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Old December 10th, 2003, 02:08 AM   #1
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From PAL to NTSC any quality?

Am considering a PAL cam because of the extra resolution.
As far as colour space goes, if I were to transfer from PAL's 4:2:0 to NTSC's 4:1:1 can this conversion be done with quality? Would it equal the quality of the footage if I had shot NTSC to begin with, or would the footage degrade?
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Old December 10th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #2
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The colours will be yellowish and orange-e when converting PAL to NTSC. From NTSC to PAL this doesn't happan.

But I don't understand why you would want a PAL cam for NTSC footage.

Conversion will degrade. The speed will also be off and frames skipped, depending on how you convert.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 02:49 AM   #3
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I read an article awhile back where a commercial was being shot using PAL XL1s output y/c uncompressed. They chose PAL for its resolution as the commercial was NTSC.
Ken
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Old December 10th, 2003, 03:02 AM   #4
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Yes, but how are you planning on doing the conversion?
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Old December 10th, 2003, 03:17 AM   #5
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I'm not unless it is feasable.
I was planning to capture uncompressed( and at times compressed. I wouldn't have to worry about colour space conversion when uncompressed. Frame rate conversion would be done in Magicbullet. Resolution in After Effects.
Ken
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Old December 10th, 2003, 04:10 AM   #6
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Before you buy PAL, perhaps run a little test with Magicbullet, converting PAL to NTSC.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 04:41 AM   #7
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What are you saying Frank?
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Old December 10th, 2003, 05:48 AM   #8
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I assumed you wanted to use magic bullet to change the frame rate in attempt to convert PAL to NTSC. I suggested to convert PAL to NTSC to view the results before going with dishing out the cash for a PAL cam. I convert via a AIWA multi-system VCR, and I have also seen 3 other types of conversion (digital), and each time I've seen the results to be yellowish and orange-e (reddish-yellow) when converting PAL to NTSC. The colours just were not right. I'm also saying that when you convert NTSC to PAL, and then view the footage in PAL, the results look much better. But, hey, what do I know about conversion software. What are you going to use?
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Old December 10th, 2003, 05:58 AM   #9
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First, I've written standards conversion software for Final Cut Pro - if you're running that system, this works and the quality is good.

The colours should never change on a proper standards conversion - if you're seeing a colour shift, then someone, somewhere has things set up wrong, or has gear out of alignment somewhere.

If you're paying for a conversion at a facilities house make sure it's all digital, and done on something like a Snel & Willcox Alchemist - that will ensure quality.

DIY solutions include - just use quicktime, but you get a stuttery result

- use after effects - slow renders outside of your NLE - complex recipe to follow to set it up, but should produce acceptable results

Somehow, I don't think PAL to NTSC conversion is a feature of Magic Bullet - it does 29.97 to 24p not 29.97 to 25p or 50i - and either way, you'd be far better off just doing it with the standard AE features and not paying an extra $1000 for the job.

Finally, don't worry about the 4:2:0 to 4:1:1 - you don't end up with 4:1:0!!! You get something almost exactly as good as if you'd shot 4:1:1 in the first place - it's not the issue here - the frame rate conversion is, however.

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Old December 10th, 2003, 06:12 AM   #10
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PAL footage converted to NTSC can look very good. I've never seen colour casts, and don't see any reason for them to occur. I use DVFilm Atlantis, though I also have Magic Bullet available at the moment (it does do standards conversion). The quality of the de-interlacing (prior to down-res'ing) and frame generation is the key to good conversion.

The NLE's I've used recently do standards conversion easily -Premiere 6.5 and Pro, and Vegas. AE can do it as well. I wouldn't recommend any of those methods as reasons to buy a PAL camera if your primary output is NTSC because they don't do it quite as well as Atlantis or Magic Bullet.

Best,
Helen
PS Most of my DV gear is PAL, and here I am in New York. So I've had to decide whether to get NTSC equipemt as well. The quality of PAL to NTSC has persuaded me to stick with PAL for the moment. I'm also still getting my telecine done to PAL. Whatever I chose, I would have to convert to the other system for showing (ie to show in both PAL and NTSC countries). To me, PAL to NTSC looks a lot better than NTSC to PAL.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 06:17 AM   #11
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Thanks, Helen!
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Old December 11th, 2003, 07:09 AM   #12
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Going from PAL to NTSC and especially NTSC DVD can produce very good results.

My favorite recipe is to shoot PAL in Frame mode (to avoid any interlacing artifacts) but a dgood deinterlacing in post also works. The resulting frame rate is 25p.
Now the idea is not to go up to 29.97 but rather use the automatic pull-down conversion offered by DVD players when playing 24p material.
So basically you just have to strech down the entire movie by about 4% (see Vegas tutorial).
I found the sound to be hard to stretch especially if some music is involved (some third-party tools can do a fantastic job).

Dany
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