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PAL telecine


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#1 Panayiotis Salapatas

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 03:02 PM

Hi all.
I am shooting a feature film in the US (35mm) and want PAL dailies which will be used for editing as well as for viewing in FCP. My question is do I shoot at 24fps or 25 fps since PAL runs at 50 fields per second? If I shoot at 24fps do I telecine the film at 25fps? What happens if I want HDV dailies? Anybody knows labs where I can do this? It seems a little difficult to find PAL dailies in the States.

Thank you

Panayiotis Salapatas
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#2 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:19 PM

Hi all.
I am shooting a feature film in the US (35mm) and want PAL dailies which will be used for editing as well as for viewing in FCP. My question is do I shoot at 24fps or 25 fps since PAL runs at 50 fields per second? If I shoot at 24fps do I telecine the film at 25fps? What happens if I want HDV dailies? Anybody knows labs where I can do this? It seems a little difficult to find PAL dailies in the States.

Thank you

Panayiotis Salapatas



most labs in the US can transfer to either NTSC or PAL with keycode at either 25 film fps to 50 field or you can set the Metaspeed to 23.98 film to 50 field..


I do not believe than any facility would transfer film to HDV as no HDV deck i know of has a HD-SDI interface, HDcam is the HDV of the transfer world..


-Rob-
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#3 Panayiotis Salapatas

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 10:58 AM

On that note when labs in the States do a PAL transfer do they transfer to NTSC and then perform a 3:2 pull down? I was told they do that because of the 60Hz cycle in the States rather than a 50Hz.



most labs in the US can transfer to either NTSC or PAL with keycode at either 25 film fps to 50 field or you can set the Metaspeed to 23.98 film to 50 field..


I do not believe than any facility would transfer film to HDV as no HDV deck i know of has a HD-SDI interface, HDcam is the HDV of the transfer world..


-Rob-


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:02 PM

If I was in this situation I would first try and get a direct to disk transfer at the rate of my choice.

Then I would consider using whatever video format was handy as a transfer medium only - just transfer it frame for frame and interpret it down to your project rate in the edit software. So, if you are shooting 24.0fps, do that, have it transferred to PAL at 25p or NTSC at 30p, and then when it's re-captured, just tell your edit software to assume it's 24p.

This saves you going through all the grief of 3:2 pulldown removal, etc.

P
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 08:13 PM

On that note when labs in the States do a PAL transfer do they transfer to NTSC and then perform a 3:2 pull down? I was told they do that because of the 60Hz cycle in the States rather than a 50Hz.



Absolutely not, the 50hz 60hz power source has nothing to do with the video standard being used. As an example I have two house sync generators, one NTSC and one PAL The telecine(s) has two switches on it to set it up for either PAL or NTSC and then when the proper sync source is fed to the suite it runs in the desired frame rate from scanner, color corrector, Aaton keylink keycode reader to Monitor, etc...

-Rob-
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#6 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 01:18 AM

I highly recommend that you transfer at 25 fps for editing in PAL countries, even if you shoot at 24fps.

Only by doing telecine at 25 fps can you achieve a one-to-one relationship between your film frames and your video frames.
You import the foootage into your editing system at 25 fps, do the editing at 24fps (if you shot at 24 fps) and then export at 25 fps again for a reference tape and EDL for negative conforming. We do hundreds of films this way and it works best for everybody.

If you shoot at 25 fps then it is 25 fps all the way; A lot of 35mm film projectors run at 25 fps too in commercial cinemas..

Think of your film as individual frames, like mileage between cities, they never change. If you project (drive) faster, you will get there sooner but the frames (miles) always stay the same. If you do 24fps transfer to 25 fps PAL, with pulldown, one frame is frozen every second and the film frames are no longer one-to-one with the video frames.
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#7 Thomas Worth

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:14 AM

I highly recommend that you transfer at 25 fps for editing in PAL countries, even if you shoot at 24fps.

It absolutely, positively does not matter what frame rate is used during transfer. The only time you ever lose a 1:1 relationship is if the telecine inserts 3:2, but you're not going to do that so it's not a problem. You only need the tape to get the stuff into the NLE. Once it's in there, you can make it any frame rate you want as Phil mentioned.

The only problem I see with transferring to an NTSC deck is the lower resolution (720x480 NTSC vs. 720x576 PAL).

Even if you did a PAL transfer, your audio would be out of sync since it was shot at 24fps.

Only by doing telecine at 25 fps can you achieve a one-to-one relationship between your film frames and your video frames.
You import the foootage into your editing system at 25 fps, do the editing at 24fps (if you shot at 24 fps) and then export at 25 fps again for a reference tape and EDL for negative conforming. We do hundreds of films this way and it works best for everybody.

Again, frame rate is irrelevant. You can transfer at 29.97 and achieve the exact same thing, minus the resolution loss of course.

Your workflow here omits anything having to do with sound. If you edit at 24fps, you can't export 25fps without audio timing and pitch correction, otherwise the soundtrack will be terribly out of sync.
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#8 Panayiotis Salapatas

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 07:35 AM

It makes sense what Dirk says regarding a one-to-one relationship between film frames and video frames when running the film at 25fps for a PAL telecine. But how is that not affected if the film is telecined at 24fps? 24film frames are fit into 25 video frames. Where is the extra video frame fit into all this?

Also I talked with Delux labs and they can provide HD dailies which run at 23.98 fps. Except the image quality wouldn?t that be easier since it is cloer to 24 film fps?

Thanks
ps. It?s true I haven?t considered the sound in all this but I assume FCP can easily adjust for that.


It absolutely, positively does not matter what frame rate is used during transfer. The only time you ever lose a 1:1 relationship is if the telecine inserts 3:2, but you're not going to do that so it's not a problem. You only need the tape to get the stuff into the NLE. Once it's in there, you can make it any frame rate you want as Phil mentioned.

The only problem I see with transferring to an NTSC deck is the lower resolution (720x480 NTSC vs. 720x576 PAL).

Even if you did a PAL transfer, your audio would be out of sync since it was shot at 24fps.


Again, frame rate is irrelevant. You can transfer at 29.97 and achieve the exact same thing, minus the resolution loss of course.

Your workflow here omits anything having to do with sound. If you edit at 24fps, you can't export 25fps without audio timing and pitch correction, otherwise the soundtrack will be terribly out of sync.


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#9 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:49 AM

I am in PAL country and have been doing this for a while; if you transfer 24fps to PAL you get either a field added every twelve or you get a frame added every 24. Transfering 25fps to PAL is one-to-one. Compared to NTSC this is much easier.
You can import the footage at 25fps into FCP for example, then edit and sync sound at 24fps and then export EDL and reference tape for negative cutting at 25 fps , it all works perfectly. In some cases we do an output from the cut negative at 24fps for soundmixing only.

Sound syncing with Aaton Indaw can solve the 24/25 problem to give you sync rushes at 25 fps even if shot at 24.

Why make it difficult? Talk to your lab doing the telecine and conforming. If you edit your film in PAL country best to follow this plan, regardless of where your rushes are transfered.
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#10 Thomas Worth

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:22 PM

It makes sense what Dirk says regarding a one-to-one relationship between film frames and video frames when running the film at 25fps for a PAL telecine. But how is that not affected if the film is telecined at 24fps? 24film frames are fit into 25 video frames. Where is the extra video frame fit into all this?

That's exactly what I said, except at 30fps instead of 25. It doesn't matter what the frame rate is on the tape as long as it is transferred without redundant info like 3:2.

It WILL be affected if you telecine at 24. You will need to stick another frame in there somewhere, otherwise the tape cannot record it. That's why I'm saying run the telecine at the deck's native frame rate. That way you get a perfect, 1:1 relationship (frames, not running time) between the tape and the original film.

You can always change the frame rate in the NLE to whatever you want. That should never be an issue. But it IS an issue if the footage has other crap like redundant frames or fields in there to pad it out for the sake of keeping it compatible with the tape format.

If the telecine runs at a different frame rate than the tape (wrong way to do it), then something must be done to adjust for that. It's that simple. And in 100% of cases it introduces temporal artifacts in the form of 3:2 or redundant frames.

Let it be said that adding 3:2, etc. is an antiquated way of doing this, just as tape itself is an antiquated storage medium. Look at the tape as a way of simply storing your data, and as a device for getting it from one place to another. Who cares if it's playing back at the wrong speed when you put it into a deck and hit play? You just need to get the stuff into the NLE, and in the cleanest, most accurate way possible.

Oh and get the stuff captured to disk before you go back to Europe, otherwise you might have a hard time finding an NTSC deck. ;)

ps. It?s true I haven?t considered the sound in all this but I assume FCP can easily adjust for that.

FCP doesn't have to adjust for it at all. Once you get the footage into FCP at 24fps, the sound will sync perfectly.
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 02:07 AM

Interesting thought.

Are there any telecines which will go at 60fps? Assuming there were some way to couple them up to a JVC HDV deck, even via component, you could lay it all down at two and a bit times realtime. Cost saver?

P
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#12 Panayiotis Salapatas

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 12:22 PM

Thank you again for all your help. I also wanted to ask the following. We want to transfer the dailies to a hard drive too too. Do we need to go telecine them first to tape first and then digitize them?
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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:41 PM

Thank you again for all your help. I also wanted to ask the following. We want to transfer the dailies to a hard drive too too. Do we need to go telecine them first to tape first and then digitize them?



I agree that if editing in PAL a 25fps transfer is the way to go, even though it is possible to do a 24 (23.98) transfer to 25 frame PAL. My next question is whether you are cutting negative or conforming a scan list? If you are getting a keycode transfer you might want to make a safety transfer with keycode burnin to DVCAM as a properly setup keycode reader will place the 'A" frame on the right field for truly frame accurate EDL's a hard drive transfer will not necessarily be a field accurate sync to the flex files. This is more important when having the negative cut than a scan list with appropriate handles added.

-Rob-
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#14 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:25 AM

Interesting thought.

Are there any telecines which will go at 60fps? Assuming there were some way to couple them up to a JVC HDV deck, even via component, you could lay it all down at two and a bit times realtime. Cost saver?

P



There are telecines which will run at 60fps, I am not sure if that is possible in HD or just SD, no HDV deck has "real" inputs only Firewire. I wish I could say that HDV is just a shitty format, but actually it is two completely incompatible shitty formats in both Sony and JVC forms. I cannot see HDV lasting too long, it's too compressed and there is no SDI or YUV into it, and what a waste to put a HD transfer onto a 25mb/s format.

-Rob-
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