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Best frame rate?


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#1 bureaucrazy

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:20 PM

i wish to film on super8 and play on tv. most of what i shot before at 18fps looked smooth enough but panning looked very jerky. the film was telecined cheap on a modified projector. Is it worth shooting at 24? i'd have to pay a pro lab to telecine it and i would waste film time. perhaps i could film the slow scenes at 18 and the pan shots at 24 and then get it all telecined at 24 by discrete frame scanning. Could i then slow down the scenes shot at 18 in software without losing any quality? Is 24 really much of an improvement? this is my last chance to try kodachrome and i want it to be as good as possible. thanks
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:41 PM

It depends on where you are and what TV system is in use. In the NTSC/ATSC countries, 30 fps would let you transfer frame for frame to TV. In the PAL/SECAM/DVB world, TV runs at 25 fps.





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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:23 PM

I'd recommend shooting 24 or 25 fps, depending on your side of the pond, for standard filming, but I like John's suggestion too. 16mm TV commercials used to (still do?) shoot at 30fps if they're only intended for NTSC broadcast to maximize on "temporal resolution" and minimize grain.


My experience with shooting 8mm was that the reduction in shooting time was minimal from 18 to 24 fps.
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#4 bureaucrazy

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 02:03 AM

I mainly want to do pal but might want an ntsc version made for folks in the usa. what about the idea of slowing down the bits shot at 18fps in the editing software? How does it work? does it simply repeat frames every so often to make it up to 25fps? Are more sophisticated programs available that render interpolated inbetween frames by using vector math and transposing moving parts of the image? could you recommend software?
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#5 Claus Harding

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:19 AM

bc,

I can't help but feel you'd be working yourself into some kind of hole with all the manipulation you are talking about.
I don't know what 'doubling' frames would look like if not done on a pro film chain, but the simple solution is to shoot at 24fps and have a good transfer done. It's a matter of money, nothing else.
Maybe there is some software that can help you, but I just wonder what the final result would look like, as opposed to sending it to a real telecine place.

One thing I would not do is shoot two different speeds, unless I specifically wanted the effect of the action slowed down by a 1/3 when running at 24fps compared to 18.

24fps gives you 2mins, 40secs per cartridge. 18fps gives you 3mins, 30secs per cartridge.

24 or 25 look better, period.
The shutter speed per frame is shorter at 24, so less potential for blur in each frame, thus better-looking images. Also, the grain moves faster at 24, so to the eye, it helps with the clarity of the image.

Good luck with it.

Claus.
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#6 Claus Harding

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:27 AM

To add:

Once you have a high-quality transfer of the film, Sony Vegas Movie Studio is a good package for editing and outputting to your medium of choice (it also has the option of either PAL or NTSC.)
It has the benefit of costing less than other systems and is very versatile.

Edited by Claus Harding, 26 September 2010 - 09:29 AM.

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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 01:52 PM

Are more sophisticated programs available that render interpolated inbetween frames by using vector math and transposing moving parts of the image? could you recommend software?


The consumer type software does "blur-betweens". The only thing out there that actually interpolates the positions of objects is Arri's Relativity. But it's strictly a professional facility vendor product, six digit price tag, and months of learning curve to train an operator. Automated object recognition is an extremely difficult problem, but when they crack it, not only will we have frame rate conversion, we'll also have robot vision solved.




-- J.S.
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#8 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:46 PM

Hi Bureaucrazy (real names here please!), You asked for the "Best Frame Rate", that is relative of course and requires a two-fold answer.

[1]. For the best frame rate to film a specific scene, such as the pan you mentioned, normally film is run faster so that it smooths out while projected or transfered at the 'normal' rate of playback speed. This variation from whatever your 'normal' filming speed is would apply to whatever you're trying to film, such as very slow moving shots which are "under-cranked" or filmed at a slower frame rate so they appear speeded up, the opposite of smoothing out that pan shot. Or by filming at an even higher rate to smooth out or slow down faster movement.

[2]. For the best overall quality, most would defer to the industry standard filming rate of 24fps (25fps for our European filmers). Here in the USA, using Super 8mm, I find the slight gain in using 24fps not worth it personally. This is were subjectivity comes into play and only you can decided for yourself if the imaging difference is worth it to you. Super 8mm works quite well at 18fps since the film moves well thru the cartridge with the torturous path it has to take.

If using NTSC and the transfer speedup of 19.97fps is disturbing, you can also transfer exactly at 18fps using some machines and services these days. So, IF you decide to film at 24fps, back to your panning situation, you would still want to film at a faster rate than 24fps, nominally about 30fps to smooth out the movement visually. Most Super 8mm cameras that offer speed variations, with either have a 32fps or 48fps option, with some of the very high end cameras such as BEAULIEU allowing you to fine tune the speed to your own liking. Other cameras such as the fine NIZO S-xxx series only jump to 54fps after the 24fps point. So, your various options on the cameras for this Super 8 format also should be taken into consideration. On one of my cameras I can shoot normally at 18fps, use the 12fps for undercranking...thus having a speeded up effect, and use 24fps for smoothing out pans, filming from moving vehicles etc, and still have a faster 48fps for slow motion.

So to recap, BEST frame rate....a relative term that only you can determine which will work for your needs. Relative to what features and functions most decent Super 8mm cameras have available, you'll find my 18fps example falls in the ballpark. IF you prefer to use the industry rate of 24fps, then you may not be able to use incamera options for some features you'd like to employ for your film work. Hope this opinion helps you.
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