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It seems crazy to me that I have to use a freeware program like Virtualdub to do something as simple as coverting 29.97 to 23.976.
It doesn't sound crazy at all to me. Jeff Bellune, myself and another forum contributor, Dan Isaacs, spent hundreds of man hours and probably a year of our lives trying to get Virtualdub to do this well with DV material. We succeeded, and ended up with what I believe is the best method of converting 30i into 24p, called dv2Film. Jeff has a tutorial below:
The reason that method was necessary is that normal 30i video has 60 individual fields, each a unique image. There was no pulldown added to be removed, and some pretty complicated math was required to make the result look good. That will not not apply in a pulldown situation, though. PP is fully capable of removing pulldown added to 24p simply by dropping the clip into a 24p sequence. If you're getting the familiar stutter when doing this, that strongly suggests that the camera was not set to 24p mode and adding pulldown, that it was both shooting and recording at 30i, in which case you do need a solution external to Adobe software.
That's an amazing tutorial. Any reason not to just use Virtualdub's default IVTC though? I suppose I should run a few comparison tests between regular IVTC and DV2Film to find out.
The camera (so far as I can tell) literally does not have an actual 24 mode, just that simulated PF24 garbage which (hard codes?) duplicated 5th frames -- i.e. ABCDEEABCDEEABCDEEABCDEEABCDEE. So I suppose that explains why Premiere won't automatically execute a pulldown, because as far as it's concerned the video is 29.97 progressive and doesn't need it.
For what it's worth, last night I batch converted around 200 of those PF24/29.97 files to proper 23.976 using Virtualdub -- and Lagarith to keep the space down -- and, I'll tell you what, they all look pretty darn good.
just that simulated PF24 garbage which (hard codes?) duplicated 5th frames
That PP should be able to handle just by dropping the clip into a 24p sequence. If it's not working, that suggests you weren't shooting in 24p, but 30i, which has 60 unique images, not the repeated or added images you get from pulldown.
You're right, in that they're not duplicated, they just look that way in Premiere. In Virtualdub it's obvious they're interlaced. Both Virtualdub and Premiere report the files as 29.97, and a tiny bit of Googling will show that Canon's PF24 is "simulated 24" for a "cinema look". Here's a (poorly pasted) Media Info for a sample clip:
ID : 0 (0x0)
Complete name : E:\
Format : BDAV
Format/Info : Blu-ray Video
File size : 33.1 MiB
Duration : 11s 520ms
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 24.1 Mbps
Maximum Overall bit rate : 24.0 Mbps
ID : 4113 (0x1011)
Menu ID : 1 (0x1)
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=15
Codec ID : 27
Duration : 11s 445ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 22.7 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Top Field First
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.365
Stream size : 31.2 MiB (94%)
ID : 4352 (0x1100)
Menu ID : 1 (0x1)
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness : Big
Codec ID : 129
Duration : 11s 520ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 256 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Compression mode : Lossy
Delay relative to video : -67ms
Stream size : 360 KiB (1%)
I tried placing the 29.97 PF24 MTS files on a 23.976 timeline and ended up with stuttering video. Obviously if I had allowed it to change my timeline settings to 29.97 then it would have played fine, but as all my other footage is 23.976 I wasn't intersted in doing that. The Inverse Telecine AVIs from Lagarith play fine and look great on my 23.976 timeline.
I looked a bit more into this, and it does appear that PF24 encodes 24 into 60i. I have no idea why they would do this.
So in theory, it shouldn't stutter when I put it on a 23.976 timeline because Premiere corrects for it? Am I missing a step?
I tried placing the 29.97 PF24 MTS files on a 23.976 timeline and ended up with stuttering video.
What I'm suggesting, if that is the case, is that you didn't actually shoot in 24p mode, because PP should have no trouble removing the pulldown. The only time you should get that stutter is when you have 60 unique images, meaning 30i not just as the recorded format, but as the shooting format as well.
PF24 encodes 24 into 30i. I have no idea why they would do this.
A lot of cameras do that. In fact, all DV cameras that have a 24p mode do that because DV can only record 30i. PP has no trouble removing the added pulldown and displaying the original 24p image. The only time you have an issue is with genuine 30i originals, where you have 60 unique fields, no pulldown.
Well, not that this means a lot, but I personally looked at the camera myself and in the corner was a logo saying "PF24", and Premiere is not processing it correctly in any way. I just did another test and the video still stutters with duplicated frames. After encoding it at 23.976 it looks like it was shot at 12fps and played back at 24, ie: AABBCCDDEEFF etc.
For what it's worth, I've been doing this in CS6, but for kicks I just tried it on my laptop which has CS5, and I have the same duplicated frame stutter.
Absolutely. That would be amazing.
Here's an example raw MTS file:
And here's a rendered version of that example clip with no processing, just being placed on a 23.976 timeline and exported at that same framerate:
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks.
I don't think I can shout this loud enough -- Jim Simon is totally wrong concerning his fix for PF24 footage and Premiere Pro CS6. You cannot simply drag PF24 footage into a 24P, PP sequence and walla, the problem magically goes away. If you look closely at the footage you will see alias problems all over the place. Jim has no idea what he is talking about. This is not the solution for removing pulldown issues created by recording in the PF24 AVCHD format.
Adobe Premiere Pro development team -- please fix this @$%& problem asap!!!! The PP Interpret footage function is a joke without it!
The best solution I could come up with after investing a ton of time into this is to use AfterEffects inside PP as a filter. Therefore you will not have to duplicate or re-render all your PF24 footage to create true 24p clips. You work with the same source clips throughout the entire process. Here's what you do - 1st create a 24p AVCHD sequence in PP and drop your PF24 clips into it. Now you can select individual clips or the entire sequence of clips and "right click" and select "Replace with AfterEffect Composition". This will export the selected clip(s) into AE. Now you can use the world-famous AE Interpret footage function to remove the pulldown issues. Inside AE right-click the clip - select Interpret footage - select the fielding (in my case it was Upper Field First) - then finally the "magic bullet" - select "Guess 3:2 Pulldown" button. Now when you jump back into PP you will be working with beautiful "TRUE" 24p footage.
Yeah, that's one of the suggestions I found when I first started trying to solve this problem. In the end, because I don't have After Effects, I ended up just re-rendering all of the files into AVIs using Virtualdub.
It actually only took like an hour, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. But even still, it would be nice if they fixed this issue....