[2024] How To Upscale Video In Final Cut Pro - 2 Methods

To upscale footage in Final Cut Pro X, utilize its automatic upscaling feature or opt for specialized tools like Topaz Video Enhance AI for more advanced upscaling using AI. Begin with the built-in tools in FCPX for basic upscaling, and for enhanced detail and clarity, preprocess your footage with Topaz before editing in FCPX.

March 18, 2024
[2024] How To Upscale Video In Final Cut Pro - 2 Methods
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Can I Enhance Video Quality In Final Cut Pro?

Final Cut Pro doesn't have the same upscaling capabilities that Topaz and DaVinci have, but that doesn't mean you're left without options. Enhancing video quality is a common concern for many editors, and while FCPX might not be the first choice for upscaling, it offers a range of tools to improve your footage. Whether you're dealing with shaky clips or looking to upscale your video, FCPX provides solutions that can bring your vision to life.

What I cover in this article:

  • Automatic Upscaling in FCPX: Understand how FCPX handles upscaling and the steps to ensure the best quality.
  • Topaz Video Enhance AI: A third party program that can upscale your video with AI

How To Upscale Footage In Final Cut Pro

Below are two ways to upscale your video footage for FCPX:

Automatic Upscaling in FCPX

In Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), there's a feature that automatically upscales your footage. Think of it like zooming into a photo on your phone, but instead of getting a pixelated image, the software tries to make it clearer.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Automatic Upscaling:

  1. Open Your Project: Launch FCPX and open the project containing the clip you wish to upscale.
  2. Select Your Clip: In the timeline, click on the clip you want to upscale. The timeline is the long horizontal section at the bottom of the screen where you see your video's sequence.
  3. Upscale: Once you've selected the clip, FCPX will automatically upscale it. However, be cautious when adding effects to an upscaled clip. If the image seems to lose sharpness, it's time to use a workaround.

Workaround for Effects on Upscaled Clips:

  1. Remove Effects: If you've added any effects to your clip, click on the clip, then go to the "Inspector" panel on the top right. Here, you'll see a list of applied effects. Click on the small checkmark next to each effect to disable them temporarily.
  2. Create a Compound Clip: Right-click on your clip in the timeline and select "New Compound Clip." Think of a compound clip as a folder that holds your video clip, allowing you to apply effects to the folder instead of directly to the video.
  3. Reapply Effects: Now, with the compound clip selected, go back to the "Inspector" and reapply your effects. This method ensures that the effects don't interfere with the upscaling process.

Third Party Upscaling Solutions - Upscaling with Topaz Video Enhance AI

Topaz Video Enhance AI is a specialized tool designed to upscale videos using advanced artificial intelligence. It's like giving your video a magnifying glass that doesn't blur the details but instead makes them clearer.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Upscaling in Topaz Video Enhance AI:

  1. Launch the Software: Open Topaz Video Enhance AI on your computer.
  2. Import Your Video: Click on the "File" option in the top left corner and select "Open" from the dropdown menu. Navigate to your video and select it.
  3. Choose Your Model: On the right side, you'll see a list of AI models like "Artemis" and "Dione." Each model is designed for different types of footage and desired outcomes. For general upscaling, "Artemis High-Quality" is a good starting point.
  4. Set the Output Resolution: Below the AI model selection, there's an option for "Output Size." Here, you can select how much you want to upscale your video, such as 2x, 4x, or custom dimensions.
  5. Preview: Before processing the entire video, click on the "Preview" button. This allows you to see a short snippet of how the upscaled video will look.
  6. Start Processing: Once satisfied with the preview, click on the "Start" button at the bottom. The software will begin upscaling your video. This process might take some time, depending on the video's length and your computer's capabilities. Just note that you won't actually be able to save your video if you're using the free trial version of Topaz AI.

If you just need images upscales, there may be cheaper (if not free) options that work a lot better than topaz video enhance AI, since they're just for single frame images.

Relating Topaz Video Enhance AI to FCPX

Now, you might wonder, "Why would I use Topaz Video Enhance AI when FCPX already has an upscaling feature?" Here's the connection:

While FCPX does upscale videos, it's primarily a video editing software. Its upscaling is more about fitting different resolution clips into a single project timeline. On the other hand, Topaz Video Enhance AI is specifically designed for upscaling. It uses deep learning models trained on thousands of videos to enhance details in your footage.

Integrating Both Tools:

  1. Upscale First: Before importing your footage into FCPX, upscale it using Topaz Video Enhance AI. This ensures you're working with the best quality footage from the start.
  2. Edit in FCPX: Once upscaled, import your video into FCPX. Now, when you add effects or make edits, you're doing so on a high-resolution video, ensuring the best output quality.
  3. Final Touches: After editing in FCPX, if you feel certain sections could be clearer, you can export those specific clips and upscale them again in Topaz Video Enhance AI.