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fame rate and aspect ratio problems on mixed timelines

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Mark Davies
fame rate and aspect ratio problems on mixed timelines
on Dec 31, 2009 at 1:16:14 pm

Dear folks, I'm working with:

XDCam EX (from an EX3 at 1080p25 VBR)
AVCHD (from a Canon HFS-100 at 25p) transcoded to ProRes 422

FCP7 on an iMac i7.

When initially pulling clips onto the timeline and being asked if I wanted to match the settings, I clicked yes. It seems these are the settings FCP chose;

Frame Size: 1440x1080 Aspect Ratio: HD (1440x1080) (16:9)
Pixel Aspect Ratio: HD (1440x1080)
Editing Timebase: 23.98
Quick Time Video Settings: Apple ProRes 422

Now, both the EX3 and the HFS-100 shoot at full raster 1920x1080 and at 25p, so I don't understand why FCP chose these settings. Nevertheless, I didn't check them at the time.

Some while into editing I noticed that the playback was jerky (the same jerkiness was apparent in outputs, too.) I figured this had something to do with the difference in the frame rates between sequence settings (23.98) and the footage (25).

Because the editing timebase cannot be changed on a sequence once it has clips on it, I tried copying to a new sequence, using EXDCAM EX 1080p25 VBR sequence presets, but for some reason when I copy the clips onto the new timeline, the aspect ratio is off - either square or stretched, depending on how I change the aspect ratio settings.

So, two questions. Firstly, how do I set the settings on a new sequence that will allow me to paste the clips so that they play at the correct frame rate and aspect ratio?

Secondly, what sequence settings would you suggest in the future, mixing EX3 1080p 25 with AVCHD 25p transcoded to ProRes?

Many thanks.

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Kevin Monahan
Re: fame rate and aspect ratio problems on mixed timelines
on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:14:34 pm

First problem: it appears that FCP chose a setting that was right for your footage. Can you go to the footage? Select one clip in the Browser and press Command + 9 and check the Item Properties for this clip. What does it say? 1920 x 1080 or 1440 x 1080?

If it's 1920 x 1080: Stop. Go to Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup and choose the correct Easy Setup for that footage. Create a new sequence: Command + N and then begin editing again.

1440 x 1080? You must have shot in this format. Continue to edit on the same timeline.

Second problem: Although you can edit with 2 different formats in FCP, it doesn't mean you should.
In my opinion, you need to conform all footage to one frame rate (and frame size, if possible) to ProRes 422 or ProRes LT, depending on what the client wants. I use Compressor for conforming all my footage, sometimes I use MPEG Streamclip (Free application you can download). Sure this takes a little time, but it is an automated process that can be done overnight. Once all the footage is the same rate, you can edit much more smoothly without any hitches in video playback.

Hope this helps you.

Kevin Monahan
60 Blu-ray Templates for Final Cut Studio 2009
Author - Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro

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