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Old February 26th, 2015, 09:13 PM   #1
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Stage Events ... always interlaced?

This is probably a dumb question, but I'm going to ask anyway. For those of you that shoot a lot of dance recitals and theatrical performances ... does anyone ever shoot in progressive mode or do you keep it interlaced. Keep in mind the only delivery is on DVD.

Thank you.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

I've found that 1080p30 and 720p60 on my HMC150s both work very well for dance recitals. I wouldn't shoot 24p as you'll probably get too much motion blur.

For one particular client, I began shooting their performances in 1080i60, then moved to 720p60, and now I've been shooting them in 1080p30. I deliver to them on the web and on DVD and I've never heard them mention anything about one performance looking any different than another.

I just shot a recital for another dance company a few weeks ago and I found that my HMC150's auto iris was overexposing when shooting at 1080p30 with shutter speed at 1/60th. I switched to 720p60 and switched the shutter speed to 1/120th and that solved the problem.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Hi Scott,

I shoot dance recitals and plays using two HDV cameras, which are both 1080i only, no other option. However, I've never been real happy with the DVD quality using the Adobe workflow from a 1080i source - DVDs always had some weird scaling artifacts going on that drove me nuts. I believe I did try everything possible, burned a ton of coasters experimenting.

So I undertook the task of learning a new conversion workflow using "HD2SD" found online, using AviSynth and VirtualDub with the HD2SD plug-in for conversion, and then I also use "HC Encoder" to make the MPEG-2 DVD file and find the quality to far exceed Adobe, especially for long videos of 2 to 2.5 hours.

However, I did continue to have scaling issues when making interlaced DVDs and could not figure out a fix, so...I started converting to 480p during the downconversion and the results making progressive DVDs have been perfect! I could not possibly be happier. Only downside is it takes a few extra hours, few extra steps. But so worth it!

I like the look of 30p - kind of filmic, but without the choppy motion of 24p.

How does it look? When I play my DVDs from a Blu-ray player to a 60" 1080p plasma display, I keep thinking "that MUST be HD" but I have to remind myself it is just DVD. Serious. The detail and richness is amazing. I take no credit for this - I'm using a lot of different tools and workflows developed by others (for FREE) and I'm grateful to them for their efforts.

I will give a shout out to Jon Geddes from Precomposed.com for his assistance with dialing in my script, thank you!

Even if your camera can shoot progressive, you might like the HC Encoder for the MPEG-2 creation. However, this program still requires scripting to run, so you would need to install AviSynth and VirtualDub.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Digital Vision Productions

EDIT: Scott, noticed in your profile you use FCPX, so the PC methods mentioned may be of no use to you, sorry. Also, I have on occasion rented an AX-2000 for some events and also borrowed a friend's HMC-150 for the last event, but I continue to shoot in 1080i (to match my other camera) and then just convert to the progressive DVD format. All looks great.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Thank you both for your comments. I'm sure I'll have a rehearsal within the next few weeks that I "play" a little bit, but I've always wondered if it was possible to smooth it out if in progressive. The fast action always had me wondering.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
... does anyone ever shoot in progressive mode or do you keep it interlaced?
I never shoot anything in interlaced. Not one thing. Ever. Doesn't matter what the delivery format is, for capture I only use progressive.

Why? It's easy to throw information away while transcoding for delivery. But if a client comes back and wants a better delivery format, how are you going to get there from an interlaced capture?

So... always capture as much information you can. Highest resolution, highest practical bitrate, and progressive. The cost is minimal. The benefits can be huge.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 04:33 PM   #6
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
I never shoot anything in interlaced. Not one thing. Ever. Doesn't matter what the delivery format is, for capture I only use progressive.

Why? It's easy to throw information away while transcoding for delivery. But if a client comes back and wants a better delivery format, how are you going to get there from an interlaced capture?

So... always capture as much information you can. Highest resolution, highest practical bitrate, and progressive. The cost is minimal. The benefits can be huge.
If you shoot 60P I would agree with you . 30P and you have thrown away a lot of motion information that is there in an interlaced file which will work better for a DVD anyway especially for fast motion like dance etc. Most new TV's will interpolate the missing information anyway. For computer playback then that is another issue as computer playback software does not always have as good a deinterlacing as a TV. In my mind 60P is still a lot better without the motion artifacts of a slow frame rate. I shoot a mix as my NX5U will not shoot 1920x1080 60P but some of my other cameras do and with those I always shoot 60P.

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Old February 27th, 2015, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

I also find that it depends on what type of event you're shooting. For most ballet recitals, musicals, or other events where the subjects aren't moving exceptionally fast I prefer the look of 1080p30 to 720p60. However, for face paced dance recitals (that may also require quick camera movements) I think 720p60 works better. This is just my personal preference and I've actually never had a client seem to notice the difference between the two.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #8
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Just to throw a spanner in the works I shoot everything in 1080i ...I drop that footage onto a 25P timeline in Sony Vegas and admittedly most of my stuff goes to DVD anyway as that's what the clients want.

Let see? Shooting is progressive I find is less forgiving ..at 50P (we are PAL here) any really bright highlights in an image tend to posterize and moire and aliasing seem worse. I have no issue with having to stick to a 180 degree shutter speed and I get no motion issues at all.

Downsized to MPEG2 720x576 DVD video the picture still looks awesome and never had a client complain about quality or resolution!

Then again I shoot for content and content only .. I'm not a pixel peeper and have no obsession about how amazingly sharp my end product can be made ..if it's in focus, then it's sharp.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 08:10 AM   #9
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

I tend to go with Chris here - 1080i, or 720p does it for me for dance. I also hate higher shutter speeds, I prefer a little motion blur (that you only notice in the editor, frame by frame) because it make movement more fluid, and nicer to the eye. Once you start going for sharpness you start to get a starkness and jitter - plus of course more chance of flicker from LED light sources. All my work ends up on DVD too, so this workflow works for me.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 08:34 AM   #10
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

1080 60p and like Chris said you've GOT to watch the highlights but once you get a good quality from the very start then producing mpeg2 will result in a better DVD.
Then again if they ask you a copy in MP4 to watch it on the big screen via hdmi (MANY do that nowadays) then you'll be all set already.
I don't really care of youtube and on-line stuff (because it's free and I don't want to invest my time in that). Anyway youtube goes to 60p now (at least with chrome)


to Chris if you use Vegas remember to turn smart resample off , it can really screw up 60p.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 01:42 AM   #11
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Thank you for all the responses. There's a lot to take into consideration and many of you have presented information about progressive vs interlaced that I was not aware of.

I need to try a couple of different settings at my next dress rehearsal.

Your comments are all very much appreciated.
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Old March 5th, 2015, 08:35 AM   #12
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

All over the map in this thread!

1st - Scott, I think it is wise to consider what format your NLE or DVD software is best at working with. Making DVDs from HD material is tricky business. It is not just about frame rate and resolution. Widescreen DVDs use anamorphic pixels (rectangle) compared to square pixels in HD cameras. 16X9 was brought in after the 4x3 generation and the image was just stretched in a way. So yeah, we still get to work with this messed up format... So in a way we are doomed from the start no matter what camera setting we choose.

2nd - Chris, I do not see how the choice between progressive or interlaced would effect highlight clipping? The sensor should retain the same properties no matter what the frame rate is set to.

3rd - Viewing platform makes a huge difference. DVD is an interlaced medium. 30p and interlaced can work or can look juddery. Especially on a TV. 30p on a computer looks smooth as the computer is a progressive platform. Are your customers going to be watching on a TV or a computer?

4th - 60p does not need to be shot at /120th of a shutter. I have been shooting 60p since I could own an HD camera and have always shot at 1/60th sec. You get a smooth blur amount along with all of the frames.

I use Edius as my NLE. Edius can only make a good DVD encode if the source is interlaced. So if I have very quick turnaround jobs I shoot in 1080i and encode to mpeg-2 from the Edius timeline. All other instances I shoot 720p60 or 1080p60, export an intermediary file to TMPGEnc Mastering Works 5 and let it do the downconvert and encoding.

I like progressive shooting because it gives you a little more in the options category like slow motion and better computer file encoding. But with today's tech you can make great images from a lot of different approaches. Plus, with 60p you can easily turn it into 30p or 24p.

So it gets back to what I always suggest to folks - test, test & test. Take your camera, go to a dress rehearsal and film in every format you can choose. Then go home, prepare the DVD streams from each format and evaluate. Then you are making decisions from first hand knowledge rather than internet blow hards!
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Old March 17th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #13
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Hi All. New to this forum. First post ever. So be nice to me.

I have a canon xha1 that I have used for many years to do vocal/instrumental competitions. I found with my camera that I needed to be in 30p. On a xha1, this is known as 30F. When I first started recording, I tried 60I because I thought that that would match the dvd frame rate. It was awful. I got the jagies, where any movement would cause displacements between adjacent interlaced frames. When I went to 30p, problem solved. I use PP for editing and magix for dvd burns. With magix, found I needed to use 60i for the burn or 1080i for HD. Now this could be just a magix thing and may be different for other software. So record in 30p, burn in 60i. Of course the 60i is really 30p in disguise.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 01:45 PM   #14
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

Wow what a lot of good responses.
I don't shoot anything interlaced anymore.
I've been shooting all my performing arts events in 60P which means on some cameras shooting 720 60P except on the cameras that can shoot 1080 60P. My Panasonics don't do 1080 60P but my Sonys do.

I've been considering shooting 1080 30P to allow me to capture 1080 material from all my cameras but haven't tried that yet. I'm not sure how well the faster dances would turn out in 30P.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 02:51 PM   #15
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Re: Stage Events ... always interlaced?

For delivery on DVD, I have always preferred the way 720P60 downscales to DVD (480i60) to 1080P30. Never tried 1080P60 though...
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