Editing in 29.97 fps vs. 23.98 fps in FCP 7 - Cinema Tools Frame Rate Conversions and De-Interlacing in Compressor

Posted by Kcir Evameht 

I'm been combing the forum as well as the web for answers, and I am definitely learning, yet I still have questions. Let me start with the source specs.

We shot a commercial using 2 cameras.

Camera #1 = Canon T2i creating H.264 files at 23.98 fps.

Camera #2 = Panasonic HVX-200 creating 1080i60 IMX files at 29.97 fps.

Fun, right?! Booya...

I converted the H.264 to Apple ProRes 422 in Compressor as I've learned that editing in the latter is much easier, and the conversion is rather quick.

I used FCP 7 Log and Transfer to convert the 1080i60 IMX files to Apple ProRes 422 as well. Groovy.

Now I'm trying to figure out how best to proceed. If possible, should I edit on two separate timelines (the scenes do not cut across camera or file formats), and then convert one of those timelines to match the other?

Alternatively, I could convert the source footage from one camera to match the frame rate and scan type of the other. I would like to do this, but it will likely take longer, though perhaps not too long. As I definitely would prefer a progressive image (I'm a Lefty that way), and I don't plan to output to film, I was thinking of converting the Canon T2i 23.98 fps footage to match the 29.97p of the Panasonic HVX-200. I can convert the frame rate in Cinema Tools without having much trouble? I see all kinds of information about converting 29.97 to 23.98, but less the other way around. Am I missing something? Is it preferable to edit in 23.98, or is it just a 23.98 fps kind of night on the web?

If I can proceed with converting that footage to 29.97 without much of a problem, what about de-interlacing the footage of the HVX-200 in Compressor?

Will they play nice together?

Do you have any thoughts on this? Warnings? Urban legends?

Your input is much appreciated.

Converting the 60i to 24p is probably the way to go. That would ensure a consistent frame-rate feel across the movie, and get you out of the land of interlace, which will make for a much better looking DVD / web movie etc.

Doing the conversion to 24p isn't too bad. I make a plugin that does that, but it can be tricky to use and it's best used on individual clips, but that can be rather slow due to lack of automation in the process. Alternatively you can convert an entire movie clip (which would represent the 60i camera's timeline) and you may experience the odd blend-frame on cuts, but the conversion is much easier and quicker!

If you were to deinterlace the 60i you'd get 30p, and you'd be left trying to mate that to 24p. That's just not going to work and look good. 24p on a 30p timeline is going to be padded out with duplicate frames and not look best, and make for a larger web movie / dvd file due to having to compress all those extra added duplicate frames. You will also see a lack of smoothness in the 24p motion and 24p needs all the help it can get in that regard.


[www.nattress.com] - Plugins for FCP-X
Thanks, Graeme. Is the Cinema Tools a good program for conversion from 29.97 60i to 24p?
A couple other notes / questions...

1) A friend converted the 29.97 60i footage to 23.98 fps in After Effects for me, but it's still interlaced. Did he miss a setting to de-interlace? What is the best way to get rid of interlacing when I convert the 29.97 60i footage?

2) If you think converting from 29.97 60i to 23.98 fps and editing in 24p yields the best quality video (as opposed to converting the 23.98 to 29.97 and de-interlacing), what is the best way to adjust for the imminent speed change? The footage will be slightly slower, and I'd like to preserve the original speed.

Thanks again,
Hi, Guys,

I went ahead and began de-interlacing the 29.97 60i footage using Compressor. So far the two de-interlaced clips I've watched in QT look nice, but it's taking forever! Current eta to finish all clips is roughly 18 hours, and I have to begin and finish editing, mixing, color correction and upload this piece by tomorrow.

Any thoughts on speeding up this process and on my questions above? Your help is greatly appreciated.

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