Another 29.97-23.98 Question

Posted by Michael Horton 
Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 07, 2010 10:59PM
Good evening, all!

I have loads of footage that has been shot all over the country by local crews. All shot to P2 cards. Most came in as DVCPro HD 720p60 at 29.97 except for one crew. That one came in as DVCPro HD 720p60 at 23.98.

Currently I'm just prepping these files for future use. They will end up in multiple deliverables, including in several video productions, as soundbites on the web and in PowerPoint presentations (because here in the heartland we use all the buffalo... smiling smiley

I've only worked with 23.98 footage once before, and that was XDCam HD and it was in an Avid suite, so I pretty much only had to tell machines that the footage was 23.98 and conversions happened via hardware.

When I'm done cutting, I'll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 clips from that shoot. I'm guessing I need to convert these 23.98 files to 29.97. Is this a Cinema Tools thing? What's the recommended way of dealing with this?

Feel free to use small words. I'm green when it comes to 23.98 footage.


Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 12:26AM
I just had material come in that puts me in exactly the same situation. I've researched & found answers for using Compressor or the Natress standards converter plugin. Further enlightenment is greatly appreciated!

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 11:03AM
Aie-aie-aie. You can definitely convert the 23.98fps footage, but the footage will still have the "progressive" look to it. You can't get the smooth "video" look from it no matter what, and that could be a no-no for television.

You should run the conversion on one clip first and then consult your QC people and see if they'll accept that, period, before you waste time converting the rest. If they had shot a basketball game in that progressive look, I'm pretty sure that would be immediate grounds for rejection, not to mention looking completely off from the rest of the footage.

When you're not sure, you always shoot 60i. You can simulate a 24p look on 60i footage, but you can't do it the other way; the frames simply weren't captured at the shooting stage.
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 01:28PM
To the best of my knowledge, my stuff isn't destined for broadcast. I don't know about Reid's footage.

How might one go about running the conversion? Is it Cinema Tools, is it a Nattress Converter, is it Compressor? Or if all of those will accomplish the same end result, what is the most "efficient" way? In terms of time spent and money spent. I'm willing to spend money, especially if it helps me hit my deadline.

I'll tell my producers to double-confirm frame rates from here on out, but that's half the trouble with using local crews in out state shoots with which you have no background. You don't know if they say "Yes, I understand" just to get the job, or if they really understand.

There's only so much we can do when the client insists on hiring local crews because they don't want to pay to fly our trusted & preferred crews. I won't bore y'all with details on the two bad shoots we've had so far, but suffice it to say, one of them shot this 23.98 footage.

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 01:45PM
Something I forgot -- somebody correct me if I'm wrong -- doesn't DVCPro HD 720p24 actually record 60i but flags the 23.98fps just for the ingest? If so, is it possible to use Panasonic Frame Rate Converter or some other like tool to get the 60i frames back? And if this is possible, does the clip achieve a 60i look?
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 01:58PM
Some of my material may hit broadcast so I have to plan for it.

I found this re doing the job in Compressor:


I've read a number of posts where people claim the Nattress is faster and more pleasing, but it costs $100 I think. Faster is good. I've been looking for a reason to get the Nattress anyway & play with it so I may do it now since I have a client who'll cover the cost.

I'l do a test in Compressor early next week to see what I can get away with, then make my decision re Compressor v Nattress.

Last month I had a few B-roll shots that needed to go the other way (29.97 -> 23.98). I used Compressor and it took days to complete the processing of 4 minutes of material on a late 2007 2.4GHZ Core2Duo MBP. Won't do THAT again, LOL.

I'm dealing now with material shot at 23.98 shot by a local crew who we had no control over, but those days are gone. Now, my client uses local crews but flies me out to line produce (and direct) so we know what we're getting. Now I'm working up a shoot tech spec for this client so everything going forward is uniform. The 23.98 material looks great, it just doesn't fit with the 2997/30P the rest of the material was shot as. Conversion time runs down the deadline clock too much. Derek's suggestion of 60i is one I like. Eats up P2 like crazy though.

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 02:00PM
Ooh, that would be swell! I still have my original P2 media files, I can even re-Log & Transfer if that helps...

This is also my first project where I was given the raw P2 media. Usually I get a hard drive with the logged & transferred QTs ready to go and I hit the ground running. I'm not sure how much control one has at the Log & Transfer stage.

My footage is 720p60 at 23.98, however, not 720p24 at 23.98 (and I honestly don't quite have a firm grasp on that....and trying to explain it to my producer about made both our heads explode...)

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 08, 2010 07:22PM
> I used Compressor and it took days to complete the processing of 4 minutes of material on a late
>2007 2.4GHZ Core2Duo MBP.

Yea, Compressor is more complicated, and for simpler tasks, I tend to prefer alternatives. You can try the JES Deinterlacer, which has a telecine function (adds pulldown).
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 09, 2010 12:11PM
Ooh! Thanks for the reminder of JES Interlacer!

I will try that one!

I had a local guy tell me to just put the 23.98 files in a 29.97 timeline in FCP and export using current settings and see how it looks. He's done that for History Channel shows and hasn't ever gotten a kickback, but his 23.98 footage came from a different source, so he said not to assume it'll work for my problem.


I'll post back what my solution ends up being for those who are interested. Or those who may not be interested but got trapped in the thread!

smiling smiley

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 09, 2010 01:10PM
>You don't know if they say "Yes, I understand" just to get the job

Or saying it as a general slogan to toe the party line. Of course, the worst part is the utter PITA afterwards, to explain that the frame rate is wrong while everyone stares at you wide eyed wondering if they've just discovered a new alien life form.. Oh frame rates, how we love thee.
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 12, 2010 05:30AM
At least the folks I'm working for get that there's not a magic-wand fix for this.

The end-client, on the other hand, hasn't quite wrapped their heads around how much media we're talking about here... Oy vey...

I will get to the options today or tomorrow. I have a bunch of other stuff that needs to get done first.

Thanks everyone for their thoughts!!

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 13, 2010 10:55PM
For anyone who's interested...

I went with the JES Deinterlacer solution.

There was a slight, yet noticeable difference between files converted with JES Deinterlacer and putting the 23.98 clips in a 29.97 timeline and exporting from FCP.

They look very nice, and since it's all talking heads, I don't have problems with motion artifacting. There's a slight strobe-y feel in hand gestures, but in my humble opinion, it's not distracting or even really noticeable unless you're looking for it.

The smell test will be if I get any comments from any of the four or more editors who will be working with the footage in the near future.

Thanks again for your thoughts and help down this crazy path!!

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 13, 2010 11:46PM
I'm actually curious about the pulldown the JES Deinterlacer adds. Is it an advanced pulldown (which is easily removable) or a the standard 2:3 pulldown? I'm guessing the "strict 3:2 pulldown" option does the standard pulldown (not advanced).
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 07:49AM
I did not tick the strict pulldown box. It became unavailable to me when I set other settings to what I required. Since I didn't object to the results, I didn't wander down that path any further.

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 12:52PM
Okay, being cool (in a geeky kinda way).. I conformed a roughly 2 minute PAL clip to 23.98, then ran it through JES Deinterlacer.

I had issues with a truncated video when I went to ProRes. Can't figure out what's going on, so I switched to Dv50 and the problem went away.

When the "strict 3:2 pulldown" checkbox is ticked, it's a consistent standard pulldown- 2 jitter frames, followed by 3 full frames. When it's not checked, the pulldown seems random.
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 01:14PM
How was the video truncated?

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 01:25PM
It got cut around halfway. It's weird, because in QT, it gives the full duration (in terms of minutes and seconds) but in terms of the picture, it wasn't the full clip, and I didn't see any interlaced frames. Initially I thought it was because I ran it through Cinema Tools, so I dropped it into an FCP sequence, and exported a SCQT movie with DV50, and tried it again- export as ProRes. Same thing. So I tried exporting to DV50, and I was cool.
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 01:35PM
That's interesting...

I did not have any trouble with truncated ProRes clips, but I didn't have the CinemaTools step.

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 01:36PM
But of course you just made me über-paranoid and I just ran back to double-check!!

Nope, the clips end where they're supposed to end.

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 01:44PM
Alright, that's cool. But it seems like if "strict pulldown" wasn't used, it's not going to be properly telecined. I hope they expand the app to take in batches larger than 8. But the cool thing about it, is that it can be programmed like a droplet. From what I remember about FCP doing the frame rate conversion, is that it uses a very oddball pulldown.
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 01:53PM
I opened all my clips at once and it processed in one go, and I had waaay more than 8 clips. I'm not sure how they are using the term "Batch". Maybe up to 8 can process simultaneously, but I definitely had 20 or more files submitted in one action.

Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 14, 2010 02:04PM
Ah, great to know. I've only had 3 files go from 25 to 50 (BMD's Decklink doesn't do 720p25). Yea, p60 doesn't do strict pulldown. Ah well. Glad you had it sorted out.
Re: Another 29.97-23.98 Question
January 19, 2010 08:20AM
I took a closer look, and it appears to my eyes that when I lost the ability to tick the strict pulldown box when I adjusted the other settings, that meant that I got the strict pulldown. There was no choice but strict pulldown, based on my other settings, so the app disabled the tick-box.

But my eyes have been known to be off...

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