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Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7

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Neil Orman
Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7
on Nov 14, 2014 at 7:33:46 pm

Hi,
I was trying to get advice on how to properly shoot and edit for slow motion if you're shooting with a Canon 5D Mk III, and editing in FCP7. I'm doing a wedding this weekend, and my plan is to shoot most of it at 1920 X 1080 @ 24 fps, except what appear to be good slow mo moments. For those I was planning to shoot at 1280 X 720 @ 60 fps, since that's the only 60 fps option on the Mark III. Is that the right approach to shooting a wedding like this? And just as importantly, for editing, what's the best approach to conforming the footage to a 1280 X 720 @ 24 fps sequence? In the past I've tried to use Cinema Tools, but when I use that approach I can't tell how to do speed changes if, for example, I want to start out at 60 fps and then slow down to 24 fps, in the middle of some folks dancing or something. When I use Cinema Tools, it always seems to conform the entire clip. Or should I just use 'change speed' within FCP7. Because that never looks as smooth to me.

Any advice here on both the proper shooting and editing approach would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks,
Neil


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7
on Nov 14, 2014 at 9:26:57 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Nov 14, 2014 at 9:55:10 pm

Why not shoot the whole thing at 720? Then you only have to mess with the frame rate. Shoot the slo-mo candidates at 59.94, and the rest at 23.976.
First, Log & transfer to ProRes 422. Then conform copies of the the 59.94 clips to 23.976 in Cinema tools.

When you cut in a 23.976 FCP timeline, just drag in the slo-mo clips and use them. They'll be 2.5 times slower than normal.

Pretty easy stuff, just a little more work when shooting and preparing for the edit.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Neil Orman
Re: Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7
on Nov 15, 2014 at 1:05:25 am

Thanks a lot Dave. It was mentioned to me that, shooting at 1080 for the non-slow-mo, I'd have more options in post, like zooming into shots, adding some camera movement etc. Do you or anyone else agree with that? Because it's a wedding I'd like to give it some nice camera moves etc., and along those lines it would be nice to have some options in post too. But I hear you about the simplicity of shooting the whole thing at 720. I just received this conflicting advice and like I said I would like options in post. So I'd be interested in your take on that.

On the Cinema Tools thing, my main challenge is, at least when I've tried it, it seems to conform the whole clip to 24 fps/slow motion, where I might want to have speed changes, more options etc. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but once you conform it, can you still maybe add a speed change for half the clip or something? Or this whole clip conformed forever more?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7
on Nov 15, 2014 at 2:02:50 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Nov 15, 2014 at 2:21:10 am

Not sure what you mean by "entre clip". You make it sound like Cinema Tools conforms vast amounts of footage. If you're rolling cponstantly, you'll want to re-think the way you shoot. If you're starting & stopping the camera to get a shot, it's not a big deal. The big deal comes when you say, "Aha! I'll change the frame rate to do slo-mo!".... and you forget to to change it back.

Yeah, you CAN shoot 1080 and cut in 720, but just how much re-framing of shots are you going to do? That's a decision YOU have to make. If it was my boss, who has no concept of what comprises a tasteful amount of headroom, then yeah, I'd tell him to shoot at 1080. I don't know how you frame your shots.

There are very few gizmos that will smoothly transition from "very slow" to "just a little bit slow". FCP can't. The results look God-awful in After Effects. To cut in FCP, you'd need something like Twixtor to achieve the "just a little bit slow" rates, and that's individual clips only. No speed ramps.

The ones that can do it come with 5 or 6-figure price tags. I'd come up with a Plan B, personally. I dunno... a dissolve? A wipe? Slide one on as the other slides off?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Marcus Ellingham
Re: Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7
on Nov 17, 2014 at 10:51:50 am

In addition to what Dave has mentioned try using 5DtoRGB (there is a free version to try) to transcode your rushes to ProRes for editing - you can set a common FPS and it will conform everything for you so that you don't have to deal with cinema tools.

In a situation like this we would normally (depending on how much slow mo is shot) shoot everything mixed (1080 @ 25, or 720 @ 50) transcode to prores 422 (hq) with a 25fps edit timebase and then cut in a 1080 sequence just upscaling the few 720 shots, or if there is a LOT of 720 then edit in a 720 sequence.

Your call on whether you transcode the 1080 stuff to 720 in this instance or just render on the timeline.


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Neil Orman
Re: Slow mo with 5D Mk III and FCP7
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:52:26 pm

Thanks so much Marcus, your post was a big help. I shot it exactly as you recommended, with that mix. In terms of transcoding, I had already started bringing my footage into FCP7 using Log and Transfer, and I do notice the footage says it's in Apple ProRes already. Can you or anyone just briefly tell me why that's important? Also why do you recommend that application 5DtoRGB instead of just directly via FCP7's Log & Transfer? Is it a mistake just to bring my footage in directly that way? I should mention I've always experienced a lot of crashes of FCP7 when using Log & Transfer for my 5D footage, but I don't have any of those problems when using Log & Transfer for other kinds of footage, like from a Panasonic P2 camcorder. So I'm interested whether you think I'm mistaken to do it the way I've been doing. Thanks again!


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