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Recording PAL on RED camera


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#1 Richard Lowther

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:39 AM

Has anyone shot 50 frames on a RED Camera. Is the picture as good shooting for pal TV at 50frames 3k redcode 36 as shooting NTSC at 29.97 4K redcode 36?

Thanks
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#2 Karel Bata

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 04:28 AM

RED does not record PAL nor NTSC. It records RAW files. The broadcast format is selected much later, after edting, when you are preparing copies for broadcasters or to whoever. You can make PAL, NTSC, SECAM etc versions from the same edit.

;)
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:21 AM

For PAL finish, you'd probably shoot at 25 fps, just as with a film camera being used for PAL TV. Then you can transcode in post to 720 x 560 (50i or 25P), 1280 x 720 (50P or 25P), or 1920 x 1080 (50i or 25P)... or whatever you want to finish to. I'd shoot in 4K HD mode (3840 x 2160) and personally suggest finishing to 25P 1080. From that you can make lower res submasters for distribution.

Now if you really wanted a video look, not a film look, I suppose you could shoot in 3K at 50 fps.
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#4 Thomas James

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:23 AM

Actually 3K at 50 frames per second is much higher quality than 4K at 30 frames per second. In actuality only the 3K format meets the original ITU temporal resolution specifications for high definition. 3k also can be converted to 720p without scaling artifacts.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:36 AM

Actually 3K at 50 frames per second is much higher quality than 4K at 30 frames per second. In actuality only the 3K format meets the original ITU temporal resolution specifications for high definition. 3k also can be converted to 720p without scaling artifacts.


Sure but it looks like video. If you are shooting on the Red for a film look, it works better to stick to classic film frame rates. If he were shooting for a Discovery channel nature show or something, I'd say use 50 fps. But if he's shooting a drama, stick to 25 fps.
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#6 Thomas James

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 12:14 PM

For the true movie look one would have to shoot and project varicam style at a combination of 25 and 50 frames persecond. For the drama portion 25 frames per second are selected to preserve the film look and to avoid the video look. However if 25 frames per second are used for fast action such as football the movie look is destroyed and it ends up looking like a slide show. Therefore 50 frames per second should be selected for selected for fast action. However football should not be shot and projected 100 frames per second otherwise it ends up looking like video. And if the football players are standing around avoid 50 fps or the footage will scream video. To achieve a well balanced varicam film look yet preserving motion fidelity one should consider shooting at 12 frames per second for extremely slow motion like turtles and snails. Shooting a turtle at 24 frames per second may look too much like video.

If one decides to become the elite one of a kind varicam shooter and projectionist he would be wise to avoid the 1080p Blu-Ray format for delivery because Blu-Ray maxes out at 24 frames per second. Therefore shooting should be in 3K and delivery should be in 720p Blu-Ray which can go up to 50 or 60 frames per second. Even though resolution is sacrificed with the 720p format there is infinitely more creative potential with 720p because it allows varicam shooting and projection. For digital cinema the varicam shooter should select the 2K format because it starts at 24 frames per second for drama shots and goes all the way up to 48 frames per second for fast action. Like 1080p 4K is restricted to only 24 frames per second.

Also if one wishes to please the Hollywood directors who insist on the film look only use 50 frames per second as a last resort. It may be that only ten percent of the footage is shot and projected at 50 fps because only ten percent of the movie is fast action.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 12:26 PM

For the true movie look one would have to shoot and project varicam style at a combination of 25 and 50 frames persecond. For the drama portion 25 frames per second are selected to preserve the film look and to avoid the video look. However if 25 frames per second are used for fast action such as football the movie look is destroyed and it ends up looking like a slide show.


That's complete nonsense because all movies are shot at 24 fps or 25 fps and have a film look during fast action, even if it is strobing. There are no examples of dramatic movies shooting fast action at 50 fps and projecting that at 50 fps so you are basically saying that in over 100 years of movies, no fast action movie has ever "looked like film". So how can shooting a movie in a way that movies are never shot at make them look more like movies, but shooting them the way that all movies are shot at make them look less like movies??? I'm not talking about good or bad, only tradition, what we are used to seeing.

If you switched between 25 fps for non action and 50 fps for fast action, you'd be basically shooting a movie in a way that movies are not currently shot at. It wouldn't look like other movies. It may look better depending on your tastes, but that's not my point.

Also, I just saw ARRI's demo of shooting 2-perf 35mm film at 48 fps and projecting it digitally at 48 fps... and compared to the 24 fps footage, the 48 fps footage looked like it was shot on video. And this was all fast motion, of moving motorcycles on the highway. It looked smoother, but it looked like they had switched to a video camera. It was not pleasing visually despite being smoother -- I preferred the stobey 24 fps look.
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#8 Thomas James

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

Not all films were shot at 24 fps. Classic films were shot at lower frame rates such as 18 fps. 65mm Showscan or Blu-Ray 720p60 preserves the classic film look because footage can be shot and projected at 20 fps if desired. Also for fast action one can choose 30 fps which increases the motion fidelity while preserving the film look. Even at 60fps strobe can be introduced by setting the shutter at a 480th of a second. Also with the advent of the 120 hertz television Blu-Ray movies are already being projected at 48 frames per second through frame interpolation. So if movies are already being shown at higher frame rates a good argument can be made to take back control of the frame rate so that a movie can be shown the way the Director intended. With variable frame rate technology the Cinematographer can control the frame rate so that the film never looks like a slide show nor does it ever look like live video. Thus with enough skill the real movie look can be achieved which results in the ultimate cinematic experience. Just because a technology or an idea is new does not mean it can not be cinematic. 3-D technology was rarely used for classic movies yet it is considered cinematic.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:50 PM

What on earth is wrong with this guy?
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#10 Thomas James

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:14 PM

The problem is that even if by a long shot you can convince the Director to shoot at higher frame rates the Producer will balk because of the higher costs. So I suggest using 16mm film for the shots with the high frame rates.
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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:26 PM

For the true movie look one would have to shoot and project varicam style at a combination of 25 and 50 frames persecond. For the drama portion 25 frames per second are selected to preserve the film look and to avoid the video look. However if 25 frames per second are used for fast action such as football the movie look is destroyed and it ends up looking like a slide show. Therefore 50 frames per second should be selected for selected for fast action.


Here we go again.... More gibberish.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:50 PM

I don't want to be completely closed to the idea, but until we have multi-speed digital distribution, shooting a project in various speeds meant to be shown as normal-speed motion is asking for a lot of trouble.

Just pulling 25P out of all-50P capture, if shot with a 180 degree shutter, means the 25P stuff will have even more strobing from having a defacto 90 degree shutter (plus it also means a loss of one-stop effective speed) -- and if you shoot the 50P material "shutterless" to compensate so that all the material has a 1/50th shutter speed, then it's the 50P material that suffers from too much smear.

But certainly the future may hold the possibility of switching presentation frame rates selectively, which then comes into the issue of whether we will like the effect. So far, I've been rather turned off by the look because it reminds me too much of 50i/60i video. But I admit, that's due to conditioning, not due to objective analysis. But until the day comes when the majority of viewers are used to higher frame rates for narrative productions, the question becomes whether it is worthwhile to turn-off a large segment of the viewing population just for a technical improvement that feels aesthetically unpleasing.

As for a PAL production meant for broadcast, it's simpler to pick one standard frame rate for the whole project, ignoring the slow-motion shots... and 25P for narrative and 50P for "reality programming" makes the most sense currently. Getting overly clever or complicated with post almost is always a bad idea.
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#13 Thomas James

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 05:42 PM

Multi-speed digital distribution already exists. For Blu-Ray deliver a 720p60 stream. For fast action frames are displayed at 60 frames per second. For 30 fps each frame is repeated twice. For 20 fps frames are repeated 3 times. Any Varicam camera can display 60 fps or any frame rate without overcranking if you know your settings. Editing programes will regard all variable frame rates as embedded in a 720p60 stream. For 2K delivery you use a 50p stream or acustom delivery format. For 35mm film out you will be limited to 24 fps so you discard the extra frames. Most of the time a 180 degree shutter will be used however if this is unacceptable for 35mm film out you can interpolate extra frames in order to add motion blurring in post and then discard the extra frames. Making and distributing a movie with variable frame rates should be no more difficult than adding overcranking or undercranking slow motion or speed up motion to your movie.
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#14 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 06:16 PM

Thomas, you've made this same argument limitless times - that temporal resolution is more important that resolution within each frame.

I get it!

And you know what - you're right! - it is true that shooting for a higher frame rate delivery will render motion more accurately.

However, filmmakers simply are not interested in rendering better motion for narrative works. Nolan and Pfister tested Super Dimension 70 for Inception and decided not to use it because despite the 'phenomenal resolution' they "just couldn't get around" the fact that it felt like video.

The guys with enough money and clout to truly make a change to 48fps playback in theaters tested it and decided against it for artistic reasons.

The problem is that narrative filmmakers don't want to depict motion in a scientifically accurate way. They prefer the dreamy evocative feel of 24fps playback, and no matter how many times you say the same thing it's not going to change that.

So, please, just stop saying the same thing again and again, it's a valid point, but it's pointless to keep repeating it.
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#15 Thomas James

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 09:10 PM

Super Dimension 70 is not the only choice for variable framerates. While Super Dimension 70 gives you a choice of 24 fps for drama and 48 fps for fast action the Showscan format gives you a choice of 30 fps , 60 fps and lower framerates such as 24 fps with 3,2 pulldown . Simply put 30 fps which is also the genuine Todd AO format does not and cannot destroy the film look but rather looks very cinematic. 30 fps genuine Todd AO also is better suited to the big screen 70mm film projection than is 24 fps which is traditionally used for 35mm projection. The failure of higher frame rates is also the failure of 65mm film and the failure of all big screen formats such as IMAX and Showscan in that Hollywood directors refuse to deliver in these Epic formats save for a single Batman film.

With the advent of digital projection frame rate is now a creative choice for film makers. However if the current choices of 24 and 48 fps are too limiting because 48 fps looks too much like video even for fast action then the DCI specifications should be ammended to allow even more choices such as 30 fps. In the meantime we have the Blu-Ray delivery format that supports 24,30, and 60 fps as well as 25 and 50 fps.
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#16 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:11 PM

Super Dimension 70 is not the only choice for variable framerates. While Super Dimension 70 gives you a choice of 24 fps for drama and 48 fps for fast action the Showscan format gives you a choice of 30 fps , 60 fps and lower framerates such as 24 fps with 3,2 pulldown . Simply put 30 fps which is also the genuine Todd AO format does not and cannot destroy the film look but rather looks very cinematic. 30 fps genuine Todd AO also is better suited to the big screen 70mm film projection than is 24 fps which is traditionally used for 35mm projection. The failure of higher frame rates is also the failure of 65mm film and the failure of all big screen formats such as IMAX and Showscan in that Hollywood directors refuse to deliver in these Epic formats save for a single Batman film.

With the advent of digital projection frame rate is now a creative choice for film makers. However if the current choices of 24 and 48 fps are too limiting because 48 fps looks too much like video even for fast action then the DCI specifications should be ammended to allow even more choices such as 30 fps. In the meantime we have the Blu-Ray delivery format that supports 24,30, and 60 fps as well as 25 and 50 fps.




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#17 Daniel Porto

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:41 PM

You guys really don't like Thomas! lol
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#18 Chris Millar

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 12:46 AM

The Thomas James off-topic topic thread
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#19 Thomas James

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 02:08 PM

If you want me to be off topic then fine, we can talk about more important matters such as the story of the movie rather than the picture quality.
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