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Old March 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #1
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60i -> 24p To Edit or Master in 24p?

Hey everyone. Getting lots of mixed opinions on this so I thought I'd throw it out for debate.

I'm nearly finished shooting a low budget feature on the FX1, with about 35 hours of footage. I know there are many ways to achieve the same result, just trying to nail down my workflow before editing. Any ideas are welcome.

My goal is to edit in FCP5 with a 24p result (or at least a 24p signature in a 60i stream). I've been talking to Graeme Natress about his plugins, and it looks like I will use one or both of his Standards Conversion and Film Effects.

Most likely this will end up on video, but the money is available for a film blowup if it gets into the right festivals, so (yeah, yeah, I know) I'd like a film-out possibility. And if possible, I'd like to edit just once. If it's not possible, I'll suck it up and edit twice.

The debate seems to be about whether it is best to convert to 24p BEFORE editing, or to edit the native 60i HDV and then apply the 24p effects.

My initial thought is to first render the 60i HDV into PhotoJPEG 23.98p using the Standards Conversion plugin, edit the movie at 23.98p and do color correction, then render to the final video output. I assume this would tranfer to film.

Or - capture and edit and color correct in native 60i HDV, then apply Film Effects for a 24p signature in a 60i stream. Would a transfer house then be able to take this a pull the 24p out of it?

I don't have a Mac to test results, and my purchase of one depends on hammering out the workflow. I'm currently using Vegas 6 and the Cineform codec, which works well with HD, but my editing computer needs updating and I've lost several jobs because I'm not on Final Cut Pro.

So... as long as I'm purchasing a new computer I thought it would be a good time to switch (I've been wanting to for a while). But figuring out my workflow without the tools in front of me is proving to be a challenge. Any ideas are welcome!

Thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #2
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If possible, it's always best to convert to 24p as early in your workflow as possible. That way all of your effects, titles, transitions, composites, color corrections, and edits will render on a frame basis, instead of on fields. You'd degrade all of these things if you convert later. Depending on the formats you use, you may use less disc space, since you have fewer frames overall.

If you convert to 24p as a final step, and your edits do not fall in the right place, you may get some blending, what will look like a single-frame dissolve.

I'm not doing HD yet, but my workflow starts with a rough edit in 60i, leaving lots of wiggle room to trim later (just tossing bad takes and unusable footage, basically). Then I deartifact the footage in Magic Bullet at 60i and save out uncompressed AVI. Then I convert to 24p. Color correction, editing from there.

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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #3
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I would edit in 60i and then speak to the lab doing your blowup about their preferred workflow. They may have a proprietary 60i to 24fps film out algorithm and you won't even have to worry about it.

Since you have 35 hours of footage, I don't think converting to 24P first is even an option. If you want the 24P look for video, edit and colour correct in 60i, then apply Graeme's filter to a nest of your final sequence and render overnight. Then add titles to your 24P sequence.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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Gotcha. Okay, using that method on a feature length film would look something like this -->

1. Capture in 60i HDV
2. Rough edit (basically finding usable takes)
3. Render to 23.98p. (Supposing I can't do uncompressed HD, I understand PhotoJPEG75 is the best bet).
4. Edit from there and render into 23.98p.

On the subject of PhotoJPEG75. is that a suitable enough format for color correction? Like I mentioned, on the PC side I'm used to Cineform, and PhotoJPEG75 looks to be the best comparison on the MAC.

Or would DVCProHD be a better option?
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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #5
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Ah, Tim you beat me to my response to Joshua. My thought on the 35 hours is to basically render 2 hours a night (from 60i to 23.98p).

That gives me enough footage to edit with each day, then at the end of each day I capture 2 more hours, set it to render, and edit on those 2 hours the next day and so on...

I will probably be doing a lot of previewing to determine exactly what to capture, and may end up only actually capturing 30 minutes from each hour of footage. Creating a rough edit log before capturing I guess.

Ultimately a film-out will be based on who lets us play it. So whatever we send to the festivals should at least look like 24p (since that's what we would intend to show if accepted).

It makes sense to do any color correction and titles after the conversion to 24p, though what do you think about the frame blending on cuts? Since we'll initially need a 24p looking DVD, and with rendering the footage into 24p bits at a time, would you still suggest editing in 60i?

The setup will be a 2.0 Core Duo iMac (yeah, I know the expansion limitations :/ )with 2 GB RAM and a 500 GB Hard Drive.

To be honest, it will be a hell of a lot easier to edit in 60i, then do the 24p rendering al at once, but with just the two responses to the post already, there seems to be a difference of opinion...
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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Swinnea
To be honest, it will be a hell of a lot easier to edit in 60i, then do the 24p rendering al at once, but with just the two responses to the post already, there seems to be a difference of opinion...
Well, the MB Suite is "smart" about cuts, but it takes forever to render (and requires AE.) I have never tried Graeme's filter so I'm not sure how its algorithm works or how it handles cuts.
If it continues in a steady pattern, then there may be some blending when applying to a nest or 60i output of the whole show. However, if you were to apply the filter to each individual clip within the 60i sequence and it adds pulldown after extracting 24P, then there would be no blending on cuts.
Graeme is really the one who should be answering this since he wrote the filter.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #7
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Good idea, I'll shoot him an email. Thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #8
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Tim,

Hey, had not meant to contradict you. My advice was assuming the priority was to have a great 24p DVD, with film out as an afterthought. Obviously, if film out is the priority, you want to talk to the film house (heck, prior to even shooting would be best).

BTW, Magic Bullet is good with cuts, but not perfect. And when it doesn't get it right, it's worse than a one-frame dissolve, it's sections of one frame and sections of another. Weirdness, as is often the case with a lot of things Magic Bullet does.

DVFilm Maker, I guarantee you will see one-frame blends if you convert as a last step. Guarantee it.

Nattress, I have no idea.

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Old March 9th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #9
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Thanks, I emailed Graeme to see what his thoughts are on the process.

We shot everything in 60i at 1/60 shutter, slightly underexposed, so we should be good to go with a transfer to film.

And Joshua, you're right. The priority is a great looking DVD. Without that we won't even have to worry about a film transfer because we won't have anywhere to show it! Just tryng to leave both options open from the start, to prevent me from having to re-edit the film after it's accepted.
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