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Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"

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Hans Hoffman
Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 15, 2012 at 9:01:59 pm

My DPs want to shoot a television show 23.98. Our delivery specs stipulate 29.97i DF HDSR air masters. We want to go all of the way through post and online at 23.98 and then cross convert to 29.97 after final output.

As long as we do our arithmetic correctly, I don't see a problem with TRT. My one hangup is that our delivery specs stipulate that all segments must start on an even second.

My question: how do we go about getting our segments on an even second at 29.97 DF if we master 23.98?

Because there are a different number of frames in a 23.98 NDF second vs a 29.97 DF second, a hardware frame rate converter (Teranex, Alchemy or the like) might move a cut one frame this way or that upon conversion.

Any advice? Is there a way to do the arithmetic that would guarantee that a hardware frame rate converter will land a cut on the desired frame? Should we move the project to 29.97 DF earlier in the workflow.

We are posting with AVID MC6.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Shane Ross
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 15, 2012 at 9:59:02 pm

[Hans Hoffman] "My question: how do we go about getting our segments on an even second at 29.97 DF if we master 23.98?"

GOOD LUCK! There is no way, unless you employ a LOT of complicated math. Discovery gave up on that recommendation when they allowed delivery of 23.98 masters, because it is very difficult. But now a lot of networks are insisting on 29.97 editing, and delivery, so that they can stick to the 00 frame act starts (MSNBC for example).

What were your plans for onlining? Because if you edit the 23.98 footage in a 29.97 project there will be no issues with the timing. But you will have to either stick to onlining in the Avid, or if going outside the Avid to grade, then you need to export a self contained file that the colorist can use (and an EDL so they can chop it up).

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Job ter Burg
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:03:53 pm

Isn't this more easily done editing the segments in 23.976p, then assembling them in a 29.97i project? Avid would add the pulldown there.


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Hans Hoffman
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 16, 2012 at 1:37:13 am

Possibly. As long as we are going from 23.98 to 29.97, audio should stay in sync, I believe. That's a good option. Thanks.


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Hans Hoffman
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 16, 2012 at 1:38:19 am

We online out of house.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:05:59 pm

Both Media Composer and Symphony have for years been able to track all timecode rates when working at 23.976. 24. etc. Above the record monitor, set the master timecode to 29.97DF and you are good to go. That is where the frames will fall when output to tape. You also get a cadence indicator as well.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Shane Ross
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:07:58 pm

Serious? Dude...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Michael Phillips
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:34:52 pm

It's how offline primetime has been doing it for years - edit at 23.976, look at 29.97DF as the timecode.

The master TC tracks also track 25, 30 with no pulldown, 25 with pulldown etc. to have EDL's and such match the tape outputs as needed.

One of the major benefits of this is that the master output to tape has a continuous cadence for the broadcast encoder. At the time, I even designed in the LTC to be NDF so that the encoder could flag the "A" frame in a consistent pattern even though the timecode on tape was drop frame.

Once could do this by dragging the segments into a 29.97/59.94 project but a mixdown needs to be done first in order to preserve continuous cadence across edits. If you just open the sequence without a mixdown, each event gets its own cadence resulting in cadence breaks at edit points and possibly cadence mismatch for layers and nests in relationship to each other. I "think" each frame of each event starts with "A", but depending on duration, the output will not always be "D". There's a 80% chance that it won't be. And encoders have an even harder time when encoding when layers within segments have different cadences.

I also designed a method in the late 90's for cadence align (not implemented), where in a 29.97 sequence with 2:3 pulldown cadence it would align layers upon request by slipping based on the priority clip. This avoided the remove pulldown, make effect, and render 2:3 back out. Same for titles over 2:3 based material.


Michael

Michael Phillips


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 16, 2012 at 4:17:49 pm

We've been using this method for offline for quite a while. Answers the editors question of "how long should the show be at 23.98...for me to hit the broadcasters length at 59.94"

Glenn


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Azed Kettani
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i
on Nov 1, 2013 at 5:14:20 pm

Hi,

I have a similar question although it doesn't have to be to the frame.

I'm editing at 23.98 in FCP 7 and the final program needs to have a duration of 46m10s at 59.94i.

Does anybody know how I can calculate how long my edit should be on my 23.98 timeline?

Thanks very much!


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Shane Ross
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i
on Nov 1, 2013 at 5:24:18 pm

This is easy. Just have the timecode display show you the time at 29.97. It will then calculate your sequence according to 29.97 DF.

Click on the TC window above the PROGRAM monitor...choose SEQUENCE>TIMECODE>30DF>MAS

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Hans Hoffman
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 16, 2012 at 1:36:01 am

Thanks. I'm coming from FCP, so I was not aware of this timecode option.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Mastering 23.98 and delivering 29.97i "to the frame"
on Jun 16, 2012 at 4:14:12 pm

I just did this for a CBC production about a month ago. They informed me after offline, and 3/4 the way through online that they wanted all segments to start at a full second. The amount of space between segments was irrelevant, as long as it was at their minimum of 10 secs. My original workflow was to output to tape, have the deck convert to 59.94 into my captioning box. To add to the confusion, i had sound working at 23.98 based on a strict 10 second space between segments, as well, i was about to send the timing to captioning for them to do their thing. Our caption process requires it to be done in 1 pass, out of FinalCut...so he needed a version that matched the final CBC timing, not a version that the sound guys (and I ) were using.

I was doing online on an Avid DS, so my workflow is probably different than yours, but basically.

I exported each segment out as individual items. Each started at the first frame of the segment, and ended after the 10 second hole leading into the next segment.

I brought those back into DS as individual pieces, and did a frame conversion in DS as i put them to my timeline. Butting all segments together gave me a normal lenght 59.94 show, with 10 sec. blacks.

I then spaced the segments out enough to match the CBC spec of hitting even seconds for the start of each segment. I put a timecode window on the sequence and output a movie for the captioner to use as reference.

When sound came back with a final mix i synced up segment 1 and razored it where my video ended. Slid segment 2 to line up with the new start time of my video. Continued this process for all segments, and output to a 59.94 df tape. Everything still syncs up. Captured that into Final cut, added the caption file, and output my final broadcast captioned master...everything still synced up...both captions and audio.

When back to my original 23.98 timeline, put the layback on it at the original timing, output to tape, and had my 23.98 universal master.

Pain in the butt, but everything worked fine.

Glenn


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