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Mixed Frame Rate Workflow

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Aiden Jordan
Mixed Frame Rate Workflow
on Apr 3, 2018 at 2:48:19 pm

Hi all,

Sorry, another annoying frame rate discussion...

This has been posted on Avid community so apologies to those who go back and forth between the two, but was interested in getting the opinions of others who might not be on that forum.

So I work in a commercial offline editing house where we do promos/commercials e.t.c. Often for the poorly produced promos and the occasional stock footage related work we receieve footage in varying frame rates. Being based in the UK 90% of projects are 25fps, so the mixed footage we receieve is in 24fps, 23.976fps, 30fps e.t.c..

Our current workflow is to batch convert these in MPEG Streamclip to Pro Res 442 HQ/4444 (if they aren't already) and then run these through cinema tools conforming to 25fps. So essentially we are creating new masters which we copy onto the drive which gets delivered to the post house for grading/online.

This is the way they were doing it when I started here and its just been continued. However, my issue with this is that because we have officially stopped running Final Cut (every editor now uses Avid) we only have Cinema Tools on one old Final Cut partition on one computer, additionally I think I'm right in saying 1. Both Cinema Tools and MPEG Streamclip are outdated and discountinued to some extent 2. It only works with the Final Cut package installed, which if we were to replace the machine we would lose it.

So I want to find an alternative solution to converting mixed frame rate footage to 25fps, which most importantly will conform later down the line using an EDL and AAF at a different post house that are conforming to do the grade/VFX or online. So essentially there can't be any timecode discrepancies, every frame needs to have a unique timecode.

Feel free to suggest any solution, even ones which may incur software/app costs because it is an essential part of the workflow so work will invest in getting this right and making it seamless.

Avid version we are currently running is 8.9.4 - however again, we can update if needed.

Lastly, there maybe a very obvious solution like running it through Da Vinci or even EditReady, but I'm not aware so even if this is the case and its blindingly obvious please post!

Thank you for you help in advance.

Assistant Editor
Avid 8.9.4

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Mike Woodworth
Re: Mixed Frame Rate Workflow
on Apr 4, 2018 at 4:37:27 pm

You mentioned EditReady in your post. It can do time stretch style retimings (similar to what cinema tools did). Click on Additional Options or go to the Batch menu > Show Additional Options... Add Framerate Adjustment. You'll now have a dropdown in the batch settings. You can set it to convert all incoming footage to 25fps.

Svae this out as a preset and you should be good to go.

Mike Woodworth
divergent media, llc

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Brent Marginet
Re: Mixed Frame Rate Workflow
on Apr 16, 2018 at 5:25:03 am

Avid has a feature in the Source Settings Dialgue to Interpret the Footage at the frame rate you would like. You can then export the new clips with the audio intact and in sync. 23.976 and 24fps footage and audio will be sped up and 30fps footage and audio will be slowed down though.

The other option is to use Resolve to change the Clip Attributes in a 25fps Project. When asked to change the Frame Rate of the Project on import just click on don’t change. There’s both a plus and minus to doing it this way though. As with Avid 23.976 and 24fps footage will be sped up and 30fps footage will be slowed down but you will lose the audio. Because both methods change the speed of the footage you get a frame for fame conversion with no frame blending or artifacting that would make it look terrible. I then pass on to the editors the percentage increase or decrease required to bring the speed close to real time if they need to.

I’ve used both to create new master clips but I prefer Resolve when I don’t need the Audio because its transcodes are so much faster.

In one case I took the audio into ProTools and did a Sample Rate Conversion on it to the new frame rate. I had to convert an entire movie from 23.976 to 24p and at that time Avid didn’t have the Interpret Footage feature in the Source Settings Dialoge Box. We made sure that both the Audio and Video had a two pop at the beginning and end so I could align them and check for any drift. Much to my surprise I was able to build a whole new timeline in a 24p Resolve Project with the Video Clip Attributes set to 24 and the SRC’d Audio was out by less than 1/8th of a frame at the end. It passed QC so that was the icing on the cake.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTTO: If you think three copies of your Media or Projects are enough. Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more. Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."

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