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A rather complicated frame rate issue...

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Jeremy Lunt
A rather complicated frame rate issue...
on Mar 5, 2015 at 7:56:35 pm

Hello everybody,

I'm sure this is only the first of many questions that I will be having to ask, as right now I'm working on a project that is rather involved from a technical standpoint. To give a little background, it is a documentary that is made up entirely of home movie footage about my hometown, going from the early 1920's up to today's iPhone videos. Already it's proving to be quite a challenge, as I'm dealing with different frame rates, film sizes, video formats, aspect ratios ratios, resolutions, etc, etc. I'm going to have to deliver three separate versions of the finished work - 480p for DVD, 1080p (or maybe 1080i if its easier) for Blu-Ray and 1080i with some footage reformatted into 16x9 for possible broadcast.

Here's the particular situation I'm dealing with right now, which is a frame rate problem. I've been given access to footage that was originally shot in the 20's and early 30's on 16mm. The man who shot the footage did so in multiple frame rates. Some of it he shot in 24 fps, while in other cases he shot it in what was either 16 or 18 fps.

Following the man's death in the early 1980's, his family decided to have the 16mm films transferred to this new format called VHS. The person who did the transfer simply did everything at 24 fps, which meant that the VHS tape plays at the proper speed in some scenes, but is very noticeably sped up in others.

Long story short, the 16mm films themselves are now lost and the only source I have for the footage is 480i video files captured from that VHS tape, with a file frame rate of 29.976 fps. Quality is not good at all, but the material is of such historical value that I'm going to use chunks of it anyway. But for the portions that are sped up on the original tape, what options are available to try and fix the speed?


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: A rather complicated frame rate issue...
on Mar 6, 2015 at 3:56:52 pm

Hey Jeremy,

It really depends on what your final master is going to be?

First up: Premiere Pro would be much better suited for this job than After Effects. Which is what I bill base my suggestions on:

You could decide to do your editing in 24fps (or 23.96) and sync all audio etc to that, before doing final conversion of the master file to your chosen format.
PPro should automatically convert all the various frame-rates into the chosen master frame rate. If there are one or two clips that doesn't play ball, then convert those into a known format.

If there are motion jitter and strobing that you can't get rid off using Adobe's own tools, I would advice you to invest in Twixtor - it has helped me out in the past with a couple of difficult clips.

Also consider treating the 16mm come VHS footage through a good noise reduction software.

If you need to move in and out of After Effects, then Adobe CC will allow that to happen easily, and you can preview AE effects in the PPro timeline, as you are working on the clip.

Hope this helps?

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Sibel Melik
Re: A rather complicated frame rate issue...
on May 19, 2015 at 11:21:47 pm

Hi Jeremy,

I have a similar problem in that the digital file of the 16mm film I'm dealing was transferred at 24 fps and the film appears to have been shot at 16 or 18 fps - so it was transferred at the wrong frame rate and appears very sped up.

How did you proceed with resolving the issue and making the footage look normal in terms of speed? I'm curious as to what you ultimately ended up doing, without the option of transferring the original film at the appropriate fps.

Thank you.


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: A rather complicated frame rate issue...
on May 20, 2015 at 8:05:05 am

Hey Sibel,

[Sibel Melik] "I have a similar problem in that the digital file of the 16mm film I'm dealing was transferred at 24 fps and the film appears to have been shot at 16 or 18 fps - so it was transferred at the wrong frame rate and appears very sped up."

If your film was scanned at "16 or 18 fps" the 24fps should look like slow-motion, as in that you are "stretching" the frame rate to make each picture last longer on screen.

However, if the film was scanned 29.97 fps (30 fps) then it would look sped up in 24 fps playback.

My suggestion is that you set up a 29.97 fps timeline to see if the footage then runs in normal speed? (I am hoping that it wasn't scanned at 60 fps...).

If your desired frame rate is 24 fps (23.98 fps) then you should be able to do a pull-down.

Before messing with changing the frame-rates from what it was originally scanned at, I would have a conversation with the person/people who will be doing the sound editing and mastering first. As that you can always master out in 29.97 fps and do a pull-down from the master file, rather than trying to synch sound and visuals running at different frame-rates.

Hope this helps?

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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