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Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps

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Nick Smith
Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Mar 7, 2013 at 8:52:39 pm

I have a 90 min documentary project coming up, and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on using Smoke for frame rate conversion – going from 30 to 24 fps - via time warp motion estimation. I've used it moderately for this purpose, and it's worked fine. What I wonder is, for a longer project, would it be better to seek out a Terenex option? And deal with any judder artifacts on a shot by shot basis?

Nick Smith
Color / VFX
http://www.finlandfinish.com/


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David Jahns
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Mar 15, 2013 at 1:45:24 am

Is your entire program 60i, and you want to convert to 24p? Are you wanting to do the whole thing in one pass, or shot by shot? You're likely to have strange artifacts in the motion interp settings. Especially on fast, circular or non-linear motions. If you have time to fix those, it works well 95% of the time.

Another technique I've used is to do a remove 2:3 pulldown on the 60i (even if its not a film source), which converts it to a pretty smooth 48i, and then do a field merge to create 24p from there. You might have a few noticeable double images, but it should generally look pretty decent.

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR


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Nick Smith
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Mar 15, 2013 at 1:57:14 am

Thanks for the reply!

Program is 59.94i HD. We need to create 24p DCP masters. The challenge is in figuring out if it's better processed as a hardware (Teranex) or software conversion. My fear is that it's a mix of both. Teranex for the broad strokes, and Smoke for the shot to shot issues.

My only concern with field merging is softness and judder artifacts as a result. But hey, I can't be too picky when driving in the wrong lane of the highway, right?

Nick Smith
Color / VFX
http://www.finlandfinish.com/


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David Jahns
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Mar 15, 2013 at 6:08:43 pm

The Teranex route would certainly be easier! I don't personally have any experience with that conversion, but I've heard nothing but great things about it. Do you have access to one? I would recommend doing a 2 min test if you can. Pick your most challenging scene with lots of motion & cuts, and run it through the Teranex to see what you get on the other end. How much would they charge? I think the Teranex boxes are only like $2k now...

I'm pretty confident Smoke would work for you using Motion estimation, but it would be very tedious to go through it and fix all of the artifacts. Especially when a cut falls in the 3 fields that would normally be combined into one frame - those will look quite ugly.

Good luck!

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR


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Nick Smith
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Mar 15, 2013 at 6:13:26 pm

Thanks. Yes - Teranex the entire film is our plan, then deal with any issues in Smoke on a shot by shot basis. The real unknown for me at this point is converting to DCP.

Nick Smith
Color / VFX
http://www.finlandfinish.com/


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David Jahns
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Mar 15, 2013 at 7:08:01 pm

I had to do a DCP a few years ago, and found a $700 Compressor Plugin called Qube Cinema Xport that did the job. It was a little clunky workflow-wise, and the only way to properly QC it the final output is with a DCP Server & projector. I'm sure there are more options out there now, but I haven't kept up with it...

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR


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Jef Huey
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Apr 27, 2013 at 1:40:04 am

May be to late, but if you can get access to a Snell and Wilcox Alchemist with the latest Film tools options I think you will get a MUCH better conversion than with the Teranex.

Snell does real time motion estimation. Teranex is a linear only conversion. Big difference in quality (and cost).

Find one and ask for a demo of a really tough scene.

Good luck,

Jef


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Nick Smith
Re: Opinions on frame rate conversion - 30fps to 24fps
on Apr 27, 2013 at 5:13:00 am

Great info - the project has long passed to other hands, but I will use this info for the next one. Great to know the difference between the two.

Nick Smith
Color / VFX
http://www.finlandfinish.com/


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