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First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?

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Mike Edge
First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:05:33 am

I'm shooting an infomercial that needs to be delivered on DigiBeta. I'm planning on shooting 720pn/30 at 30fps using DVC PRO HD on the HVX200a, then inserting the footage into a 720x486/29.97 NTSC sequence (using Final Cut Pro) so I can put images and wording in the black bar area. Is there anything special I need to keep in mind or prepare for?


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Matthew Romanis
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:44:54 am

If you are delivering in SD and letterboxing your HD image into this, why not shoot SD PRO-50 16x9?
It'll process easier, won't need as much scaling down as from 720pHD, and allow external monitoring (if you have any) with out the need for rendering. Just remember to activate the anamorphic tab on your imported footage.



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Adam Smith
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 5:57:29 pm

[Mike Edge] "I'm planning on shooting 720pn/30 at 30fps using DVC PRO HD"

Are you shooting 30p for a certain look, or thinking it's more compatible with NTSC? If it's the look you want, you might try 720p24 instead - more filmy and less noticeable combing on horizontal motion. But if you want the final product to have the smooth motion 'video look' then shoot at 720p60 - it downconverts nicely to 480i60.

I'm no pro at FCP yet, but I'd consider downconverting your footage through compressor before you edit as opposed to just scaling it to fit in an NTSC timeline, but others who know more may know better.


You can certainly shoot SD instead of HD, but if the settings on the HVX200 match my HPX500, you have 3 options:

SIDE CROP - chops off the sides of the 16x9 image to fill a 4x3 frame. Fine, but effectively makes your lens less wide-angle horizontally.

LETTER BOX - does the same as above, then also covers up the top and bottom of the image with a letter box. So you lose the sides AND space at the top and bottom. This further limits the wide-angle end of your lens - it may be no issue at all depending on what you're shooting, but to me it's annoying that you wind up with a 16x9 image that's been chopped out of the middle of a much larger 16x9 image.

STRETCH - full 16x9 image distorted to fit within a 4x3 frame. You get the full content of the image, but I've not worked in this format before so not sure how you'd deal with it in FCP for final delivery. I'd suppose you could simply scale the footage down until it's standard letterbox sized, right?

Whichever way you go, I'd certainly test the whole workflow ahead of time.



- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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jim jordan
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 6:34:00 pm

When editing in FCP have the sequence match the format of the original footage. This will allow for editing with no rendering. After your edit is complete make a quicktime and edit into a NTSC sequence then add your graphics in the letterbox area.

Remember you may want the camera shutter set to 180 degrees. This will give an exposure more like a cinema or video interlace camera. At 30fps you are more use to looking at a 60th of a second not a 30th of a second.



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Jason Jenkins
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 6:39:06 pm

[Adam Smith] "Are you shooting 30p for a certain look, or thinking it's more compatible with NTSC? If it's the look you want, you might try 720p24 instead - more filmy and less noticeable combing on horizontal motion."

Don't want to hijack this thread, but are you saying that it's normal for 30p to have combing or aliasing on horizontal edges? I've been struggling for days to make my aliasing DVCPRO50 30p footage look acceptable.




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Adam Smith
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:15:57 pm

On horizontal motion, yes there's gonna be combing when played back on an interlaced format.

Each interlaced frame is made up of two fields, sampled a 60th of a second apart and creating smoother motion playback. A progressive recording at 30p is made of full frames recorded every 30th of a second of course.

But when you view a progressive scan source over interlaced signal, it HAS to update the image every 60th of a second... so those 30 progressive frames are split up into 30 pairs of matching fields.

So in motion, you'll see combing between frames (on horizontal motion) as the signal updates in an interlaced fashion. It's got to blend from your first matched pair of fields to your second matched pair... so between those pristine looking progressive frame pairs there's gonna be one mixed as it interlaces the two. And the next pair the interlace will be hidden with matched images again, but the next it'll be quite apparent again...

Horizontal motion will really show off the issue, with static footage it's likely hard to see at all.



- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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Jason Jenkins
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:26:21 pm

Well, that settles it... I'm going to stop trying to fix the "problem" with my DVCPRO50 30p footage. I certainly won't be shooting that format again. Thanks much for the feedback!



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Adam Smith
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 8:10:59 pm

Sure thing. When I first got my HPX500 I was very excited about and then somewhat confused by the quality of my fancy new progressive scan video when viewed over standard-definition TV.

Now if I'm shooting HD for downconvert to NTSC broadcast I go 60i, 24p or 60p.

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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Matthew Romanis
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:09:20 pm

Is this something that only exists in NTSC?
I shoot 25p for 50i playback all the time and never see the combing issue that is on Jason's footage.



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Adam Smith
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:34:51 pm

[Matthew Romanis] "Is this something that only exists in NTSC?
I shoot 25p for 50i playback all the time and never see the combing issue that is on Jason's footage."


Disclaimer: I haven't viewed Jason's footage.

I don't see how it could be different in PAL - but then I don't work in PAL.

Regardless of the image source, on an interlaced playback device you have to update the image by one field every 60th of a second, which would mean every 30th of a second you'd be blending fields from different source frames. And if those source frames differ, then the blended frame will obviously be transitioning from one to the other with potential visible combing.




- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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Mike Edge
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 24, 2008 at 12:33:38 am

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your reply.

I was going to shoot 30p because that's the look I'd like. 24p looks too jerky when there's camera movement and 60p looks like the news (30p still looks jerkier than I'd like, but it's a compromise). However, I did some tests today comparing the 480i and 720p shooting modes and they looked nearly identical when played back on a standard definition TV. Would changing the film mode (Film or Video) make the image move smoother?



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Adam Smith
Re: First time shooting for TV. Can someone double-check my workflow?
on Sep 24, 2008 at 6:19:51 pm

[Mike Edge] "I was going to shoot 30p because that's the look I'd like. 24p looks too jerky when there's camera movement and 60p looks like the news (30p still looks jerkier than I'd like, but it's a compromise). However, I did some tests today comparing the 480i and 720p shooting modes and they looked nearly identical when played back on a standard definition TV. Would changing the film mode (Film or Video) make the image move smoother?"

Frame rate is the only thing that will affect smoothness of motion. You'll have the same motion whether you shoot 480i30p or in 720p30 and downconvert. Film/Video mode only applies to shutter terminology and variable frame rate functions.

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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