Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Oct 21, 2013 8:41 AM by Michael Grenadier
LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

Hey guys!

I'm directing my first commercial that's going to be on TV here in Miami. Shooting with the Red Epic and editing it on FCP 7. My question is do I have to shoot everything in 29.97 (TV standard)? If so, how can I do slow motion shots (120fps) and 24fps if TV standard is 29.97?

Final Cut Pro 7, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    The delivery is 29.97 fps.  You can work with other frame rates, they just need to be converted.  FCP does not do a good job and in some cases you will have serious issues.


    Here's a user tip laying all this out.



    It might be a good idea to hire someone with some post production chops as at least a consultant. 

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    Oh and congrats on the job.

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Micahel, you've always been a huge help in my career and answering my questions, can't thank you enough and I couldn't have done it without you .


    I read through the article you provided, extremely helpful. A couple of questions concerning the frame rates. I'm going to shoot my extremely slow motion at 120fps, and everything else at 23.98. When I take it into post, should I use Cinema Tools and convert 23.98 to 29.97 and 120 to 29.97? I'm not sure if Cinema Tools would be better than Compressor in this scenario...

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    the 23.976 fps material, commonly referred to as 24p, needs to have pulldown added so that it plays at 29.97 fps at the same speed as it was shot.  .  Compressor can do this as can AfterEffects.  You can just drop the 24p material in to a 29.97 fps timeline but FCP does not do the best possible job adding pulldown.

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh ok. I think I will do this in compressor. Which options and presets do I choose in Compressor?

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Ran into this mini tutorial:


    When working with 23.976p footage, I know that many capture cards will add 3:2 pulldown when laying video off to tape, but what if you don't want to go to tape?  What if you just want a 29.97 file, but have a 23.976 video?  I ran into this issue when I began submitting video to DG FastChannel. They require 29.97 MPEG-2 files.


    First I tried taking the finished 23.976 sequence and nesting it in a 29.97 sequence. This appears to work OK at first, but on closer inspection FCP uses the inferior 2:2:2:4 pulldown pattern to turn 23.976fps into 29.97fps. This looks pretty bad with any amount of motion going on in the video.  There is no way to get FCP to change it's pulldown pattern when rendering files.


    After much research into the issue and trial-and-error, I finally came up with a solution using Compressor. I thought I'd post it here to hopefully save others from bashing their head against the wall looking for a solution short of round-tripping to tape and back.  Here you go!



    1. In FCP, select your sequence then choose FILE > SEND TO > COMPRESSOR.  Or you can export your sequence to a video or reference video then open that in Compressor.


    2. In Compressor, select your video then right click and choose NEW TARGET WITH SETTING > APPLE > FORMATS > QUICKTIME > APPLE PRORES 422 (HQ).  Or pick whatever codec you like to work with.


    3. Click on that newly created compression setting to open it in the Inspector window. Click the Encoder tab. Click the Video: (Settings…) button. Make the frame rate 29.97. Check the interlaced box. Set it's drop down menu to Bottom field first. Click OK.


    4. Click the Frame Controls tab. Set Frame Controls to On. Set Output Fields to Bottom first. Leave Deinterlace on Fast. Leave Adaptive Details checked. Leave Rate Conversion set to Fast. Leave the Set Duration to: on 100% and make sure it's radio button is selected and NOT the "so source frames play at 29.97 fps" button.


    5. Make changes to the Filters or Geometry sections as needed. Those settings listed above are the ones critical to getting the proper 3:2 pulldown added.


    6. Submit the compression, then bring the resulting video back into Final Cut Pro. Place it in a 29.97 timeline and make sure you watch it on an NTSC monitor to verify that it looks good. If you step through it frame-by-frame you should see the familiar pattern of 2 split/interlaced frames followed by 3 whole frames.  This is a very important step. I tried many solutions that looked OK playing back on the computer monitor, but looked terrible on the NTSC monitor.


    Yay! Hopefully you have successfully added the 3:2 pulldown and now you can compress it for DGFastChannel or do whatever else with it you need to do.





    Do you think this is the workflow?

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    I think you have a little more control over the "cadence" in after effects, but it sounds good.  The key here is to look at it on an ntsc monitor to make sure it looks good.

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the response. I took some test footage, all 23.98 material, took my 23.98 timeline and sent my sequence to Compressor and followed the instructions to a tee. After it compressed I opened the sequence through Quicktime on my iMac and it looked awful (weird lines--posting a pic to show you). Will it play back normally if it's a NTSC monitor? Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 1.23.43 PM.png

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Also, could I just buy a regular CRT television at Wal Mart and use that as reference? If so, how do I hook it up to my iMac? Any ideas?

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    Hard to tell, but I doubt it.   Tell me exactly what the clip and sequence settings are.  And then, if you've still got compressor open, double click on the blue bar in the batch window associated with the clip to load it in the inspector, Screen shot 2013-10-20 at 1.38.26 PM.png


    In the inspector, go to the summary panel and copy the text in your reply so I can see exactly what you'e done.Screen shot 2013-10-20 at 1.39.08 PM.png

    I gotta say I'm impressed with your committment to testing your workflow BEFORE you go into production.


    You should also get delivery specs from the stations that will be running the commercial.  It's possible that they'd accept a 24p HD master.  They may also require a tape format such has HDCAM in which case, you'll need to go to a post house and they can add pulldown when they output to tape.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    You'd need some kind of video output device like an AJA or BlackMagic box.  Does your imac have thunderbolt?  If not, I think you're out of luck. 


    If you want to post a short clip with a lot of movement, I'll take a look at it.  My email is

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Bummer, I don't have Thunderbolt   Let me screenshot some sequence and compressor settings for you!

  • LXjordanXL Level 1 (0 points)

    Sequence Settings.pngClip Settings.png


    Inspector Details:

    Name: Apple ProRes 422 (LT) copy

    Description: Apple ProRes 422 for lower bit rate, good quality applications with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame rate

    File Extension: mov

    Estimated size: unknown

    Audio: multi-track passthrough

    Video Encoder

        Format: QT

        Width: (100% of source)

        Height: (100% of source)

        Pixel aspect ratio: Default

        Crop: None

        Padding: None

        Frame rate: 29.97

        Frame Controls On:

            Retiming: (Fast) Nearest Frame

            Resize Filter: Linear Filter

            Deinterlace Filter: Fast (Line Averaging)

            Adaptive Details: On

            Antialias: 0

            Detail Level: 0

            Field Output: Bottom Field First

        Codec Type: Apple ProRes 422 (LT)

        Multi-pass: Off, frame reorder: Off

        Automatic gamma correction

    Interlaced (bottom field first)

        Pixel depth: 24

        Spatial quality: 50

        Min. Spatial quality: 0

        Temporal quality: 0

        Min. temporal quality: 0

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    can you send me a short clip of your original footage, just a second or two.  You can load a clip in the viewer in fcp and mark an in and out and then export a quicktime movie with current settings. 

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