to 4K, just that they're not hidden.  Media and storage costs, PC Power and processing costs, encoding time costs.  They're clear cut.  Its why I was reluctant to upgrade to 6K.  I know these costs.  The same as the costs from HD to 4K.  I'm not just not so sure of these mysterious hidden costs, and even if they are significant to be even applicable.

Noisy fans are random and can kick in at any resolution.  That can be easily codec and grade dependant.  Resolution is just one factor of a workflow cost.  For example, I had an easier time testing BRAW 12K clips over the R5 HQ 4K clips. 😁

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To add the storage costs argument, just looking at my Panasonic GH4r, if I shot in 4K, its 100mbps, but its not the highest file size I could shoot in.  That belongs to All-l 25p and 50p at 200mbps. 

So I could be shooting HD and not 4K and actually need more storage space, not less.  There is also an HD option that is 100mpbs, same file size as 4K shooting.   

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9 hours ago, kye said:

I have bolded the most significant word in your post...  "almost" 😂😂

I'll amend the statement... "encoders universally do better with more input data." If you keep the output settings the same, every encoder will have better results with a higher fidelity input than a lower fidelity input.

Therefore, if YouTube's visual quality drops when uploading a higher quality file, then it is not using the same output settings.

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9 hours ago, kye said:

It's the whole workflow.

Just off the top of my head:

  • Having to buy larger cards for capture
  • Spending time changing media in the field
  • Creative energy spent worrying about media management
  • Extra batteries (if higher resolutions take extra power, not sure) and worrying about batteries going flat
  • Having to wait longer for media to transfer to storage
  • Having to transfer more cards to storage
  • Having to pay for more storage
  • Having to scale up when a drive gets full, eg, having to manage multiple drives and adjust backups and figure out extra media management protocols due to having more drives, or having to go to an expensive NAS style solution when you get more drives than the simple and cheaper docks can handle
  • Having to buy larger editing SSDs for holding footage because the project is larger
  • Having to buy a more powerful computer to play footage smoothly, or time spent waiting for proxies to render is longer
  • Having to buy a more powerful computer / GPU to process the footage
  • Having interruptions to your workflow when you max out your hardware with effects and transitions and the NLE can't play realtime anymore, or having to spend more time working with caches to pre-render those heavy computational sections of a project
  • Having your creativity limited by sticking to processing options within your hardware performance (did you know Resolve has some time-stretching algorithms that use AI?  and that's just one effect, there will be more)
  • Having to wait longer for projects to render
  • Having to wait longer for files to transfer during delivery and/or having to buy better/more internet to cope with the increased sizes
  • Having to wait longer for backup cycles and media management tasks further down the line

There's even the minor stuff that probably isn't that much, but includes extra cost of electricity, extra cooling, extra effort or creative drain dealing with the extra noise in the studio due to more fans or faster spinning of fans required for cooling, etc etc etc

As a quick attempt at naming some stuff how was that?

I for one will never go back to shooting anything less than 4K and typically nothing lower than 4K60FPS.  I already have over 120TB of storage, my projects drive is 4TB, my cache drive is 1TB, 14 core CPU, RTX 2080TI video card, USB3 media readers, 1TB SD cards, and I  always generate optimized media for every clip to have smooth playback after color grading and Fusion effects are added. I rely heavily on recomposing shots, stabilizing in post, straightening the horizon (drone footage), and couldn't imagine losing all of those capabilities.  I shoot 4K60FPS because I never know when I might need to slow something down later as part of a speed ramp or to get additional gimbal stability. Interviews of course are shot at 4K30FPS.

 

I typically then deliver in 1080P although lately I have been editing on a 1080P timeline then upscaling to 1440P for a YouTube delivery. For my website's demo reels I need the highest quality so I have Vimeo Basic which is free but has a very low storage limit so I put about 4 or 5 videos there until I reached the storage limit so that customers see a higher quality video than YouTube would allow. I also tried hosting a few MP4s on my website but that's just too unreliable; maximum quality but it's a pain to write the code to detect the different viewports and deliver the proper format based on the user's devices.

 

I get what you are saying about the additional overhead, but all of it is paid for by my clients. I charge for each project based on the number of hours it will take for me to shoot, edit, and deliver that project and my service proposals are based on processing, editing, and rendering 4K footage. Clients hire me based on my past work, they expect to get the same level of quality that they saw from other projects, the only way I can do that is by shooting in 4K or higher and delivering in 1080P or upscaled 2K. I have never shot a single frame of video in my GH5, C200, GoPro, or drones at 1080P. If you plan for 4K, build your workflow around 4K, and charge your clients for 4K it's really no different than 1080P.  If you are not making a living from video work and just posting personal projects on YouTube then 4K might not make sense.

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It's beginning to sound like some of you are getting triggered by this whole thing.

If the various investments and work-arounds of shooting 4K are worth the additional investment for your particular situation or emotional attachments then go for it.  

12 hours ago, aaa123jc said:

However, I don't think the 4K workflow is really that bad. It's just some don't need it, while some other can't live without it. 

The history of mankind is more of a cosmic wonder than I thought.. just think of it, all the people that can't live without 4K would have died all through history up until only a few short years ago!

12 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

As for issues with effects, I mentioned that my worst experience editing was working with HD AVCHD files.  I was still working with them when I was also working with H264 4K files and I had an easier time with the 4K.  So its not resolution dependant. 

This is beginning to get tedious.  

Please do yourself a favour and do a little experiment.. shoot a 1080p BRAW clip and then shoot a 4K BRAW clip, put each of them on a native resolution timeline and then load each of them up with effects until your computer can't keep up.  Compare how many effects the 1080p timeline got to with the number that the 4K timeline got to.

I look forward to the results of your test and the proof that the 4K timeline, and processing 4x the number of pixels, takes the same processing power as the 1080p timeline, with its quarter the number of pixels.

11 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

To add the storage costs argument, just looking at my Panasonic GH4r, if I shot in 4K, its 100mbps, but its not the highest file size I could shoot in.  That belongs to All-l 25p and 50p at 200mbps. 

So I could be shooting HD and not 4K and actually need more storage space, not less.  There is also an HD option that is 100mpbs, same file size as 4K shooting.   

This thread is about 4K vs 1080p, not the very specific situation and particular camera selections that you happened to make.

2 hours ago, markr041 said:

Ok, here is an uploaded 6K  test video, which you can view up to 5K (2880P). Looks good to me on my 4K and 1080 screens compared to the original,  which has a600 Mbps bitrate!, or any video in terms of color and resolution. This was shot in BRAW with no additional sharpening.

Cool.  If you render a 1080p master file then upscale it to 4K and upload that to YouTube then we can compare the numbers and see if your 6K timeline is that much better than having downscaled to a 1080p timeline and then upscaled the result to 4K YT.

I look forward to comparing them.

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On 9/5/2020 at 7:49 AM, kye said:

 

Let the questions and comments (and flame wars from resolution fanboys and fangirls) begin...

You wanted a discussion by posting this, but you shut down any arguments by saying its not relevant to the thread.  You're only interested in discussions that support your position it seems.

Thing is, if you ignore particular cases, and treat HD vs 4K simply as black and white, then yes, 4K is more expensive to use.  Will be heavier on your computer processing, encoding time.   Its not even an argument worth having.  Every time you jump up in resolution, you add to costs and processing power needed to handle the files.

However it is not black and white.  That long list you gave on hidden costs that weren't hidden really; many could be applied to HD should you chose to shoot 60p or All-I exclusively over someone shooting 4K 24p IPB.   How a computer handles processing files and effects is as much down to codec choice as to resolution.  

If you're going to ignore this and just focus on HD and 4K without the wider issues of codec and bitrate choices, then there's nothing to discuss.  4K is bigger than HD, therefore costlier.  Youtube isn't that great displaying your video.  So watch it on Vimeo or playback on your TV via USB.  Aside from telling me that Youtube is rubbish, which I know, this feels like a thread to support 1 point of view.  

If my method of delivery was down to Youtube only, would it be worth my while shooting 4K.  Yes.  Your opening post gave some excellent reasons for shooting 4K over HD, but they were so broad in range, they could be easily applied to every single job I do.  Maybe this thread would be better served identifying ways to get great looking 4K from Youtube rather than justifying an HD workflow.  If anyone has tips on that, it would be appreciated.

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4 hours ago, kye said:

 

Please do yourself a favour and do a little experiment.. shoot a 1080p BRAW clip and then shoot a 4K BRAW clip, put each of them on a native resolution timeline and then load each of them up with effects until your computer can't keep up.  Compare how many effects the 1080p timeline got to with the number that the 4K timeline got to.

 

1080p BRAW on my Pocket 4K is heavily cropped...  so not a great comparison. 🤣🤣🤣

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1 hour ago, kye said:

Matti Haapoja got the Canon R5.  Matti Haapoja shot in 4K and 8K.  Matti Haapojas computer absolutely choked.

Matti Haapoja went back to 1080.

Apparently, no-one noticed.

 

Matti Hoopla uploads content that is watched once on a phone and then forgotten. He’s not making narrative stuff.

Things you put time/effort into require the best visual medium for longevity. This is why Nolan and Tarantino shoot on 70mm. If you don’t give a shit about your content then shoot it in whatever is easiest for your audience to slop down right now. If you care about it and want it to stand the test of time you go for the best.

This is not a complex issue. If discount Peter McKinnon is your example then I think you need to pick a different hill to die on. These guys are not filmmakers.

 

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Follow up:

I was extremely rude to what seems to be a really nice person in Matti...and I feel bad. I have nothing against him personally but I have some (obviously) strong thoughts about the type of content he uploads.

More often than not I side with Andrew on this stuff. If you have built an audience and a name for yourself the LEAST you could do is be authentic and try something unique. To just pander and make 10 B-Roll videos with fake surprise face thumbnails is almost non sensical.

It shows your sense of priorities. That you care more about fame/numbers/likes than you do anything artistic or creative. And that is a massive turn off.

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@Neumann Films

I posted it here because this thread is about the poor quality of the YouTube codec, rather than any commentary about the R5 or the economics or artistic value of vlogging.

We all have opinions on a range of matters, but I just thought it was an interesting example, considering that Mattis audience is tech / image / camera centric, and yet even on such a channel a workflow upgrade / resolution downgrade wasn't really noticed.  Even for Matti, who even the nay-sayers suggest would be heavily preoccupied with his social media engagement and comments section opinion on various camera products.

For reference, I watch his content on a 32" UHD display, in a suite calibrated to SMPTE standards (display brightness is 100cd/m2, ambient light is ~10% that luma with a colour temp of 6500K, and viewing distance within the sweet spot of viewing angle, etc).  Maybe some are watching on a phone, but not everyone - one of the first things those who are caught up in the hype of things like Canon CS / 4K / cinematic LUTs / 120p b-roll etc would acquire is a big TV and/or 4K computer monitor.  I know that because when I got into video that's one of the first things I did, as that was the prevailing logic online, and I definitely wasn't the only one.  Threads like this one are part of my journey of un-learning all that stuff the internet is full of and is often flat-out wrong.

For anyone delivering via a different platform other than YouTube it's a different story.  Of course, not that different if you do a little reading about how many features have been screened in 1080p in theatres and the film-makers didn't get a single comment about resolution, but that's a different thread entirely 🙂 

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2 hours ago, kye said:

For anyone delivering via a different platform other than YouTube it's a different story.

Meh, even Avengers: Endgame was mastered in wait for it.........  Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format).  At least according to IMDB.

Granted, it was captured in ArriRaw 6.5k...  go figure.  

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Interesting topic. I tried to research this a bit before for my own channel and it seems like a big rabbit hole. Lots of different opinions.

Same about the whole 1080p upscaling to 4k story to get a better final result on Youtube. Some say it works some say it is snake oil.

If I compare my own youtube videos with a canon 200d 1080p vs other channels with similar content when using 4k Full frame DSLR like 1DX Mark II and the canon 5d mark IV. Then I can see the difference quite well even on a mobile (when both channels using sharp lenses). The difference is IMO huge even when watching on old TV with only 1080p. I assume this is probably because the dslr canon 1080p footage is known for being mushy and soft? (is this just because of the low bitrates or are there more variables that come into play beside lenses). As there are cameras like Arri with gorgeous 1080p files. Even before uploading to youtube on my pc full screen the image is very soft to my liking with the 1080p from the canon 200d.

I would love to upgrade to another Canon camera to get a better result on Youtube. The question is when are there diminishing returns, if my delivery is only on Youtube, but I want to max my quality over there. The Canon R6 looks like a nice option. However I love my current APS-C glass and wish there was just a decent APS-C/Super 35 Canon video camera with features like DPAF, 10bit, IBIS. Something like a R6 APS-C (maybe at the end of 2021). The new rumored C50 looks nice and is also Super 35, if it's not to heavy to use on a gimbal as well. Just a shame if the rumors are true that it will deliver 4k 8 bit while the R6 photo camera shoots 4k 10 bit. I wonder beside the specs on paper if the IQ of a C50 4k 8bit would beat the R6 4k 10bit. Since the C50 is a dedicated video camera. The C50 would have more dynamic range I think especially with clog 2 and 3 while  the R6 could be pushed harder with grading since it's 10 bit?

Any input regarding the diminishing returns of certain camera models for optimal Youtube delivery?

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14 hours ago, Towd said:

Meh, even Avengers: Endgame was mastered in wait for it.........  Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format).  At least according to IMDB.

Granted, it was captured in ArriRaw 6.5k...  go figure.  

I've heard that VFX is a different thing entirely, and that you want RAW and at a high resolution as possible.

The RAW is because you want clean green-screens without having to pull a key and be having to battle with the compression that will blur edges etc.   

The resolution is so that the tracking is as accurate as possible so that when you composite 3D VFX into the clip the VFX parts are as 'locked' to the movement of the captured footage as possible - VFX tracking has to be sub-pixel accurate so that the objects appear like they are in the same space as the footage.

Screening in 2K is probably an advantage as well as it would mean that there is a limit to how clearly the VFX will be seen, so in that sense 2K probably covers up a bunch of sins..   like SD (and then HD) hid details in the hair/makeup department work that higher resolutions exposed.

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