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Field Order Confusion - Any Advice!

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Mark Vernon
Field Order Confusion - Any Advice!
on Feb 11, 2008 at 11:03:11 am

Wondering if anyone can offer any advice in relation to the world of field order.

I have recently spent some time learning about the importance of field order throughout production but I am confused as to what is the right thing to do in the situation of converting from DV footage (which I understand is lower field first) to a SD PAL file prepared for broadcast (which I understand is upper field first).

At what stage do I swap fields?
Should I swap fields?
Won't this lose me quality?

I produce low buget commercials on a regular basis but used to supply to the station on Mini DV, they would do the rest.

Now trying to improve workflow and quality we have started using dubsat mpeg2 distribution and just had problems with interlacing.

This is my first time on the cow and any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Field Order Confusion - Any Advice!
on Feb 19, 2008 at 6:21:30 pm

[Mark Vernon] "I produce low buget commercials on a regular basis but used to supply to the station on Mini DV, they would do the rest. Now trying to improve workflow and quality we have started using dubsat mpeg2 distribution and just had problems with interlacing."

Okay, this is a chip shot. It it was wrong when you encoded it upper field first, and there are only two choices of field order, I'm going to guess that you got the field order nailed now for mpeg2.



"I am confused as to what is the right thing to do in the situation of converting from DV footage (which I understand is lower field first) to a SD PAL file prepared for broadcast (which I understand is upper field first)."

Actually, field order is dependent upon the codec, and has nothing to do with broadcast or non-broadcast. For example, in PAL-land, all standard-definition video is 720x576. Field order in PAL DV is lower field first, and it's upper field first for everything else... I think. I'd have to check about MPEG2.


In any case, field order isn't that much of a problem once you get it right. Heck, you can check the technical specs for dubsat and find out, if dubsat's any kind of reputable distributor.

Or you could work exclusively in progressive scan (30p NTSC, 25p PAL) and sidestep the issue entirely. You can't see field order mismatches in progressive scan! Cool, huh?



Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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Mark Vernon
Re: Field Order Confusion - Any Advice!
on Feb 20, 2008 at 8:26:19 am

Thanks for the advice Dave.

I think I do have the field order nailed at the moment for after effects/premier ads when there is no actual filmed footage, I just always render everything upper field first and seem to go through the system ok.

My question now is when I next do a commercial (or any video project) that has filmed footage on my dv camera, do I create a upper field first project in premier and capture my footage this way or do I capture it in a lower field first project and drop it into an UFF project?

To many options???

As for just using progressive, this seemed to create problems with the broadcaster as it's only a SD broadcast snd dubsat also are not yet accepting high def files, and although a great service, when asked for mpeg setting they were VERY breif!



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