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Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)

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Daniel StoneAdding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:23:02 pm

Hey guys,

When adding 3:2 Pulldown to 24p footage, I usually just go to "Render Settings" and turn on "3:2 Pulldown" and select a pattern.

Question: when creating a ProRes file, do I also need to go to Output Module > Format Options > Codec Settings and select the "Interlaced" option?

I've been doing it without checking that box and it seems to be working okay but I need to create a file with Upper Field First (for Comcast Ad Delivery), which seems to be a bit different. Not quite sure how to test that field order for correctness, either. I usually play the "lower field" clips out through my Kona card to a broadcast monitor to test but I'm not sure how to test the "upper first."

Thanks ahead of time.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 1:46:03 pm

If you're delivering 1080 video, it's upper field first. You can create the appropriate Render Setting in AE, and use it as the default if you choose.

720? Different story....

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Daniel StoneRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 7:09:28 pm

Thanks Dave.

Question: How do you verify that 'upper field first' material has been encoded properly? SD material, for example. 'Lower Field' footage I can throw on a timeline and play out to an NTSC monitor to make sure it plays back smoothly. 'Upper Field' looks jumpy no matter how I play it.



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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 8:01:46 pm

Is it a problem with the setup of your Kona card? Are you using an HD monitor? Does your system have the horsepower to play HD in realtime?

My guess is that the answers are no, yes and yes, but can you confirm? If you can't, I'd look there first.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Daniel StoneRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 8:58:54 pm

Your guesses are correct: no (as far as I can tell), yes and yes.

HD footage seems to play well--it's the SD I'm having trouble with. Lower-field-first footage plays smoothly but upper-field-first footage plays choppy (even though the timeline settings are matched).

Is Standard Definition upper-field-first footage supposed to be playing back properly through my Kona card or is that so uncommon that it's one of those "encode and hope for the best" things?

Thanks again for your help!



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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:36:44 pm

SD and HD? 1080 is upper, but in almost all circumstances, SD is lower field first. I'm not surprised you're having playback problemss.

I presume you've simplified your life by making the frame rate of all footage 23.976 (aka 23.98) when editing.

So now it comes to delivery: if all the footage is 23.976, you can use AE to create 1080 upper-field first files, and all should be good: just interpret all footage as having NO fields. How you handle the HD-SD dichotomy is up to you.

I'm not really sure of your workflow: if everything is 23.976 throughout the process, adding the pulldown at the very end just before delivery should give good results.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Daniel StoneRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:46:50 pm

Sorry, I think I've made this confusing. I'll rephrase.

I am editing 23.98 SD footage in 23.98 progressive. I use After Effects to add 3:2 pulldown.

Here's where my problem starts.

Both Comcast and DG Fastchannel require 720x486 with upper field first (not typical, I know). So, when I create this upper-field-first clip, how to I test to make sure it's correct? Kona doesn't seem to play upper-field-first SD footage properly.



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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:06:00 pm

Well, that's something I can't help you with: it's a setting in your Kona card that's causing the playback problems, and I NEVER had to misadjust my Kona card. Or maybe you can misadjust the NLE's edit timeline to play upper fieold first.

I agree: 720x486 at UPPER field first is just plain weird. Who would want THAT?

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 23, 2013 at 3:56:17 am

[Daniel Stone] "Both Comcast and DG Fastchannel require 720x486 with upper field first (not typical, I know). So, when I create this upper-field-first clip, how to I test to make sure it's correct? Kona doesn't seem to play upper-field-first SD footage properly."

Import the rendered output back into After Effects. Select it and interpret footage and make sure it's set to UFF.

Double-click the footage item to open it the viewer. Step through it with PgDn and PgUp -- this will go one field at a time. If the motion always goes forward as you step forward, the fields are correct. If it goes back and forth, the fields are incorrect.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Daniel StoneRe: Adding 3:2 Pulldown in AE (upper first)
by on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:57:16 pm

Thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I needed.



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