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Pull down from the Ex3

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Carson Shanklin
Pull down from the Ex3
on May 5, 2009 at 5:05:43 pm

Hi there community!

I have a question about adding 3:2 pull down to footage from the Ex3.. exactly, what are the opinions regarding when / where it should be added.

Let me explain..

We're shooting in various location around the world with a Sony C/A F900R, (and now an Ex3). Because of the nature of the production, the video flows like water. For a single 46min (1 hour broadcast) show, we regularly return from the field with 20+ tapes, shot @ 23.98psf... that about 18 hours or so of footage.

Do to the amount of footage, capturing the footage @ full res is not an option. So, we return to the ol' offline/online method.

Offline editorial is captured @ dv (29.97fps from HDCAM F-500 & JH-3), (yes I know all about PRO-Res, DV is still smaller). We do the offline at 29.97 so that the time code is correct for capturing the online, (1080i @ 59.94 - broadcast specs).

Doing the cross convert (1080-23.98psf to 1080-59.94i), our deck adds the 3:2 pull down.. it meets broadcast specs, BOOM! Time to online the next episode!

With the addition of the Ex3, a full metric s#!t ton of options are now available in the field. Greatly increasing the look of the show, shooting is still @ 1080-23.98psf.. except when it's not.

So.. digital footage is xfered to field drive during the day, and then offloaded from the field drives onto G-Tech G-SAFE (redundant RAID-1 hard drive enclosure) at night, lather, rinse, repeat.

At the end of shooting that episode, the G-Safe is returned to me, and I do a L&T (log and transfer) through FCP onto my Xsan.

The Ex3 footage is @ full res, 23.98psf, without any pull down. This is an issue for the pans and zooms done during the show, stutter and what not. And since it's a digital file, without the bennifit of going through a deck at any point that would add the pull down, it has to be added manually and purposefully at some point.

Community, what are the opinions on adding pull down?

It tastes like Burning

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Craig Seeman
Re: Pull down from the Ex3
on May 5, 2009 at 6:09:28 pm

I'm a bit confused about the motives of your workflow.

How are you shooting with the F900? Only 23.98 in 59.94 or is any material simply straight 59.94

With EX alone the XDCAM codec is only about 30% bigger than DV.
If you do not like 23.98 look on pans and zooms why use it?

Wouldn't shooting the show 1080i59.94 be easier for 1080i59.94 HDCAM broadcast delivery?
That would make offline/online easier I'd think.
You'd simply offline in codec of choice and then online and time code would match.

If you're shooting 23.98 native with EX and 23.98 in i59.94 for F900 then maybe
Add pulldown to EX to create a new master and offline. Then offline/online would be 23.98 in i59.94 straight through.

How much material is coming from one vs the other camera may determine the most time and file efficient workflow.

I think Steve Wargo has mixed both cameras so he can add much more detail.

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Carson Shanklin
Re: Pull down from the Ex3
on May 5, 2009 at 6:49:44 pm

Indeed.. WHY.. and I am not even trying to be cute or funny... That has been the BANE of my existence for some time now. I guess some people like the way the ARTIFACT of video shot 23.98 looks(because it's not a "look", it's an artifact of trying to get 23.98 fps to be displayed in a part of the world where the frequency of electricity runs as 60hz)

..*sigh* ..


The powers that be,(that being the powers the sign my paycheck), like the way the 23.98 converted to 59.94 looks. But in all other respects, I agree 1000000% with you and have argued many many time on that point.


The file size of the XDCAM is a small issue, due to the amount of footage brought back.

The main issue is how to add the 3:2 PD to the Ex-3 footage that's already shot 23.98psf. Add it throught FCP? (my opinion is that FCP does a s#!t job at that), or use another program to add the 3:2? If so, which one?

Right now, I'm leaning towards this option:
After editorial, we create a separate sequence with ONLY the XD media, lay that off to a 23.98 HDCAM master, then RE-capture THE NEW HD media @ 59.94, letting the deck create the 3:2 PD. But that could get problematic when we start rockin' the production of this show.

BTW, Thanks for your quick reply, I really appreciate it.

It tastes like Burning

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Craig Seeman
Re: Pull down from the Ex3
on May 5, 2009 at 7:39:34 pm

So you'll want that EX video to be 23.98 in i59.94 as a goal.

The EX3 can do that on HD-SDI out 10 bit uncompressed 4:2:2 (some believe it's actually 8 bit with 2 "dummy bits" but let's not go there now) - that would mean putting the files back into cards and into the camera.

The Sony PME-EX30 deck I believe does the same thing but with the same getting the files back in issue.
You could have the shooters in the future leave the EX files on the cards rather than dump them to hard drive and live transfer out of the deck.

Since that would be pricey with lots of SxS cards you can shoot using MxR, MxM, Hoodman adaptor and 16GB or 32GB SDHC see cards (what cards appear elsewhere on the forum). The adaptor and 16GB card would be under $100 a set so it wouldn't be any worse than HDCAM tape. Of course you could keep the adaptors in circulation and just save the SDHC cards. At $35-$45 each 16GB they may even work as the equivalent of HDCAM tape archives you might be doing with F900.

You could use software such as FlipFactory (Windows) or Episode Engine (Mac) to add both pulldown and generate offline proxies at the same time as a possibility too. That might give you a complete software based workflow. The speed may depend on how much you can distribute the transcode load.
Rhozet, (Windows), may be able to do this too.

The idea of course is 23.98 in i59.94 Master to conform to online and an offline file for you to work with.

Of course an entirely different workflow is to transcode everything into 23.98 for offline and online conform and then, once conformed, add pulldown. This workflow would involve more work with the F900 video so that's why it, in part, depends on your shoot ratios for each camera.

IMHO the goal should be either all offlline/online be 23.98 in i59.94 or all 23.98 native, adding pulldown once mastered.

I can imagine someone somewhere saying, "why not mix 23.98 and 23.98/i59.94 and just relink the F900 video and add pull down to just the online clips for the EX. That could certainly work but to me that's just the kind of complexity that can trip a whole bunch of things up.

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Carson Shanklin
Re: Pull down from the Ex3
on May 5, 2009 at 8:01:19 pm

Thank you again for your reply, every little bit of information is helping me.

I'll give the Episode a try, along with other methods, (Compressor, going to tape, maybe a little Cleaner action), this way I'll have a full test.

I'm going to do a huge test later today, testing the various methods of adding PD, and comparing it to the footage off of the HDCAM tape.

It tastes like Burning

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