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FCP 59.94 1080 (i? p?)-> PAL??

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Michael Sheehan
FCP 59.94 1080 (i? p?)-> PAL??
on Apr 24, 2010 at 12:12:32 am

OK, so I am shaking my head ruefully hear trying to get my head around something.

I have an HD 1080 (1080i, I assume, though FCP does not offer a field order -- someone has explained that here before but I can't find it, any takers?) animated show 59.94 deliverable for US distribution. The studio wanted a 23.98 deliverable but for a lot of reasons I will not go into now -- the animated show can't get onto a 23.98 tape without looking crappy. Yes, I've tried that. And that too. Yes, and that. The whole project would have to be pretty much deconstructed and rebuilt to get it there. That's not THIS question.

In a 59.94 FCP project it looks perfect. On a tape output from such a project at 59.94 it looks perfect.

The studio is resistant though they agree the 23.98 looks like poo and they can't get it to look right either. The (suits, not the techies, yet) think that a 59.94 deliverable causes problem for their technical services in terms of international distribution in PAL formats.

I am not at all sure what this would be a problem -- certainly for SD PAL, getting a 59.94 to 29.97 and then to 30 seems a fairly tivial affair. I am having a hard time understanding PAL HD formats -- and what their relationship to NTSC formats is. I had hoped, in my naive, charming way, that HD would bring us to a promised land beyond PAL vs NTSC but clearly that is a deluded dream. Or is it?

Is there something evil about this FCP 59.94 1080i or is it p --> 59.94 tape --> PAL-worthy HD format?


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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP 59.94 1080 (i? p?)-> PAL??
on Apr 24, 2010 at 1:23:59 am


Currently there are a number of frame rates. In the PAL world (which is by far the largest TV audience) the frame rate is 25 and only 25fps.

The NTSC world seems to thrive on having five frame rates - 23.976, 24, 29.97, 30 and 59.94. Conversion within those rates is fairly simple maths, but a right royal pain. The real pain though is going to 25 frames without hybrid fields or speeding up a program by 4.1% or slowing it by nearly 20%.

Best hope, if maintaining speed is required, is hardware conversion. The introduction of HD didn't change anything because SD is concurrent and historic frame rates like 24 are still required. If anything HD has introduced more variables and complicated life.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP 59.94 1080 (i? p?)-> PAL??
on Apr 24, 2010 at 2:43:06 am

Going from 29.97fps to 25fps via a Teranex or Alchemist yields favorable results. Tried that yet?

You aren't going 59.94 to 29.97 to 25.

Unless you are working in dual link 1080p60 whch you haven't mentioned, you are working at 29.97 frames per second or 59.94 fields per second.

In simple terms, you will need to get a high quaity standards conversion from HD 29.97 to HD Pal.

Also, 720p HD runs at 50 frames per second in PAL land, not 25 and only 25. ;)


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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP 59.94 1080 (i? p?)-> PAL??
on Apr 24, 2010 at 2:49:34 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Also, 720p HD runs at 50 frames per second in PAL land, not 25 and only 25. ;)"

Yes but all broadcast is 25 regardless of what camera or edit frame rate you choose.


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Carsten Orlt
Re: FCP 59.94 1080 (i? p?)-> PAL??
on Apr 24, 2010 at 8:32:37 am

Both Michael and Jeremy are right of course but to simplify the answer:

HD frame sizes are the same regardless of 50 or 60 Hz countries: 1280x 720 (called 720) OR 1920x1080 (called 1080)

Broadcast: 720 is always progressive and 1080 is always interlaced regardless of 50 or 60 Hz countries.

So the only difference between HD formats are the frame rates which are used in 50 or 60 Hz countries.

60 Hz countries can have 24 (Norm = 23.976) or 30 (Norm = 29.97). Sometimes (as in your case) the field rate (i in the format name) is listed which is 59.94

50 Hz countries only use 25. Sometimes the field rate (i in the format name) is listed which is 50.


So you only have to convert the frame rate which I have had quite successfully done in compressor. Just choose a HD codec and set the frame rate to 25 (frame control=on, rate conversion to good or if you have time to better).
Because you're not changing frame sizes I would definitely try this first before you're going the expensive way via a Terranex.


Hope that helps
Carsten



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