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24p and hpx-170 FCP workflow issues
September 10, 2010
12:31 pm
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Patrick Kaplin
Ottawa, ON

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I posted this over on dvxuser and reduser but didn't get any responses. I'm looking for an informed official workflow for this as 24p HD post-prod is new for me. 

Thanks for your patience as I'm sure this question has been answered ad nauseam throughout time. Through searching forums I've found so much contradicting seemingly outdated information about this subject that I've had enough. I need some guidance from people who really understand this thoroughly. Please no speculation.

1. We shot a corporate at 24p on the HPX-170. (no 24pA, no 24pN… just 24p)

2. We imported into FCP 5.1 using ''Import P2''. Resulting clips read as 29.97fps in Quicktime and when played in QT show a 2:3:2:3 pulldown pattern. In scanning through frame by frame it's 2 frames interlaced, then 3 frames prog.

3. Easy Setup for FCP project was DVCPRO HD 1080i60. Sequence settings are DVCPRO HD 1080i60 on a 29.97 editing timebase.

4. Edited everything together, motion is smooth. No apparent pulldown pattern on the footage when watching in Final Cut's interface.

5. Exported the sequence using Export-Quicktime keeping the current settings.

This is where everything started looking weird. The exported QT file has the 2:3:2:3 pulldown pattern on it. Interlacing artifacts everywhere. So I tried running a reverse telecine on a clip, then exported using current settings again and this seemed to work.

Where do I go wrong in this workflow? Is there a way to batch reverse telecine all the clips so I can export a normal sequence without interlacing? What exactly is going on in these codecs behind the scenes? Does the HPX-170, while in 1080i60 running 24p still apply a native 2:3:2:3 pulldown while recording? Should I be doing a reverse telecine before editing or import? What's the common best workflow here?

Thanks in advance and sorry for what is probably a repeating question, if you can link current up to date information about this it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again and cheers,

Director of Photography

http://www.patrickkaplin.com

September 10, 2010
1:04 pm
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Suny
Los Angeles

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Hey Patrick,

I think you’ve come to the right place, and I will probably pin this topic upon resolution as it is a frequent question.

Here are some direct answers:

Everything you describe in your workflow from 1 – 5, and the resulting artifacting you are seeing are actually normal for the workflow you are using.

When you shoot the HPX 170 in 24p, the DVCPRO-HD codec in 1080, DEMANDS a 1080i signal. There is physically no way to record real 1080p in DVCPRO-HD, you can do this in AVC-Intra, but this codec is not available to the HPX-170.

Does this mean you’re screwed? Nope.

As you’ve discovered, when you set the camera to 24p, the camera records a 2:3 pulldown cadence, and records at 1080 60i. This is its way of staying compliant with the codec.

That is why FCP is properly letting you see that you have recorded a 60i sequence with a 2:3 pulldown embedded.

So far, no problems. However, when you decide to output to Quicktime and watch it on a computer monitor, you are monitoring a progressive image sequence, which is why you are noticing the interlaced artifacts. If you were to re-import that clip back into FCP, and monitor it through a video card (BlackMagic/AJA), you would not see any interlaced artificating.

So on to the solution and your proper workflow:

If you know 100% that you will be editing HPX footage (meaning you are not just using the SDI output for a live feed), you should be shooting in 24PA. While the cadence might look a bit funny on your monitor on set, it is actually the cleanest codec for 2:3 removal, because it applies a 2:3:3:2 cadence instead. This way, when you Log and Transfer into FCP, you simply check “Remove Advanced Pulldown” and all your footage will come in to FCP as 24p 1080p. You will now be editing in true progressive frames! Your monitor out will automatically add pulldown for viewing on an external monitor, but your footage will always remain progressive. This way, at any point in time, you can export a clip that can be viewed on any computer monitor or system (YouTube, etc..) with no interlacing artifacts…

The reason I mentioned you must know 100% that this footage will be edited and not broadcast live is that if you were to go live in 24pA, that funky frame algorythm would be broadcast to air and look pretty bad. 24PA was strictly designed with editorial in mind, and very specifically 24p 1080p editorial of 1080i DVCPRO-HD content.

Now, if you do have to shoot regular 24p for some reason, you could use the Reverse Telecine on each clip and then set your timeline to 108024p, and you will also get to a progressive timeline that you can export with ease. However, 24pA, will actually yield a higher quality result, due to its preferred cadence, and allows you to select that convenient “Remove Advanced Pulldown” feature.

I wrote a bunch of white papers for Panasonic that you can find at

http://www.panasonic.com/busin…..papers.asp

You may find them useful,

Cheers and hope this helped!

September 10, 2010
2:21 pm
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Patrick Kaplin
Ottawa, ON

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Solid answer.  I'm officially recommending this forum to anybody with technical issues from now on.  A much clearer response than I've seen in all the research I've done on this topic.  Thank you.

While we're on the issue of 24p, we shoot a lot of material with the 7d as well.  In 24p mode, recording to h.264 this is truly a progressive stream correct?  It's not encoded to a 60i stream in any way right?  

I'll be shooting a short film starting production in the next couple weeks, the short is destined for dlp projectors (and for the one specific festival I know the master tape to be projected will be mini-dv).  I'd also like to make a nice blu-ray master of the film as well as a master Quicktime.  So two questions:

-What's my best option for a master codec for storage and futureproofing in the case of potentially doing a film-out in the future?  Uncompressed 10 bit?  Animation?  DPX files?

-What's my best option for editorial here considering the output to mini-dv?  Does this change the workflow?  I'd like to keep the material in 24p in case I wish to do a film out.  

For reference, my intended workflow was going to be:

1.  5dtoRGB conversion (Prores 422 or 444) – the footage remains 24p correct?

2.  Editorial in FCP.  Which seq settings are used for Prores material?  I can stay 24p for the sequence settings?  I've heard that Prores is much more compressed than other codec options.  Is there a better codec to transcode to?

3.  Color correction in After Effects (unless Color will be available on the edit suite, unsure of this)  What's the best way to go between FCP and AE for color correction?  FCP has a direct interface to Color correct?

3.  Output uncompressed 10bit Quicktime file as a master.

4.  Write to mini-dv straight from FCP editing timeline?  Will there be weird cadence issues using the edit to tape function of FCP?

Sorry if there are a lot of questions in there.  I find it difficult to find reliable answers to these questions that don't rely on speculation half the time.  If you have links to white papers that already address these issues please feel free to save yourself time answering by linking them.

Thanks again and cheers!

Director of Photography

http://www.patrickkaplin.com

September 10, 2010
4:08 pm
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Suny
Los Angeles

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Wow !   Many questions indeed 🙂

First one extra bit of clarification, then I will try to address your answers one by one.

If you shoot your HPX in 720p, then by selecting 24PN, you would be shooting and capturing true 24p, and not 720p60. So, I always recommend to people who do intend to shoot 720p, to set their frame rates at 24PN, since this leaves you in the progressive world all the way, with no further adjustments necessary in FCP.

 

Now onto your next questions”

 

Patrick Kaplin said:

While we're on the issue of 24p, we shoot a lot of material with the 7d as well.  In 24p mode, recording to h.264 this is truly a progressive stream correct?  It's not encoded to a 60i stream in any way right?


A: That is correct. It's a 24p progressive stream.

 

I'll be shooting a short film starting production in the next couple weeks, the short is destined for dlp projectors (and for the one specific festival I know the master tape to be projected will be mini-dv).  I'd also like to make a nice blu-ray master of the film as well as a master Quicktime.  So two questions:

-What's my best option for a master codec for storage and futureproofing in the case of potentially doing a film-out in the future?  Uncompressed 10 bit?  Animation?  DPX files?

 

A: We have been doing almost all of our mastering this year to ProRes4444. It has proven to be very reliable, very stable, and of very high quality for the bit rate. You do need FCP3 in order to use it, but it's well worth it. Going to Uncompressed or DPX is overkill and a waste of storage space consider the codec you originated on.

 

-What's my best option for editorial here considering the output to mini-dv?  Does this change the workflow?  I'd like to keep the material in 24p in case I wish to do a film out.  

 

A: You should ABSOLUTELY stay in 24p. 24p is the holy grail that will allow you to convert into pretty much any other standard with minimal issues. Your output to mini-dv should not be a consideration in your workflow. You should always master to the highest quality you can afford, and just dumb it down later for lower quality distribution.

 

For reference, my intended workflow was going to be:

1.  5dtoRGB conversion (Prores 422 or 444) – the footage remains 24p correct?

 

A: Yes. And at a good quality.

 

2.  Editorial in FCP.  Which seq settings are used for Prores material?  I can stay 24p for the sequence settings?  I've heard that Prores is much more compressed than other codec options.  Is there a better codec to transcode to?

 

A: Don't believe the rumors, they probably first came from our friends at AVID before they had ProRes support  Wink

Stay in ProRes all the way through editorial, it's a really solid codec, and you can definitely stay in 24p. You have to remember that the 7D shoots in 8bit 4:2:0 Long GOP, which is WAAAAAAY more compressed then either ProRes422 HQ or ProRes4444. so transcoding into those higher bit rate codecs will really not create any visible/noticeable loss.

 

3.  Color correction in After Effects (unless Color will be available on the edit suite, unsure of this)  What's the best way to go between FCP and AE for color correction?  FCP has a direct interface to Color correct?

 

A: The best round-trip between AE and FCP is a plug-in called Automatic Duck.

Check out:

http://www.automaticduck.com/products/

And yes, FCP has a direct link back/forth to COLOR.

 

3.  Output uncompressed 10bit Quicktime file as a master.

 

A: You can, but I prefer to go to ProRes4444

 

4.  Write to mini-dv straight from FCP editing timeline?  Will there be weird cadence issues using the edit to tape function of FCP?

 

A: You should be fine coming from a 24p sequence. The mini-dv will insert a 2:3 pulldown on record to the deck.(from FCP's output).

 

Sorry if there are a lot of questions in there.  I find it difficult to find reliable answers to these questions that don't rely on speculation half the time.  If you have links to white papers that already address these issues please feel free to save yourself time answering by linking them.

Thanks again and cheers!

 

A: You're welcome! Tell your friends, bookmark the site, make it a party!


Cheers!


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