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Canon Workflow for Broadcast Commercial

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Neal Petrosky
Canon Workflow for Broadcast Commercial
on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:13:25 pm

We've recently run into an issue where footage has been appearing jerky after down-converting from 23.976 to 29.97 for broadcast.
My original work flow was to convert the Raw footage to HDV1080p24, then edit in FCP/AE, render out at that 23.98 frame rate and import to FCP. Lay that 23.98 mov file and lay it on a 29.97 HDV timeline and render out from there using Quicktime conversion h.264 at best settings, manually use the 29.97 pull down available and either use 720p or NTSC 4x3 for size.

I've been told that was absolutely wrong, which is fine. I'm all about learning.
Now I plan on doing it the following way:

Use Compressor to convert all footage to ProRes 422. Then use After Effects to actually do the frame conversion, as such:
In After Effects, use 1920x1080 square pixel comps at 23.976. Once done editing, render out but mark the fields as Upper (was told to use upper for all 1080i broadcast media) and use the WSSWW pulldown option, which will create a 29.97 frame rate...render out.

Same thing for an SD spot, but take the Main comp and create a new one at NTSC D1 (720x486), but keep it at 23.976 fps. Do the same render pulldown conversion and bingo.

For the file format, I'm using Quicktime, set to "none" for compression. Obviously the stations can't handle these files, so I've been told to import those rendered AE Quicktime files back into FCP and lay them on the timeline from there to be re-rendered out. When I did that, I get skinny bars on the sides of the frame and the What settings should I use to send to the stations? Again, they've been accepting H264. Should I use Compressor rather than FCP to make them broadcast quality? and What specific settings should I used? I know some stations are particular, but the people at master control aren't necessarily the most helpful. I'm just trying to get the best quality with the smallest file size for broadcast.

Thank you in advance for reading this monster of a post!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Canon Workflow for Broadcast Commercial
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:47:43 pm

You've got the procedure correct for adding pulldown to 1080 video in After Effects. I'd double-check on the the resolution you'll need for the SD version; it could be either 720x486 OR 720x480. In either case, field order in AE will be Lower Field First.

If you're using FCP, You don't have to use None for your compression. ProRes 422 is just fine. If you render both audio & video in AE you can drag the completed clips directly into Compressor to go to H.264, if that's what they want. If the audio remains in an FCP edit timeline, then import the video and export using Compressor to H.264.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Neal Petrosky
Re: Canon Workflow for Broadcast Commercial
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:59:40 pm

Thanks Dave. Just a quick question...
[Dave LaRonde] "In either case, field order in AE will be Lower Field First."
when you say in either case I'd need to do lower first, are you referring to both the 1080 clip and the SD, or just whatever SD resolution I use. I always assumed that since 1080i60 was still being broadcast, it should be lower first, but I've had a TV station tell me upper first.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Canon Workflow for Broadcast Commercial
on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:05:20 pm

1080 is upper field first. Both 720x 480 and 720x486 are lower field first.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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