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Frame Rate & Frame Size help

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Jay Mitra
Frame Rate & Frame Size help
on Feb 13, 2010 at 6:35:52 pm


Ive been filming and editing for a while now without proper knowledge of camera frame rates. I'm in dire need of advice.

Just recently we shot a speedboarding race. We used two Sony HD camera's and i'm not quite sure what the film crew had.

My question is what is the best file format to edit in FCP,its for online based output like websites and youtube. Kindly keep in mind that all video projects will eventually be compiled into dvd format and im from a part of the globe that uses ntsc.

here are the file types im dealing with
Sony HD footage captured using imovie
.mov 25fps 960x540

footage from camera crew
.m2t which is now in avi format using the h.264 codec 29.97fps

thanks in advance

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Sascha Engel
Re: Frame Rate & Frame Size help
on Feb 13, 2010 at 6:54:12 pm

Not a good format. I would ask the camera crew, if they still have the original files from the Memo Card - then with the Log&Transfer mode inside final cut, import these into your project - it will be in QT Apple Pro-Res files. Neither Avi or H.264 are good codecs to edit in - very compressed.
Make sure the crew gets you the original files.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Frame Rate & Frame Size help
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:22:14 pm

Shoot first and ask questions later. It might work in the movies, but it doesn't work when making movies.

Firstly what cameras did you shoot with. All you have told us is what you used imovie to create quicktimes. As Sacha has said, you need to re convert the other crews camera. But before you do that you will have to do some homework.

Some basic reading of the FCP manual is neccesary to understand the process of capturing in FCP. Avoid iMovie please. If you want to edit in FCP you should learn basic workflows. It starts with matching frame rates as a bare minimum for all sources where possible.

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Dan Nocera
Re: Frame Rate & Frame Size help
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:14:22 pm

If you're shooting sports the higher the framerate, the smoother the motion will look. Most video clips on the web are either 30P(Actually 29.97), 25p or 24P(Actually 23.98). High end HD cameras can also shoot 50i, 60i, 60P and even higher for slow-motion. I've personally yet to see a website deliver streaming video in 60P. . . Most do 30P or less.

As far as what frame rate your FCP sequence should - you said you'll ultimately be making an NTSC DVD so that means either 29.97 or 23.98. Since its sports I'd go with the higher frame rate 29.97.

However, you left out one important piece of information- you never said whether they shot progressive or interlaced. So that would be the first thing to find out. If its progressive then you're all set. If it's interlaced then you're H.264 clip was actually shot in 60i. Which has a frame rate of 29.97 but gives you 60 interlaced frames per second through the magic of interlacing. Great if you'll be broadcasting the video but not so great for the web. The web is a Progressive medium. Television has been and still is an interlaced medium for the most part think (Live sports and News) The other clip that's 25fps could also either be interlaced (50i) or Progressive (25P). So find that out too.

Sascha is also correct in that the avi file will give you problems in FCP. The other MOV file might also give you problems since it was captured with iMovie.

If the shooters can't recapture and give you files FCP is happy with (MOV) then you could always convert them both NTSC ProRes Mov's.

The 25Fps clip is Pal so you'll have to look up how to convert PAL to NTSC using compressor.

Frame size in FCP should be clip based on the clip with the largest size. Then when you transcode the other clips in compressor just scale them up to the proper frame size and frame rate and pro-res codec.

I always work at the highest quality that way when you output for DVD or the web it ultimately looks better. . .

Dan Nocera
CTFCPUG Moderator

If all else fails give it a whack!!
-Anonymous Techie

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