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Old December 9th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #1
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Considerations for color correcting PAL that's going out to NTSC

Are there any considerations to keep in mind when I color correct PAL footage which I'm going to convert to NTSC MPG2 in my final step of workflow. How different are the two color spaces? Will the meticulous color corrections hold up when rendered out to NTSC? TIA
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Old December 10th, 2004, 03:55 AM   #2
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If possible I would monitor it in NTSC color space. If you have a
DV Deck or DV<->Analog converter and a monitor or TV that can
show NTSC you can load the PAL footage in an NTSC project and
you can watch on the monitor how it looks (color wise) and how
your corrections are looking.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #3
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My concern with that is I'd like to edit while I'm doing color corrections going along. PAL footage in an NTSC project plays at a very low framerate.

Is there a noticable difference between the two colorspaces. I know the whole 25fps, high vertical res, and 50hz instead of 60. But what are the differences in color- if any?

Speaking of hz- the highlights or hotspots in my PAL footage looks a bit stroby on my Sony Production monitor. If I watch a clip that is under exposed are just a bit darker in general it looks fine. But anything that is under bright studio lights I see a flicker...in fact anything over a certain luminance gives off this look. Could it be because PAL uses a 10hz differencial in refresh than I'm used to viewing in NTSC?
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Old December 11th, 2004, 05:58 AM   #4
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Yes, there are differences in the PAL and NTSC color space. I don't
know what the exact differences are, but one (if you want to be
broadcast compliant) is that PAL has no broadcast safe levels etc.
No 7.5 IRE.

Normally you don't edit and color correct at the same time, and
personally I wouldn't do that. Concentrate on the editing first
(adding a letterbox mask at this point is fine for example). Make
sure the movie works and flows correctly.

Then start to worry about color correction and other effects
you might need (fancy title screens, computer effects, audio mixes
etc.). In this case it doesn't really matter if your computer plays
only at 5 fps since you don't need to see it in real-time.

I've recently done a color correction job on an NTSC project. I'm in
PAL land so I changed the project to PAL and watched on my TV.
This footage was already edited and I just added the coloring and
was usually just manually walking through frames with my cursor
keys or playing to see the overal effect (where framerate is not
important).

When I was "done" with some work I rendered out to PAL and
NTSC files so I could check the footage on the TV (PAL) and the
original NTSC version on my laptop to make some futher adjust-
ments if needed.

In my opinion this workflow works fine and allows you to directly
see how it should look in NTSC.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 11:09 AM   #5
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PAL is 4:2:0 and MPEG-2 is 4:2:0, NTSC is 4:1:1
I would test it, and test it, and test it again. Just because you dump it in an NTSC timeline doesn't really give you any idea what it is going to look like when compressed with MPEG-2 and played back on TV. Take a few samples and run them through the whole process. You are running this multi-generations and have a lot of changes going on
PAL (4:2:0) - NTSC (4:1:1) - MPEG-2 (4:2:0)
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:47 PM   #6
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I'm not running the PAL footage in an NTSC timeline. I'm editing and color correcting in an entire PAL project/timeline. It's when I'm finished the project I'll output to NTSC MPG2.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:59 PM   #7
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Take a small sample clip. Run it thru the exact same steps you are planning, all the way to DVD. Now look at the footage and compare it to what you started with.
You can make some minor changes to the source file and try it again, and again, and again.
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