Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Aug 9, 2012 4:12 PM by Daniel Pinder
Daniel Pinder Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

Hi There,


I use Cinema Tools (a very old version) to routinely conform 23.976fps video to 24fps video. It won't run under Lion anymore, so I need a new solution. Now that Cinema Tools appears to be gone in FCPX, is there a function in FCPX that will conform video in the same way without re-rendering? Re-rendering can not happen. I'm looking for a direct feature port between Cinema Tools' "conform" command and the latest FC product.


Thanks for your help if you happen to know.

6-Core (Westmere) 3.33, 16GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,275 points)

    I don't know what you mean by "without re-rendering"  but the way to conform clips is to select them in the timeline,  click the Retiming button and select Conform Speed.



  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,715 points)

    Ian, I am a little puzzled by the two options: Slow,versus Conform Speed. What is the difference ?

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,275 points)

    Normally you alter the speed of a clip to create a specific effect such as slo-mo or fast-mo.


    Conform Speed is used quite differently.


    Imagine you have a project shot at 25fps but you have some clips that were shot at 30fps.


    You put the 30fps clips in the timeline and select Conform Speed.


    This makes them play  at 25fps so they fit in with the other clips.


    The motion will be slightly slower but will generally not be too noticeable.


    The audio will also be slower but FCP X very cleverly keeps the pitch correct, so that once again it is not too obviously slowed down.


    The Conform function works with any other combination of frame rates.

  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,715 points)

    Better explanation is hard to get !

    Thanks a lot Ian

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,275 points)

    I have a Panasonic compact digital still camera which shoots 720p footage.


    Unfortunately most of these cameras work at 30fps, so the Conform feature is very useful when mixing these clips with my normal 25fps shot on an SD800.


    You may wonder why I bother shooting with a still camera.


    The answer is simple  .  .  .  .  .  it has a 25mm wideangle setting as compared to my camcorder's 35mm  .  .  .  ideal for filming in enclosed spaces indoors.

  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,715 points)

    This is the shortcoming of digital videos and those s.k. wideangle lenses you can attach are almost unusable. I shoot all my video material 720p 50 so it getting slow motion is a dream with that settings and I tend to overdoing it but that is another story.

  • Daniel Pinder Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    Well done, Ian, you may have answered it. I mean "without re-rendering" because I've seen threads here about conforming in which the responders offered that the solution was to let FCP take a 25fps video, say, and render it to a 30fps video, meaning that frames would be added or dropped, interpolated or otherwise. Not what I need.


    The genius of Cinema Tools was that all it did was change a Quicktime flag to alter the speed information, which would mean that I could provide a video that my composers could use (Apple's Logic cannot gracefully use the 23.976 timebase whilst locking up to timecode) without creating new files. It was an instant change that saved me hours of time. It was one of the smartest utilities for video in years.


    Thanks, I have downloaded a trial of FCPX and if your suggestion nails it, I will have a solution.

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,275 points)

    Yes, conforming will change the speed instantly in the same way as Cinema Tools with one extra advantage  .  .  .  .  the pitch is adjusted so that the audio doesn't squeak or groan.


    You will of course still get a slight speeding up or slowing down of the video and audio.

  • Daniel Pinder Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    One place I see a red flag is that when I create a 24fps project, import a 23.976 video into it, tell FCPX to Conform Speed, it does this, but I see rendering meters going and the clip in the timeline says, "Retiming".


    Furthermore, I'm getting the feeling that all this is happening under the bonnet so to speak. What I REALLY need is once I conform speed, I need to take that movie file and copy it in the finder into another app, having been changed to 24fps. Is using the method you describe going to force me to re-export another movie file? I simply want the original file to be altered.


    When I get a minute, I will describe my workflow in Cinema Tools with screenshots.

  • Pancenter Level 6 Level 6 (8,555 points)



    Consider getting an external drive running an older OS and continue running Cinema Tools, it would take a few extra minutes to reboot but at least you would retain the same functionality.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (110,190 points)

    I'm curious why you're conforming the video from 23.976 to 24 rather than simply editing in a 23.976 project.

  • Daniel Pinder Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    That's just it. I'm not a video editor, I'm a music editor. My projects have to be in 24fps because there is no way to get Apple's Logic to correctly chase 23.976 time code. It is fine on its own, but not in a situation where you have to lock it up to another machine. It says it handles 23.976 properly, but it's a many-years-long bug that's unfixed. So in order for Logic to play nice with Pro Tools (a necessity in our workflow) we have to be in 24, 30, 29.97 (going extinct since the advent of HD feature post production), but not 23.976 until Apple fixes this. I know what you're thinking: Why not use 29.97? Well, we rely on the burn-ins, not the application's timecode counter.


    So our solution for years was to drag the reels into Cinema Tools, select Batch Conform and change them to 24fps. Click conform and those files were automatically 24fps. It was a brilliant workflow I'm sad to see made so much more convoluted. I think running Cinema Tools on an older machine might have to be the solution.

  • Daniel Pinder Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    100% the likely solution.

  • Pancenter Level 6 Level 6 (8,555 points)

    Daniel Pinder wrote:


    100% the likely solution.


    Daniel, I understand the problem, I'm also a composer/editor.

    I use both Logic (Mac) and Nuendo.(Win7-PC)


    If Cinema Tools runs in Snow Leopard use SL 10.6.8.

    Incidentally, FCPX generally runs much better in SL 10.6.8.


    With Apple's recent history of  forced upgrades there's no telling how long FCPX will support Snow Leopard.

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