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-   -   Frame or Normal Mode (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/1483-frame-normal-mode.html)

Rick Banfield April 3rd, 2002 12:59 PM

Frame or Normal Mode
I am still confused as to whether and when to use Frame or Normal Mode, and how to make that decision. I can't see significant difference in footage. I am sometimes using 100-400L series lens for Wildlife as well as std lens. Can somebody help please?
Regards Rick Banfield

Bill Ravens April 3rd, 2002 01:15 PM

I ALWAYS use frame mode. I see no use for normal mode.
Ordinarily, normal mode is for production of NTSC based interlaced video. Interlaced video has terrible motion artifacts when viewed on a computer monitor.

Ken Tanaka April 3rd, 2002 01:55 PM

Hi Rick,
Although I don't shoot wildlife I'm inclined to agree with Bill in just keeping frame-mode active all the time. This is particularly true when shooting moving subjects (like 'roos <g>) where normal mode would leave you with frames filled with jaggies.

Jeff Donald April 3rd, 2002 03:13 PM


Use the frame mode unless you are going to go to film. Most of the top houses for this type of work are stating that for best quality use 60i . I think the reasoning is that going to film in and of itself will give you a film look. The frame mode looks more like an artifact when you go to film.

Jeff Donald

fargograf April 3rd, 2002 04:46 PM

Not that I'm doubting anyone, but it sure seems like when transfering video to film, 24 frames to 24 makes more sense than 60i to 24 frames. ?

What if you're going to broadcast the finished project on U.S. television? 30 frame-mode? It seems like this would have less jagged artifacts than 60i, but I've also heard the resoultion is lower. Anyone know?

Thanks in advance.

Joe Redifer April 3rd, 2002 04:57 PM

Use normal mode if you want your footage to look the news footage. It will have that "super-real" and cheesy look to it. Use the Frame mode if you want it to look closer to film (ie more fantasy-like).

Bill Ravens April 3rd, 2002 05:01 PM

ummm...not sure I understand what you say fargo. Canon frame movie mode is 60i in disguise. For TV broadcast, I'd stick with normal mode for the reasons you said. It's 60i, too, but, each field is a seperate acquisition in time. 3:2 pulldown works with this format.

Jeff Donald April 3rd, 2002 05:44 PM

The transfer of video to film is increasing in popularity. The two companies that are emerging as leaders in the field are Swiss Effects www.swisseffects.ch/ and Digital Film Group www.digitalfilmgroup.net/camerasetup.htm The use of Frame mode and Progressive Modes is specifically cautioned against if you are going to film. If your video is to be broadcast, then the use of Frame Mode may give your video a film look.

Jeff Donald

Chris Hurd April 3rd, 2002 06:07 PM

Howdy from Texas,

<< The use of Frame mode and Progressive Modes is specifically cautioned against if you are going to film. >>

Not *always.* It depends entirely on the particular transfer house. For instance, TapeHouse Digital Film in NYC specifically calls for PAL video shot in Frame Movie mode. See the four-part "DV to 35mm Guide" in the Articles section of the Watchdog.

Greg Matty April 3rd, 2002 08:24 PM

Are there any drawbacks to using one or the other?

I honestly have not experimented with frame mode and one reason is that those who claim to know, say that you won't get good pans or tilts. Can anyone substantiate this and/or explain why this is?

Greg Matty

Ken Tanaka April 3rd, 2002 09:55 PM


Try it out for yourself. Most often such reporters haven't taken the time to learn how to use the tool properly. In this case the person has probably kept the lens' image stabilizer active while panning/tilting with a mounted cam.

Nathan Gifford April 3rd, 2002 10:48 PM

Well this seems like a better thread on frame mode than the last one!
One the last frame mode thread I never really could figure out what the consensus of this group was. I think it seemed from my read that no one like shooting in frame movie. It seems like the opposite is true now.

I agree that the image stabilizer can give you problems in frame mode on a mounted cam.

On telecine, I wonder how important that will be in the future? DV is just too darn cheap.

Nathan Gifford

P.S. Now if I can figure out whether I want to get the 3X lens or not.

Ozzie Alfonso April 3rd, 2002 11:49 PM

I can only speak from personal experience. We began shooting a dramatic project we're now near completion in frame mode. After seeing the results of the first five days of shootiing we quickly changed to normal mode. We were alarmed at the obvious loss of resolution. I'm told this loss is not objectionable but it certainly was to us. We looked and compared images over 19" and 21" hires CRT monitors and waveform scopes and the differences were significant. The frame mode yields a significantly softer picture which, in my opinion and for our purposes, is inferior to us and to our clients. We've opted to soften the image, if necessary, in post production.

We originally chose to shoot in frame mode since some of the material will end up as still pictures printed in a text book. The frame mode is indisputably a better way to get good frame grabs from the video.

Charles Papert April 4th, 2002 12:57 AM

I am guessing that the reason that there has been caution about panning and tilting in frame movie mode is that strobing may occur (more visible in pan than tilt). It's just a function of less frames per second than standard video. The same is true in the film world at 24 fps. There is a particular range of pan speed that should be avoided--it sounds like a pain but it really isn't that bad, you get used to it.

I shot a short last year in Frame Movie mode, and in our preliminary tests the director and myself found the look more seamless than various AfterEffects plug-ins; in addition the overall softening that Ozzie referred to was actually a bit of a plus for dramatic work. As a result I opted not to use any diffusion. I have seen the short projected on a 30 ft screen, and it retained plenty of resolution as far as I am concerned. Of course it depends on the project. I thought the look lent itself well to narrative.

Ken Tanaka April 4th, 2002 01:30 AM

Indeed, Charles, frame mode will produce a strobing effect with fast pans. Rick, I'm sorry I overlooked that possibility in my earlier remarks. Haste makes...hooey.

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