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Using Premiere To Edit Film Originated Project


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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 12:24 PM

Hi,

Any one used Premiere to build an EDL for a project shot on film?

My project is shot on 35mm and transfered to HDSR. I have DVCAM dubs of the HDSR masters which I will use to off-line the movie and then auto assemble it in a tape-to-tape suite.

I need to build a simple CMX EDL (cuts only) which I see Premiere does.

The question is is there a way to get Premiere to work with the DVCAM NTSC tapes in a true 24fps mode, ie compensate for the video 29.97 to film's 24fps? (similar to Apple's Cine Tools)

Is this as simple as setting the timebase to 24fps? And then edit?

I assume that is much too simple?

Thanks
Richard
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 02:03 PM

Hi,

I'll guarantee you there is, but I've never done it. What I'd do would be to get all my rushes transferred with punch holes at 30fps to DVCAM, then interpret it back down to 24 and cut that. Not sure what you'd do about monitoring. If you have already had 24fps 3:2 pulldown transfers done (which I assume you have) then you can either try to rationalise it all, which will probably drive you mad, or you can unwind the 3:2 and end up with a true 24p stream. Since I live in a country where we can count in whole numbers, I don't know if Premiere will do this, but it can certaily be done (as a rather tedious renderable process) in Virtualdub.

You will find it easiest to capture each lab reel as a single file, and arrange for the punch frame (or whatever frame you decide is mainly the punch if it's 3:2 pulldown) to be the zero frame; that way, you'll probably only have to set hour offsets for each reel.

Premiere CMX lists are generally very contaminated with junk, but you can (or I can) easily enough write a postprocessor to cut out all the crap.

This is something I'm quite interested in; if you want to have a play, and send me the CMX and the Flex lists, I'd be willing to have a look at creating a keykode based neg cutting list postprocessor.

Phil
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 04:50 PM

Thanks for the info Phil.

I have not made all the downconverts yet, I won't make them all until I find a workable system. I can of course create an EDL with Premiere for a 29.97 based project, the bugger is the originating 24fps.

I asked this question on Creative Cow and I got this interesting response, which I need to run past Deluxe:

"We have done lots (and by lots, I mean LOTS) of projects where
the offline is done with 29.97 downconverts and edited in a 29.97
project. Then the resulting 29.97 EDL is converted to 23.98 before
final assembly from the original tapes. This works fine given you
have a utility to convert the list. What gets hard is checking
the resulting conform against the offline- two different frame rates
mean you can't have them co-exist on the same timeline to overlay
or split screen them in most systems. These areas are where
Premiere falls down a bit. But the 29.97 edit, convert to 23.98 to
conform route might still work if your finishing folks are
comfortable with it."

Two other possibilities are:

1) Find an old copy of Cinema Tools for FCP 1 or 2, use that.

2) Premiere can read the TC from a visual window on the tape. So perhaps I could "skip" the NTSC code on the tape, and have Premiere read the 24fps code in the window instead and build the list with that? But there would still be 3:2 pulldown I assume so it would be a moot point. Just thinking outloud here, probably a silly idea.

Failing all that, make a work print, edit, hire a neg cutter, done :D

R,
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 05:16 PM

Hi,

It depends what you want to get out of this process.

If you need a 24fps CMX-3600 EDL, that's entirely derivable from a 29.97 CMX-3600 EDL. 100% accurancy is obviously a bit of a misnomer as you can make cuts halfway through frames in 3:2 pulled-down material, but it's certainly doable.

I still think it's vastly easier to create and cut 24fps material. Premiere Pro will run a 23.976fps timeline and render it to the output device as 24pA, so you can view it on an NTSC monitor.

Get 30fps material. Create a 24p project in Premiere. Interpret the material to 23.976 and set the timecode offset with respect to the punch hole, or BITC. Cut, export, done.

Phil

PS - Oh, er, obviously, try it first, right?
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 05:22 PM

I am very interested in your final solution. I am in the same situation. Footage shot at 24fps (16mm) that has to be retelecined for the HD release once the EDL has been made. I have premiere and don't want to buy another system just for this movie. Let me know what you come up with.
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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 05:34 PM

Hi,

It depends what you want to get out of this process.

If you need a 24fps CMX-3600 EDL, that's entirely derivable from a 29.97 CMX-3600 EDL. 100% accurancy is obviously a bit of a misnomer as you can make cuts halfway through frames in 3:2 pulled-down material, but it's certainly doable.

I still think it's vastly easier to create and cut 24fps material. Premiere Pro will run a 23.976fps timeline and render it to the output device as 24pA, so you can view it on an NTSC monitor.

Get 30fps material. Create a 24p project in Premiere. Interpret the material to 23.976 and set the timecode offset with respect to the punch hole, or BITC. Cut, export, done.

Phil

PS - Oh, er, obviously, try it first, right?


Phil,

How do I, "Interpret the material to 23.976"?

If you're sitting in front of Premiere, what is your work flow?


I am very interested in your final solution. I am in the same situation. Footage shot at 24fps (16mm) that has to be retelecined for the HD release once the EDL has been made. I have premiere and don't want to buy another system just for this movie. Let me know what you come up with.


I know what you mean Michael, if I don't find a solution I have to buy a new Mac and FCP Studio 5 to run Cinema Tools. All about $5000.00 CDN. I'd rather put that money on the screen. Seems like a lot of overkill to edit cuts only DV, which is all I need for the off-line.

Of course I could just hand the whole thing off to an Avid editor and say, "here it's your problem now." biggrin.gif

But I'm sure I'll spend more than 5K doing that, and NOT have a new computer to show for it in the end.

Any way I'm getting a 24 fps HDSR to DVCAM dub that I can experiment with. Once I have that I can try a few options and test how the auto assembly goes.

Failing all that, I could just edit with the TC window dubs and forget the auto assembly. The editor would just manually punch in the code for each edit off the TV screen by playing the movie from a tape in the suite. This is how I cut movie trailers many moons ago, of course there are not a huge number of edits in a trailer vs a 90 min feature.

R,
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 06:31 PM

From memory:

Start Premiere

In the new project dialogue, load "DV NTSC Standard 48KHz"

Hit the "custom settings" tab and change the "timebase" dropdown to 23.976fps. Select the "video rendering" option and check that "Compressor" is set to "DV (24p Advanced). I think. Obviously I never use this.

OK the new project dialogue.

Capture or import your speeded-up, 30fps NTSC footage.

Right-click on the clip's icon in the Project window and select "interpret footage". Note you have to hit the icon not its name. Under "frame rate", select "assume this frame rate" and put 23.976 in the box.

Dump the clip into a monitor window or on the timeline and view the first frame. From the "file" menu, select "timecode" and enter in the box the number you see in the relevant part of the BITC. Fill in the "Tape Name" box with something like "REEL 1".

Repeat for all your lab reels.

Cut. Your EDL will be cleaner if you use, or eventually rationalise your project to, only one video track. Premiere has no method of preventing frame reuse as far as I know.

Export CMX-3600 and remove extraneous data.

I have no idea what this is going to do to your audio, by the way. I'm rather assuming you're doing manual sync up on the timeline. If you need to let an external house do the syncup for you, you'll need to go the other route, which is to get normal 3:2 pulldown NTSC, unwrap the 3:2 pulldown to a 23.976 stream, and then remux the audio. This presumes either you actually shot 23.976, or you've already fixed this at the telecine stage by retiming the audio. Either way if it's right on the tape it should automatically come right here. This sounds horrendous, but it's only a couple of operations in Virtualdub or AVIsynth.

I have never done this, but it should work.

Phil

PS - What I'd then do, is I'd take that CMX to the transfer house and have graded selects transferred as a data operation to hard disk, then I'd take it home, and conform my movie in spiffing uncompressed HD. It might take a couple of days to render, but pfeh, so what? This would actually be a lot less technically complex than the stuff we're talking about.
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#8 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 06:44 PM

man o' man reading threads like this scares the crap out of me. I only say that because I was a very early user of Cinema Tools and it was a nightmare. I've also seen more than a few desk top match back problems. As much as I like FCP and other editing softwear there are times when Avid wins the day hands down, doing match back work is one of those situations.

Be that as it may, do you have After Effects? That's a program you can trust and I know you can remove the 3:2 pull down in AE and it should work just fine with P.

You are probably already planing to do so, but consider a test mandatory. For example cut one short scene, produce your EDL and get 30minutes of on-line bay time to see how accurate your list is.

good luck, and be your most anal self.
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#9 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 09:41 PM

Ok thanks Phil, I'll give it a whirl.

So Douglas Cinema Tools was a nightmare to use? Tell me more. I don't want to invest in it if the Premiere route fails. I'll just have an Avid editor cut the show and sit with him for however long it takes.

I was hoping for a quick and easy solution that I could do on my own with existing gear. But if that's not possible then I'll go Avid. I may even be able to just rent the time on the system and cut myself to save a few bucks. Been a while since I used one, but I should pick it back up after a day.

Thanks,
R,
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#10 Michael Collier

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 10:13 PM

Woah, don't say that rich! that doesnt give me much hope. I don't have the money to spend on an avid bay (esp because the few that are up here are way overpriced) I just wanna rent the DVCPRO50 deck and get to it!

I have after effects, so I can remove the pulldown, but I like the 30fps thing better (esp since I will be syncing myself.)

I had planned to import all footage into a 23.98 non-dropframe timeline, (all in one capture per lab roll) then line up the hole punched frame with 00:00:00:00 on my timeline. Then sync my audio (I will add a pitch shift prior to importing) and render out the resulting file. This should give me a synced 23.98 fps file that has one frame video per one frame of film, with all audio synced up, just running a bit faster than normal (I plan to finnish to HDCAM, so resyncing the audio won't be an issue)

Then I should be able to edit normally, and be able to give the lab a copy of my project and the EDL. They said they could handle the rest from there. I assume the HD master will also have to be a 30fps and I will add the pulldown in after effects post?

Does that sound like it may work? Or should I get a little friendlier with aquantences I know that have FCP. I just prefer to edit at my home alone, or in spare time at work, and we have 4 premiere edit bays waiting to cut this (two on laptops).

As for the line 'Export CMX-3600 and remove extraneous data.' I know how to export a CMX EDL, but what data is considered extraneous? I can push the project down to one video layer, remove all transitions and even audio to make the EDL contain only the video clips used, but is there more that needs to be removed? There shouldn't be an dupelicate frames in my film, but even if there is, we are finnishing in HD, so it would only need to be scanned once.

By the way Boddington, what is your delivery method? Are you making prints or just finnishing HD? you had mentioned your DV tapes will be clones of HD masters.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 10:40 PM

My final delivery is HDSR 4:4:4 ready for film out if needed. From that I will pull a HD fomat of choice for TV and DVD.

What scares me about Cinema Tools and After Effects to remove 3:2 pulldown is render time. I can't be bothered to do any thing that is not real time.

Which is why I think the Avid method may be a better route...using a system that is set up to handle a 24fps film project.

But I'll try the low budget options first, might as well.

R,
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#12 Michael Collier

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 01:56 AM

Ah. See I don't mind rendering. I have 4 machines and two editors :) also we can render at night if need be. Also we are working on a short, not a feature!

What about the 30fps thing interpreted as 23.98 footage? Won't that work for you? you wouldn't have to render anything, and since your finnishing to video as well, doing slowing it all down to 23.98 would happen whether its a premiere or avid gig. May just cost you less. the 3:2 wouldn't be there until you are ready to output (and premiere can do that as well)
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 07:30 AM

Hi,

I don't know that there definitely isn't a way of resolving your 3:2 pulldown EDL to 24p in Premiere; I just never have any need to do it. Doing the 3:2 pulldown removal isn't rocket science, just set up a batch job and let it run overnight. I wouldn't use after effects to do this, it's slow; the free tools will do it faster.

> line up the hole punched frame with 00:00:00:00 on my timeline

There's no reason you should want to do that - you'll have to set the timecode offsets for the clips anyway - but othewise your syncing-things-up thesis is sound. I'd remove the pulldown first then do it on a 24 frame timeline.

> but what data is considered extraneous?

It depends. Good CMX readers will ignore anything they don't understand, but unfortunately they're in the minority, so you may have to remove anything that isn't a V (video) event to get your picture cut to work out.

Of course the super easy way to do it is to sink a few grand (and it really is a mere few these days) into a stack of hard disks and a Blackmagic card, then you can cut the HD straight away and not have to worry a jot about timecode and conforming!

Phil
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 02:00 PM

Deluxe is now telling me to work in regular 29.97 and they'll re-conform the list to 23.98 themselves. Apparently they have the technology.

Still need to run a proper test first though before I spend many hours cutting a 90 minute film.

R,
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 02:18 PM

Hi,

Great, fine, do that.

Tell them what you're using; they'll grumble, but it's likely they know the pitfalls.

You'll still have to be cautious how you set up the project, of course.

Phil
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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 04:31 PM

If all else fails they'll have an edited movie with visual TC burned in they can use as a reference.

A 29.97 project seems very easy. I've run a short test with my system, it reads the correct code from the source tapes, and allows me to name each reel.

I did a simple three edit project and checked what the TC for each edit should be against the EDL I exported, all the ins and outs where correct.

In theory, I should be ok, but so many things are good "in theory."

R,
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