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Smooth Credit Roll in 23.976 from After Effects to Final Cut 7

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Matt BabcockSmooth Credit Roll in 23.976 from After Effects to Final Cut 7
by on Oct 7, 2014 at 12:46:34 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm having some problems making a smooth credit roll in after effects for a 23.976 fcp7 project and can't make them smooth for the life of me. I'm using an equation(posted below) to convert my movement to whole pixel amounts and it works just fine in 1080i29.97. I'm also viewing these through a kona lhi to an FSI monitor.

After talking with AJA my understanding is that the issue is 720p23.98 is an acquisition only format so final cut can't actually play it back, it's really playing back 720p59.94. I tried creating a 720p59.94 credit roll it and it plays back perfectly in 59.94 sequences but when placed in my 720p59.94 sequence unsurprisingly it goes all jittery again.

I'm hoping someone out there has run into this before and has a good solution! My only idea at the moment is the convert the final output to 59.94 and then add the credits on since I understand correctly that is essentially what Final Cut is doing when it playsback 23.976 anyways.




Equation I'm currently using but I've tried the rate+timeToFrames(time one) and the big funky one with lots of if than statements.

t = time;
fr = t/thisComp.frameDuration;
x = value [0];
s = -4; //Speed in pixels per frame

[x, fr*s]


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Dave LaRondeRe: Smooth Credit Roll in 23.976 from After Effects to Final Cut 7
by on Oct 7, 2014 at 12:56:24 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Oct 7, 2014 at 1:07:51 am

I don't know who would say that at AJA, but it isn't correct. If you're cutting in a 23.976 FCP timeline, you can use 23.976 footage. The card does the necessary voodoo to make it 59.94.

Trouble is, it's tough to get smooth-looking credit rolls at 23.976. Go look at the credit roll for the 2009 Star Trek movie -- what a train wreck!
Higher frame rates give smoother credit rolls, but they have to STAY at that highter frame rate -- you can't cheat by doing it at 59.94 and expect it to look good at 23.976.

Ask on the AE expressions forum about the proper expression for this ar 23.976: they can give it to you in their sleep.

And what you get is what you get... unless you're willing to compromise on the speed of the roll. At 23.976, slower would be better.

FYI, at 720 -- which works in complete frames and not fields -- a 23.976 comp nested in a 59.94 comp will show you 3 frames of the first 23.976 frame, 2 frames of the second frame, three frames of the third frame, 2 frames of the fourth frame and so on. 3-2-3-2-3-2-3-2..... hence the term, 3:2 pulldown. It's easy to demonstrate at 59.94, tougher at 29.97, but the same principle applies... only with fields.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Matt BabcockRe: Smooth Credit Roll in 23.976 from After Effects to Final Cut 7
by on Oct 7, 2014 at 1:39:39 am

Hi Dave,

Thanks for responding so fast! But I think we are having a slight misunderstanding. The point I was trying to convey from AJA is exactly what you said, the card does voodoo to playback 23.98 at 59.94 on a broadcast monitor since 720p23.98 can't be played back to broadcast gear natively. The voodoo that the AJA card does to play back 720p23.98 at 59.94 is actually what creates the jitter that is plaguing me.

(Also I should have been more clear that I expected placing the 59.94 roll in a 23.98 wouldn't look good, I was just hoping against hope that the card would realize that section was 59.94 and magically not insert pulldown work even though I understand it doesn't work that way. 12 hour days will do strange things to your psyche)

Just to make sure that the 720p23.98 is the culprit not just the 23.98 part of it I did a 23.98 comparison between 720 and 1080 and you wouldn't believe they came from the same AE project. The 1080 23.98 isn't quite as pretty as the 1080i but perfectly usable unlike my 720 credits. Also as part of my testing I've exported the 720p23.98 at as low of a rate of 2 pixels per frame and that still jitters like you wouldn't believe on the broadcast monitor but plays back smoothly in canvas window.

But you're right I should post in AE Expressions forum and see if anyone knows how to alter the expression in a way that would help prep the AE sequence for the playback conversion from 23.98 to 59.94 but my suspicion is that it simply isn't possible.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Smooth Credit Roll in 23.976 from After Effects to Final Cut 7
by on Oct 7, 2014 at 5:07:29 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Oct 7, 2014 at 5:11:29 pm

Frankly, I'm stumped why 1080 would yield a better result than 720. What codec did you use when you rendered them, and how are you checking the result: in FCP or in QT?

If in QT, check it in FCP. If in FCP, I suspect bad sequence settings, or FCP thinks the 720 footage has a field order for some off-the-wall reason. The Fix for that: highlight the footage in question in the FCP Browser, look at the incorrectly-labeled field dominance column, and change it to None.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Matt BabcockRe: Smooth Credit Roll in 23.976 from After Effects to Final Cut 7
by on Oct 8, 2014 at 12:38:48 am

The reason why 1080 looks better than 720 is purely a playback issue. Since 720p23.98 isn't a broadcast format, gear like AJA has to insert pulldown on the fly and play it back at 720p59.94 to play it on a broadcast monitor. It's the inserted cadence that makes it look so awful and produces the jittery movement that was plaguing me.

To step around this problem we've decided to create two masters, one for broadcast and one for web. The broadcast master will be uprez'd to 1080 23.98 and then married to 1080 credits. Since the web version doesn't need to pass through any broadcast gear we can stay in the native 720p23.98 without any problems.

If you'd like to talk about it more and have me send you some sample clips we could take this off thread and chat some more. This was a particularly annoying edge case that I hope to never encounter again.


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