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Understanding tradeoff in 30p vs 60i timeline

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Hugh Williams
Understanding tradeoff in 30p vs 60i timeline
on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:48:47 pm

I've shot some video with a Panasonic SD800 using its 1080 60p setting. I've figured out how to turn the files into ProRes for editing.

My question now is what sort of timeline I should use - which will also inform the flavor of ProRes I target when I prep my original clips for editing.

It seems that there's really no practical reason to aim for a final product in 1080 60p... so I'm contemplating whether I should use a 60i or 30p timeline. I'm leaning toward 30p, but I'd like some validation before I fill up a 2TB drive with ProRes versions of everything... :)

A few details:

* This is my first real attempt to do something non-trivial with FCP7.
* This is family vacation video. Nothing professional on the line.
* I'd like to be able to use some of the clips in slow motion -- more the emotional, "make my wife cry" sort of slow-mo shots of kids laughing and such. I'm not trying to slow down action shots.
* The primary way this will get watched is on Apple TV 2 (i.e. 1280x720 @ 30fps), but I'd rather do a little future-proofing and preserve the 1920x1080 original resolution on my timeline.

Given all that, does 30p seem like the right choice for a timeline, or is there a good reason to go with 60i?


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Understanding tradeoff in 30p vs 60i timeline
on Oct 11, 2011 at 2:21:48 pm

60i would be good if you were going to DVD or Bluray but not essential.

You can preserve a master by outputting your fully rendered and finished edit using "Current Settings" and making it self-contained. This would be your digital master to keep for ever. Use it to compress or deliverables.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC

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Jeff Meyer
Re: Understanding tradeoff in 30p vs 60i timeline
on Oct 14, 2011 at 5:34:16 am

If the deliverable (Apple TV) is 30p why not edit 30p? LCD displays are meant for progressive anyway. I vote for progressive. Plus, if you want silky-smooth slow motion you can take the 60p originals, go into Cinema Tools and conform them down to 30p, and enjoy the results! With 60i slow-mo won't be as smooth/dramatic as a Cinema Tools conform from a 60p file.

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