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mixed 24p and 30p project - best workflow?

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irene litapop
mixed 24p and 30p project - best workflow?
on May 9, 2012 at 8:56:10 pm

I've inadvertently stumbled into a project that has probably a 50 /50 breakdown of 24p and 30p material, basically because the project mixes video that I've shot on an Ex1 (in 30p) with lots of archival material telecined from 16mm, that is ProRes 24p.

I didn't really think about this until recently when I've started to mix things together on timelines. In the past / for older SD projects, I used to also work with archival film material but I would get it telecined to tape, so there were no issues with mixed framerates. Somehow I was assuming that the film lab would continue to use a "video" framerate even with telecine straight to digital, but I guess it makes sense for the lab just keep the same framerate.

But now I have lots of both kinds of material and am wondering what is the best way forward.

- It is most likely that I will finish this project as a digital project and will not go back to a film print.

- I understand it is probably a good idea to pick either 30p or 24p and convert all footage to one framerate, since there are sync problems and other problems when they two are mixed on a timeline. Is it better to convert the video to 24p or the telecined film to 30p? Converting the film is probably easier because I haven't started editing that stuff yet (so I wouldn't need to recut any edited sequences from scratch, just convert the original clips), but I could probably go either way depending on what would look best.

- What is the best way / workflow to convert the framerate? I tried using Cinema Tools to experiment with conforming the 23.98 film clips to 29.98. It seemed like it was working great, until I played a clip with audio and realized that the audio was all sped up... so clearly it will not be so simple. Lots of tools would probably do a framerate conversion (Compressor? MPEG streamclip? Cinema Tools? Quicktime Pro? Something else?).

Any advice would be very, very helpful. I am working in FCP 7.0.1

PS Now that I've caught the problem, I guess I could shoot future video footage in 24P instead of 20P... but maybe it's too late for that to help very much.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: mixed 24p and 30p project - best workflow?
on May 9, 2012 at 9:25:05 pm

[irene litapop] "...I understand it is probably a good idea to pick either 30p or 24p and convert all footage to one framerate, since there are sync problems and other problems when they two are mixed on a timeline."

This is indeed an understatement!
Ah, but which frame rate do you pick?





[irene litapop] "It is most likely that I will finish this project as a digital project and will not go back to a film print. "

You haven't completely dismissed the notion of a film-out. To save future grief, pick 24p.





[irene litapop] "What is the best way / workflow to convert the framerate?"

The BEST way?

The best way is to take the 30p footage to a production house for a hardware-based frame rate conversion to 24p. It retains maximum image quality but it's extremely expensive.

The next-best way is to buy frame rate conversion software like Re:Vision's Twixtor. There's a demo version if you care to check it out. It retains almost as much image quality as hardware conversion, it costs about 500 bucks, and you get to use it over and over again.

The last way is free: use Apple Compressor to do the frame rate conversion. The downside: sometimes less-than-optimum image quality.

In all cases, do the frame rate conversion BEFORE you edit. This is absolutely essential. Don't try doing it after the fact, or you will leave yourself open to a world of pain, expense, wasted time and wasted effort you never thought could exist.


You should also do the update to the absolute latest FCP 7, which is 7.0.3. Updates fix bugs.

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


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Bret Williams
Re: mixed 24p and 30p project - best workflow?
on May 10, 2012 at 4:04:10 am

I would insert that the simplest and perfectly standard way would be to edit in FCP 7 in a 720p60 timeline. You can mix the frame rates and they'll play back perfectly smooth. If you need to, you can have the 60p sequence interlaced as a 29.97i sequence from the 720p60. It won't make your footage look any different. The only difference there will be that the 24p shots will end up with pulldown.


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