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FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI

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TJ Ingrassia
FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 13, 2014 at 6:47:36 pm

I’m trying to figure out to use my Canon C100 for HDMI capture via the BlackMagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder. I’m able to capture to my MacBook Pro, but the problem is that unlike the Atomos Ninja 2, the Mini Recorder does not automatically perform the 60i to 24p pulldown.

My understanding is the FCPX will automatically do the pulldown if you add 60i footage to a 24p timeline. I’ve done some testing and it appears that the pulldown does work. The problem I’ve noticed is that the quality of the footage is significantly reduced. There seems to be much more noise/grain in the 60i captured clip vs the identical clip recorded at 24p using an SD card (which captures the footage as AVCHD, 4:2:0).

SAMPLE IMAGES

Mini Recorder 24p Clip (in 60i wrapper)
http://bit.ly/1rj2Ay0

Internal AVCHD 24p Clip
http://bit.ly/1nkWBDU


I thought that pulldown just meant “extracting” the original 24p from the 60i “wrapper”. So why would the quality be so reduced? Am I missing steps in FCPX?

Is it possible that because the Mini Recorder is “baking in” the 60i, I’ve lost the original quality of the 24p? In other words, to maintain the full quality original 24p, does the pulldown have to be done on the fly, or is there a way to extract the original 24p, full-quality clip from a 60i file?


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 13, 2014 at 9:33:28 pm

You have it backward. Pulldown is ADDED to 24p to make it 60i. Some cameras add pulldown when shooting 24p to tape, and in that case, you'd want to REMOVE pulldown.

So, sounds like you're trying to capture LIVE while shooting, direct to the Mini Recorder and the C100 is sending a 60i signal via HDMI, even though you're shooting 24p, correct? Can the C100 not output 24p via HDMI? If not, and it's adding pulldown to create 60i from a 24p signal, then you might be out of luck. My BMD Ultrastudio Express doesn't have the ability to remove pulldown from a 60i signal. I wouldn't think the mini recorder does either.

That would be something done is software usually. But I'm not seeing any way to interpret the footage in such a way as to remove pulldown like I would in AE or FCP 7. Perhaps if you just dropped the 60i into a 24p sequence it would figure it out. But I doubt it.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 13, 2014 at 11:23:10 pm

The Sound Devices PIX240 will remove pulldown from the Canon stream during recording. Avid Media Composer can properly remove pulldown in post via its timeline motion adapters.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Mark Smith
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 13, 2014 at 11:39:06 pm

Canon does not actually output a '24P ' stream over HDSDI or HDMI because there is no standard for such a thing. It will record 24P to internal cards on either the C100 or C 300.
This discepancy between what is recorded internally and what comes out the external connectors has been a little bit of an issue with external recorders . I have a Pix 240 which can cremove pulldown frames but the set up is a ltittle tricky.


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TJ Ingrassia
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 14, 2014 at 2:07:13 am

I understand the limitations of the C100's 60i wrapper. My question is about the way that FCPX is handling that 60i footage when I bring it in.

It seems there are two ways to deal with pulldown. Option 1 is to remove it on the fly as it's being recorded, which is what the Atomos Ninja 2 does. Option 2 is to record the video as 60i then use some kind of software to do a "reverse pulldown" and extract the original 24p clip. None of BlackMagic's hardware will do the reverse pulldown on the fly, so I'm stuck with Option 2.

If you refer to my original post, I included two screenshots of identical clips in FCPX...one of the clips came from the footage recorded internally to the SD card (as AVCHD 4:2:0) and the other came from the same clip recorded simultaneously via HDMI with the Mini Recorder (as ProRes 422). You can see that FCPX did a perfect job of "reverse pulldown" in the sense that it removed the interlacing so that the two frames are essentially identical.

My problem is that clip from the Mini Recorder seems to be at much lower quality. If you didn't know which clip was which you'd probably get them reversed...the lower quality image looks like 4:2:0 material while the other looks like 4:2:2. So why the quality loss? I thought reverse pulldown just reorganized the fields/frames back into their original order and positions.

The 60i clip from the Mini Recorder looks very similar to the quality loss I get when I record 60i internally for the purpose of de-interlacing for slomo (the C100 doesn't have a 720p60 mode, so I have to use the 60i work around). In the case of shooting 60i for slomo, I know to expect quality loss because each field is interpolated for purpose of creating double the frames.

So all that is really just a long way of asking this...Is there a way of doing reverse pulldown in post that maintains the same exact quality as the reverse pulldown being done on the fly by the Ninja 2?


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 14, 2014 at 2:40:36 pm

[TJ Ingrassia] " You can see that FCPX did a perfect job of "reverse pulldown" in the sense that it removed the interlacing so that the two frames are essentially identical."

Are you sure that the signal recorded to the internal card wasn't 24p native? If so, this would mean FCP X didn't in fact do any pulldown. It merely took the signal as is. Every frame is a whole frame.

[TJ Ingrassia] ".the lower quality image looks like 4:2:0 material while the other looks like 4:2:2"

I think that you are simply looking at 1 field of an interlaced signal in this grab, thus 1/2 resolution.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 14, 2014 at 1:02:01 pm

I don't know if there's a standard, but I have a number of devices that will accept and output 23.98 over HDMI/SDI. Both consumer and professional. My Ultrastudio express, my Flanders, my Vizio, and my Sony BluRay. And even my 10 year old DVD player will output 24p progressive over component.


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TJ Ingrassia
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 14, 2014 at 1:21:42 pm

Correct, almost all capture and monitoring devices will accept 24p. The issue is with the signal being sent to those devices. My understanding is that most cameras (including the C100) do not output true 24p over HDMI, but rather they wrap the 24p stream into a 60i wrapper.

Some "smart" devices, like the Atomos Ninja 2, are able to recognize the wrapper and extract the original 24p stream. Other devices, like the BlackMagic Ultrastudio Mini Recorder, are "dumb" in the sense that they only pass along the signal that they receive. So when the Mini Recorder sees the 60i wrapper from my C100, it isn't smart enough to extract the 24p.

The Mini Recorder is basically just a stripped down version of the Ultrastudio Express. If I plugged in my C100 to the Express, it would do the same thing as the Mini...pass along with 60i without unwrapping it.


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Don Smith
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 14, 2014 at 2:51:30 pm

No one has mentioned the Retime panel and the ability to Reset Speed (Opt-Cmd-R) and I only throw this in as not an answer but a possible starting point in finding your answer. Resetting the speed of the clip makes Final Cut Pro X play the source clip frame-for-frame with the Project framerate. In other words, a 24p shot in a 30fps timeline will play a full second in the span of 24 frames and not in the span of 30 frames in the 30fps timeline. No one-second-to-once-second parity. It'll slightly speed up the clip, but no pulldown is added to make 24f (one second) of source footage play as one second in a 30fps timeline.

NewsVideo.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 14, 2014 at 2:59:06 pm

[Don Smith] "It'll slightly speed up the clip, but no pulldown is added to make 24f (one second) of source footage play as one second in a 30fps timeline."

The issue is the other way around. 23.98-over-59.94 media in a 23.98fps timeline. The redundant fields need to be removed to establish a clean 23.98p timeline.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Laika Titi
Re: FCPX Pulldown from Canon C100 HDMI
on Jul 15, 2015 at 12:49:15 pm

You said the setup for the pix240 was a little tricky. I'm shooting a movie with a c100 using pix240 and am not being capable of doing such tricky setup. Can you specify what I need to do to make it work properly?


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