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Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues

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Timothy Anderson
Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:00:10 pm

Hi,

I am really stumped here. I am the editor on an independent feature that I originally cut in FCP 7.0.3 in a DVCPRO HD 23.98 timeline (which is the native of the original footage).

The film is now complete and the colorists have provided me with the corrected 23.98 uncompressed QT which I will forward along with the 5.1 & Lt/Rt mix stems to the finish house to make HDCAM SR master. However, before I do this, there are 2 transitions I have to add back onto the sequence and re-export as an uncompressed 23.98 QT.

Today when I bring the corrected QT into my FCP sequence (uncompressed 23.98, 48/24), FCP sees the file as almost 5 seconds shorter than it should be. It displays 1:30:01:23 as the duration when the file is 1:30:06:00 (confirmed in QT player). So, when I stack up the corrected QT on top of the original HD sequence, the frames are progressively different and it is out of sync - in total by about a full second by the end of the film. FCP is also doing this (shortening the file by about 5 seconds) to the Lt/Rt audio tracks I am using to test (these were created from a 23.976 ProTools mix). They should be 1:30:22:00 but FCP sees them as 1:30:16:15 in duration.

However, when speaking to the colorists and mixer, they confirm 23.98 and their files match and they have sync. For example, the colorists see the end "cut to black" as the same frame in both the original media sequence and the corrected QT, but the "cut to black" for me happens 21 frames early in my corrected uncompressed QT when viewed in FCP. I have verified in item properties both .mov files are at 23.98 fps so What gives? What is FCP doing to the file and why? Someone told me once that FCP did this to them because of a frame rate project stamp or metadata or something...? Did we pick up something bad in the metadata along the way?

ANY help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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Matt Lyon
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:44:31 pm

Hi Timothy,

The difference between your run times seems to be the same ratio as the difference between 23.98 and 23.976 frame rates (unless my math is totally off). So maybe the file you were sent is 23.980 fps, instead of 23.976, as it should be.

Try opening your quicktime in CinemaTools and "conforming" it to 23.976, then bring it back into FCP and see if the run time is correct.

hth,

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:09:33 pm

Hi Matt -

Thanks for the response and help - I tried to conform in Cinema Tools - but my only option in the neighborhood is "23.98" - unless I have my methodology wrong I am not seeing an option from the dropdown menu to conform at 23.976, I am running Cinema Tools 4.5.1 - is 23.976 possible in this version?

Tim


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Matt Lyon
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:50:37 pm

Sorry, just catching up on this now. AFAIK,
the 23.98 designation in cinema tools really is 23.976. But follow Dave's advice and do the change on a dupe of the file. From all your posts, it kinda sounds to me like a badly tagged frame rate is blowing FCPs mind. You should also set your sequence defaults as per my tutorial (search for it on the site). It is mostly about audio, but it can't hurt to follow my advice. And I get a penny for your page view :)

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 16, 2011 at 2:19:00 am

Ah ok - thanks sorry I must have initially missed it. I guess I will give it a try and see where that leaves me...

One thing that is blowing my mind is the fact that I was able to see the sequence actually in sync within FCP, but when exported as a .mov test, things were out of sync which is something I have never seen before...

Tim


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:56:33 pm

Could it be because 23.98 is a frame rate that only exists in marketing materials from people who make editing systems and cameras, and that the actual frame rate for such footage is 23.976 fps?

For example, FCP calls it 23.98 as a nickname, but FCP really does work at 23.976. But not all types of software do. For example, After Effects sees 23.98 footage from FCP as 23.976, and you must render in a 23.976 composition. Things would be wrong at 23.98.

Did the colorist and the mixer use 23.98 instead of 23.976 in their software? Their resulting files would be a bit shorter.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:14:23 pm

Hi Dave -

Yeah I was suspecting such myself - I know the ProTools session was at 23.976 ...

As for the colorist - not so sure - I think she set things to 23.98...everything was graded on a MISTIKA (of which i am not so familiar) but if that is the case, do you know a reliable way I can fix things correctly without having to go back to them...?

Thank you for your time.

Tim


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:18:41 pm

The Pro Tools stuff should match the original video in duration, in that case.
For the video, follow Matt's advice: reconform. But for your own safety, do it on a duplicated clip. Don't do it on the original one.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:38:41 pm

Thanks again Dave-

The Lt/Rt mixes and the Mono .WAV files from the mixer all sync up with the original QT reference he was given, but FCP is still displaying the durations differently than what QT displays them as - which I just don't understand (it is doing this with the sequence from the colorist as well). Can you enlighten me as to why QT "get info" shows the "real" duration of these files, but FCP shorts it by almost 5 full sceonds in the asset window?

In terms of conform the uncompressed QT in Cinema Tools, ok, but the only options i am given in my dropdown are "23.98", 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 fps. How can I conform to 23.976?

Thanks!
Tim


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:09:47 pm

I don't have an answer to the duration difference. But if you haven't done so yet, try this:
Make a brand-new FCP sequence. Add the color-correct clip to it. If FCP asks to change the sequence settings, do so. Now add the audio tracks.

Everything match up?

Just for the heck of it, look at the settings for this sequence.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:34:31 pm

Hi Dave -

Ok, let this blow your mind:

So I tried that, brand new everything, told FCP to change the sequence to match, etc...

AND, in the sequence (whose settings are 1920x1080, 23.98, Uncompressed, 24/48) everything is IN SYNC. However, again since i have to add two transitions and export a "new" final image .mov file for the HDCAM SR, I did a small export test at both current settings and a 422 ProRes. IN BOTH EXPORTS, things are OUT OF SYNC to mirror what I was previously experiencing (video a touch early) when played in QuickTime.

SO, I reimported this exported .mov back into the same sequence and it lined up perfectly from the same spot from which it was exported and both the video and audio of the exported clip sync perfectly as they should. SO, WHAT THE HECK? In sync entirely within FCP, but out of sync when exported????

STUMPED. Any thoughts?

Tim


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:50:50 pm

Timothy,

What number do you have for the frame offset in the system settings as pictured below? If you have "4" and not zero, and you have synced your audio to the picture, you will indeed be 4-frames out of sync. BTW, "4" is for some reason the default setting from the factory... So, you would have to have changed the setting, otherwise it's at "4" not "0" as it should be.



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:05:19 am

Hi David,

Thanks for your thoughts - although you were right, I did forget to switch the offset to "0", after doing so and re-exporting another test clip, the issue persists.

The video in an exported QT is approximately 20 frames early - when exporting tests from earlier in the film, the video is early 10-15 frames approximately and so on - which is definitely why I think it is some bizarre frame rate issue...albeit slight...

I actually never got any info on whether it is possible to conform clips to 23.976 in Cinema Tools 4.5.1 - i'd like to run that test as advised earlier, but cannot conform to anything less than 23.98 in my dropdown options...

Tim


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Matt Lyon
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:13:13 am

Hey Tim, I responded to your Cinema Tools question higher up in the thread...

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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David Camacho
Re: Sync / File duration Issues in FCP causing master delivery issues
on Dec 16, 2011 at 2:53:13 am

Tim, you might try converting the wav files to AIFF audio, for
some reason I have had sync issues when working in a 23.98 timeline
and using wav audio files.



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