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Client shot in 23.98 - Process for editing 29.97 for final output?

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Ian Scott
Client shot in 23.98 - Process for editing 29.97 for final output?
on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:51:05 am

Hi Folks,

Earlier I asked a question about offline timecode management and got that all resolved.

But now I have a new problem - my clients (two separate ones) both shot in 23.98.

The final delivery is for broadcast, 1920x1080 29.97.

What do I do to my project to make that happen? It's pulldown on a 29.97 sequence?

The problem I am having is that one of the clients, I am editing the offline for them, and they have the HD footage, and its going to be mortised into a animation. What happens to the audio and timecode when they go back to match the online? How do I resolve this?

The other client has all MOS shots cut to music with VO, so thats not as much of a problem for me, just don't know the exact procedure to output 29.97 without artifacts/etc .

any thoughts would be extremely helpful. Thank you!

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Bret Williams
Re: Client shot in 23.98 - Process for editing 29.97 for final output?
on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:30:18 pm

Sadly FCP won't add that interlaced pulldown you need. You'll need to work in a 1080i sequence, and add the pulldown in an external app like compressor or After Effects. I noticed that FCP X correctly adds pulldown when you drop 24p in a 1080i sequence. You may want to download the demo, drop your clip in, render and export as pro res.

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Ian Scott
Re: Client shot in 23.98 - Process for editing 29.97 for final output?
on Mar 26, 2012 at 5:51:27 pm

Hi Bret! Thank you for the reply. I did some digging around and had a few lightbulbs go off.

Since I am only doing the offline I don't have to worry about doing the final output-- but should I check with the online people if they want me in a 29.97 or a 23.98 sequence?

And for the MOS shots for the other client- I could edit in 23.98 and output to tape with correct pulldown, I think..

But ya, the first client is confusing the heck out of me.

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Bill Russell
Re: Client shot in 23.98 - Process for editing 29.97 for final output?
on Mar 26, 2012 at 8:01:33 pm

Since they shot in 23.976, they clearly wanted and have acquired the "filmlook". Adding pulldown after the fact for 29.97/59.94 is really not a big deal -- it is, as mentioned above, simply doing an export through AE, adding a 3:2 cadence to the final program output. Note that you MUST do this with with either editing route you go, there is no way around it. But doing it after the fact is superior for many reasons:

I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend editing in 23.976 (if all your footage is 23.976):

- It is a piece of cake to later go 23.976p to 29.97i, effectively lossless other than you have added a 3:2 cadence to the time rendering. The 3:2 cadence can easily be removed at any time with no loss. But it is effectively impossible to go the other direction -- from 23.976 footage edited on a 29.97 sequence, TO a 23.976 output -- after you have edited, without causing artifacts at edit points, recompressing parts of footage or distorting the timebased rendering of the footage. This is because a) cadence CHANGES at every edit point and b) edit points often happen in the MIDDLE of an original 24p frame, because the original frames are often spread across more than one 30i frame.

- ATSC HD broadcasts are 59.97, but for any content with a 3:2 cadence, almost every modern TV, Blu-Ray etc removes the 3:2 fields to display the full original 24p frames. The reason for 59.97 broadcast is both can be seamlessly broadcast -- news at 30i, followed by dramatic television almost always at 24p, interspersed with TV ads at 30i, 30p or 24p. It all plays over a 29.97i/59.97 broadcast stream.

- Not exactly a new point, but a clarification of the above: when you add 3:2 (24p->30i) to a sequence edited in 24p, you get a single consistent 3:2 cadence throughout the entire sequence. But if you add pulldown to clips, then edit in 30i, you get a cadence pattern break at EVERY edit point. That can cause degraded frames (half frames) and also cause display systems trying to remove 3:2 cadence to hiccup at each edit point.

- VERY IMPORTANT: If you edit these 23.976 clips in 29.97, you have to add pulldown anyway! You can't get away from this need. FCP (FCP7 anyway) does not do it for you when you put a a 24p clip on a 30i sequence -- you get a slight jumpiness that will fail broadcast QC. You either have add pulldown to ALL of your source footage before editing, or you can choose to edit natively in 24p and later add 3:2 cadence ONLY ONCE, cleanly, to your final program.

Thems my recommendations! :)

P.S. OH, one more thing -- you'll always at the same time have your original 23.976 edit export TOO, so matching / conforming sync for your animation won't be a problem.

P.P.S. Note that 24p timecode in FCP does not account for dropframe, but broadcast requires dropframe in the 30i TC. So when you time out your program, use a timecode calculator to get the exact equivalent. For instance, if your program needs to be 00:50:00.00 30i dropframe, then the non-dropframe program needs to be 00:49:57:00. You can use a timecode calculator: (or just do the math -- it is the difference between 23.976 and 24 (or between 29.97 and 30, either way) = .999)


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