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Broadcast source video: 24 FPS vs 29.97

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Jon Buttry
Broadcast source video: 24 FPS vs 29.97
on Aug 9, 2011 at 4:07:10 pm

I have been building broadcast spots for a few years now, and I still don't have clarification on this topic.

When spots are finalized for broadcast, they obviously need to be 29.97 FPS. However, there seems to be this huge push to shoot at 24 because of the "film" look being preferred over the 29.97 "video" look. Many production companies are submitting footage shot on newer DSLR's, and more often than not, they shot at 24. So the issue is, when converting 24 fps footage to 29.97, what is the "best" way? I have tried...

1. Edit spots at 24 FPS, and then export the final edit to 29.97 using a field render (upper first) and WSSWW for the 3:2 pulldown. This results in ugly interlacing in the final product...

2. Interpreting the imported footage shot at 24 FPS as 29.97 FPS footage, using the 2:3 pulldown. This is rough because I've had to do special fx frame by frame, and you get the issue of repeated frames with the pulldown. However, no ugly interlacing upon final export.

Which way is the "industry standard", or is there a better way that I'm missing?

Thanks much in advance!

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Broadcast source video: 24 FPS vs 29.97
on Aug 9, 2011 at 8:50:33 pm

Please say that when you write "24", you actually mean 23.976. I suppose it depends on the resolution you deliver.

if it's 720p, the frame rate is 59.94 and the 3:2 pulldown gets added almost automatically in an application like After Effects. Make a 23.976 AE animation where the number increments every frame, put it into a 59.94 comp, you'll see the following if you go through the com frame by frame: 0-0-0, 1-1, 2-2-2, 3-3, 4-4-4, 5-5, etc.

If you're talking 1080i, just work at 23.976 and add the 3:2 pulldown when you render. It's been done that way for decades, and it works fine.

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

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