Dear friends, I have 23.98 footage but need to edit a trailer together and ultimately output a 30 fps quicktime.
I tried setting Compressor's "Retiming Quality" to Best but when I carefully inspect the exported movie on a panning camera scene I see that every 5th frame freezes. I other words 4 frames of motion and 1 of none.
Another thing I tried was to make a 30fps project in FCPX and copied all edited clips from the 23.98 and pasted them into it and turned on Optical Flow for every clip in the timeline. Still same problem once I inspected the exported movie.
Isn't it possible in FCPX to make the motion smooth?
I don't think you can add optical flow unless you're making a speed change. Your best bet would be to use a 60p project or a 1080i project so that proper pulldown can be added. There's a reason TV is broadcast in 60hz equivalents (1080i or 720p60). Because motion pictures (24p) need interlaced pulldown added to be smooth. Try changing your sequence settings to 60p and see how it looks. You can try 1080i if you're monitoring on a proper broadcast monitor. FCP X will apply the pulldown cadence.
You should see 24 frames can be repeated over 60 frames in a much smoother cadence. That's pulldown. But as you've seen, to get the correct speed playback in 30p, all you can do is duplicate every 4th frame. That's not so bad on some things like interviews and wide shots, but on pans, it shows it's faults.
Another option if your footage can be sped up a bit is to choose "automatic speed." That will conform your 24p footage to the 30p speed of the timeline. Playing them back at a 1:1 ratio of 30fps.
1. Edit in FCP X at 23.98 fps and export a master file
2. Bring that into After Effects and put it into a 23.98 composition
3. Render an export at 29.97fps with fields - added 3:2 (upper field for 1080i)
The end result is significantly better quality. Even more so, if you are downconverting to NTSC.
@Oliver: Because I have so many trailers for this client and it's an ongoing gig, it's not practical nor lucrative for me to export everything and bring it into AE to add the pulldown. I will however keep this technique in mind for future projects.
@Bret: I wound up implementing a hybrid solution based on your comments. What I did was selectively apply auto speed only to those shots in which the cadence issue was most noticeable. I didn't apply to all because it shortened the whole edit by too much as I had to time the edit to an audio track.
[Xavier Paredes]"Because I have so many trailers for this client and it's an ongoing gig, it's not practical nor lucrative for me to export everything and bring it into AE to add the pulldown"
You misunderstood. The only thing you have to export is the finished 24p master file. That's what you bring into AE and convert. The AE pass is faster than real-time and will take less time than using Compressor.
[Xavier Paredes]"What I did was selectively apply auto speed only to those shots in which the cadence issue was most noticeable"
I doubt that will pass QC if this is going to any network.
You won't get any different result from AE than dropping it in a FCP X, premiere, or avid 1080i composition. There's no magic here. No frame blending or optical flow. No scaling. Just simple pull down. Separating every other line into fields and repeating in the right cadence. I think you're stuck in FCP 7 world where even in a 1080i sequence FCP legacy would simply duplicate every forth frame. It didn't add proper interlaced pull down. FCP X does. Any modern NLE does. (Part of the reason I'm amazed anyone is still using FCP 7 in this age of mixed frame rates and codecs.) It'd be quite silly to send a master to AE To add pull down.
Hi Bret, so are you saying that editing in a 1080i timeline FCPX will do the correct pull down? Will this work if the original footage is ProRes 422HQ progressive? The intended use will be Vimeo. I know Vimeo supports 23.98 but for reasons that would make this discussion too long, just know that I need to use 23.98 footage and export 30fps and have it look as smooth as it can.
Yes of course it will. But Vimeo won't. Computers don't do interlaced so that negates 1080i. Well, you could edit 1080i to have everything proper, but the export for Vimeo will be deinterlaced, likely reintroducing your cadence issues.
If you don't have to go broadcast and don't have to worry about it getting rejected as Oliver mentioned, then your hybrid 30p method is going to give you the clearest sharpest results.
[Bret Williams]"If you don't have to go broadcast and don't have to worry about it getting rejected as Oliver mentioned, then your hybrid 30p method is going to give you the clearest sharpest results."
If the source is all 23.98 to start with and you don't have to go to broadcast, then there's no need to go 29.97fps (1080i) in the first place. Just leave it the native 24p, as this will be better for computer displays and result in more efficient compression.