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Switching from FCP7 to CS6! Two BIG questions I can't figure out...

Jul 19, 2012 1:46 AM

Tags: #audio #avchd #60p #channels #fcp #cs6 #transcode #24p #slow_motion #cinema_tools

Hello!

 

So I'm running CS6.01 on my new 27" iMac running OS 10.6.8. I'm excited to be transitioning over to CS6 after the last 6 or 7 years using Final Cut Pro. But I don't have time to mess around as I'm in the middle of projects so here are my 2 main questions right off the bat:

 

First I should say that I edit AVCHD footage shot from Panasonic HMC150's. I shoot Weddings. About 35-40/year. In FCP, my workflow was...shoot EVERYTHING at 720p60 and TRANSCODE it in FCP to ProRes Proxy. Then I'd CONFORM it to 23.98 (using Cinema Tools which takes all of about 30 seconds to do 400 clips) so that it was all in slow-mo looking smooth and beautiful. Then, I'd drop it all on the timeline and edit. Most clips I need in slow-mo but the ones I don't (eg. the Ceremony) I just speed up 250% and it's full speed. Then at the end of editing I'd batch capture and re-transcode to ProRes 422 and I'm done. It all looks great.

 

Here's the important thing:

 

I edit on a 23.98fps timeline that way it maintains a bit of the film-stuttery look instead of the video/soap-opera look of 60fps footage and also it naturally has everything at 40% smooth slow-mo. I dont want that video/soap opera look that I would get if I edited my 60p footage on a 60p timeline! This is important to me.

 

1) I know with CS6 I don't "have" to transcode, but I can just ingest and edit the AVCHD files natively, right? Well, okay, but if I do that will dropping those 60p clips on a 23.98fps timeline give me the same look I got when I use to conform the footage first? Specifically is it just as smooth to just change the speed of a 60p clip by 40% and drop it on a 24p timeline? And what about the stuff I want at full speed...if I drop that 60p footage right on the timeline and don't speed it up it will be full speed but will it look the same as my conformed footage looked when sped up in FCP? Please elaborate for me.

 

2) Audio. When I bring in audio clips from my 2 cameras each track has 2 separate audio feeds (eg. 2 wireless mics, a shotgun mic, an internal mic). CS6 brings them in on one track. I read up where I need to "Modify the clips" and adjust the Audio Channels so that there are 2 tracks. Then I'm guessing I just make one track the left track and one the right? This seems to work and makes a separate track that is balanced to the center and has each of the 4 channels as its own separate adjustable track. Am I doing that right? And more importantly...my real question...if I'm scrubbing thru the timeline and I double click on one of the audio tracks to bring up the waveform and edit, sometimes it doesn't come up where I stopped in the timeline. Unless the clips are linked. But don't I have to unlink them to edit them individually? So how do I do this where I can be in the timeline, watching the video and when I hear something I want to adjust, I stop the video and quickly access the individual track (eg. one of the wireless mics) to make the adjustments?

 

Hope my questions make sense. Thanks SO much in advance for all your help! It took me like 20 minutes to figure out how to post a question but now that I've done it I'm very excited that I've got it out there and hopefully I'll get past my current workflow roadblocks. Thank you!!!!!!!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 2:21 AM   in reply to DMH79

    Dropping a 60p sequence (and slowing down) on a 23.98 timeline is not the same as reconforming and never will be.  You will get interpolated frames.  

     

    In terms of the audio, I rarely go back to the source monitor like this.   I twirl down the audio on the time line then drag the bottom down (in the left panel) so that I have huge waveforms visible under the CTI.

     
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    Jul 19, 2012 2:27 AM   in reply to ExactImage

    Oh, one more thing.  For speed changes (even slower) you can drop a clip in to After Effects and use the Time Warp effect.  It's 'almost' as good as Twixtor.  I've used it to slow things to 5% and still had great footage - though it won't work on every clip (just like Twixtor won't).

     
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    Jul 19, 2012 6:28 AM   in reply to ExactImage

    Regarding the conforming from 60 - 23.98 question, yes you can do that and it's pretty straightforward. Just import the footage in as normal at 720/60, then in the project window you can right click an item (or multiple items) and choose 'modify > Interpret footage' from the menu. That pops up a little window where you can tell it to assume the footage is 23.98 and then it will play back on your 23.98 timeline in smooth slowmo just the same as when using cinema tools and FCP.

     

    Paul

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 11:49 AM   in reply to DMH79

    DMH79 wrote:

     

    [....] when I'm scrubbing thru the timeline and I see a point I want to work on...in FCP I'd just double click that audio clip and the waveform would appear in the big window above right at the place where the timeline was stopped so I could work on that section of that track. How do I do this in CS6. Do I need to relink first? And if so, how then do I work on each individual track? When I double click on the track in the timeline right now (the clips are all unlinked), it brings up that track in that window but not at the point where the timeline has stopped.

     

    Hope my questions make sense. Thank you again...

    Err.... Hmmm..... not sure I understand what you are asking for.   What exactly are you trying to do?   When you say 'work on that section of track' can you give me an example?

     

    Once it's hit the sequence in Premiere Pro I find I can do everything I want right there, unless I'm taking audio out to Audition for things like noise reduction.   All the volume changes etc can be done in the timeline (keyframing) and/or the audio mixer (which is way ahead of FCPs mixer).  Adding effects can be done either to the clip (add effects) or in the mixer to the entire track (everything is available both for clips and tracks).

     

    So, what exactly are you trying to do by taking it back in to the source monitor?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 12:23 PM   in reply to DMH79

    Here's what I do :

     

    1) Open the Audio Mixer (I have it docked as one of the tabs in the source monitor space)

     

    2) Make sure I can see all the tracks that are playing (i,e, see the meters moving)

     

    3) Use the solo button in the mixer to solo the tracks, one at a time until I find the offending track

     

    4) Keyframe the audio on the sequence timeline.

     

    No need to take anything back in to the source monitor.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 12:44 PM   in reply to DMH79

    Assuggested above you can tell PP to interpret your footage as 23.97 if that's what you want - but you'll have to do it on a file by file basis as I rememeber.  

     

    We used to shoot 720p on the HMCs but after we replaced them with Canon XF100s we just shoot at 1080p now.    When we need to slow something down we use Timewarp.

     

    We used to do a lot of slo-mo but some how we just don't do it any more.  I guess we changed our style.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 2:27 PM   in reply to DMH79

    I'm coming in late to the conversation so please forgive if this has already been covered.

     

    I'd recommend a different work flow.  Shoot what you want at full speed in 720p/24.  Shoot what you want in slow motion at 720p/60, and Interpret that inside of PP to 24 fps.

     

    Yes, you will need to make that decision when shooting, and not after.  But this will provide the best results all around.  Film look for normal speed as well as silky smooth slo-mo.  I think any other work flow will involve a compromise to the quality of the finished product.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 2:42 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim Simon wrote:

     

    I'm coming in late to the conversation so please forgive if this has already been covered.

     

    I'd recommend a different work flow.  Shoot what you want at full speed in 720p/24.  Shoot what you want in slow motion at 720p/60, and Interpret that inside of PP to 24 fps.

     

    Yes, you will need to make that decision when shooting, and not after.  But this will provide the best results all around.  Film look for normal speed as well as silky smooth slo-mo.  I think any other work flow will involve a compromise to the quality of the finished product.

    As some one who's shot [I've really lost count] weddings I can tell you that's not something you have much time to think about on the day!

     

    If you are setting up pre-planned shots and know how it's going to pan out in the final film then you also probably have time to think about these things, but changing back and forth between frame rates while shooting live events would drive me nuts!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 2:44 PM   in reply to ExactImage

    It's pretty easily done with the 150.  Just set up your scene files and change the dial between them.

     

    I've shot several hundred weddings myself, and this ability is something I wish I had these past ten years.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 7:09 PM   in reply to DMH79

    I'd rather have smoother slow-mo than footage that looks EXACTLY like it was shot at 24p.

     

    Well, I don't understand that so, I'll leave you to it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 9:31 PM   in reply to DMH79

    DMH79 wrote:

     

    "modify > interpret footage" option seems like my best option if, as Paul said, the slowmo footage "looks the same as" when you conform it in Cinema Tools.

     

    Modify > interpret footage in Premiere does the same thing that conforming to a new frame rate does using cinema tools. It's definitely the best way to go.

     

    If I have a shot that I want to use slo-mo as well as normal speed, I tend to duplicate the clip, and  modify one of them to play slower. Then you just use the non-modified one everytime you want to go to real time.

     

    And 60fps media interprets pretty well in a 24fps timeline, if you don't know what you'll want to slow down I think you're doing the right thing by filming it all at 60fps.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2012 3:04 AM   in reply to DMH79

    DMH79 wrote:

    One concern, or curiosity I should say is will the "non-modified" clips as  you say that I want to use in real time...will those look as good or better than if I conformed that clip and then sped it up 250%? Or will it look better? Which way will give the look thats most closely like as if I shot it at 24p to begin with?

     

    Well...... "look better" is subjective, and since you have both the software and your own clips in front of you, why don't you try both methods, play them on a large screen and let us know which one you chose?   Blindly doing it one way or another because we said so could leave you wondering if the other way was better afterall

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2012 5:42 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    I agree with Jim, I shoot a lot of events that require a mixture of slow mo and normal speed footage and as much as I'd like to be able to shoot the whole event at 50/60 frames a second and then choose either slowmo or normal speed in post the results are never as good as when the decisions have been made in camera whilst shooting.

     

    I tend to shoot for slowmo using S&Q motion (overcrank) which also adds the problem of losing the audio which makes the decision even harder so shooting everything  at 720/50 would not only give speed options but also allow for audio recording regarless.

     

    The problem I've found however is that although footage shot at 720/50 does interpret well to 25 fps slowmo the same 720/50 footage on a 25p timeline never looks quite as natural as footage actually shot at 25p.

     

    In theory shooting at 720/50 with a 360 degree shutter should mean that each frame has a similar exposure time (motion blur) to shooting 720/25p with a 180 degree shutter, but from my experiences it just doesn't look as natural once exported from Premiere.

     

    That's propably gone a bot too far off topic.. sorry

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2012 7:36 PM   in reply to DMH79

    Jim, sorry for the confusion.

     

    I wasn't confused.  I was just saying I don't agree with your priorities here, so I'm probably not the best person to help you achieve it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2012 7:50 PM   in reply to DMH79

    Come back anytime.  There aren't too many questions we can't help with.

     
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    Mar 1, 2013 8:47 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim Simon wrote:

     

    I'd recommend a different work flow.  Shoot what you want at full speed in 720p/24.  Shoot what you want in slow motion at 720p/60...

     

    I would respectfully disagree with Jim's statement and endorse the OP's technique of shooting at 60 fps for purposes of playback at both normal speed and slow motion at 24 fps.

     

    I think the more creative choices you give yourself in post the better.

     

    Since you (DMH79) are using the same footage for both normal speed and slow motion playback, I think your way is definitely the way to go as long as you are happy with the resolution.

     

    Even if you were not using the same clips at different speeds, I would still disagree with the opinion that you should be able to predict in advance which shots from a hectic live action event such as a wedding you will want to use in slow motion. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it would be impossible, no matter how easy it is to switch modes.

     

    Given that slow motion is a reasonable priority for you, I think there is much less to be gained by shooting at 24 fps for clips that you might use at normal speed than by giving yourself the option of both normal speed and slow motion with a 60 fps recording. (To me the bigger tradeoff is not being able to shoot 1080p at 60 fps, which I think applies to your HMC150.)

     

    I love the look of 24p and will shoot that way for scripted work or if I am absolutely certain that I won't want to use a single shot in slow motion, but for many live events, my preference is to shoot at 720p60, shutter angle 180, for eventual output at 30 fps. I edit in a 60 fps timeline in Premiere, but I export at 30 fps. I find that exporting at 30 fps in combination with the 1/120 shutter speed removes much of the soap opera look (a great description, by the way), but there is no jerkiness in normal speed clips because 30 is exactly half of 60. Media Encoder simply removes every other frame during export. Yet, this allows me to drop any clip to 50% speed and achieve perfectly matched, silky smooth slow motion.

     

    You probably prefer the 40% speed slow motion and added stutter of 24 fps, but regardless, if you do find that controlling the speed via Speed/Duration is equal in quality to conforming, you may want to consider cutting in a 60 fps timeline and giving yourself the option to export at either 24 or 30 fps.

     

    Your last post on this topic was from a few months ago. I also switched from FCP7 and would be very curious to know what you have discovered!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2013 8:53 AM   in reply to Dax Roggio

    I would go so far as to say that it would be impossible, no matter how easy it is to switch modes.

     

    I do it all the time.  I know precisely which shots will be slow-mo when I shoot them.

     

    The disadvantage of shooting 60p for normal playback at 24p is that it doesn't look right.  Genuine 24p looks much beter.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2013 9:47 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim Simon wrote:

     

    I would go so far as to say that it would be impossible, no matter how easy it is to switch modes.

     

    I do it all the time.  I know precisely which shots will be slow-mo when I shoot them.

     

    The disadvantage of shooting 60p for normal playback at 24p is that it doesn't look right.  Genuine 24p looks much beter.

     

    Please don't think I'm being sarcastic when I say that's very impressive. I'm a planner, but I discover unexpected moments in post all the time that I thought I would use at normal speed but look wonderful in slow motion. It could even be a subtle gesture or expression during a speech that I certainly had planned on using only at normal speed. I also like to change the rate of the same shot.

     

    Plus -- and I'm not claiming to be the sharpest tool in the shed -- there is no way I could do event after event without once forgetting to switch back from whatever frame rate I had temporarily switched to unless the events were turtle races (which might look awesome in slow motion, side note).

     

    I agree that going from 60 to 24 is not ideal, which is why I prefer to go from 60 to 30, but given the objectives that DMH79 described, I think it makes sense to prioritize gorgeous slow motion over true 24p.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2013 3:57 PM   in reply to Dax Roggio

    I discover unexpected moments in post all the time that I thought I would use at normal speed but look wonderful in slow motion.

     

    That's what AE is for.  It's Pixel Motion does an excellent job.  24p slowed down this way will look pretty good (possibly even better than Interpreting in PP), but normal speed playback of a 60p clip in a 24p sequence doesn't, so the advantage still comes out for shooting most footage at 24p, and using 60p when you know the clip will only be used for a slow motion shot.

     

     

    given the objectives that DMH79 described, I think it makes sense to prioritize gorgeous slow motion over true 24p.

     

    For his work flow, I might agree.  But I don't think his is the norm.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2013 3:48 PM   in reply to DMH79

    and then "interprated" to 24p

     

    That makes it slow motion.  My comment was about normal playback speed.  24p in a 24p sequence looks much better than 60p in a 24p sequence.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2013 3:59 PM   in reply to DMH79

    It's choppy, missing frames and not nearly as smooth and natural looking.  Shooting 60p, you're likely using a 1/120 shutter speed, which eliminates most of the motion blur people expect to see when shooting at 24p and 1/48 shutter.  It just looks unnatural

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2013 10:57 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

     

    Jim Simon wrote:

     

    That's what AE is for.  It's Pixel Motion does an excellent job.  24p slowed down this way will look pretty good (possibly even better than Interpreting in PP), but normal speed playback of a 60p clip in a 24p sequence doesn't, so the advantage still comes out for shooting most footage at 24p, and using 60p when you know the clip will only be used for a slow motion shot.

     

     

    And we come full circle. I think 60p slowed to 40% in a 24 fps timeline looks stellar, whereas 24 fps slowed to 40%, even using AE, doesn't look nearly as good. I do think that 60p in a 24 fps has a subtle jerk to it (again, why I'm a fan of 30 fps), but it plays back fine, subjectively speaking of course. I'll take the better slow motion in a situation where I require footage that can be played back at both speeds, as is the case with DMH79. 60 fps. Set and forget.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2013 11:03 AM   in reply to DMH79

    DMH79 wrote:

     

    1) Using 60p footage on a 24p timeline, I can't see a difference between footage that is slowed down by selecting "Speed/Duration" and changing it to 40% and taking the same clip and changing the speed by clicking Modify>Interpret Footage and setting the 60p clip to 23.976. The resulting clips are both smooth and to my eyes look identical in every way even going through frame by frame. Are these two methods really just doing the same thing?

     

    Back to your original question, I have found the results of using Speed/Duration to be identical to using Modify > Interpret Footage in a few tests. Have you continued to find that to be the case in your experience?

     

    Also, what shutter speed do you generally use?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2013 11:16 AM   in reply to DMH79

    DMH79 wrote:

     

    It's good to be back in this conversation that isn't about all the errors and issues I see everyday with CS6, but instead a more creative discussion.

     

    I may take this topic up with you in another thread! “Serious error” messages continue to drive me crazy. I really like Premiere and want to give it my full endorsement when talking to other FCP7 users who are still deciding on their next move, but I get anxious every time I open a Premiere project file. I can open years-old FCP7 files and never fret. There are so many things about my first experiene with FCPX that I truly hated, but if PrP doesn't improve the stability of the Mac version, I'm going to have a dilemma.

     

    To be continued elsewhere...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2013 12:30 PM   in reply to Dax Roggio

    whereas 24 fps slowed to 40%, even using AE, doesn't look nearly as good.

     

    You could be right.  I personally think 40% slow-mo is too slow.  I feel 60% is the perfect rate for slow motion footage, whatever the original frame rate.  Another reason I don't advocate 60p.  It naturally goes to 40% in a 24p sequence, and that's just too slow.

     

    However, 24p slowed down to 60% in AE looks better, to my eye, than 60p reduced to 40% in a 24p sequence.  Combine that superior 60% speed with the superior normal playback of 24p, and we're back again to shooting 24p as the norm.

     
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