Need info on handling 30P DVX100 footage in FCP3 at

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Old September 5th, 2003, 10:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Need info on handling 30P DVX100 footage in FCP3


I'm shooting a stopmotion film using the DVX100, capturing frames using Frame Thief (frame grabbing software for Mac).

I'm using 30P to take advantage of the higher vertical frame resolution. The clips that I export from Frame Thief look great. (the program uses quicktime to assemble the individual frames in movie file). I will also be using some 30P footage shot to tape. But I digress.

The real questions follow.

I can't really seem to find definitive information on how to handle progressive scan footage in FCP. Intuition would be to set all field dominance settings to none (sequence presets, clip properties, field rendering off). However I have read on this forum that in doing this FCP will discard half my vertical resolution -- in effect de-interlacing my already non-interlaced footage. The post suggests that all field order settings should be set to lower and then points out that the catch is that any continues by saying any editing effects or transitions that are animatedwill be rendered with fields.

This is pretty confusing. Is there anyone out there that can give me some solid advice on how to handle 30P footage in FCP to best take advantage of the Progressive scan nature of the footage?

Geoffrey Rice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2003, 10:15 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
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As far as FCP sees things...your progressive footage is essentially 60i, as this is how the NTSC format works...but instead of having two sequential fields per frame, the DVX produces two fields taken at exactly the same time.

I'm pretty sure the field dominance isn't much of an issue, I have mine set to none, and I'm getting all the resolution the camera offers. I think the statement you referred to, regarding loss of resolution, is erroneous in nature...or was referring to something else.

The only time I've seen issues with progressive footage in FCP is when you try to take a clip slow motion. Here FCP trys to convert fields into frames, and you can get some pretty uneven jumpiness, especially when your speed is anything other than 50%. Also when speeding up footage, FCP will produce a render that is in fact interlaced...although there is probably a setting to fix this.

Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
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Hi Geoff/Barry,

I wonder if you are referring to my posts on this subject from somewhere around last spring? I know from my experience (and some fairly in depth experimentation) that FCP3 has some inconsistencies in how it handles progressive images and 24fps footage.

As for the progressive aspect, my suggestion would be to leave your sequence settings at 'lower' and your 'field rendering' to 'on' in the render settings. These settings will not make your native progressive footage look interlaced, but will keep FCP from reducing the vertical resolution as noted. (This will be clearly evident if you are viewing the material on am external broadcast monitor.)

Apparently, FCP3 has a some bug or incomplete support for non-interlaced material and counter-intuitively ignores the other field if you use 'none' in your sequence settings.

If you are merely cutting, dissolving, or using image filters than you should have no problem with this setup in FCP. The only place where things will get messy is if you need to animate (move, scale, zoom over time, etc) any of your shots or transitions (wipes, slides, etc.) These will be rendered with fields and it doesn't seem as though there is any way around it in FCP (without tossing out res as above.) The only solution seems to be to animate these portions in something like After Effects.

I have not done as extensive testing in FCP4 yet, but thus far it seems to have overcome these problems.


PS - another thing to look out for in regard to retaining vertical resolution is adjusting the vertical placement of the image (say nudging it up or done via 'center' in motion tab for letterboxing or the like.) I've found if you use an odd number that it also seems to reduce sharpness. (ie - using '23' instead of '24'.) Sounds odd/superstitious, but hook up a sharp external monitor and give it a try... ;)
Clayton Farr is offline   Reply

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