A director recently shot in a Sony EX-3 camera 720/60p. He was going for a filmic 24p look that was overcranked. He brought the footage to me and after some tests, we started to run into some problems.
I am on a PC using Adobe Premiere Pro CS-3. The files are .mp4 files which import natively in Premiere. The clips imported as 59.94 as reported by the info panel. I drop them on the timeline and they play as expected. The issue is they look like video and not like film.
In Premiere Pro CS-3 I have three choices for project format:
720p / 59.94
720p / 29.97
In each of these projects, I can "interpret footage" to play back at a different frame rate. For example, If I am in a 720p /59.94 project I can interpret the clip to play back at 29.97 so it plays half speed. The motion looks great, nice and smooth. But it looks like a ESPN video replay, versus a NFL films highlight. I have talked to all sorts of people and have all sorts of answers. Two main ideas keep coming up
1) The camera was in the wrong mode. It should have been in the 720p 23.976 mode, overcranked to 60fps not in the 720/60p mode (59.94)
2) All the final cut guys say its an easy conversion with Compressor to go from 59.94 to 23.976
Since this is 59.94 progressive, every frame is unique, I do not see or detect any pulldown. So I need to get some closure from a Final Cut expert. Another variable is that watching on a CRT monitor really shows the Hyper Video feel, on a LCD panel, you certainly get a little help from the progressive display.
[Ray Tragesser]"The issue is they look like video and not like film. "
That's correct. 59.94 will look like live video and not a film look.
If he wanted that 24p look, he needed to shoot 24.
People shoot 59.94 for 24 when they want to achieve smooth slo mo in 24. When you bring the 59.94 material in at 24 you get beautiful slo-mo, but you won't get that filmic 24p look in real speed.
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Premiere Pro - CS-3
When the footage is imported it is listed as 59.94. I can import this footage into a 59.94, 29.97 or 23.976 project and from there I can interpret the footage to play at any frame rate. But the footage never looks like 24p it looks like great video slo-mo.
[Ray Tragesser]"But the footage never looks like 24p it looks like great video slo-mo."
If you play it back @ 24p, it should look 24p-ish. This is usually how all slomo works (especially film). You record at a higher frame rate (such as 60, or 120, or 10,000 fps) and then play it back @ 24 to make it slow.
If you wanted a more filmic look, he should have messed with the shutter speed (angle) to give you more or less motion blur.
If you have a 720p60 file, you can confrom it through Cinema Tools to 23.98. All this does is basically rewrite the header so that the file plays back @ 23.98 and is a lossless process that take less than a second. If you can do this in premiere, then go for it, I just don't know enough about Premiere.
If he would have shot 720p24 over cranked to 60, this process would already be done. I am sure when he switched modes, the shutter angle or speed had changed too.
I can change the playback frame rate for sure in Premiere, but what is not changing is the look. I can slo-mo the shots but there is a real difference between a ESPN video slo-mo look and a NFL Films / 24p look.
Is there any definitive answer to the shooting mode here? I am trying to find out if the camera mode made a difference or not. I suspect there is a difference between 720 60p and 720 23.976 Overcranked to 60fps
[Ray Tragesser]"I suspect there is a difference between 720 60p and 720 23.976 Overcranked to 60"
I explained it a bit earlier. When he swtiched to 720p60, his shutter speed changed giving you less motion blur which looks like a more videoy motion. If he would have shot 720p60 over 24, his shutter speed probably would have remained the same, therefore giving you more motion blur.
You can achieve the same results both ways, it's all about the shutter angle.