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7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings

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David Witthaus
7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:19:27 pm

So I shot footage with the 7D at 30fps 1080p and 60pfs 720p (converted to 30fps through Cinema Tools) and created a new FCP project. Dragged one 30fps clip into a new sequence and allowed FCP to change the sequence settings to match, resulting in a sequence as follows:

1920x1080
Square pixel aspect ratio
Field dominance: none
Editing timebase: 29.97
Compressor: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) - first project, now I use LQ
Quality: 100%

http://reels.creativecow.net/film/main-street-grill-interior-dining

As you can see in the attached video of the final commercial the footage is jerky throughout. I have completed several other project since this one with the same results. Sometimes a clip stutters and other times it does not, so it appears to be a playback issue. However, the problem appears to persist on other computers.

Thoughts?


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John Kaley
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:46:44 pm

Did you shoot with the shutter set at 60?



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David Witthaus
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:49:08 pm

Oh, yes, forgot to mention that. Always double the frame rate, so 1/60th for the 30fps footage and 1/125 for the 60fps footage.


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Bret Williams
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 23, 2010 at 1:44:12 am

Is there a possibility you have your render settings set to render 50% of the frames/framerate? I often do that when working in high rez to make for quicker renders. If you forget, it's kind of a hidden away setting and you'll be kicking yourself.

Could it be you forgot and left the shutter at 1/125th? That's what it looks like to me. Progressive at 1/125th is the equivalent look to interlaced at 1/250th. Even at 1/60th progressive looks stuttery to me.


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David Witthaus
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 23, 2010 at 3:06:16 pm

Good thoughts...

I rechecked the render settings and it's set at 100%.

As for the shutter, I'm nearly positive it was at 1/60th, but mistakes do happen. Since I'm having this issue with subsequent problems (more recent and I know it was set properly) I don't think this is the cause.

When I review the footage in this forum it seems jerky throughout which isn't really a good representation of the problem. Actually I'm experiencing minor intermittent jitter that happens at random locations in the clip. I'll view the spot one time with no jitter and then another time with jitter in one spot. Then the next time there is jitter in a different spot.

It's acting like the clip settings don't match the sequence settings and yet it was set up to change when the first clip was dragged in.


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John Pale
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:58:25 pm

When the 7D first came out the camera firmware made it record at 30fps, not 29.97. A firmware update corrected this. Do the original H.264 files display the jitter too? Are they true 30fps or are they 29.97?


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Phil Balsdon
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 23, 2010 at 11:24:16 pm

Not sure why you chose to shoot some footage at 1080 30p and some 720 60p. You've either got to up rez or down rez some of the footage now to make it all match, messy, especially with varied frame rates and shutter speeds on original footage.

It would have been better to shoot the whole project 720 60p and only conform the shots you required as slo mo takes as 30p in Cinema Tools.

You've also shot at 1/125th sec shutter speed. It would have been better to have shot at 1/60 the "normal" film style rate for 30p, which is what your sequence settings are. As a result of the 1/125th setting your motion nows has much sharper freeze frames that make the stutter more obvious, some motion blur is useful especially on background static objects. Also your depth of field is fairly "deep" this also creates lots of sharp focus in the back grounds and as you pan the camera with the action they stutter more obviously than if they were soft focus.

Better would have been to have shot everything 720 60p, shutter 1/60th. Use wide open lens, f2.8 if possible. Edit in 720 60p sequence and conform only the takes required as slo-mo to 30p.

Results should look similar to slow sequences in this clip http://www.vimeo.com/13637278 except I've slowed the frames by an additional 50% in FCP with motion blurring off.

NB. Only the Canon 5D originally came out with strict 30p setting.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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David Witthaus
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 23, 2010 at 11:42:30 pm

Nice video, Phil.

Given the quality of production you are capable I won't question your workflow, but I'll try to explain why I did what I did:

1. 1080p for highest resolution and capability to smoothcam with less degradation.
2. Not having operated true film cinema cameras I can't say this with certainty, but I would bet that a film camera shooting 60fps would bet set to a shutter speed pretty close to 1/125th simply for the reason that mechanically it would be impossible to shoot at 1/60th of a second. My intent was to make the slow motion look like true slow motion...everything moving at a slower speed. If something slows down halfway there will be less motion blur, consistent with 1/125 second shutter speed.

That said, good comments, and I will try a test project using your recommendations. If it smooths out the footage I guess that is what I will have to do.

Oh, and better quality footage can be seen at


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Phil Balsdon
Re: 7D HD footage jerky...No matter the FCP settings
on Sep 24, 2010 at 2:25:58 am

That really is much better, the only place the I really noticed any stutter was a whip pan on to frame that wasn't following any action but even a good film camera at normal speed isn't capable of that kind of pan speed without stutter.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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