720/24p to DV-NTSC 29.97 in AE at DVinfo.net

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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #1
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720/24p to DV-NTSC 29.97 in AE

Hello,

I was asked to shoot a concert in DV-NTSC widescreen, 29.97. Since my newest camera doesn't do DV (and my old miniDV camera is too old), I've decided to shoot everything in 720/24p. I was thinking that after shooting, I could go to After Effects and render the footage with Time Sampling:
Field Render: Lower Field First
3:2 Pulldown: WSSWW

I would export the clips as DV/DVCPRO - NTSC at 29.97 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. I haven't shot anything yet, but I want to make sure I don't screw this shooting up. Can anyone please tell me if I should go ahead with my plan, or if there is alternative method? I can't shoot DV, so I have to do HD. Any suggestions or comments would be very appreciated.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #2
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To do what you suggest would needlessly complicate the process. A golden rule is to shoot in the format you need to deliver in. If 60i is the delivery format, shoot it that way.

You don't state what kind of camera you have but I believe that most HDV can down-sample to DV when transferring via 1394. If you have a flash memory camera, things get a bit more complicated and will require a computer-based format conversion. In light of that, you should shoot 60i and convert from there. Shooting 24f will also look different and may not be what the client is looking for.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #3
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Thank you for replying, Tripp. I'm shooting with a Sony PMW-EX1 camera, so it records to solid state cards. My 720 options would be 60p, 30p, and 24p. To be honest, I've never converted from 60p nor 30p to 29.79 before. I've only converted from 24p, and I've done it with the method I explained. From what you say, it would be better for me to shoot at 30p, but how would I convert 30p to 29.97? Would the same Time Sampling method work? - I use Mac systems, by the way.

Thanks again.

Last edited by Fernando Kanano; October 16th, 2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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I use PCs and am not familiar with the technical aspects of your camera so all I can offer are some semi-educated guesses.

Don't get too caught up in the 29.97 vs 30 thing. The video is the same. It's the timecode that's different. In 29.97, it skips a frame count at a regular interval but it still displays 30 frames every second. For your purposes anything that your camera shoots at 30fps or multiples of that should work.

The next question is whether you want the result to be interlaced or not. A lot of shooters and producers have turned their backs on interlaced shooting for a variety of reasons. I think for your project you can do the same. You should review your camera's manual and the list for your camera for suggestions on the best format. My naive thought is to shoot 30p.

From there, the only conversion you'd need to do is down res from 720 to SD. You can do that in AE without any frame rate conversion. Just specify in the output format that you want it to be 29.97 so that the timecode is "drop frame". Yes, I know the "drop frame" nomenclature can be confusing.

I'm guessing that AE works the same on a Mac as it does on a PC so the conversion should be a fairly straightforward resolution conversion. Your output footage should look good with AE doing the conversion.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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Your shoot 24p and add pulldown method will work, but I would convert the final piece, not all of the source footage, unless you are intercutting DV.
The other options are 1080i60 and 720p60, both of which can be rendered to 480i in AE with the same settings except no WSSWW pulldown, just leave that to none. I believe 720p60 will give you the best looking interlaced DV, but the 1080i will be easier to intercut with DV, preconversion. If you're going to convert all of the source, it doesn't really matter.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks a lot for your input guys. I did some tests shooting at 720,30p and converted the footage in After Effects to 480, 29.97. Some clips I left without filed render, and some I added field render. I then imported both the interlaced and the none interlaced footage to Final Cut Pro on a NTSC, 29.97 sequence, and all the footage played smoothly. I still need to ask my client if he wants the footage interlaced or not, but I know how to get both for him.
As far as shooting 720,60p, I still haven't done any tests, but I'll provably try it later today and see it there's a difference in output. Shooting 1080,60i sounds pretty reasonable, but since I'm shooting a concert, I'm concerned about running out of space on my memory cards. Since my client asked me for DV footage, I think 720 will be fine.
I just want to thank you guys again for you help. I appreciate it very much. Have a good one.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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The data rate shouldn't change between 1080i30 and 720p60. Not sure about the other options, but the XDCam EX codec is 35Mb regardless of settings I believe.

The 720p30 setting will not give you true interlaced footage no mater what you do in AE. 720p60 will give you enough data for either interlaced or progressive DV.
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