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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:14 AM   #1
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Slow Motion Question

Hi guys!

Tomorrow we are going to shoot a spot. We have some slow motion scenes to be shot. What's the best and quick way to do the slow motion? We are in Brazil, here the television format is NTSC.

I've found lots of answers in this forum, but I have no time to read all the posts and figure out what's the proper way to do it.

If somebody could help me to figure it out, I would be very grateful. Thanks a lot!

P.S - We are Mac users - FCP, Cinema Tools and Shake.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #2
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I think your only real option is to shoot in 60i and set the shutter speed correctly for this....usually 1/120 to obtain clean, non blurry images similar to shooting at 60P. Barlow Elton has posted on several forums the best method to produce the desired results using FCP, Cinema tools and a Natress plugin that remaps files to full frames. The results are a really convincing slow mo in 720P....and possibly scaled back up to 1080P with only a minimal loss of resolution.

If I can find a direct link to his post I will add it here shortly.

The only drawback is you are limited to either 1/2 speed if editing in 30p or 1 1/2 speed if editing in a 24P environment. No in between speeds can really be emulated well. You'd need an HVX for that.

Peace!
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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #3
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Hi Marty!

Thanks for the quick reply.

We are going to shoot in 24f. Yes, I have the HDVxDV software.

But what exactly I should do after recording the footage?
Whats the steps in Cinema Tools? Do I have to use any new plug in or not?
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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:57 AM   #4
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Andrea,
It is important that if your project is in 24F that you still shoot the sections that you intend to use for slow mo in 60i mode. What essentially is happening is the camera is recoding 60 "Half resolution" images in the same second that it would normally record 24 full resolution frames. So make sure that you do not shoot these sequences at 24f. And don't be too fearful of the term "half resolution" that I used. The H1 is higher res than most comparably priced cameras that even "half resolution" slow mo is still very HD looking.

I am searching for the tools needed to accomplish this on a MAC. I am on a PC but Barlow has done this several times on his MAC using FCP, Cinema Tools and a $100 plugin from Nattress that remaps the individual fields into full frames. I have not done this myself but I have seen the results and it is very convincing.

Marty
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #5
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Thanks again, Marty.

I just bought the Natress plug ins you told me.

Now I am looking for the steps here in the forum to accomplish the slow mo.

When I get the spot ready, I will post it here.

Cheers!
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #6
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Found the steps to get a nice slow mo

Barlow Elton wrote this:

"My trick is to put a 1080i clip into a custom 1080 60p (50p for you) sequence. Usually I make it an uncompressed timeline to minimize conversion artifacts. (most slow mo clips are short lengths anyway)

You add the Nattress Standards Conversion/Map Frames filter to an HDV 1080i clip on the timeline and choose "Fields to Frames HQ" and choose upper field first. Also, choose "normal" for deinterlace, rather than "smart". You should see the "combing" effect of interlace fields on movement within the image go away if you've done it correctly. It may have a slight amount of aliasing/jaggies on the image, but it should basically look progressive at that point. You then output a 1080 60p (50p again, in your case) clip and bring it into Cinema Tools and conform the frame rate to 24/25p.

Graeme's very affordable FCP plug-in is incredibly useful in so many ways...but for slow mo from the H1, it is easily the best thing I've tried and also the fastest rendering.

You should easily be able to get a true overcrank look/feel like this: http://media.dvinfo.net/xlh1/Elton/DadQBSlow.mov (10 MB h.264 720p)"
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #7
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http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=75384

Here is the link to a thread with the information in it. Hope it helps!

Edit: Doh! I see you found it! I will leave the link anyway just in case anyone else is looking!

Thanks!
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:04 AM   #8
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New questions

Well, I am trying to do some tests before the shooting day (which was postponed...thank God).

Now I am very confused. Here goes my doubts:

1) After importing the footage, I went to check the format of the clip. FCP tells me the imported clips has TC RATE 30. Does it means the clip is 30fps? Shouldn't it be 60fps?

2) Whats the correct frame rate for the Timeline?

3) After conforming the clip in Cinema Tools, it is impossible to play the clip correctly. Whats the problem?

Hope somebody can help me.

Thanks a lot!
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea Beck View Post
Well, I am trying to do some tests before the shooting day (which was postponed...thank God).

Now I am very confused. Here goes my doubts:

1) After importing the footage, I went to check the format of the clip. FCP tells me the imported clips has TC RATE 30. Does it means the clip is 30fps? Shouldn't it be 60fps?
If you shot 1080i with drop frame timecode, the correct frame rate is 29.97. Remember though that 1080i is 60 (59.94) fields per second, which when interlaced together is 30 (29.97) frames per second. What you want to do is extract each field to be its own frame and make a standalone 60p clip or sequence from 60i.

Quote:
2) Whats the correct frame rate for the Timeline?
The correct frame rate for converting fields to frames in 1080 is 59.94 fps.

Quote:
3) After conforming the clip in Cinema Tools, it is impossible to play the clip correctly. Whats the problem?
Let me say that normally when I do this stuff, I first convert my 1080i HDV material to an intermediate codec like Sheer or 10 bit uncompressed, and then perform the Nattress deinterlacing and Cinema Tools frame rate conforming before I integrate the material into an edit.

I usually don't finish in HDV anyway, so my normal route is to do offline edits in 1080 24p HDV and integrate slowmo shots that have been deinterlaced/frame rate conformed and HDV recompressed into the timeline as placeholders. When I'm happy with the edit, I copy/paste into an intermediate codec timeline (usually Sheer codec 1920x1080 23.98 fps) and also insert my original slowmo shots (before HDV recompression) into said sequence.

Complicated? Yes, but it's how I maintain quality.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 05:19 AM   #10
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You should really have a look at using AviSynth if Windows is ever involved in your workflow. It's a tremendously powerful script-based frameserver with a plugin architecture. Some of the advanced deinterlacers and filters that are available for AviSynth put everything short of a Snell & Wilcox Alchemist to shame. And it's all free and open source!!!

FCP's deinterlace routines are laughable by comparison. A simple bob most of the time, and a not-so smart "smart" deinterlace at best. With AviSynth you can load a 60i clip, smart bob-deinterlace it to 60p, and then use a motion compensated frame-blender to get it down to 48p. Finally decimate even frames to get nice slow motion 24p :)

MVBob is a REALLY good bobber (but very slow), and TDeint is a very nice bobber that's quite fast. MVTools has some lovely framerate conversion routines that use motion-vectors to create realistic looking effects.

Doom9.net has some great forums that revolve around AviSynth.

Integrating it in a QuickTime workflow is pretty simple, there's a QTSource plugin that can both read and write QuickTime files (preferably lossless like sheer or Animation codec).

A note, I've been using MVTools and TDeint to bob 60i analog capture material to 60p, and then slow it down to 30p for a VERY cool slow-motion effects. It integrates perfectly with a 30p timeline.

-Derek Prestegard
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 07:52 AM   #11
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To Barlow Elton

Hi Barlow!

Thanks for your reply.
Helped me a lot.

The Nattress plug in works very well, but I am still having problems to get the damn slow-mo.

I will describe what I am doing, maybe you can find where I am stumbling.

1 - Capture footage (1080 60i, 1/120 shutter) in FCP.
2 - Modify my sequence settings (timeline) to Field Dominance: none,
Editing Timebase: 59.94, Compressor: uncompressed 10-bits.
3 - Drop the clip on the timeline and render it.
4 - Drop the Nattress plugin on the clip. Set the plugin to -
Source Field Order: Upper, Mode: Field to Frame HQ, De-Interlace Options: Normal.
5 - Render it again.

Question: When can I slow the clip? I tried to slow it before and after these steps, but it doesn't work.

Sorry for the mess, Barlow. Hope you can still help me. Thanks a lot.

And Derek: I appreciated your tips, but we are Mac based. Thanks anyway.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 08:03 AM   #12
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Andrea,
Barlow will either confirm or denounce this, but I think you are just one step away form finalizing the slow mo. You should probably now open a 24fps project in FCP and drop the new 60fps clip into that. It will either immediately get played slow-mo from the timeline or you may have to tell FCP how exactly to handle the framerate. The bottome line is you need these 60 fps to now play at 24fps and that will give you your slow mo. The concept is footage that is recorded at a higher frame rate can be made slowmo just by placing it in a lower frame rate project.

Barlow, is this right or are we missing some other step?

Sorry, I don't have a MAC to verify any of this for certain!

Peace!
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 09:25 AM   #13
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Can I suggest a Hack?
(don't boo me out of the thread)
you'll need Qt Pro

1) capture your 60i or 24f clip and go into the FCP Capture Scratch folder and open it

2) Select it with Qt Pro's in & out points

3) open a song in quicktime that is a little longer than your QT clip

4) over that song choose Edit> Add to Selection and Scale

= SLOWMO

You can then delete the audio track with Apple+J
(you can play with the length of the song to get the exact look you want)

I know it's a hack, but depending on the Project, it's quick and easy
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:10 PM   #14
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Hi John.

Very funny suggestion, maybe it works with a small clip, when you don't have to pay attention on the technical details.

We will shoot a slow motion commercial for a client...so, I have to do the slow-mo like a pro, there is no other way. At the end of the day, we will have at least two hours of footage to work with. So....it is not the right workflow for me.

But I thank you very much for trying to help me.

Cheers!
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Andrea,
Barlow will either confirm or denounce this, but I think you are just one step away form finalizing the slow mo. You should probably now open a 24fps project in FCP and drop the new 60fps clip into that. It will either immediately get played slow-mo from the timeline or you may have to tell FCP how exactly to handle the framerate. The bottome line is you need these 60 fps to now play at 24fps and that will give you your slow mo. The concept is footage that is recorded at a higher frame rate can be made slowmo just by placing it in a lower frame rate project.

Barlow, is this right or are we missing some other step?

Sorry, I don't have a MAC to verify any of this for certain!

Peace!
Hey, Marty! I will try it then!
Let you know if it works.

Thanks!
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