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24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur

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Ben Knight24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:16:01 am

Hello all,

I've got a short film in ProRes, 1920 x 1080 24fps.

Need to put it on DigiBeta SD PAL 25fps.

I've run a few tests doing the conversion in compressor and it looks terribly blurry, even when i set frame controls to best resize, best frame rate conversion.

The guy in the Digi Beta place told me there's no way around the blur.

THis can't be right, studio movies (presumably shot in 24) look completely sharp as PAL DVDs... how do i get there?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Ben


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Rafael AmadorRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:21:48 am

[Ben Knight] "best frame rate conversion."
Make a test with Fast (Nearest frame).
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:45:33 am

Hi Rafael... I actually tried that.... Hate to say it, but I thought it was too... fast.
Do you think that's the only way to keep the sharpness?


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Rafael AmadorRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 11:56:54 am

[Ben Knight] "Hi Rafael... I actually tried that.... Hate to say it, but I thought it was too... fast.
Do you think that's the only way to keep the sharpness?"

Then try with the second option: Frame blending.
The point is to not reprocess every single frame.
Fast mode will work just repeating the missed frame (24 > 25).
Frame Blending will do the same but will get the missed frames by blending the adjacent.
Motion Compensated and "High quality Motion Compensated" (Optic Flow), will reprocess every single frame and will soft the picture.
As Shane says, the best option is a Teranex, and as Blackmagic has reduced the prices from few tens of thousands to barely 1K, Teranex is not anymore an option limited to megabucks productions.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 4:44:34 pm

Thanks Rafael... I tested the various setting in Compressor, still pretty blurry. Post Houses in LA will put it on digi beta tape and do a Teranex conversion for like $130... So I guess that's what I'll do.
How good should I expect the results to be? Is it going to be really sharp do you think... or in between the original and my compressor tests regarding quality.
Thanks,
Ben


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Joseph OwensRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 6:07:52 pm

[Ben Knight] " Post Houses in LA will put it on digi beta tape and do a Teranex conversion for like $130..."


Oh, man, how do they make money or is "post" as a business model completely broken?

PAL conversion and DBeta master? $130 is a joke -- may as well do it for free.

But do agree with Rafael -- "Fast" is the way to go -- same as with converting 23.98 to 29.97, that's how you get field/pulldown, instead of re-computing every frame. However, the other way.... from original 29.97 --> 25 or 23.98 sans ABCD cadence is another can of worms.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 6:21:44 pm

Hi guys,

Yeah, I guess I'll go professional Teranex.

But I'm still running compressor tests to see what I can do. Settings are as follows:

File format: DV Stream
Format PAL
Frame Controls On
Rate conversion: Fast as per Rafael's suggestion

Questions:
Set duration to 100% or play Source at 25?

What about the settings for Resize?
Had resize to fast
Output fields: same as source
De-interlace fast

I set duration to 100% of source.

And yeah, that was still pretty blurry.

Tried again with duration: "Source plays at 25fps"
And I think that might have even been a tiny bit blurrier again.

Have I got the settings right?

Thanks a bunch.


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Shane RossRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:29:10 am

Movie studios have access to very high end equipment too. They don't use Compressor. They will run things through hardware standards converters like terranex

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:46:44 am

Thanks, Shane... what's the best possible outcome for a little dude like myself? Cheers, B


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Nick MeyersRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 12:46:15 pm

the REAL reason why PAL DVDs of Studio Movies look fine is NOT because of complex frame-rate conversion hardware,
it is because the films are run at 25fps,
so one frame is one frame.

in FCS world, that is very simple, you just take an export of your program, and "Conform" it using Cinema Tools.

the film runs faster (compare run times on amazon us & amazon uk)
and without pitch correction, the sound plays at a higher pitch.
this needs to be pretty good to work well, so if you don't have access to good pitch correction it might be better left un-done


cheers,
nick


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:35:11 pm

You know, Nick, I'm trying the conform method now.
Conformed it to 25 in Cinema Tools.

I'm experimenting with pitch shifting the audio using Time Machine in Logic Studio. It sounds pretty decent to me, have you heard anything about Logic Studio regarding it's pitch-shifting abilities?

As far as I can calculate, I need to pitch shift down by 67 cents, here's how I got the number.

Assuming need a decrease of 4% pitch (1 / 25th).

A semitone (100 cents) apparently = 5.946309437%

so

So 4% / 5.946309437 * 100 = about 67 cents.

Does that sound right?

And I'm just trying to do the frame resize with compressor, starting with the conformed hd file.... using "Best" for Frame resize quality.
I got to admit, it still looks a tiny bit blurry, so I will keep trying different things.

Thanks, B


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Nick MeyersRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 7:24:00 am

Hi, Ben
i cant comment on the maths

what i often do is to lay some un-conformed bars & tone against conformed bars & tone.
i adjust the pitch until there is no beating.

the only time i used a frame-conversion approach was when i worked on a piece for Silverchair, a local (Australian) band with an international audience
we couldn't really mess with the music, so had to mess with the pictures.

i live in a PAL territory, and all the features i've cut have been put to Tape / DVD sped up to 25fps



nick


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 20, 2012 at 9:37:15 pm

Thanks Nick,
Good to know that the Conform to 25 is considered industry standard.

And the digibeta I'm talking about is indeed intended for use Down Under. :-)

• what software do you use for pitch shift? I'll use Logic Studio Time & Pitch Machine at this stage I think, as mentioned, by changing pitch -70 cents or so... Actually I will also run a test of taking the original 24fps audio and reducing the duration to match the conformed movie, and see if the results differ.

• do you use Compressor for the downscaling from hd to sd?

:-)


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Nick MeyersRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:14:46 pm

Hi, Ben.

i dont do the audio work myself, the sound teams look after that, so i cant help you there.
MIchael Gissing who is on this board is an Audio Professional, and would know,
i know he has answered the question in the past, so do a search of the boards.
however if what you are doing sounds good to you, then...

as for down-conversion, i would definitely do this during the play-out to tape from an HD file.
the scaling in the cards is good,
and your tape house may even be running it though hardware like Terranex.


cheers,
nick


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 8, 2013 at 1:15:12 am

Thanks Nick... I did indeed search the forums, though didn't find much on the percentage of pitch correction. Some further calculations I did put the appropriate adjustment at -72 Cents, which I've read elsewhere is about right.

For the benefit of other readers, I'll mention the only tool I have for pitch correction is Logic, and I've heard disparate reports about whether Logic 9 is appropriate for this or not.

So I think I'll leave both video and audio conversions to the tape house. And I guess I'll go with the speed up (pitch down) method.

It's been good to learn more about all this though.

Cheers all


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Michael GissingRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 8, 2013 at 1:20:21 am

24 to 25fps is 4% which is about three quarters of a semi tone so -72 cents is about right,

Best software in my experience is iZotope RX2, MPEX3 and Pitch N Time. I don't know how good Logic is on pitch but treat it like a polyphonic mix and make sure it keeps accurate phase of Left & Right channels.


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 8, 2013 at 4:50:34 am

Thanks Michael. Just tried it in Logic.. brought the audio in, Pitch and Time Machine, -72cents Pitch and Harmonics.....
the bounced file drifted in Sync when brought in to FCP.
Don't think I'll stress out trying to get Logic to do it.
I'll probably get it done by a tape house in LA... if i was still in Oz I'd probably call you guys. Is it within forum rules to ask which post house you and Nick work at?
Thanks for all the tips, all.


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Michael GissingRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 8, 2013 at 5:16:28 am

Nick is a freelance editor in Sydney. I have my own post facility in rural Tasmania after moving from Sydney five years ago but have worked with Nick on docos and music DVD projects. I mostly do documentary sound post, grading & online.

With Logic you really need to be able to dial in the correct speed adjustment for sync. Programs like MPEX3 let you select exact 24 to 25fps. Speeding up by 4.1% should give correct sync for most programs. If it is a really long program 4.16% is closer. Also reimporting the audio file back into FCP you need to make sure your Easy Setup frame rate matches the sequence otherwise FCP will stamp the wrong frame rate an make the audio drift.

Best is to find a facility with the software I recommended. There may be other good software as well but they are the ones I have personally used and know work well.


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 10, 2013 at 11:47:37 pm

Hi Michael,
Well, guess what... I tried again with Logic. Based on your hint there, I took the original, un-sped audio file (from the 23.976) and I sped it up with Logic Pitch and Time Machine. But...I sped up by using:
25/ 23.976 = 1.042709, so i entered 4.2709 in the % speed.

Then, made sure FCP Easy Setup was 25p and 48k.

Didn't bounce from Logic, just coped the NOW MODIFIED source aiff file (Logic destructively changes the audio file).

Brought that file into FCP, matched it with the conformed video (conformed to 25p from Cinema Tools)... and it worked! I exported the file and sync was perfect.

To me it sounds pretty damn good. Does the quality of the actors voices sound exactly the same, just a tiny bit faster? Well... maybe not EXACTLY the same, but I don't have audio from one of the other programs to compare.

Anyway... it's a lower budget option, and I still may go ahead and use it.

Am I missing anything in my calculations? I know you said 4.16%... but 4.2709% really seemed to work: the file matched the conformed video exactly, down to the frame.....

?


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Michael GissingRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 12:47:09 am

My calculation were on true 24 to 25 so you worked it out for the 23.976 properly. The sort of artifacts to worry about are watery sounds or slight glitches/ stepping in sustain music notes.

The only other thing is stereo phase. To test that is OK pan L&R to center, change phase 180 degrees of just the right channel and listen on headphones. You can't do that in FCP but Logic should be able to do a phase switch on one channel. When you listen, all the mono things like dialog should totally disappear. If you hear bits then the phase between channels is not correct. This will be an issue for mono compatibility and also if the stereo is decoded by a Dolby Pro Logic surround chip (common in amplifiers and may TVs.


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Ben KnightRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on May 1, 2013 at 6:42:45 pm

Thanks Michael, plenty of good info there.
In my case I had all original sound assets, so i bounced dialog and foley to a mono track, then added the orig music (unstretched) back into the FCP timeline along with the mono track.
Thanks again.


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Nick MeyersRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Jan 8, 2013 at 5:31:28 am

i would suggest you listen to your 25fps file, and see if the sound is unacceptably bad.

the only people who would notice the shift are those who know the actors very well, and those with perfect pitch.


nick


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Shane RossRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 18, 2012 at 5:21:30 pm

[Ben Knight] " Thanks, Shane... what's the best possible outcome for a little dude like myself?"

Compressor. Use the settings Raf suggests.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael AmadorRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 2:38:37 am

[Ben Knight] "File format: DV Stream"
What's that?
Forget about "DV Stream". With that you go nowhere.
Export to Prores.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane RossRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 2:47:06 am

[Rafael Amador] "[Ben Knight] "File format: DV Stream"
What's that?"


The DV format that iMovie uses. Bottom of the SD barrel.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael AmadorRe: 24 fps ProRes HD to PAL SD without blur
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 10:25:25 am

[Shane Ross] "[Rafael Amador] "[Ben Knight] "File format: DV Stream"
What's that?"

The DV format that iMovie uses. Bottom of the SD barrel."

I know, Shane.
I just wanted to express my horror :-)
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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