|Tutorial: - Working with the Panasonic AG-DVX100, Final Cut Pro and Cinema Tools
Working with the Panasonic AG-DVX100, Final Cut Pro and
by Andrew M. Lau
With the release of the Panasonic AG-DVX100, independent
filmmakers have a DV camera that can acquire footage at 24 frames
per second, the same as a film camera. This ability allows film
prints of AG-DVX100 footage to match frame for frame and preserve
the filmmaker's original vision. While the current versions of
Final Cut Pro and Cinema Tools don't offer full support of the
AG-DVX100, the current versions of software can be used to edit
footage from the camera at 24fps.
AG-DVX100 24p Overview
The AG-DVX100 can shoot video
in two 24fps modes: 24p Mode (2:3 pulldown) and 24p Mode Advance
(2:3:3:2 pulldown). In either mode, the video is written to the
DV tape in regular 29.97 NTSC video with the 24 frames being
pulled down using one of the two pulldown cadences.
The camera offers the filmmaker flexible delivery options. The
video can be:
- Broadcast in regular NTSC at 29.97fps
- Printed to film at 24fps by removing
the pulldown fields before
striking a print
- Upconverted to 24p high definition
In all these cases, the filmmaker will
be delivering a 29.97fps NTSC tape
Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools and AG-DVX100
When working with Final Cut Pro,
Cinema Tools, and the AG-DVX100 the
filmmaker should shoot and edit in 24fps. While it doesn't matter
which pull down cadence is used, shooting in the Advance mode
will make these procedures easier to perform. When delivering
the finished video, the goal is to deliver 24fps footage pulled
down to 29.97fps.
The steps to working with AG-DVX100 footage,
in general, are:
Acquire footage in either 24p mode.
2. Capture clips in Final Cut Pro as regular DV-NTSC.
3. Use Cinema Tools to remove the pulldown fields from
4. Create a 23.98fps project, import the processed clips
into it, and edit.
5. Export the completed project as a Final Cut Pro movie.
6. Add the pull down fields back into the movie using
After Effects or Cleaner.
7. Reimport the movie back into Final Cut Pro and output
the movie to tape.
Workflow Details: Acquiring Footage
The AG-DVX100 can acquire footage
in 24p with either a 2:3 or 2:3:3:2 (Advance) pulldown pattern.
The representation of the 2:3 pattern is AA:BB:BC:CD:DD. The
representation of the 2:3:3:2 pattern is AA:BB:BC:CC:DD. AA represents
the A frame, or the start of a pulldown pattern. The BC and CD
frames will show interlaced fields on an NTSC monitor.
In a normal film-to-video telecine process
using a 3:2 pattern, the A frame of the telecine pattern is located
at a video frame with a timecode ending in 0 or 5.
However, because the camera does write
to tape as standard 29.97fps NTSC video, both Final Cut Pro and
Cinema Tools can work with the footage as if it were regular
Shooting with a slate or clapstick will
make the work of capturing the clips later on much easier.
Shooting to Ensure Post Production
During normal operation of the
AG-DVX100, video is written to the DV tape with a stream of unbroken
timecode using the Record Run and Regen features on the camera.
The A frame of the pulldown pattern will end up on 0 and 5 timecode
when these features are turned on.
However, it is possible to start recording
so the pulldown pattern starts on a
frame other than 0 or 5. This makes it tedious to apply a reverse
telecine to all the clips because it will have to be applied
on each individual clip instead of in a batch. It is also possible
to record so that the timecode on the tape is not continuous
With these facts in mind, follow these
- Black and stripe each tape with timecode
using Edit to Tape in Final Cut Pro
- Turn the Record Run and Regen features
on in the AG-DVX100
- While shooting, after calling "cut,"
let the tape run a few seconds to
provide a buffer
- When reviewing footage during a shoot,
start recording again in the
buffer you've created (this will allow the pulldown pattern to
start on a 0 or 5 frame again)
Workflow Details: Capturing Clips
Use Final Cut Pro to log each
clip starting at the slate or clapstick and batch capture the
clips for later processing in Cinema Tools.
Ensure the A frames fall on 0 and 5 frames
on each clip. Do this by viewing the video on an NTSC monitor.
Position the video at a 0 or 5 frame and advance two frames and
ensure the displayed video now has visible interlaced fields
(this is a BC frame in either pulldown pattern). If this is the
case, then the A frames are on 0 and 5. Mark the in and out points
If you have clips that do not have
A frames on 0 and 5, make a note of the clip name. Reverse telecine
for these clips will have to be done on a clip-by-clip basis.
Batch capture all the clips when logging
Workflow Details: Removing the Pulldown
Fields in Cinema Tools
Batch Processing Clips Whose A Frames
Are on 0 and 5 Frames
Locate the folder with the clips to process.
2. Move any clips that do not have the A frames
on 0 and 5 to another folder.
3. In Cinema Tools, choose the File->Batch Reverse
Telecine menu item and choose a movie file in the folder containing
4. In the dialog box, choose F1-F2, conform to 23.98,
and check the Keep Original and Standard upper/lower check boxes.
(This will make new 24fps QuickTime files.)
5. Click OK to process the clip.
Manual Processing of Clips Whose A
Frames Are NOT on 0 and 5 Frames
In Cinema Tools, open a captured clip.
2. Identify the A frame by stepping through the clip and
finding the first interlaced frame. (In the 24p pattern,
there are two interlaced frames. In the Advance pattern, there
is only one.) Step backwards two frames. This is the A frame.
3. Click the Reverse Telecine button.
4. Set the capture mode to F1-only if the footage was
shot in Advance mode and F1-F2 if it was shot in 24p mode.
5. If you are in F1-only mode, choose the "Same File
(faster)" option if you don't need to have an unprocessed
6. Click the radio button for the A frame.
7. Set the conform frame rate to 23.98.
8. Click OK to process the clip.
Workflow Details: Importing the Processed
Once all the clips have been
processed, create a new 23.98 project in Final Cut Pro and import
the clips. Edit as usual.
Workflow Details: Inserting Pulldown
Fields for Delivery
Once the movie has been edited,
export a self-contained Final Cut Pro movie and import that movie
into Adobe After Effects or discreet Cleaner. In After Effects,
open the Make Movie dialog box and the Render Queue will display.
Change the render settings to introduce 3:2 pulldown. Ensure
the movie is rendered using the DV/DVCPRO NTSC compressor. (Consult
the After Effects documentation for more details.)
In Cleaner, process the file to use the
DV/DVCPRO NTSC codec, uncompressed audio, and turn on the Telecine
option. (Consult the Cleaner 6 documentation for more details.)
Workflow Details: Delivery
In Final Cut Pro, import the
rendered movie into a DV-NTSC sequence and
output the resulting movie to tape. Because the pulldown introduced
Effects is in a standard pattern, a post production facility
should be able to
prepare the video easily for a film printer or for upconversion
to 24p high
copyright © Andrew
M Lau 2002
M. Lau is a freelance editor and FCP and Film Logic/Cinema
Tools fan working mostly in Industrial films. He rented the DVX100
to see if it might be right for his first DV feature.