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Does FCPX manage 120fps? I saw only till 60. Tks

7619 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2014 11:37 PM by Tom Wolsky RSS
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etxebeti Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Nov 15, 2012 10:27 AM

Hi. I start to make movies with FCPX et I want to make slowmotion. I'll get the GoPro HD3 and i want to use the 120fps. But Can FCPX manage it? I saw it could only manage 60? Tks for your answer.

Final Cut Pro X, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
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    Nov 15, 2012 10:41 AM (in response to etxebeti)

    You don't understand how to make slow motion. 120fps is what's called overcranked. You edit the clip in the normal frame, 25 or 29.97. You put your 120 material in the project and use retime>conform. This will make slow motion by putting one frame of your 120fps material on one frame of your 25fps project. Try it.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
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    Nov 15, 2012 3:32 PM (in response to etxebeti)

    You're thinking about it backwards. If you make a project at 29.97 and place a 120fps clip into the project, it will still play at normal speed; the 120 squeezed done to 29.97. When you set the clip back to play frame for frame by using the retiming menu to conform the clip, the video will be slowed down. You do not want to put the 120 media in a 120 project and then slow it down. That completely defends the purpose over overcranking, recording at an abnormally high frame rate.

  • dastoelk Level 3 Level 3 (650 points)
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    Nov 15, 2012 6:43 PM (in response to etxebeti)

    If you record something at 120fps and then play it back at 120fps, you will not notice a change in "speed."


    etxebeti: Perhaps a historical perspective might help you visualize how slo-mo works:


    "Over-cranking" is a term used in film making. In order to make "slow-motion," the camera operator would literally "crank" (turn) the film faster than normal--recording MORE frames per second. When you play the developed (finished) footage at NORMAL (slower) speed (24 to 30 frames per second) the viewer then sees the action as "slow." More frames of action are "squeezed"--so to speak--into a every second of film.


    In video, it works the same way. The camera is capturing images at a really fast rate (just like the camera person would "crank" really fast.)


    If you shoot something at 120 fps, but then exhibit it at 120 fps, you wouldn't notice a difference! See? You get the slow-motion effect when you PLAY the footage at a SLOWER speed, say, 30 fps.


    (Conversely--and not to confuse you--if you want "fast-motion" you "UNDER crank"--fire off a frame every few seconds--like a "time lapsed" sunset.)


    Just know this:

    1.) to achieve "SLOW" motion, you need to record "FASTER" (more fps)

    2.) to achieve "FAST" motion, you need to record "SLOWER" (fewer fps)



    When you "conform" overcranked footage in your timeline, FCPX knows to exhibit this footage a "slo-mo."

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
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    Nov 16, 2012 12:18 AM (in response to etxebeti)

    etxebeti wrote:

    … 120fps. But Can FCPX manage it? I saw it could only manage 60? …

    in short: yes, FCPX can hande 120fps.


    in long: see answers above ...

    my version: it does NOT do Projects in 120fps, but import clips in 120fps.

  • BenB Level 5 Level 5 (7,535 points)

    There is not 120fps delivery standard, so you'd not edit in 120fps.  A 120fps Project timeline would be a waste, as that goes beyond the threashold of what the human eye/brain can process.

  • Alex Gollner Level 2 Level 2 (365 points)
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    Nov 16, 2012 8:42 AM (in response to etxebeti)

    You can import high framerate footage into Final Cut Pro X.


    If you want to use 120fps clips in a timeline to produce a slow motion effect, select the clip you want to slow down and use the Retime menu.


    Get the Retime menu by clicking the 'clock' button next to the magic wand button to the right of the timecode display above the timeline, or by going to the Modify menu where Retime is a sub-menu.


    Choose the 'Conform Speed' command. This will slow down the 120 frames shot in a second so they play at 24, 35 or 30 frames a second (depending on the frame rate of your project).







    PS: Final Cut Pro X can produce clips that can play back at any frame rate, but it isn't simple to get non-standard rates and pixel dimensions. As others her have said, use a project frame rate between 23.98 and 30 fps.

  • Ghetto Chris Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jan 1, 2013 12:19 AM (in response to BenB)

    I want a 120 fps timeline to make 120 fps videos.


    While the 120 and 240 hz tv's out there only do interpolation and only accept 60 hz hdmi input, a few 120 hz computer monitors came out in 2012 that accept 120 hz.


    I want to have videos play at 120 hz, not just only utilize it for comptuter game rendering.  Part what makes the new gopro hero3 black so awesome is 720p120.  I want to record in this format, play it back realtime @ 120 hz for super smooth action.  I do not want to edit it down to slow mo.  This is very difficult, and quicktime player 7 pro seems to be the best tool to crop and splice (I haven't tried playing any 120 fps native gopro files on any 120 hz monitors, don't know if that works with any current players or not), with "add to selection and scale" being very useful.


    Saying  the eye/brain can't tell above 60 is laughable, take away motion blur (computer games or timelapse) and it's obvious.  Playing quake on an old crt I could easily tell 60, 85, and 120 hz apart.  move your mouse quick across your screen.  if you had enough hz, it wouldn't be a jumpy trail where you see 6 different pointers spaced inches apart, it would be blurred.  Motion blur is why movies get by with 24, but if something moves, and you track it with your eye, it's still blurry.  I hate motion blur and don't want it in my timelapse projects. 


    I have made a few timelapses of driving where I speed up footage 10x, each utility pole or tree passing by jumps 3 feet between frames at the edges when it passes by (6 fps sped up to 60 fps).  same for cars going other direction.  watching at 60 fps you can see this jumpy ghosty effect easily (persistance of vision).  to make it go away you either sacrafice image quality and don't give the eye the opportnity to track objects and lose freeze frame detail by using motion blur, or you add more frames.  120 hz would have the poles moving 1.5 feet per frame (still not overlaping itself in frames), and only when you get to 240 hz would the pole move not jump across the screen.  I would like playback the same 10x speed driving timelapse on 60 hz, 120 hz, 240 hz, and 480 hz monitors to compare and see if the upper limits for my eyes are satisfied by any of those, maybe in a few years.  From how 30 and 60 fps look now, I can almost guarantee I could tell 120 and 240 hz apart.  Driving timelapse is maybe one of the rare sources that makes this stand out so much, but it's one that annoys me.


    Maybe you can't tell the difference with stuff you watch, but that's the same argument that people are saying 2k hd is enough and 4k and aboveis a waste, but 4k and 5k are options in FCP, so I think 120 and even 240 fps timelines should be too.  500 fps and 16k is my guess for what is enough for human vision limits


    No driving ones online yet, but here's one of mine walking the golden gate bridge at 20x.  you can see the issues with the cars well on youtubes weak 30 fps.  I also wish the auto zoom for stabilization could be turned off in FCPX to make the frame move like in this video .  web compession is rough on these timelapses too, make sure to view at 720p.

  • waylon monders Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 13, 2013 2:47 PM (in response to etxebeti)

    Se vc tem uma gopro 3 black, 'e so arrastar o video para o timeline do fcpx. se vc visualizar no info do video vai ver q o framerate esta em 120. Porem quando se coloca o video no timeline so tem a opcao ate 60p, isso 'e o frame rate de leitura do timeline apenas, nao importa,  coloque 25 % da velocidade q vc vai ver o super slow.

  • Anthony Syne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 13, 2014 9:00 PM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    I know this is an old thread but it still has relevance to me,   I'm going on holidays on a cruise to the pacific and I'm taking my gopro hero 3 black+ with me, if i record my footage in either 60fps or 120 fps should i then stil edit in 30fps. I always thought if you recorded in 60fps you edited in 60fps, same with 120fps..? So far I've been recording mainly at 1080p 60 fps and same with editing, but the files are massive. If i could edit  at 30fps for all my footage that would make life a little easier.. Or is 60fps going to give me a much better quality edit...? Thanks for your time Tom, You've helped me quite a bit in these forums..

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
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    Jan 13, 2014 10:52 PM (in response to Anthony Syne)

    You can't edit in 120. The purpose of 120 is to make better slomo. Edit in 30 or 60.

  • Anthony Syne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 13, 2014 11:03 PM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    Yep all good I understand that, about 120 fps, my question was, does the same principal apply with filming and editing in 1080p 60fps...?

    Do I edit 60fps footage at 30 fps and retime the slowmo footage when needed..


    The reason I'm asking is because I was going to film my cruise at both 30 and 60 fps.. So I'll be working with 2 different frame rates..

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
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    Jan 13, 2014 11:08 PM (in response to Anthony Syne)

    If you have 30 media I would edit in 30.

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