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Slow motion in FCPX

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Daniel Kenyon
Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 14, 2011 at 6:38:08 pm

Hi

I was wondering what the best way to get the highest quality slow motion effect is in FCPX. Is it purely by using the re-time function? (which seems to detract from the quality).

I'm using a Canon 60D.

Thanks a lot

Dan


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 14, 2011 at 7:14:56 pm

Select the clip in the timeline window, and then click on the retiming button to select "optical flow" from the video quality submenu there.

Jerry

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Daniel Kenyon
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 14, 2011 at 7:47:30 pm

Thanks

Would you still recommend shooting initially at 50fps rather than 25?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 14, 2011 at 9:01:32 pm

[Daniel Kenyon] "Would you still recommend shooting initially at 50fps rather than 25?"
You'll ever get in software the Slow-mo you can get in camera.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Daniel Kenyon
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:04:35 am

So Rafael, what would your suggestion be? Would you shoot at 50fps and then conform the clip in the timeline or forget conforming and just retime using optical flow?

And if you wouldn't shoot in 50fps does that mean I could shoot in 1080 rather than 720 (as 50fps can only be captured in 720 mode) and then just retime the footage?

Thanks

Dan


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Josephus Tudtud
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 12:28:41 pm

Im not sure what you mean by Highest quality, I have confidence in the optical flow's ability but i guess the question is what type of shots will produce the best slow motion.

So i ran a quick test. I started with custom project at 24p but put in 60p clips, and slowed them down to 3% speed with optical flow this are the results.

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uAAKL0uQk1Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

I also applied the same technique to this project

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/27649966?autoplay=1" width="398" height="224" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Is it OK how can I make it better...

With the exception of the interior hand held shots, the out door shots were shot with steadicam, I think it has good effect in helping with smoother slow motion, but i also wonder what affects optical flow ability to keep things sharp.


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Tony Brittan
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 2:26:23 pm

Looks like you're in the Beta program for Sapphire Edge. I see a bunch of their plug-ins in there ;-)

Tony Brittan
Island Shore Productions


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Josephus Tudtud
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 16, 2011 at 3:37:32 pm

Not familiar with Sapphire Edge, all fx were in FCP X...


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Rafael Amador
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 6:56:19 pm

[Josephus Tudtud] "Is it OK how can I make it better..."
Twixtor allows more control and key-framing.

[Josephus Tudtud] "I have confidence in the optical flow's ability but i guess the question is what type of shots will produce the best slow motion."
You are very right. Planing the shoot is key.
Shooting to slowmo you have to take in to account the movement inside the picture and the camera movements.
The more things move, the more difficult to get a good slowmo.
When moving things enter or exit the scene and when they cross each other, things get very complicated for a good Optical Flow.
A motorbike jumping in front of a static camera with a sky blue as the background, will look great; A traveling camera shooting 12 football players fighting for the ball, will look horrible.
You use high-speed cameras to do that.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Don Scioli
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 9:46:22 pm

For Josephus- Your slo- mo footage is superb. When your subjects in the first video, belly dancer, goes into slo motion, they seem to blend into each from, there is no strobbing at all. How did you do this. I've shot a lot of footage with my Canon XF300, 1080i @ 50 MBS and at 5% I get stuttering, strobing, etc. Yours seems as if you some how blended stills . It's really excellent.

Can you share some of your trade secrets.
Many thanks

Don


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Josephus Tudtud
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 16, 2011 at 6:38:33 pm

can you show me a sample of the strobbing effect?


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Don Scioli
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 16, 2011 at 10:47:16 pm

Hi- I tried the effect as you had outlined in FCPX, though I use FCP 7 for all of my work. Even though I shot in 24p, and used a 24p timeline, the final result using optical flow in FCPX at 3% was excellent, not unlike what you did. I assume it would even look better shooting at 60i and down sampling at 24p then applying the slo mo filter.


The strobing is the standard speed change in FCP 7.
You can see it at 30 secs. in this YouTube video,





I did run a test and exported some clips to Motion in FCP7 using that version of optical flow, but it was not as good as FCPx's.



Don


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Josephus Tudtud
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 17, 2011 at 1:23:17 am

I see what you mean now by strobbing. Honestly Im not quite sure how I prevented that in my footage. However you did mention 60i and I believe my Canon 60D shoots at 60p. Perhaps interlaced 60fps is more susceptible to strobbing as oppose to progressive 60fps. When the softwares tries to look for those frames in between during optical flow, the I interlaced images may not allow a smooth rendering... I do not have any cameras that shoots interlaced video anymore so I cannot confirm this.


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Josephus Tudtud
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 16, 2011 at 3:49:42 pm

Sorry for my embedded video auto playing, not sure if its just me, but its auto playing everytime i reload the page....

How can I prevent my embedded vimeo video from auto playing... its annoying !!


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Bill Davis
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 2:14:39 pm

Slow motion is change over time.

The more data relative to time, the generally better your chance of successfully converting that to a different frame rate. So in an apples to apple comparison, you'd want to shoot 60fps rather than 50fps (provided both are progressive or interlaced, not one of each) to take advantage of the additional data in the form of extra frames.

In real life, it can get a lot more complicated. The size, speed and very nature of the object being recorded might cause one temporal rate to work a lot better than another.

A great example is a pan across a picket fence. Depending on your shutter speed relative to the picket spacing, you could get anything from pristine slow mo - to a ghastly ghosted mess if the frequency of the pickets and the frequency of the pan conflict. Does motion blur help or hurt you're particular use? If you want the impression of smooth speed, a low shutter speed will get you more inter-frame blur which makes a moving object look smoother. OTOH, if you want as much clarity as possible in each frame, a higher shutter speed is better. But of course, higher shutter speeds require more light at a given aperture.

1080 at what resolution and what data rate? How do they map pixels to video lines. Is everything uncompressed? Or did the camera manufacturer do some compression tricks in implementing their particular "1080" over "720"

Like much in video, most things are trade offs. When in doubt - test, test, test.

My 2 cents, anyway. Good luck.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Daniel Kenyon
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 2:48:13 pm

Josephus and Bill, thanks for the replies.

The subjects i'm wanting to use the effect on are people, just simply moving / running etc but the example of the fence helps to describe the effect.

My camera is a UK PAL Canon 60D so 50fps is the most I can get out of it, at 1080 it does a max of 25fps.

I've noticed a lot of the slomo footage i've seen has that invisible-typre blur around the subjects and screen edges, Josephus it occurs on your video also. Can this be reduced by tripod-mounting my camera and adjusting the shutter speed or is it just something that happens?

Oh and Josephus did you just use the speed ramp function to achieve the normal speed-slow-normal speed effect?


Dan


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Matt Campbell
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 6:01:17 pm

I think what you're referring too around the subjects head is the morphing looking stuff. I believe that this is optical flow doing its thing. Its examining the previous and next frames to create the middle frame. This will result in a morphing looking motion.

OS 10.6.3, Mac Pro 2 x 2.66 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 16 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Rafael Amador
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 15, 2011 at 6:37:23 pm

[Daniel Kenyon] "what would your suggestion be? Would you shoot at 50fps and then conform the clip in the timeline or forget conforming and just retime using optical flo"
daniel,
Optical Flow is the solution if you need to add even more Slowmo than the one you get from camera.

Conforming you endup with the original picture pixel-by-pixel.
With Optical-flow you end up with NOTHING of your original picture.
Every pixel is recalculated/re-intepolated.
No discussion in the way to go.

[Daniel Kenyon] "And if you wouldn't shoot in 50fps does that mean I could shoot in 1080 rather than 720 (as 50fps can only be captured in 720 mode) and then just retime the footage?"
Shoot 1080 only if you really need 1080. If you can go 720, go 720.
Shoot p50 if you really need p50; if you can go with p25, go p25.
So if you can go well 720p25, go that way.
Is the best picture you can get due to the relation data-rate/picture-size.
Is what I normally shoot with my EX-1. I shoot 1080 only if i know will need that size and p50/60 only when I need slowmo.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Josephus Tudtud
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 16, 2011 at 3:44:23 pm

Dan, I just clicked 10% speed and then dragged then stretch the clip on the timeline to make it 3%.

I'm still experimenting with this feature, so I really have no secret how to achieve the right effect. Im not even sure if I'm doing it right... Before I begin the project, I ensure its 24p in Custom, then drop in my 60fps clip and stretch time to 3% speed. I guess its automatically conforming the 60fps's down to 24... I'm guessing it just have that much more information in between frames as oppose to 50fps to 24p when using optical flow.


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Daniel Kenyon
Re: Slow motion in FCPX
on Aug 17, 2011 at 5:35:02 pm

As far as the shutter speed is concerned is it better to have as high a speed as possible to get the best effect just as long as it still allows correct exposure?


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