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Colin Kelly
Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 1:21:34 am

I've looked over this forum and still haven't seen a suitable answer. I will be shooting with my Canon 60D. I plan on shooting the majority of everything at 1080 24p. I will also be shooting footage at 720 60p and conforming that footage in Cinema Tools for FCP to 24p for slow motion.

I'll also be using a GoPro Hero HD. The formats I'll be shooting with that are 1080 30p and 720 60p (which again I'll conform to 24p in Cinema Tools).

I'd like all of this to go into a 24p timeline in FCP. Obviously, I will not have an issue with the footage shot at 24p (or the conformed 60p to 24p footage).

My question is my sequence settings. Would I:

A) Make a 720p timeline at 24p and have the 1080p footage downscaled 37%?
B) Make a 1080p timeline at 24p and have the 720p footage blown up to 150%?

This is for web output only. No DVD or broadcast.

Will I see less quality loss by adding 1080p footage to my 720p timeline, or vise-versa?

Thank you.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 1:23:55 am

Use a 720p setting. Shrinking size is always better than enlarging it in the end.

Jerry

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Colin Kelly
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 1:34:45 am

Thanks Jerry. So when I compress it at 720p out, it won't do anything to the 1080p footage?

Thanks!


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 2:30:23 am

FCP will automatically scale the 1080 down to match the frame size, unless you manually push it in on the Motion tab. Frame size conversions work far better than frame rate conversions. (Cinema Tools conform isn't a conversion.)

Also, I would suggest narrowing it down as much as possible on your source footage. You're all over the place with two resolutions and three frame sizes. Is this really necessary? Without knowing the specifics on your project I'm suggesting that you simplify life and shoot at 1080/24 or 720/60, then follow Jerry's advice and edit in 720/24.

Regarding frame rates and resolution don't be too distracted by "we could" and instead ask if "we should." Given GoPro's niche, I think the answer regarding 1080/30 will become pretty clear.

I think you're already on top of this, but be sure to convert everything to ProRes. You'll have to in order to use Cinema Tools, and with mixed frame sizes it will make life better. Also, in the sequence settings there's a resize quality option hiding under one of the tabs. Put that on best. I would make that one of your last steps, it does kick the render time up.


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Colin Kelly
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 2:38:41 pm

Jeff,

Yes it is since the GoPro does not shoot at 24p. If it did, this would not be an issue.

I can always conform that footage to 24p in Cinema Tools and then speed it up in FCP. That's not really a big issue. I've done it before and it works fine.

This was more about trying to find the right sequence settings that would be best for mixing slow motion (at 720p) and HD (at 1080p).

Of course all will be log and transferred to ProRes 422. Sounds like just making a 720p timeline @24p and making sure all of my frame rates match that is the way to go.

Thanks everyone!


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Shane Ross
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 2:31:22 am

Well...it will make it 720p...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Scott Wolfson
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 11:19:22 am

Hi All,

I have searched all over the internet trying to get "concrete" answers to this:

I have an upcoming wedding that I plan on shooting in 1080 24p for the main segments (ceremony, toasts) and 720 60p for footage that I plan to slo mo in the edit...b-roll action shots like bridal preps, dance footage, etc. My question(s) are:

(1) How will a 1080 24p timeline work with mixed 1080 24p and 720 60p footage? Will my 720p footage upscaled to 1080 look poor? My final output is for both Blu ray and DVD for the client.

(2) Do I use cinema tool to conform the 720p footage to 1080 24p first or do I have FCP 7 match the sequence settings when I drop the 720p footage onto the timeline? Having never worked with these two mixed resolutions and frame rates, I want to know specifically what I need to do. Do I need to slo mo my 720p footage in Cinema Tools or FCP?

(3) Till now, I have always shot my events at 1080 30p only and worked within a 1080 30p Pro Res timeline. The reason I am contemplating about using 720 60p is that I notice when I slo mo my "action shots" I notice an unpleasant "ghosting" effect around the edges of the subject. I've been told that 720 60p footage slo mo will help solve this issue.

(4) I want to shoot in 1080 24p as that is the setting most of the higher end wedding and event cinematographers shoot at. However, most of them don't slo mo any of their footage. I do plan on slo mo some of my footage though.

Finally am I better off shooting mixed 1080 24p and 720 60p video or do I stay with 1080 30p or 1080 24p all the way?

Thanks!

Scott Wolfson
Wolfson Productions, Inc.
http://www.scottwolfsonfilms.com
(305) 458-6089



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 3:02:49 pm

If you're going to deliver 23.976, you need to edit in 23.976 in FCP.

I'd also recommend shooting and everything at 720 if possible. The reason: at 720, many cameras -- perhaps yours -- will record at 59.94, 29.97 and 23.976 actual frames/sec, making life easier all around. You don't have to fool around with cumbersome fields that add to your edit preparation time.

For the slo-mo, shoot at 59.94, and conform to 23.976 prior to editing. Obviously it helps to know in advance which shots you want to slow down.

The Good Mr. Shane Ross reports that he frequently cuts at 720 and delivers at 1080 with no perceptible change in image quality.

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


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Shane Ross
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 3:27:42 pm

I do report that. And do that often. Including FoPro footage, which I'll be doing again tomorrow.

Btw, with the new firmware the GoPro shoots 1080p 23.98.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Colin Kelly
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 3:28:37 pm

Really, Shane?! That would be amazing! Do you have the link?


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Colin Kelly
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 3:35:36 pm

Looks like that is for the Hero2. I just have the Hero HD. Bummer!


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Scott Wolfson
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 5:29:42 pm

HI Dave,

I'm shooting with 2 canon 5d mark 11's (I don't believe they shoot at 720 24p? only 720 60p) and 1 Canon 60D (which does do 720 24p and a Sony XDCAM EX1r which I don't believe does 720 24p. One suggestion I got was to shoot 1080 24p for the ceremony and toasts and shoot the rest of the b-roll all 720 60p. And to edit in a 1080 24p timeline. What do you think? Given that most of my cameras don't shoot 720 24p? Again my final distribution will be blu ray and dvd. If I went the route of mixing 1080 24p and 720 60p on a 1080 24p timeline would my 720 shots look acceptable?

Thanks!

Scott



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 31, 2012 at 2:15:15 pm

[Scott Wolfson] "I'm shooting with 2 canon 5d mark 11's (I don't believe they shoot at 720 24p? only 720 60p) and 1 Canon 60D (which does do 720 24p and a Sony XDCAM EX1r which I don't believe does 720 24p."

It's obvious that you need to nail down the XDCam's frame rate. I base the following on a 1080 p 24 shooting rate for that camera:
  • Shoot at 24p on the XDCAM and 60D
  • Shoot ALL shots for slo-mo on the 5D's; you can shoot other footage as well, but all slo-mo should be shot on these two cameras.
  • Convert ALL footage to ProRes 422 at log & transfer time.
  • Remove the pulldown from the XDCAM footage at log & transfer time if possible; if not, do it after the fact before editing begins.
  • Select the shots for slo-mo from the 5D footage. Using Cinema Tools, conform the frame rate to 23.976, aka 23.98, aka 24p. If you intend to use these shots elsewhere as well, do this to duplicated footage.
  • Using Compressor, convert the frame rates of the NON-slo-mo footage to 23.976.
  • Edit in a 1080 23.976 ProRes 422 sequence.
Now, this is a boatload of preparation even before you cut Frame One of footage. However, it will result in a trouble-free edit. It's also the price you're forced to pay by mixing cameras and frame fates in FCP.

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


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Scott Wolfson
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 31, 2012 at 5:23:36 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks very much for getting back with me on this! For clarification...the Canon 5D mark 11 does not do 720p at all. The 60D however does do 720 60p. I want to make the editing process simple! I can shoot all cameras at 1080 24p and then won't have any problem...much like I do now shooting at 1080 30p. But if I want to slo mo some b-roll 24p is worse than 30p correct? Should I stay away from shooting with the 60d b-roll at 60p? How bad will slo mo at 24p look?

Thanks!

Scott



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William Carr
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 31, 2012 at 5:27:26 pm

Hi Scott,

I shoot 60p all the time for slo-mo shots in 24p projects, and as long as you bring in those clips the right way to your 24p sequence they look smooth and wonderful. And of course they will run slower than if at 30.


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Scott Wolfson
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 31, 2012 at 6:08:07 pm

Hi William,

Are you mixing 720 60p or 1080 60p in your 1080 24p timeline? Looking at Dave's response it seems like a very cumbersome process to conform the 60p footage and upscale 720 to 1080?! I was planning on shooting b-roll with my 5D but if I go the 60p route I'll have to use my second 60d b/c my second shooter is using a 60d too. But for the dance footage I only have two 60d and my third shooter can use either a 5D that doesn't have 60p or my ex1r which I need to check.

Maybe I'm better off just shooting everything at 1080 24p and not doing any slo mo?!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 31, 2012 at 6:09:01 pm

[Scott Wolfson] "Should I stay away from shooting with the 60d b-roll at 60p? How bad will slo mo at 24p look? "

I understand the limitations of your cameras. You have two able to shoot at 24p -- one of which will need the pulldown removed before editing -- and two able to shoot 60p at 720.

And do you understand that 720 looks okay when blown up to 1080? People who edit for The History Channel do it all the time.

As to the question above, 24p made into slo-mo will look worse than if you shoot 60p and conform to 24p.

Let's put our thinking caps on for a moment: how did they do slo-mo in the days when film was king? They shot at a higher frame rate, right? And then when the film was projected at 24fps, the motion was slower, right?

The same thing applies in your case. You don't have to resort to making slo-mo via software, which has to invent new frames based on the existing ones. It can be a hit-and-miss process, and sometimes has to be redone. However, if you shoot at 60p and conform to 24p, it will retain full image quality AND be 2.5 times slower than normal.

Which one do you think will look better? And easier, for that matter?

And if you want to keep the editing process simple, you'll do all that pre-edit grunt work mentioned earlier. Blow it off and the editing process becomes far more complex.

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


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Matt Campbell
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Nov 12, 2012 at 9:43:22 pm

• Using Compressor, convert the frame rates of the NON-slo-mo footage to 23.976

Dave, I've been curious about this myself. I completely understand everything being discussed here. Conforming 60p to 24p for clean sloMo with Cinema Tools yada yada yada. I've done this lots. But not with clips only shot at 60p and and I need to edit in 24p for normal speed.

Regarding clips for 24p timebase at normal speed from 60p, can you just drop in them in FCP? And will it play correctly at 24p? Or as you say with Compressor, converting to 24p. This will play the 60p in a 24p timebase and not effect the speed, right? AKA keeping it at 100% live action, no sloMo.

I ask, because you see all these videos now, where things are shot using 1 take with GoPro's, and the speed ramp effects applied. And now with the GP 3 shooting 120fps @ 720p. Rather than shooting 2 takes and splicing together, they look like 1 clean take. So if their shooting at 720p60 or 720p120 for just about everything and that then gives them the freedom to conform any clip to sloMo, would you just duplicate your source and conform the copy to 24p for clean sloMo and use the original 60p to edit with in a 24p timeline. Then at the edit point, cut in the conformed duplicate copy for a clean sloMo transition?

Does FCP simply play the 60fps or 120fps video at the 24p timebase? You see this all the time, but I can't seem to figure out the method of converting properly. See link: from 1:16 to 1:20, the 2 snowboarders is what I'm referring to.







OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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William Carr
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Oct 30, 2012 at 3:01:15 am

For web only, pretty much anything that's well captured at 1080 or 720 and scaled up or down will look pretty darn good. The real issue you may need to address is frame rate.

The 1080 GoPro clips at 30 which you will conform to 24 may stutter, depending on the action. If there's a preponderance of 30fps clips you might be better off bringing all the 24 up to 30, since adding frames is usually smoother than taking them away. Yes, that would mean your 720@60 GoPro slo-mo wouldn't be as slow, but mixing normal speed time base rates can be more of a problem for image quality if you're concerned about motion, more than mixing HD sizes would be for "resolution".


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Sascha Engel
Re: Mixing 1080 and 720 footage
on Nov 8, 2012 at 5:22:40 pm

One reason for down stepping to 720p I missed in all the feedback: If you only go for WEB and SD DVD, 720p timeline has a huge advantage: YOu can use your 1080p footage, and do Zooms, Pans and Tilts and even Vertigo Zooms without losing quality. It's a nice extra gift.


Sascha


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