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Prepare 24p HD video for VHS

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Ken KlippsPrepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 7:50:44 am
Last Edited By Ken Klipps on Nov 21, 2014 at 8:35:16 am

I need to get a 24fps (23.976) HD video in Premiere and my client is asking for the video on VHS. What is the best way to go about prepping the video to transfer to VHS. I plan on burning it to DVD and then recording from the DVD onto a VCR.

I've attempted to use Twixtor to increase the frame rate to 29.97 but the frame blending is ruining some of the quick cuts by adding single frame fades between them. Is using Twixtor overkill? Is there an easier way to prep the video for VHS so I don't get any choppiness. This is for a music video so it eventually has to come back from VHS into Premiere and line up with the song.

Thank you.


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Walter SoykaRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 12:29:42 pm

Your DVD player adds 3:2 pulldown [link], converting 23.976 to 29.97 on the fly, for standard-definition output. You don't need to Twixtor, you can just record the output of the DVD player.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeff PuleraRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:30:57 pm

I would first test if you can successfully copy from the DVD player to the VHS deck. Haven't tried that myself, however I've had a lot of customers complain that their video capture cards will not accept analog video output from a DVD player, says "Copy Protected Material" even when using a DVD-R they made themselves. So I don't know if a VHS recorder has any issue with recording from DVD, but something to check.

Please note that there are software plug-ins that simulate various degrees of video damage. A web search for "VHS look plugins" quickly came back with GenArts and CreationEffects for instance, check them out.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Ken KlippsRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 5:57:32 pm

I have successfully recorded a VHS from a DVD several times. I'm not concerned about that working. I'm mostly concerned about getting choppiness or having a difficult time syncing back up after the video is run through VHS. I don't really want to use a plug-in because they always look fake and don't quite have the same effect as real VHS tape.


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Jeff PuleraRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 6:20:17 pm

Well then, I think Walter nailed it - just create a 23.976 DVD and that should work. Couldn't take more than 15 minutes to burn a short sample DVD, copy to VHS, and recapture into NLE to test sync timing.

Of course, there is the pulldown removal if you want to edit the VHS then as 24p.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Ken KlippsRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 6:52:49 pm

Okay sounds good. I did a pulldown in AE which gave me pretty good results. There are repeated frames as expected but I'm not sure they'll matter or are visible to anyone who hasn't been staring at this project for weeks.

How would I go about recapturing to NLE and doing a pulldown removal in Premiere or AE? Thanks for helping!


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Jeff PuleraRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 7:13:29 pm

Hi Ken,

I was assuming you already had some method of getting the VHS footage back into the NLE...

You'll need a video capture device with analog input, such as a BlackMagic Intensity, Matrox MXO2 Mini, etc.

Or if you have 1394 Firewire on your computer, a Grass Valley ADVC-55 will convert an analog source into DV video for capture over Firewire.

Using a BlackMagic or Matrox device will offer better quality options, such as 4:2:2 color and even uncompressed video.

Just had another thought - if you have one of those VHS/DVD combo recorder units, copy the VHS back to DVD then edit the .vob in Adobe. Of course, that is going to add more compression again. Something to try perhaps though.

Many methods to consider. The downside to any of these is going back and forth between 23.976p and 29.97i of course, as you noticed some issues already.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Ken KlippsRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 7:27:17 pm

Jeff,

I actually have access to a Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4k. Would this work? My SVHS deck has BNC output. I'm not an experienced editor so I only know NLE as the file format my colorist wants me to send him along with the ProRes. I will want to get the file back into Premiere.

We were hoping to use the Blackmagic to bring the the VHS footage back to digital. Would we then want to remove the pulldown back to 24fps?


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Ken KlippsRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 7:30:04 pm

oops, im confusing EDL and NLE. EIther way, would the Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4k work?


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Jeff PuleraRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 7:40:00 pm

As long as the capture card accepts analog composite, good to go. However, I have no experience with 24p workflows/conversion myself.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Ken KlippsRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 9:22:49 pm

Jeff, thanks so much for all your help. I have one last question if you don't mind:

I have the final video exported as a 1440x1080 4:3 .mov using the H.264 codec (I have two versions - one in its native 23.976 and one "pulled down" version in 29.97 lower fields first interlaced that I got from using the pulldown in AE)

I now need to resize the video and compress it to burn onto a DVD using Apple Compressor. I found some tutorials online but even following those steps, the compressed video comes out very bad looking and all the text is blocky and pixilated. Is there a better way to compress to SD for DVD that will keep the video looking good? I know on commercial DVDs the quality is good for what it is even though its brought down from, say 35mm to standard def.

Also, should I use the 23.976 version or the 29.97 version when burning to the DVD? Basically, would it be better to use the pulled down version or let the DVD player do its own pulldown before the video heads to S-VHS?

Thanks again.


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Jeff PuleraRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 9:39:07 pm

I don't know that much about what the Black Magic hardware is capable of, but it has occurred to me that with my MXO2 Mini hardware, that device will downscale via hardware, which would enable me to output the HD timeline as SD and therefore record live directly to the VHS deck out of Premiere, skipping the very lossy DVD compression stage. Perhaps the BMD unit can downscale its output?

Next question, how is the 4:3 VHS footage going to be framed in your HD project? Pillarboxed? Would it work at all to keep the footag widescreen? I know there is no natively widescreen VHS format, but I think if you sent an anamorphic (squeezed) widescreen NTSC signal to VHS, then capture it back and "Interpret as" widescreen in Premiere, it would come out ok, IF you wanted to keep widescreen throughout the process.

Back to your question, why use Compressor if you have Adobe? You could export direct from Premiere or After Effects. I still like Walter's idea to export as 24p DVD and let the player convert, as the hardware is designed to do a great job at that. But again, have never dealt with that 24p conversion business myself.

Wondering, how did you get to where you have 1440x1080 video, perhaps that introduced the quality issues you are seeing?

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Dustin ParsonsRe: Prepare 24p HD video for VHS
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 10:39:11 pm

If the only reason you're going to VHS is to get the "VHS look" you might want to just check out Red Gian's VHS plugin: http://www.redgiant.com/store/universe/products/tool/vhs

It would save a lot of time


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