Avid Media Composer Forum
Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
by Gabriel Gane on Apr 18, 2019 at 2:03:51 pm

Hi all,

I've used Media Composer for a few years now so have some basic to moderate understanding of its functions but not all...

I'm running Media Composer 7 on Windows 8.

I'm starting a project that when finished will run around 20-30mins long with some effects in the timeline - mainly fades/dissolves/timewarps. Annoyingly there's been little attention paid to formats/FPS in the shoot, so I'm working with a mix, they are as follows:

-29FPS - 1920x1080
-23FPS - 1920x1080

-59FPS - 3840x2160
-29FPS - 3840x2160
-25FPS - 3840x2160
-23FPS - 3840x2160

All footage is .MOV

The discrepancies resulting from the production shooting over a period of a year, using multiple cameras - a total mess...

I do have some experience working with mixed FPS and so have a handle on the workflow: create separate projects for each frame rate; AMA link (in this case from external drive); transcode down; open bins in delivery project (in this case one set to 29FPS - 1920x1080p, as the majority of footage was at 29); edit; re-link; export (preferably Same As Source).

I went through the above steps and before starting the OFFLINE edit I tested the re-link to ONLINE and export to be safe. This is where the problems started. My test timeline (containing a clip from each different FPS/format) re-linked fine but wouldn't export Same As Source, Media Composer flashing an error message that was indecipherable to me.

As a work-around I then exported as 1:1x which resulted in a low resolution and distorted aspect ratio of 720x486. I also, separately, did a video mixdown of the timeline, exporting as Same As Source which solved the problems but also creates a finished piece with an Avid codec - not ideal for client delivery. I've obviously made one or multiple mistakes here, I'm just not sure when and where! I'm assuming at least part of the problem is with the mixed formats of 1920x1080 and 3840x2160, but I've never had to deal with this before so have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

Can anyone advise on a suitable workflow for this project, with particular focus on the ingestion of footage and the re-link/export process? I'd ideally like to deliver a Same As Source master file at the end of this.

NB. Media Composer 7 doesn't have the ability to set projects higher than HD, otherwise I'd link the 4K footage in a suitable project.

I really feel at the limit of my knowledge here and would very much appreciate some advice, haha.

Thanks in advance,

Gabe


Re: Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
by Shane Ross on Apr 18, 2019 at 6:20:34 pm

First off...you need to be clear on your frame rates. 29fps, 23fps, 59fps...that's incorrect. 23.98 (24p)...29.97 (30p or 60i), 59.94 (is that 60p, which is 60fps...or 59.94i, which runs at 29.97fps?) 25fps is correct, but the others...exactness matters...as there is no 29 or 23fps...unless you shoot with a variable frame rate device, like an iPhone, that might do 23.47fps.

Second...what are your project settings? 1:1 indicates that you are in an SD project setting. You should be in an HD project setting. ANd what frame rate are you planning to deliver as? 23.98? 29.97? Interlaced? Progressive?

Mixing down to DNxHD and exporting a QT in that format is perfectly acceptable in most cases. It's not a proprietary Avid codec, like 1:1 tents to be.

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


Re: Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
by Gabriel Gane on Apr 19, 2019 at 12:23:02 pm

Hi Shane, thanks for getting back to me - sorry for the non-specifics.

Frame rates: 23.98, 29.97, 59.94 all progressive.

Delivery project: 1080p/29.97

I'm planning on delivering in 29.97p as well. Although, would exporting a different frame rate from this project affect quality at all?

I guess the thing that really got me was not being able to export Same As Source. Do you know why that might be the case?

Thanks again,

Gabe


Re: Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
by Shane Ross on Apr 19, 2019 at 6:58:17 pm

Dave...there is 25fps footage in the mix...

You can't do SAME AS SOURCE if you have multiple codecs and frame rates. That only works if you have one frame rate, and one consistent codec. So if you do a VIDEO MIXDOWN first, then you can export same as source. I do this all the time.

But Dave is right...24p to 29.97p will repeat frames...same with 25p to 29.97p. No way to avoid that...no interlaced frames to help blend this out. There are hardware options that do a far better job, like the Alchemist. I have to resort to that quite often. But that would mean sending all your 24 and 25 footage to them, have them convert, and then you bring it back in. 59.94 to 29.97 is easy...just lose every other frame.

SO...internally, in any NLE, 24p to 29.97p will repeat frames. Twixtor WILL help with that...but that means buying that plugin, and using it with After Effects. WHich is good, just adds more time and money to the process.

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


Re: Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
by Trevor Asquerthian on Apr 23, 2019 at 8:46:05 am

MC7 is old now. 2018.12.3 is current.

One option is to promote 23.98 / 25 FPS motion adapters & modify speed to 100% (or, on later versions modify playback rate via source settings). This will play source material frame per frame - which may be fine if you don’t need audio from those clips.

Alchemist now have a software option but it’s not cheap.




Re: Using mixed frame rates and formats in Avid Media Composer
by Gabriel Gane on Apr 24, 2019 at 9:17:25 am

Thanks for all the advice guys. Think I'm going to try After Effects with Twixtor!





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