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Up Scaling Renders

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Hey, so far while learning Cinema 4D, I've been exporting 1080 files, but what I realized is that if I export in 720, it takes less time obviously. I was wondering if its normal to up-scale your renders after compositing them , so a 720 becomes a 1080. Is this a normal work flow, are the results good, has anyone ever done this?


Would love to hear anyone's thoughts.

Edited by Cerbera
Moved to correct section. Initial category is for sharing art files, not discussing problems.
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There are AI upsamplers, for example it's integrated in Octane. The results are not great, and depending on the content, even horrible.


This is not a normal workflow at all. Downsampling is probably more frequently used, as it gives you a nice sharp image.

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Normally, no, this in not a good workflow. However, it may be useful for renderings of very soft detail, like clouds. The problem with upscaling resolution is most noticeable in finer details because it will soften sharper lines and edges. However, if the content is mostly soft already, the upscale effect is less noticeable, thus you can get away with it easier.


In architectural renderings, it's generally okay to composite a slightly lower resolution sky into the background (if necessary) and scale it up to fit the frame because skies are typically full of super soft detail and color gradients. Plus, it can play into depth perception, since the object of the rendering is usually in the foreground, meaning the distant background would normally appear a little soft/blurry anyway. 


The overall rule of thumb with any upscaling is you don't want to push it too far. If you start to see the edges of pixels (pixelization) at 100% scale on your monitor you've probably gone too far. This will also depend on the desired viewing distance, so I recommend researching resolution vs. display size vs. viewing distance for more info. 

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Personally I would consider upscaling out of the question under almost any circumstance - certainly not normal workflow by any means.


Always render out at the resolution you need, or higher, for later downscaling.



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  • 2 months later...

Just an update: Topaz Gigapixel AI does a really excellent job of image enlargement. Yes, this is not the preferred way, but it is a solution when all other options are not there.

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im going to go completely against the grain. Upscaling is incredibly common. Most of the effects you see in hollywood movies aren't rendered at the full resolution of the final film. For years the effects were done at 1080 and upscaled to 4k, even as recently as the avengers films the 3D effects werent created at the full resolution. Especially if you consider that the majority of content we're pushing out is ultimately going through 4-8mbit on youtube or similar.


When I work on a 4k project, typically I'll limit myself to 1600p, but I have thrown in anything down to 720p for a 4k final product. A lot of vfx work is done at half res, with certain shots done at the full res when there are problems. Throw on some post grain, subtle sharpen filters, grade it, nobody ever notices.


eg. Both 4k output but originally processed at 1080:




Octane's upscaler is terrible though dont use that

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