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Transcoding archival footage

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Matt Cohn
Transcoding archival footage
on Nov 2, 2009 at 3:01:50 pm

Hi all,

I recently took over a project that is very archival footage heavy. Unfortunately, the previous editor used incorrect settings when converting the footage from the DVD screener to a quicktime file for import into FCP. The incorrect footage is currently at DVCPRO HD 720p60 960x720 (which are the actual project settings). I believe the footage should be DV DVCPRO/NTSC 720x480, so as to avoid distortion (I'm not concerned about pillarboxing). I've corrected some of the footage by going back to the screeners themselves, but does anybody know if there is a way to transcode the 720p60 960x720 quicktime files to DV DVCPRO/NTSC 720x480? If I can do this with the files that have already been created from the screeners, that might be helpful in saving me a step. I hope what I'm asking is clear.


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Josh Olenslager
Re: Transcoding archival footage
on Nov 6, 2009 at 7:27:04 am

Matt, if I'm reading this correctly, the screener footage is 720x480 and was stretched into 720p? If so you might just try to go to compressor and convert back to the DV template setting. Don't preserve aspect or anything--that should bring the footage back to shape--I say should, but without seeing the footage, you know. If it's just screener footage and you're using it for a rough edit or whatever, you might just try a resize in FC. The real problem is the time base change. Difference between 23.98 and 29.97 can add up in a short amount of time, especially if you're using converted stock footage which licenses by seconds--and you could end up being wildly off with stock footage orders. (*assuming you're using stock due to the screener footage you've got now.) But best to go with the screener footage format prior to conversion. Like I say, if you can use compressor to go back to DV, that would be the way to go; Usually processes pretty quickly, too.

Best of luck.

Josh Olenslager

working on better ways to video

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