Integrating 30i media onto 24p timeline
I'm cutting a low budget feature shot on a Canon DSLR, and thanks to great workflow tips from the COW, things were going great for a time.
* Canon T3i shooting H.264--1080p at 23.976
* Mpeg Streamclip transcodes to Apple ProRes 422, changing nothing else in the process
* sync with double system audio and cut in FCP 7
* The producers haven't determined their finishing format, but most likely the video portion will go straight from the FCP timeline to an HD master tape in a post house, and/or to Blu-Ray (with a likely detour into Color along the way).
This was going fine, until the DP sent me media that had been accidentally shot at 29.97.
I hope I'm worried over nothing, and perhaps the technology's improved in the 4 or 5 years it's been since I last dealt with mixed frame rates and interlaced/progressive footage on a single timeline, but back then I'd see jitter, artifacts, and differences in motion. Furthermore, FCP's display would fool me into thinking things were fine, but once I went to an external monitor or online format, it would look terrible, and now I'm afraid I won't realize I have a problem until it's ballooned into a very difficult and expensive one to fix.
Opinions from those of you who deal with 30i media on a 24p timeline? What technique do you use to keep things looking similar? Is it possible to keep it unnoticeable?
I have Compressor, After Effects, Premiere, FCP 7, and an old version of Avid, and each one has at least a couple of different methods of converting footage from 30i to 24p, but I'm looking for the method(s) most effective at hiding the differences. I'm hoping I can cut from a 24p scene to a 30i scene and not have the audience know the difference.
Left to my own devices, I'll set up a test: try several different conversion methods and watch them in different combinations of cuts and split screens to see whether I can tell the difference. But I don't have a true breakout box or HD monitor, and the best I can do is just plug an HDTV into my MacPro's second monitor output, and I don't honestly know whether that will give me an accurate picture of how a finished blu-ray or HD tape would look.
So yeah, that sounds like a lot of time and energy for answers that I might not be terribly confident are accurate, and I'm hoping some of you with more experience can save me a lot of grief. Any help you can offer is much appreciated.
[Jeremy Dehn] "I hope I'm worried over nothing, and perhaps the technology's improved in the 4 or 5 years it's been since I last dealt with mixed frame rates and interlaced/progressive footage on a single timeline,"
Bad news. FCP 7 hasn't been updated in 3 years, and the update from FCP 6 to FCP 7 didn't address the ability to properly mix frame rates. So any hope you have of FCP 7 doing this...consider it dashed.
GOOD NEWS: FCX mixes frame rates well. Avid Media Composer has been mixing frame rates properly for a good 3 years. Adobe Premiere seems to be good at it too...SO...yeah, technology has improved. Trick is that you need to use it.
[Jeremy Dehn] "Opinions from those of you who deal with 30i media on a 24p timeline? What technique do you use to keep things looking similar? Is it possible to keep it unnoticeable?"
FCP 7...I'd use compressor and crank up the FRAME TOOLS to BEST and wait a weekend for the media to convert. Or I'd use Avid MC and it would do it right.
[Jeremy Dehn] "I have Compressor, After Effects, Premiere, FCP 7, and an old version of Avid"
What versions of Premiere and Avid? That's key to know.
[Jeremy Dehn] " I'm looking for the method(s) most effective at hiding the differences. I'm hoping I can cut from a 24p scene to a 30i scene and not have the audience know the difference."
There will be a difference, sorry. Yeah, you can remove frames to get 29.97 to 23.98, but the fact is that it was shot with 30 frames in mind, and when you remove the 6 frames needed, you do one every 2 or three frames, in a pattern. But it is still a tad different than the results you would get shooting 23.98. It won't match EXACTLY, but you can get it close. Heck...After Effects might make this perfect
After Effects removing the frames would be the better way. That has the best engine for this. HOW? God, I wish I knew. I saw my graphics guy do this for me for some stock footage, and he used simple steps, but went too fast for me to keep up and remember. But it can be done, and the result is good.
Editing in Avid and having it do it will be "acceptable," but you would still see that the frame rate isn't the same. The cadence will be different.
I did find this via a google search:
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
Many thanks for the tips.
Yeah, I was pretty sure I couldn't completely eliminate the differences, but you've helped me to narrow down how to make the best of a bad situation.
I'm testing out your Compressor suggestion as well as the techniques on the link you included. From there it's up to the producers to decide whether to accept the imperfections or reshoot.
On the off chance this changes anything, My Premiere and After Effects are from the CS4 bundle (Premiere v4 and AE v9), and my last version of Avid is the ancient Xpress Pro HD v.5.