16 Replies Latest reply on Sep 13, 2008 8:53 AM by (Fredo_Viola)

    Best 720 format for Pal

    Level 1
      Hello there,

      I have a project I'm preparing in DVCPRO HD 720 at 29.97 fps. I will need to convert this when finished to a 720 pal format, but just noticed the only other DVCPRO HD frame per second is 23.97! Can I just manually change it to 25 fps, or is there a setting in AE that is ideal?

      Thanks so much!

      - Fredo
        • 1. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          There is no such thing as a "true" PAL format for most HD stuff, so it will entirely depend on what whoever will get the stuff plan on doing with it, so I'd check back first. In general there is nothing wrong with just changing the framerates, but for 25fps your output would have to be interlaced in most cases. In any case, it's a complete mess and everyone uses different specs, so really do inquire first.

          • 2. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
            Level 1
            EEEK! Scary! Well, I have inquired, and sent them a 10 second sample but it was with 23.97 fps, so incorrect. I actually was planning on rendering non-interlaced. Most of my footage was shot 720PN. It really is such a mess dealing with all of these new standards. And is "standard" the right word? I think not! hahah
            • 3. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
              Level 1
              thanks, by the way, Mylenium. I really appreciate your help!
              • 4. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                Well, the problem is that there's so much freedom within the standard and broadcasters and content distributors do not really have made up their mind here in Europe. Unlike the US, where things are simple in that case due to a more unified 60fps/30fps/24fps that can use pulldown techniques, some stations here use 1080i, some 720i, some 720p24. This means, that whenever you produce something, it may be perfect for one client, but require another version for another. It is further compounded by the fact, that as required by the specs, most cameras support multiple framerates as do editing systems and mixing them up and producing useless junk is therfore all too easy. And lest we forget: Europe is late to the party, at least 2 years, so working with HD and its intricacies is not yet commonplace. Only the UK and France seem to half halfway a grip on the matter, but here in Germany producing and distributing HD content is still one big experiment...

                • 5. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                  Level 1
                  This is for large projection at a trade show in France. It's quite high-end so I will assume they have very high-end projectors. They had originally requested 1080 hd. But it turns out all the other projects being submitted are 720, and the fact that I have to integrate some 480 footage into my piece leaves me to believe it makes more sense to work at that medium resolution.

                  Frankly I don't know the first thing about how things will be projected on HD. All they have asked is for me to load up a couple hard drives!

                  I'll specifically ask whether they require interlaced or progressive and hope for the latter. I have had so many problems mostly with interlaced scanning inconsistencies.

                  Again, thank you so much for the information!
                  • 6. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                    Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                    If you don't use any external sources or footage, you can easily change the final composition's framerate to 25 fps.

                    To my knowledge all 720p is progressive and square pixels. There's no practical use of 720i50, (which you would get if you render a 25 fps composition with fields) so either you want 720p25 or 720p50 (set your composition's framerate to 25 or 50 fps and render with "Fields: None.")

                    - Jonas Hummelstrand
                    • 7. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                      Level 1
                      Thanks, Jonas! I'm not sure what you mean by external sources... yes, I do use footage. It's 29.97. I'm aware the motion is going to get a little quirky, but I recently rendered a bunch of my own music videos this way and I didn't find it to be too distracting.

                      Much appreciate your advice. Thanks again.

                      - Fredo
                      • 8. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                        Level 1
                        Unless it is totally impossible to do because of cost etc.. I'd have thought <br />the best solution would be to make your project in After Effects at 29.97fps <br />and output at that. Then use a dedicated software package that specialises <br />in video conversion to do the conversion or take the footage to a facilities <br />house and have it done professionally.<br /><br />However if that is not possible then this technique outlined in this Andrew <br />Kramer tut could be basis of a method to do the job in After Effects; <br />adjusting pixel sizes and frame rates appropriately.<br /><br />http://forums.creativecow.net/articles/kramer_andrew/fps/index.htm<br /><br />BTW, enjoy your work Fredo. Hope the show goes well in France!<br /><br /><br /><br /><Fredo_Viola@adobeforums.com> wrote in message <br />news:59b655de.-1@webcrossing.la2eafNXanI...<br />> Hello there,<br />><br />> I have a project I'm preparing in DVCPRO HD 720 at 29.97 fps. I will need <br />> to convert this when finished to a 720 pal format, but just noticed the <br />> only other DVCPRO HD frame per second is 23.97! Can I just manually change <br />> it to 25 fps, or is there a setting in AE that is ideal?<br />><br />> Thanks so much!<br />><br />> - Fredo
                        • 9. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                          Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2

                          If at all possible, framerate conversions should be avoided, so I'd rather create as much as possible in AE by dropping the 29.976 fps comp into a 25 fps comp and let AE create everything at that framerate (yes, it's really that easy for everything created in AE.) Everything that was rendered outside of AE and imported will need to be handled separately by putting each source in it's own comp (with the original framerate) and then dropping that into a 25 fps comp and enabling either the frameblending switch set to "Best" or by applying the "TimeWarp" effect and using "PixelMotion" and tweaking the results.

                          - Jonas Hummelstrand
                          • 10. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                            Level 1
                            thanks for the help guys. This is going to be a major learning experience, I think. Just had one of those sushi over the computer dinners and my eyes are super red. I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about...

                            Hey, Jack! Thanks a lot, man. Glad you like my stuff! Lots of new videos and music in the works. Also a second website. :)
                            • 11. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                              Level 1
                              Yes, for animation involving stills or footage generated by AE then all you
                              do is set the frame-rate for the output composition. For imported footage
                              that has it's own frame-rate that conflicts with the required output
                              frame-rate then problems can arise.

                              I work in the UK at 1080p25 and I tried Andrew Kramer's technique (which is
                              a customised use of Timewarp) to convert some materials from 29.97 to 25p
                              but I had issues, some frames had weird artefacts where AE couldn't
                              interpret motion properly and these clearly showed up on play back. Tweaking
                              the Timewarp settings would probably have helped but I found it to be a
                              very, Very, V E R Y slow process rendering footage out like this and I
                              didn't have the time to experiment.

                              In the end I sent the material out to a facilities house for conversion to
                              25p and re-imported it. There was a cost involved in this and here I have to
                              confess that I work in-house for a TV production company so this was covered
                              by the production budget. However the results were flawless and the job was
                              turned around in a couple of hours.

                              I think, in terms of workflow, that since Fredo is working with footage that
                              is 29.97 and needs to output to 25fps then he should just work at the native
                              frame-rate of the footage, output at that frame-rate and then convert the
                              whole piece to 25fps. There is less risk of any mismatches and you can just
                              get on with the creative stuff. It's work once, output once then convert the
                              final output to whatever is needed for delivery.

                              If the footage is at multiple frame-rates then I'd suggest evaluating what
                              the native frame-rate for the majority of the footage is and work at that
                              frame-rate, convert the rest of the footage to that frame-rate using
                              whatever route suits your budget and schedule; output at that frame-rate and
                              then convert the output for delivery.

                              You could do the final conversion with AE using your technique as long as
                              time is not a problem. If it is then send it out to a facilities house,
                              where you also get the reassurance that it's being handled by professionals
                              who'll understand all the technical issues involved, but there is a cost!
                              The nightmare scenario would be no budget and no time and there'll be many,
                              many people here who'll have horror stories to tell about that one!
                              • 12. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                                Level 1
                                It's always best to work with native frames. Combining footage of one frame rate with footage of a different frame rate will always create some kind of motion artifacts (funky frames). You can minimize the problems but you can't eliminate them.

                                For the very best quality, if I need to have interlaced footage as a final product, I always separate fields on interlaced footage, double the frame rate of the comp and then render new footage. This gives me full frames from each original field which is the highest quality footage I can ask for.

                                Did you follow that? Interlaced that requires critical frame by frame manipulation like roto or masking is worked on at double the frame rate so that every field is now a full frame. I accomplish that by separating fields (i use re-vision FX fields kit or Magic Bullet if there's time), dropping the footage on top of the New Composition icon, opening up the comp settings and multiplying the frame rate by 2, then rendering a lossless copy of the footage at double the interlaced frame rate. I then do my keying, roto, and other animation at this higher frame rate, drop the 2X frame rate comp into a standard comp for rendering interlaced (fields) output.

                                Faced with Fred's project I'd probably do the same because frame rate conversion, whether done with software or hardware, always works better with the highest frame rate and highest quality originals. You'll get much better frame rate conversion inside AE by dropping 59.97 fps footage in a 25 fps comp than you will by just dropping an NTSC comp in a PAL comp.

                                Sending the original footage out to be converted to PAL frame rates will introduce similar motion artifacts that you get when film is transfered to NTSC using 3:2 pulldown. You won't be able to work on the original frames, so this is only an option if there isn't going to be any roto work or animated masking.

                                The very best frame rate conversion I've ever seen is done with hardware, not software. Fred may be better off if he complete the entire animation in NTSC, outputs interlaced to tape, then takes the tape to a Post house for conversion to PAL frame rates.
                                • 13. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                                  Another approach is to create at 29.97, convert to 23.97, then speed up to 25fps. But agree the hardware option is always the best.
                                  • 14. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                                    If you need to render it as PAL, just choose the DVCProHD 720p50 setting.

                                    This will render at 50 fps but the frames are duplicate and most editors/players understand this adjust to give you a 25fps playback.

                                    I use this all the time and it works fine in AE, FCP and QT.
                                    • 15. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                                      Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2

                                      Just because you choose 50 fps in your rendering comp won't solve the problem of having original sources shot in 29.97 fps. Besides, your files will be twice as big as a 25 fps rendering.

                                      - Jonas Hummelstrand
                                      • 16. Re: Best 720 format for Pal
                                        Level 1
                                        I have chosen 25 fps in AE and was told that the project looked great projected in France. Big relief. No doubt there was some motion distortion that they simply didn't notice. I think some folks are used to little motion glitches because they watch projects on the internet where there is often a little glitch.

                                        Anyway, I thank you all for your great advice. It was a real learning experience for me. :)