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Playback For Interlaced Footage

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John Benton
Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 19, 2010 at 4:06:40 am

I'm working with some AVCHD source material that was recorded in 60i. After logging and capturing to final cut, doing my edit, and exporting with mpeg-2 in compressor, I cannot seem to get the interlaced footage to playback at it's native frame rate on a mac. If I open up the exported footage on a windows 7 machine with media player, the exported footage plays back fine and has the very smooth feel that I would expect out of 60i footage. On the mac in quicktime, the footage is much jerkier and feels like it is being played back at 29.97 fps. The playback in quicktime on the mac looks almost identical to what I see in the canvas window in FCP. What am I missing?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 19, 2010 at 4:24:04 am

[John Benton] "On the mac in quicktime, the footage is much jerkier and feels like it is being played back at 29.97 fps."

That's because it is. 60i is 29.97 frames per second or 60 interlaced FIELDS.

You need to look at this on a proper monitor through a capture card. FCP and Quicktime don't show interlacing. You can try putting your canvas at 100%, but still you need a capture card and a proper video monitor.

Jeremy


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John Benton
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 19, 2010 at 4:58:40 am

Why then, is media player playing back the footage in such a smoother fashion. Is windows media player giving the full 59.94 fields per second and quick time/FCP only 29.97 fields per second?


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Alan Okey
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 20, 2010 at 1:43:19 am

Check your deinterlacing settings in the DVD Player app. Using the highest quality setting will make interlaced 29.97 video effectively look like 60p, just like consumer LCD and plasma TVs that have realtime deinterlacing hardware. This will preserve the higher apparent temporal resolution of interlaced 29.97 footage that creates the smoother motion you\'re accustomed to.


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Alan Okey
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 20, 2010 at 1:50:20 am

Out of curiosity, which version if Mac OS are you running? If I recall correctly, the DVD Player app was upgraded with the higher quality deinterlacing algorithm in Leopard and Snow Leopard. Previous versions had a cruder algorithm that resulted in comparitively sub-optimal playback quality of interlaced footage.


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Alan Okey
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 20, 2010 at 1:57:24 am

I just went back and re-read you original post. You\'re viewing the MPEG-2 footage in Quicktime player, not the DVD Player app. QuickTime player doesn\'t have the realtime playback deinterlacing feature that DVD Player has, so that\'s why you\'re seeing a less fluid quality of motion. Because you\'re using Quicktime player, you\'re seeing 29.97 frames per second, with both fields being displayed simultaneously in the same frame. Try using DVD Player instead to see if you get smoother playback of your footage.


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John Benton
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 26, 2010 at 3:21:32 am

Okay, so if quicktime is using simple combining, what method is media player using to deinterlace the footage while maintaining the much smoother playback?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Playback For Interlaced Footage
on Jun 26, 2010 at 3:35:02 am

John,

I'm not sure why you're concerned about this? If you authored and burned a DVD and had these issues that would be one thing, but displaying MPEG2 footage on a computer monitor seems a bit like trying to grow grass on a bowling ball.

The fact is, QT Player sucks, doesn't play at speed, and is not meant for reliable playback or critical evaluation of footage. MPEG Streamclip is much more reliable and plays back at speed, and it's free. So, you can try and try and try to make QT Player do what you want, but it simply won't, or use a player that will.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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