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23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast

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Travis Marshall
23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:45:39 pm

Hi all,

Just double-checking the preferred workflow for delivering a show for broadcast in 29.97, where footage is all 23.98. I know FCP X has the four different 3:2 pulldown options (floor, nearest integer, frame blending, and optical flow). I did a bunch of tests and found that floor was decent, but optical flow was ideal visually despite the extra rendering required.

My question is, would you edit the footage natively in 23.98 and then output to 29.97 when outputting the master? Or would you edit within a 29.97 sequence (er, project) and perform the pulldown within that sequence on each individual clip?

My first instinct is to do the latter, simply for timing reasons. For a show that needs to be an exact length, to the frame, it seems editing in the delivery frame-rate would give me the most precise timing. I worry about getting a show to a precise length in a 23.98 sequence only to apply a pulldown on export and have a different end time for the program.

Thanks for all your thoughts.

Mac Pro 3 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5, 32 GB Ram, AMD FireProD700
OSX 10.10.5, FCP 10.2.1


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Darren Roark
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:39:17 am

Why do you need to add 3:2 pulldown to your master? Is that the delivery spec sheet?


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Travis Marshall
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:43:38 am

The delivery spec is 29.97 drop-frame for broadcast distribution. As far as I have ever known, the only way to go from 23.98 to 29.97 is to apply a 3:2 pulldown either in a third-party encoding program (back in FCP 7 days) or within an NLE (I believe recent versions support the automatic pulldown).

Mac Pro 3 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5, 32 GB Ram, AMD FireProD700
OSX 10.10.5, FCP 10.2.1


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Brett Sherman
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:43:52 am

IF all your material is 23.98 then you want to edit at 23.98. That way your dissolves and graphics will be the same frame rate as your source footage. Then once you're done convert it to 29.97.

On the pull-down issue, these days TV sets aren't natively interlaced. And web delivery certainly is not. I would output at 29.97 progressive if you are allowed to.


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Travis Marshall
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:51:36 am

Thanks, Brett. I'll definitely be exporting 29.97p for the dup house to do packaging, but our public television distributor broadcasts in 1080i.

If I edit natively, will timing of the final export be slightly different, though? When an act needs to end and go to black at a 0, or a program needs to end precisely at 01:56:46;00, will that line up if I do the conversion on export?

Thanks!

Mac Pro 3 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5, 32 GB Ram, AMD FireProD700
OSX 10.10.5, FCP 10.2.1


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Oliver Peters
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:03:30 am

Actually, depending on the outlet, they might require 1080i/59.94, NOT 29.97p, especially when 3:2 pulldown is involved. The reason is that using pulldown with progressive formats results in a duplicated frame in the cadence, which doesn't look good. You can play around with Compressor. In my own case, I export a 23.98p master from FCPX and then bring this into After Effects to create a proper 1080i version.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:07:39 am

Since there's no 23.98 drop frame, you'll have to do some calculations, or simply edit in a 29.97 drop frame timeline that will have accurate timing.


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Travis Marshall
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:16:18 am

Thanks everyone for chiming in, and so speedily!

Our workflow for this distributor has always been export 29.97p ProRes to dup house, which handles captioning and dubbing everything to 1080i HDCam for the distributor. So they handle that side of the equation entirely.

The only difference this time around is the 23.98 source material.

I'm leaning towards just editing in 29.97 df so I can see everything on my monitors and not be surprised by the quality of the rate conform in export. So far in my tests FCP X has done a nice job with rate conform, especially with optical flow as the sampling method. I think unless there's a compelling reason why this isn't a good idea, I'm going to go with this option.

Mac Pro 3 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5, 32 GB Ram, AMD FireProD700
OSX 10.10.5, FCP 10.2.1


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:43:44 am

I'd go for it.

FCP7 couldn't handle rendering correct pull down on the timeline. FCPX is much better at it.
Optical flow will essentially make new frames, so that may or may not work depending on the footage. I'd stick with tried and true 3:2 pull down.


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Oliver Peters
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 2:08:22 am

The trouble with cutting 23.98p content inside a 29.97p timeline is that you end up with a cadence of 2:2:2:4 instead of the proper 2:3:2:3. Depending on the QC at the end point, this may or may not pass muster.

If you are going to try to use X for the cadence correction, then I would recommend cutting in a native 23.98 timeline. Export a self-contained master and import that into a new 1080i/59.94 (29.97i) timeline. I believe (although I haven't tested it lately) that X will do the cadence correctly when you export the 1080i master file.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 2:29:16 am

I'd recommend cutting in 29.97i as X can handle the pull down correctly (not 29.97p).

You can cut in 23.98, but then you have to time it all to 29.97 DF, which isn't impossible, it's just not straight forward.

I'd there are any motion graphic elements, I'd create those at 23.98 too, so the motion matches once placed in the 29.97 timeline.

All of this was impossible in 7, but possible in X.


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Oliver Peters
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 5:56:06 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'd recommend cutting in 29.97i as X can handle the pull down correctly (not 29.97p). "

While this works fine - and is the way a lot of shows are cut - you will end up with a mixed cadence. The plus side is that no edits will be in the middle of split field frames. The downside is that the 3:2 cadence changes with every clip. Depending on the QC requirements, that may or may not be an issue.

- Oliver

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


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Darren Roark
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 6:18:57 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The downside is that the 3:2 cadence changes with every clip. Depending on the QC requirements, that may or may not be an issue."

In my experience this would be listed under "usually an issue".


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 7:04:20 pm

[Oliver Peters] "While this works fine - and is the way a lot of shows are cut - you will end up with a mixed cadence. The plus side is that no edits will be in the middle of split field frames. The downside is that the 3:2 cadence changes with every clip. Depending on the QC requirements, that may or may not be an issue.
"


FCPX handles this very well. You have to delete (any) all renders, and then export a final timeline at 29.97i to get a whole 3:2 cadence across the program. If all of the footage is 23.98, there is no cadence until you render. This is why creating the graphics at 23.98 is crucial.

This is much easier than trying to time commercial breaks from 23.98 to 29.97 df, in my opinion. Again, none of this is possible with 7, and it completely possible in X.

Adding new frames using Optical Flow may cause mushy interpolated frames, which also may fail QC. I think a consistent 3:2 across the program will fair much better.


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Oliver Peters
Re: 23.98 footage workflow to 29.97 delivery for broadcast
on Jun 16, 2016 at 8:44:55 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "FCPX handles this very well. You have to delete (any) all renders, and then export a final timeline at 29.97i to get a whole 3:2 cadence across the program."

Aah, OK. I didn't know this. Thanks.

- Oliver

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


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