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Abigail Child
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:24:50 am

Happy New Year! Hope someone can help as this is a doozy.

I have finished my new feature A SHAPE OF ERROR. it is going to Rotterdam (yea!) but in trying to move from NTSC to HD i am experiencing a host of issues.
Hopefully you can help. Time is of the essence here.

Necessary ( I think) Background:

1. I shot l6mm film in Italy. Had it transferred to tifs, every frame a tif, whose native resolution was 768x576 to match Pal. [Should have been bigger actually but at the time, i was "not knowing the right questions to ask'].

2. I brought it in to my macbook pro [version 10.6.8. Processor 2.66; memory 8GB; FCP 7] at codex NTSC 29.97 through Quicktime 7, to edit, thinking to bring it to HD codex later, if film warranted it.
Many months later, i have finished editing. The film is complicated: 65 minutes long (in ntsc) with full screen intermittant with two images, usually half size next to each other in middle.

3. To prepare for show and HD, I have brought all original tifs into 24p, native resolution 768x576 and decided after looking at tests, that Pro Res 4:2:2 (HQ) looked the best. Now the problems begin:

I was told i could bring my ntsc sequence into a new sequence with HD configurations, so as to match back to footage on the same timeline for the new 24p Quicktimes.
[did you all understand the process I am hoping to do?]

We found 920x1080 or HDTV 1080i (16:9) 24p; 4:2:2 HQ worked well; we tested the 24p QT in terms of image quality and sizing. We will need to pillar the images, rather than cut or distort the l6mm sizing. On the test HD timeline, the images from the QT24p worked perfectly.

5. BUT AND THEN, when i brought the ntsc sequence into the HD time line it went crazy, needed to be rendered, new images, wrong ones from the reels appearing. My assistant researched this online, found the suggestion: to render the timeline, then check Scale to Sequence, Conform to Sequence under Modify at the menu bar at top. It had worked for her for a short sequence. I did this and first off
a) with whole sequence lit , Scale to Sequence, Conform to Sequence still turns grey and unusable
b) turns out the Scale to Sequence , Conform To sequence doesn't work with fade ups/effects as per Creative Cow's website suggestion.
c) smaller chunks are possible. but when I managed to conform and scale them, then render, they weren't right either ! like a f..... up Edl matchback.
....I am at a loss.

6. Ed B., an authoritative friend suggested that it is impossible to have ntsc and hd in same time line. Is that true?
He suggests that i will have to have a second computer with either fcp or a quicktime on
in order to match back.
Of course this is difficult since you can't judge length by how it looks. it is literally eye match but they are not next to each other.
However, I can try to do this. That might be the only way for the visuals.

7) But what then of the music/sound? Why are the audio tracks getting so much longer from 65 minutes to 80 min. And why are they wrong on bringing them in? ie i hear different voiceover from what i selected, like above: a f...up EDl matchback.

Should they not NOT change, ie stay the same, as they are not ntsc at all. I shot silent film. All sound was brought in later, though true it is from ntsc sequence but i thought at same rate/sound etc.

What do i do now? Or rather i can try to do the very lengthy matchback with a qt on another fcp open project (switching back a nd forth?!!) or another moniter (better the latter i think in that i can see the cuts) but how do i bring in sound...if indeed it is changing in the new timeline.

Any suggestions are welcome. i am at a loss, particularly regards the sound now.

Much appreciated. Time is of the essence.
Thank you.

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Jason Watkins
Re: NTSC to HD
on Jan 6, 2012 at 12:23:13 am

is it possible to bring the SD version to a conversion house and have them run it through an upconverter to get to HD? That might be the simple way of doing this...

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Abigail Child
Re: NTSC to HD
on Jan 6, 2012 at 1:44:01 am

hmmm possible and i read somewhere that conversion houses were better than using fcp to make the conversion. any opinions on that? Some one else suggested what i have reprinted below.

However both suggestions I believe (?) miss the point that the 24p, higher resolution tifs, are not being utilized. Just converting the SD version will get it to HD but not improve quality...or will it?

here is what someone else suggested:

finish and render your standard def segments out in complete form in standard def.

Convert this SD file to "pillared" 4:2:2 SD HD *after* it looks and sounds perfect in SD exported out of final cut . conversion of the file to HD so it will import into a HD segment to export as HD master finished file.

Compressor or QT PRO for your HD 1920 X1080p mastering resolution conversion of SD finished file.

stick with progressive P or I interlaced for project import and mastering one or the other do not use both( to avoid trouble) for all imported files

keeping with apple pro codecs is good in final cut production world but finishing render codec is for how you are displaying your finished work :Apple pro codecs are not good most digital media players and DVD burning software .Most non production paths do not support Apples pro codecs.

I do not know how you are displaying your work Abby but student /faculty exhibiting media using HD is exported:
MPEG4" wrapper" in H.264 compression in HD1920 x1080p resolution:

It is what I use alot for Exhibition technology department @MCAD with digital media players (see brite -view media players cheap and small digital playback devices for installation purposes ) in exhibitions.

no more DVDs for exhibition but export a HD master file off your final cut HD project time line.

Blu ray export master file for really stunning detail if playing from blu ray disc or brite view media i will play a blu ray master file file no need to burn to bluray disc with a media player it can play from a digital file from a USB thumb drive. the brite view media player will play and loop digital HD files infinitely AND with optical surround sound if needed too and HDMI output to a digital display for stunning reproduction of your original work.

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Fred Miller
Re: NTSC to HD
on Jan 6, 2012 at 8:16:51 pm

You started at a frame rate of 29.97
You are now insisting that the HD version be 24P...why?

I think you should try using a 1080i (29.97) timeline for your HD version. This may solve some of your timing/wrong frame issues.

FCP Studio 2
Dual 3Gg Quad Core
OS 10.5.8

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Abigail Child
Re: NTSC to HD
on Jan 17, 2012 at 4:43:08 pm

For Rotterdam, a famous weeklong film festival, I did exactly that:
made a 1080i (29.97) timeline for my HD version. This solved nothing in terms of frame/pixil quality but will allow for the double screens (inside my film) to be projected full frame. Looks pretty good in appleprores HQ. However looks nothing like the quality of the tifs raised to highest they are: ie Pal quality. I keep wavering between going back to the 24p which would mean not only a "matchback" but also a new length of shots/film, OR just making 29.97 but at Pal quality so I don't lose it. The film is shot on l6mm and that's the gorgeousness I am trying to recover.

thanks all!

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Jason Watkins
Re: NTSC to HD
on Jan 7, 2012 at 12:40:11 am

What is in Rotterdam--A festival? If so, what are the requirements for delivery?

My reasoning for my first post is that you have to give up on those tiffs if time is really of the essence. If the festival needs an HD tape have a post house upres your SD to 1080 60i.

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