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    Workflow combining HDV 59.97i and HD - which way to go?

    Hi all,

    Am in a real quandry here and wondering if anyone has advice or experience?

    I've just upgraded kit to a PMW-F3 and am shooting 36 hours from now. The issue is a lot of footage already shot was at 59.97i HDV and it has to be used (have caputured in FCP7 to ProRes 422). Given that I have so much latitude with the F3, what is the best frame rate to shoot at to cause the least problems further down the line? For the record, the end doc is destined for PAL broadcast, though NTSC is also likely. Do I stick to 29.97fps with the F3 or shoot 25fps and convert the all the 29.97HDV to 25fps before editing? Last time I tried converting HDV 29.97 to 25, the jerky motion was terrible, no matter what high end cross conversion I tried in various post houses.

    Thanks so much, any advice gratefully received.

    Adam

    #2
    There's no perfect conversion from 60 Hz to 50 Hz, but do you want to convert the 60i HDV to 25p or 50i? You're saying both "29.97" and "59.97i" (actually 59.94), and seem to be using them interchangeably (which is why the concept of "30i" or "29.97i" needs to die), so are you doing the same with "25 fps" and "50i"? Which do you actually want?

    The reason I ask is that you're likely to have fewer problems converting 60i (59.94i) to 50i than when converting 60i to 25p.
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      #3
      Thanks very much for the reply David. Apologies for the confusion on my part - it was ridiculously late and I was tired (and worried). I have read that it's possible to convert 60i to 24p with not too many problems, after which it is simpler to output at either NTSC or PAL (SD). Would the result in your opinion be decent to look at? We're looking at the potential for big screen for this doc, so would need to have the highest quality output possible.

      If that makes sense, I'm assuming I woudl then from hereon shoot at 24p (23.98) HQ with the F3. We haven't begun editing yet so I'm assuming it would make sense to convert the 60i rushes to 24p now, if that makes sense to you or others more experienced than I on this forum. Hope this makes sense? Thanks very much again.
      Last edited by notionpictures; 01-28-2014, 07:37 AM. Reason: additional info

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        #4
        Well, it's pretty simple to convert 60i to 24p, though you take a resolution loss. Then, converting to 25p can be done, but again, not without some compromise -- either a tiny bit of a jitter or a slight speed change.

        But, two concerns with that -- do you WANT 24p/25p? In other words, do you want the MOTION of 24/25p, looking fictional, and not live, or do you want the "live" look of 60i/50i? If you want it to look "live," converting to 24p isn't what you want to do. But if it is, then it's an option.

        Second, not all 60i footage makes a good conversion to 24p, and here's why -- there are limitations as to what you can do with a camera when you shoot 24 fps. You need to move it more slowly, and take more care while shooting, else you exaggerate the strobe produced by pictures being separated by 1/24th of a second each. When you convert 60i (or 60p) to 24p, the resulting footage will be as though you shot 24p all along, and that means if you moved the camera too quickly, you'll see the same exaggerated strobe as if you shot 24p originally. Now, don't let that disturb you too much; you can test parts of your footage -- pick sections which have a lot of motion -- to see how it comes out. Maybe it won't be that bad.
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          #5
          Thanks again David. I do want that 'fiction' look, and given that this is by and large going to be a European production and output, feel that 25p is the desired output. As such, perhaps the right way to go is to shoot 25p with the F3 and convert 'pre-edit' 59.94i HDV material to 25p as well for the final edit? On balance, there is a lot more to be filmed now and anything that has been shot at 59.94i could well be used to supplement that. There's not a lot of fast movement in what has been shot already so perhaps, like you say, the overall effect might not be too bad.

          Thanks again for all the advice, so so useful.

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            #6
            Being that you 1) want 25p overall, and 2) will be delivering mostly in Europe, then shooting 25p from here on out is definitely your correct choice.

            There are three ways you can go to convert 60i to 25p:

            Directly: 60i > 25p

            Indirectly: 60i > 24p > 25p, or 60i > 50i > 25p

            Doing it in fewer steps is almost always better, but try all three and see what seems to work the best. Again, try it with footage which has a good amount of motion in it.
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