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NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?

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Alistair Cowan
NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 1:25:55 pm

I have loads of footage from a Sanyo Xacti CA9, which produces NTSC AVCHD h.264 footage. I need to transcode this into Apple Prores 422LT to edit this, which I am doing in Mpeg Streamclip. My final output is intended to be kept in my iTunes library, as M4V H.264 flies to be streamed to my Apple TV devices around the house... and being in the UK, the TV's are PAL.

My question: At what point should I change the footage from 29.7fps NTSC to 25fps PAL? Should I do it on the transcode in MPEG Streamclip, or should I instead edit all the material in 29.7fps, and do the conversion to PAL on the final export from Final Cut?

Alistair.


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Rafael Amador
Re: NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 2:20:15 pm

Hi Alister,
For the bare picture will be the same if you make the conversion before or after.
But if you are using transitions, animated effects or graphics,etc, everything will look better if they are applied in the end on PAL.
On those elements, the frame-rate reduction will be more noticeable than on the raw footage.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Alistair Cowan
Re: NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 4:06:11 pm

Thanks for the reply

Yes, I'll be using FX, transitions, motion etc. So just to double check what you are saying... I should convert the footage to PAL, BEFORE I edit it?

Final Cut Pro Studio, Logic 9, on a Mac Pro 8 core, 14 GB RAM, Snow Leopard. Motu 828MK2 soundcard.


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Rafael Amador
Re: NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 6:07:40 pm

[Alistair Cowan] "Yes, I'll be using FX, transitions, motion etc. So just to double check what you are saying... I should convert the footage to PAL, BEFORE I edit it?"
As I pointed, things will look better if you convert first the footage to PAL, and efit on a PAL sequence..
There is also an option to no convert the footage: The Nattress Standard Conversion Plugin.
Allows you to edit the NTSC stuff directly in the PAL sequence.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 10:16:14 pm

If all the footage is 29.97 why not do a short test edit in 29.97 and see how it plays on your TVs. I haven't seena PAL TV they won't auto switch to NTSC for many years so unless your TVs are ancient, they should play anything.


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Alistair Cowan
Re: NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 11:50:20 pm

All my TVs will handle it - though I would like to be able to transfer it, burn dvd's etc for other people to watch (who may not have such advanced media setups as me), which is why I'd prefer to get the correct workflow.

The crazy thing is, my camera, and others I've looked at, will only do what is effectively NTSC (though it's hidden in the small print, and most people won't realise). It's not a pro camera, but it's sold on mass to the uk public, and hyped in magazines like T3 etc. It's a pain that final cut needs the footage converted to start with - it nearly caused me to make the jump over to Premiere Pro which handles h.264 fine. Anyway enough of my rant...

I'm leaning towards doing the transcode, but having a pass through on the frame rate - as even with frame blending, the conversion of the rushes gives jittery results...

Final Cut Pro Studio, Logic 9, on a Mac Pro 8 core, 14 GB RAM, Snow Leopard. Motu 828MK2 soundcard.


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Alistair Cowan
Re: NTSC to PAL workflow - convert before or after edit?
on Mar 24, 2011 at 11:38:59 pm

I'll have a look at that plugin - though I imagine it will require timeline rendering, which is something I wish to avoid.

I've done some test conversion to PAL, though I'm sure there is some slight jittering on playback (it's a 27" Apple Cinema monitor, so there should't be any problem there, and my system is a pretty up to dat eone with plenty of RAM). Conversion to prores422LT with a pass through of the ntsc rate gives perfect playback though.

Final Cut Pro Studio, Logic 9, on a Mac Pro 8 core, 14 GB RAM, Snow Leopard. Motu 828MK2 soundcard.


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