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Old January 30th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #1
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View Every Frame in FCP

Is there a way that I can turn a clip into a frame-by-frame clip in the FCP timeline? What I mean is that if I shot a music video in 24p is there a way that I can view every frame in the timeline, and not just every cut or transition. I am experimenting with taking out every other frame in a clip, trying to give it a slightly jerky effect. Thanks for the help.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #2
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I've never worked with 24p, so not sure how that would effect things. But on a 30fps timeline, if you zoom all the way in using the magnifying glass (or squish the timeline slider as small as it will go) you will see every frame. When you zoom in this far you will notice that the timeline playhead moves in discreet "jumps" which correspond to each frame.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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You can export as an image sequence, then reimport as discreet frames.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #4
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Not sure that I completely understand your problem, but, if you are new to FCP, you can view shots one frame at a time by positioning your mouse over any area of a shot in the timeline and clicking once to let it know that this is what you want to see. Then go to the left arrow and right arrows on your keyboard and you will step through one frame at a time, backwards and forwards.

Best

Harry.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:40 AM   #5
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another way is to hold down the "K" key and single tap either the "L" key or "J" key to step forward one frame or back one frame respectively

also you can force FCP to "play every frame" using the Option-P combination
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Old January 31st, 2007, 10:38 AM   #6
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But you're looking to lose every other frame if I understand correctly, exporting the clip as an image sequence to a folder

in the finder, remove every other file (they're numbered sequentially) and reimport the whole folder (selecting the folder will work just fine)

put all of the clips in a new sequence

set the speed of the clip to 50%

export to quicktime and you have a frame doubled clip at regular speed.

You can now import and edit with this new clip like you would any other clip.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 11:17 AM   #7
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I've never tried this, but you might be able to effectively drop every other frame by speeding up the sequence 2x, rendering, and then slowing it back down 50%. Just make sure it's not set to do any blending on the slow motion.

-Terence
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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taking out every other frame is going to speed up the clip. if you are just looking for a jerky "strobe" effect that keeps pace with the original timing the just use the Effects > Time > Strobe filter
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Old January 31st, 2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm wanting to take out every other frame and replace it with the previous frame.

Example:

A B C D E F G H I J K L - Each letter being a frame, and converting it to,

A A C C E E G G I I K K so that every other frame is doubled.

My goal by experimenting with this is to find a way to replicate the look of the Death Cab For Cutie music video - A Movie Script Ending. I am interested by that look and am trying to find it with a Dv camera as opposed to a digital SLR. Thanks for the help.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:38 PM   #10
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My technique above will do that for you...I'm not sure about the other one listed, but I'd give it a try first as it would be much faster than mine...perhaps take your 60i footage, deinterlace to 30p, export as 15p, then change the speed to 50%.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 04:35 PM   #11
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Okay, I've just looked at the DCFC video, and I think I understand the look you're going for.

First things first: the unique look of that video comes from not having the same frame rate through a whole shot. They often will run the start of a shot at, say, 8 frames per second (3 frames per frame in a 24fps timeline), but then hold on a particular frame for, say, 10 frames. This edit has been carefully timed to the music - if you count along with the music you might get something like this:

One two three and hold....on four

or with a hold frame at the start of a shot like this:

One.....and two three four

When cut to the beat of the music, this becomes very effective and evocative. Certain frames are held longer to give them more emphasis, whereas other frames are flowed smoothly together to give more of a sense of motion. Even if you skip every other frame, or three out of every four frames, or four out of every five, it will not look like the DCFC video. It will look mechanical rather than organic. This is painstakingly handcrafted editing making up that look.

The bad news is there's no "magic filter" in FCP that will easily randomize how many frames a particular frame stays on screen, and even if there were (there are ways to do this in After Effects), it wouldn't be what you want, anyway. You want to pick and choose which are the frames that best tell the story, then be free to choose how long each frame stays on screen. Now, there's no reason you can't shoot the whole thing on a 24fps DV camera, then change that to individual frames for "editing" again. It sounds like you've already cut the video, now you just want to impart that "look".

As Cole suggested, you need to export your Sequence as individual frames. Coose File>Export>Using Quicktime Conversion, then select Image Sequence. This will create a set of sequentially numbered frames. Then, when you import back into FCP, you simply select all the frames and lay them out on a new Sequence Timeline. Make sure you have first gone into User Prefs>Editing and set the Still/Freeze Duration to 1 frame. Otherwise, each numbered frame may import with a longer duration, like 5 or 10 seconds each!

The reason for doing it this way is so you can easily stretch the duration of a still once it's on the timeline. It would be much more complicated to try and cut up a video clip and freeze frame each cut. Even though each frame starts out as only 1 frame long, you can drag each frame's duration out to fill any gap you want.

By displaying the waveform of the music in the timeline, you should figure out pretty quickly how many frames you need to skip to create the effect(s) you want for each particular shot.

If you go into Sequence>Settings>Timeline Options, you can change the Thumbnail Display to Filmstrip, which will attempt to show you each frame as you zoom in close enough, or Name+Thumbnail, which will show the first frame of each clip. Also experiment with Shift+T to make your Tracks bigger.

This is going to be painstaking work, but it will be what you said you wanted which is to break your video into individual frames for editing.

I also came up with an alternate idea, which is to use the Strobe filter, set at something huge like "1", which is 1 frame per second, hitting CMD+C on a clip which had the filter applied, then razoring the clips into 3-frame (5-frame, whatever) segments and applying the filter to all clips using the right-click and "Paste Attributes" command. The advantage to doing that is you wouldn't have to delete all the unwanted frames, then drag the frames you want to fill in the gaps. The Strobe filter would just freeze at the first frame of each razored clip.

I also tried to figure out if you could do this with Time Remapping and keyframes, but that seemed waaay too cumbersome. (ahh, to have hold keyframes ala AfterEffects)

I've spent too much time thinking about this, but I still think I've missed an easier way to do it. It's that darn variation from shot to shot, or even within a shot. I think I even spotted some cross-dissolves between some frames. It's kinda hard to tell on YouTube. Cool look, though. Lots of work.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 08:42 PM   #12
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hi Joseph


did you try thats the Effects > Video Filters > Time > Strobe filter yet? thats exactly what it does (not random though). choose strobe duration of about 24

Andy
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Old January 31st, 2007, 09:40 PM   #13
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When importing the image sequence, don't forget to go into the preferences and set the default still duration to 1 frame...otherwise it'll put them at 5 seconds per frame.
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