Converting 59.94i to 23.976p
Hope I'm asking this question in the right place...
Anyway, four years ago we received HDSR masters for a show we're re-dubbing, re-editing, and basically entirely re-mastering. A lot of the work was up in the air for a long time, but now it looks like it's actually going ahead and we actually have a delivery list. However, what they're asking for is HDSRs at 23.976p.
I guess my question is, what is the best way to approach this? I know it's not gonna look great no matter what, but does anyone know of any tricks to at least make it look less terrible?
All the work done so far and the media itself is in MC6 at DNxHD 220x. I have at my disposal FCP7, Episode Pro, Compressor 3, and MPEG Streamclip.
I've given it several tries within Avid so far with mixed results, but the best I've been able to achieve is by using the Timewarp effect to deinterlace the 59.94i media, Modifying the format of the sequence, opening that sequence in the 23.976p project, and rendering from there. That takes care of the interlacing, but pans and similar shots still look really jumpy.
First question is whether the 1080i sources you are working with were acquired as 1080i or were there other frame rate rate or progressive footage in the master that was then output as 1080i. The footage would then have pulldown and other artifacts from the orignal sources.
The worse scenario in frame rate conversion is 29.97p to 23.976p. If in your case, it is truly 1980i, then the motion artifacts can be minimized, but based on content type and motion, it will still not be as smooth as you would like it to be. You have 59.94 fields of motion of which to create 24 progressive ones. Avid's mix and match can do an OK job, but it does not compare to a conversion with a Teranex or Archangel hardware devices available on the market. A lot of people swear by Magic Bullet's conversion and was the go-to tool back before 24p cameras flooded the market. That is still available.
For Avid mix and match, capture the footage in a 1080i project. Open that bin in a 1080p/23.976 project, cut it into a sequence and it will have a green dot. Transcoding it will do its best to create 23.976p. You can change the type of algorithm used for the motion effect (which it basically is) to another type, but Avid defaults to the "best" real time conversion available. The only other real choice is to try FluidMotion for the problem areas but that is a longer render and creates other artifacts related to pixel estimation and such of objects. But worth a try.
My recommendation for quality would be to take your tape master and have someone with a Teranaex create a new submaster for you that is 23.976p and work from there. If you want to buy one, they have dropped in price significantly (US$ 1,999) since being acquired by Blackmagic: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/teranex
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