Progressive Scan

Posted by sowza1 
Progressive Scan
October 26, 2006 01:13PM
Viewing finished projects on TV with progressive scan?
My camera has always had the option for Prog. San, but I have never used it.
But, I have been assisting on a lot of HD shoots and noticed its always in
Prog. Scan.

If interlaced and Prog. Scan are the same in Resolution, is there one better
recommend to look more like film??
Can one be better than the other for projecting in a theater?
I'm shooting with a sony VX-2000.



Re: Progressive Scan
October 26, 2006 01:48PM
Progressive definitely looks more like film.


Re: Progressive Scan
October 26, 2006 03:28PM
1. If progressive scan is the way to shoot and edit and project in the theater, why do we have to deal with interlaced at all? Only for television?

2. Is there any justification for shooting 60i or 50i when 30p and 25p would've been better? I don't mention 24p here because I'm asking this only with respect to movies shot for television.
Re: Progressive Scan
October 26, 2006 03:36PM
Some cameras have a "Film" or "Progressive" mode that produces a standard interlaced television product but puts the same frame exposure on both fields. The way they do it gives a very annoying stutter to motion in the show. It changes motion display from 60 to 30.

All HiDef cameras are progressive except the highest one--1080i-60. Most of the digital frame rates are actually running at 60 frames per second rather than the much lower partial-exposure 30. Then there is the oddball progressive 24 which gets converted to 48 before viewing. If you ever tried to watch actual 24P for real it will suck the eyes right out of your head.

Standard definition, interlaced gives by far the smoothest motion, but doesn't convert to anything else very well. Blame the engineers in 1939. Progressive (or non-interlaced) converts to other frame rates and definitions (and stills) really well and a lot of people have convinced themselves that the annoying flicker looks just like film.

Up to you. Shoot rapid motion both ways and see which one you like. That's the kind of shot that falls apart rapidly if the frame rate isn't high enough.

Re: Progressive Scan
October 26, 2006 04:58PM
So you're saying: shoot 30 fps interlaced for television,

24 fps progressive film scan for film transfer,

and avoid all other fps speeds.

I can buy it.

But with digital cameras, like you say, it's always double the frame rates, namely 48, 50, 60, when in interlaced mode.

It's then best to convert these frame rates to whatever is the appropriate fps rate for the intended display of the finished product.

As for editing purposes, apparently all formats and frame rates are supported -- that's what it seems to me in FCP.

Is my thinking correct?
Re: Progressive Scan
October 26, 2006 11:16PM
The Digital Standard carries most of the different frame, field, and line rates.


It appears 720 is never interlaced. 480i-29.97 is standard resolution television-give or take a scan line or two.

Of course the movie industry fell immediately in love with 1080p-24. Someone will correct me, but the original uncorrected DTV standard did not cover 24 frame at all. Hollywood caused that to be corrected at once. Not only is that video standard running at the same rate as conventional film, but it would produce non-interlaced 1080, which a conversion from NTSC wouldn't do.

As in all other recommendations, you do what the client wants.

But, you may well say raising your bloody hand, what if the client doesn't know what they want?

That's never happened to us.

Re: Progressive Scan
October 27, 2006 01:13PM
There is yet another way. One can retain the interlaced (SD) footage and then "fix it post" with a suitable FCP plugin. The one I prefer is the Nattress Film Look series...inexpensive, very adaptable and powerful with a wide range of options, all with a great result and excellent product support.
Keep your footage 30fps interlaced and you have many output options for final release.

FE Meek
Re: Progressive Scan
October 27, 2006 01:54PM
Thank you, Frank, for the clarification. I saw an add for a TV set in Fry's that projects progressive also.

I also understand from people suggesting to me to put my trailers as progressives on the Internet that it's possible to convert an interlaced video clip to progressive and post it like that on the Internet. ... I just don't know how to do it. Is it done in Compressor?

Apparently shooting interlaced or progressive makes no difference. Because all formats can be converted in FCP -- which is a good thing.
Re: Progressive Scan
October 27, 2006 02:47PM
If you're shooting on a Sony VX 2000, DO NOT shoot in progressive mode. It won't shoot 30 fps... it will only shoot 15 fps. Unless you intentionally want an extremely choppy look... avoid it, and use something like Graeme's film-look plug-ins to get a progressive look.
Sony has lagged behind others (notably Panasonic) when it comes to offering progressive shooting on cameras under $5,000. They do, however, have a new HDV camera coming out soon that offers 24P. Here's a link:


Re: Progressive Scan
October 27, 2006 07:15PM
Mr filmman

I still think shooting progressive 24 is the way to go for a film look. Graham's filter may be good, but I don't think it's really a substitute for getting it into the camera at 24p (or 23.976).

So there!



PS. I did a fair amount of testing on this question before shooting an indie feature recently on a Canon HL X1 in their proprietory "24f" mode. If you live in LA and want to come and see the results, please feel free to totter round to my place in the Hollywood Hills and have a martini and gape at the results.
Re: Progressive Scan
October 27, 2006 10:18PM
I might just do that ... certainly very much appreciate the invitation. I love to gape at great results. Shoot me an e-mail as to directions ... my e-mail's
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