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Editing mixed frame rates (PAL and NTSC) in Final Cut Pro 7

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Spencer Hymen
Editing mixed frame rates (PAL and NTSC) in Final Cut Pro 7
on Sep 6, 2011 at 4:31:22 am

Hi,

I am shooting and editing various events and conferences using 3 different cameras for work. Two shoot in PAL (108050i), but one only shoots in NTSC (108060i). Having done a quick test using footage from all three cameras, in short 10 second 108050i Final Cut Pro 7 sequence, there didn't appear to be any obvious issues in editing it.

The end product needs to end up on a PAL DVD. Is there any issues that arise by editing mixed frame rate footage? Will the quality be worse for the NTSC footage? If so should I bother converting the NTSC footage before importing into FCP 7?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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John Pale
Re: Editing mixed frame rates (PAL and NTSC) in Final Cut Pro 7
on Sep 6, 2011 at 1:34:33 pm

Yes. There will be issues and you should have it professionally converted, if possible. If not, use Compressor or the Nattress Plugin, but you should not mix standards in an FCP timeline. FCP is just eliminating frames with no interpolation. If there is any motion it will look bad.


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Marc Bellomo
Re: Editing mixed frame rates (PAL and NTSC) in Final Cut Pro 7
on Sep 7, 2011 at 12:27:40 pm

Thanks for the response. I need to use this camera for work for multiple projects in the coming week. Would you advise against it? Once converted using compressor does the footage look the same or is their a loss in quality?

Sorry for the beginner questions, but I need to be well informed so I have an argument as to why my work should not try to save money by buying more cameras overseas and buy PAL cameras instead. So if anyone could inform me of more issues that syncing NTSC and PAL footage will give me or point me to a website link where I can find more information it would be greatly appreciated.


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John Pale
Re: Editing mixed frame rates (PAL and NTSC) in Final Cut Pro 7
on Sep 7, 2011 at 4:01:38 pm

Yes. There is a loss in quality and time (software conversion is very slow).


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Richard van Harderwijk
Re: Editing mixed frame rates (PAL and NTSC) in Final Cut Pro 7
on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:45:02 pm

Please, do yourself a favor and don't. There will be no savings, because you will have lot's of troubles in post.

FCP (and other NLE's) has difficulties with different frame-rates. The worst is your audio slipping out of sync. FCP can resize different formats quit well, it can loose a bit of sharpness though, but audio...

I had this case were audio slipped 5-10 seconds (!) out of sync...
You know how it goes: a friend doing a friend a favor, and I doing him a favor promising to author the dvd. The timeline played fine, all mixed formats (30 I guess frome an iPhone, HD 25, 23.98, super 8 film converted to something... H264 codec in the timeline, stills, animated stills, nothing pre-converted) Well, all the don'ts were there. And it showed when compressor it to mpeg2 (why only then murphy). Even chopping the audio in small blocks in soundtrack didn't work. What worked in the end was to put the sequence in a new timeline and let FCP render it. The strange things was that a ProRes timeline didn't work... (perhaps I had a setting mistyped, to be investigated the next time), but a good ol' simple DV25 worked...

So, don't be penny wise and pound foolish. You will almost certainly get audio slipping out of sync.


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