>"The last 24p Varicam
feature I shot was edited on a 30f edit set >up...turns out that
cuts can only be made on certain frames, in >correlation with
Panasonic frame cadence. Their is software to correct >this,
but apparently not reliable."
We have successfully captured 720 24p DVCPro HD clips into our Final
Cut Pro System with a AJA Kona HD card, but the time code stays
29.97. I am unfamiliar with Sunset Posts workflow and would be very
interested to hear their solutions, as we are aware of a number
of projects shooting with Varicam now that are not just destined
for DVD or Television where typically those just finish in standard
One post workflow path that currently seems to be stated as the
path of least resistance is to downconvert to standard def with
the matching 29.97 tc, then do your offline as a 29.97 project.
When you are ready for HD online you upconvert the 1280x720 to 1920x1080
as 59.94, which the newest DVCPro HD vtr can do and record to HD
D5 (I assume HDCAM would work too).
Take your 29.97 EDL and your newly created HD tapes to do your online
HD conform in 1080i. Then to get to a 24p Universal master if you
are doing film out or need nice PAL tapes, you de-interlace and
extract the 24p frames by using a Teranex or the Panasonic converter.
I have not done this but would be interested to hear from those
NY/NE (Westport, CT) 203 221-0233
LA/West (Pacific Palisades, CA) 310 434-9500 www.hd-cinema.com
I've done quite a bit of HD online for a 720/24p, including a full-length
Here is the best workflow :
to NTSC. Offline on any system capable of doing a 24-frame offline.
This includes any version of Film Composer, or FCP3 w/Cinema Tools.
2) Cut your
3) Export an
AAF (Film Composer) or OMF (FCP w/Automatic Duck)
4) Online on
a system capable of doing 24p HD online, like DS|HD, Smoke, Fire,
eQ, or iQ.
5) In the HD
online, conform the 24fps AAF/OMF to a 24fps timeline. Then, USE
THE PANASONIC AJ-HD1700 DECK!!!
This deck was not available until recently. It converts from 720/24p
to 1080/23.98p in realtime without frame delays. The 24fps lists
will match up to the 24fps timecode coming from the 1700. That is
the smoothest online. Everything else is ugly.
If you do not do this, then there are several different workflows
available. The one you describe is not bad, but there are a couple
of big gotchas:
1) The Teranex
should be used for a textless pass, and all credits/lower 3rds *must*
be applied afterwards in 24p.
In a 1080i online with cadenced material, you're adding titles with
no cadence to material with cadence. Unless the HD Online Editor
is removing cadence before titling, that's 30fps material on top
of 24fps material. The text motion will no longer be smooth and
pretty after a conversion. And depending on the size of the text,
it will also screw up cadence detection.
2)Long dissolves, and other opticals will be awful.
Across a dissolve, you're mixing cadences. All the converters get
confused and you'll have a visual "pop" at the end of
the dissolve as the converter auto senses the cadence of the B-side.
The way to get around this (which I've done a few times with success)
is to create a Teranex "opticals" reel. Break apart dissolves
into A and B sides, with handles. Break apart motion effects to
their unaffected lengths. Convert that reel separately to 24p. Then,
in a separate 24p-based online, rebuild the dissolves in 24p and
insert to the master.
3) Do audio
post AFTER the conversion to 24p.
Cadence detection is never perfect. Some shots will slip by a frame
or two, and will send audio sync out of whack for those shots.
720/24p is a neat idea, but HD post for it was a nightmare before
the 1700. Do yourself a favor, and make sure your HD online facility
has that deck and has a lot of experience with list conversion and
the uses of EDL / OMF / AAF / AFE in the conform process.
HD Online Editor
Santa Monica / Hollywood
Lucas - an excellent explanation, thanks.
be the first person to have figured this all out.
The Panasonic AJ-HD1700 vtr seems to be the key. So anybody who
did the upconvert to 1080/60i post path just had access to the AJ-HD150
with 1080i only playback. The new HD1700 seems like an amazing machine
with upconversion and downconversion + 8 tracks of audio.
If someone shoots 60p with plans for later slo-mo, and in particular
I was shown that the camera can actually speed ramp which is very
cool, do you still need to have the Panasonic AJ-FRC27 frame rate
converter/disk array as well to change the 60p to 24p over 60p?
or can the HD-1700 do that?
A number of the rental houses bought the AJ-HD130 then the HD150,
I guess those can still be used to do downconverts. I wonder how
soon they will have the HD1700 which started shipping the end of
Once you edit in the non-linear system as 1080/24p it seems you
must output to an HDD5 or HDCAM, otherwise the HD1700 only records
1080i even though it plays 24p, or I guess you could re-convert
back down to 1280x720 24p over 60p. However, evidently to allow
for a two hour tape recording there is a custom format in the HD1700,
they specify in the brochure that the 2 hr format cannot be edited,
and that it will not play in other DVCPro HD VTRâ€™s, just the HD1700.
In summary if I understand you correctly, the Varicam post workflow
short and simple is :
1. Downconvert from DVCPro HD using any of the
Panasonic HD VTR's.
2. Before beginning your online, convert the project
from 29.97 to 23.98 using Avid or FCP software, cut your movie.
3. Use the Automatic Duck Automatic Sequence Export
Pro plug in (must be new Pro version just released) to export an
Avid compatible OMF list
4. Import the OMF timeline into Avid DS, Smoke,
Quantel iQ or EQ system in 1080/24p. ( I suppose we should check
with Boxx Technologies and Apple if they can import the AutoDuck
5. Use only the new Panasonic AJ-HD 1700 DVCPro
HD to upconvert to 1080/24p and load an Avid DS, Smoke, Quantel
iQ or EQ system in 1080/24p.
6. Output to HDD5
Definitely no "guerrilla style" HD24p post like Dale Launer
did for his "Tom's Nu Heaven" feature. He captured into
a Pinnacle Cinewave HD on his Mac G4 with the HDSDI output of his
F900 camera, edited HD24p online (titles included) and borrowed
an HDCAM deck to output the final edit!
NY/NE (Westport, CT)
LA/West (Pacific Palisades, CA)
>Lucas - an excellent explanation,
thanks. You may be the first person to >have figured this all
[Lucas] Thanks! I'm probably not the first, but I know I'm one of
the few to have successfully posted a 720/24p feature.
>Do you still need to have the
Panasonic AJ-FRC27 frame rate >converter/disk array as well to
change the 60p to 24p over 60p? or can >the HD-1700 do that?
[Lucas] You still need the FRC. The conversion on the 1700 is very
specific for 720/24p > 1080/23.98p
>Once you edit in the non-linear
system as 1080/24p it seems you must >output to an HDD5 or HDCAM,
otherwise the HD1700 only records >1080i even though it plays
24p, or I guess you could re-convert back >down to 1280x720 24p
[Lucas] Correct. But I'm assuming the reason you want to go to 23.98p
is because of an eventual film-out, or you just need a universal
master. One thing I should have mentioned is that if you don't *have*
to have a 23.98 master, then just do post in 1080i and be done with
>In summary if I understand
you correctly, the Varicam post workflow >short and simple is.
1. Downconvert from DVCPro HD using any of the >Panasonic HD
beginning your online, convert the project from 29.97 to 23.98 >using
Avid or FCP software, cut your movie.
[Lucas] No. At the beginning of the offline process, the project
on the offline system must originate in 24fps mode. Both Film Composer
and FCP w/Cinema Tools allow an offline editor to set up a project
at 30fps or 24fps. The difference is that in a 24fps project, the
software is keeping track of cadence, and understands where everything
lives in both 24fps and 30fps worlds. If the project is cut in 30fps
mode, then the offline software has no sense of cadence, and has
no idea how to properly convert a list from 30fps to 24fps for online.
If you have already cut your project at 30fps, then the best conform
you can have is an EDL conversion from 30 - 24 for online. If you're
on a DS|HD, you can also import the 30fps AAF/OMF to get effects
and other critical information. On any other system, all you can
do is an EDL.
>3. Use the
Automatic Duck Automatic Sequence Export Pro plug in >(must be
new Pro version just released) to export an Avid compatible >OMF
[Lucas] Automatic Duck is strictly for FCP. It takes an FCP project,
and converts it to an OMF. An Avid system can spit out an OMF native.
the OMF timeline into Avid DS, Smoke, Quantel iQ or EQ >system
in 1080/24p. (I suppose we should check with Boxx >Technologies
and Apple if they can import the AutoDuck OMF?)
[Lucas] This totally depends on the online system. For instance
- Avid DS|HD can read an EDL, OMF, AAF, or AFE from Film Composer.
Quantel eQ and iQ can ONLY read AAF, but the only information they
can currently read out of AAF is timeline, i.e.: EDL's. Smoke and
Fire can theoretically read OMFs, but it's seriously buggy - EDLâ€™s
are the only reliable conform method. But, if you edited your offline
at 30fps and are doing a 24fps online - Quantel and Discreet can
do list conversion within their software. DS cannot, and you need
an external list conversion utility to do it.
If it sounds confusing, that's because it is. That's why it's so
important that your Online Editor be fully versed in ALL the different
conform methods. You could spend an additional 2 or 3 days in online
if you use the wrong conform method.
>5. Use only
the new Panasonic AJ-HD 1700 DVCPro HD to upconvert to >1080/24p
and load an Avid DS, Smoke, Quantel iQ or EQ system in >1080/24p.
[Lucas] That's the cheapest method. Another way of doing it is using
an FRC-27 and an HD150 in conjunction for the conversion, but that
introduces a bunch of other problems.
>Definitely no "guerrilla
[Lucas] You can do guerrilla post with 720/24p if you want. but
it'll hurt. A lot.
HD Online Editor
Santa Monica / Hollywood
I've been watching this posting for a few days now, and find myself
compelled to chime in. This is my first listing posting so forgive
me if I don't follow protocol.
I edit on Discreet Smoke with Varicam HD all the time. Our deck
is the 150 and we shoot off speed stuff often. Our off-line is done
primarily on AVID and as of late FCP, but the SD material supplied
is from the down converted HD straight off the deck. In other word,
in the case of 24p, inserted 3:2. Any off speed shots are bounced
through the FRC and laid back to an "off speed" tape with
new TC and that is treated just like any other source.
Off-lined as normal and a 30fps list is supplied to online for conform.
When audio is recorded on a separate device (not on the HD tape
itself) an audio post master is supplied with the same list for
conforming and audio work. Being that they are all in the 29.97
world, all is happy in audio world (and we like keeping them happy
don't we?) When they are finished, it is either laid directly back
on to tape or a file is supplied and imported into the Smoke.
As for visuals, the 150 is set to 1080 and when the list is conformed,
the Smoke is told the A frame (most often 00:00:00:00) and told
to remove the 3:2 on input. List is conformed, effects and text
added, output to tape, done. I hate that it sounds so easy, but
from my experience, it's really that simple. I understand that when
you are delivering a master destine for film release there are added
steps involved. I also realize that if you desire to stay in 720
you are headed down a different path as well. But I've gotta say,
if you are wanting an HD master that can be sent to any dub house
for universal release, just like any Film originating piece in the
past, this is the way to go.
And here's one that all you purists will hate me for...when I cut
a piece for HD release that was shot in 24 and delivering in 1080i
for broadcast, I add ALL text after the 3:2 insertion. I don't want
to get into the aesthetic arguments of this, but we all know moving
text, even dissolved text, does not look as clear with 3:2 as it
does at 29.27.
That's all for me, and I will echo listings in the past by saying
there are NO hard and fast rules to anything. Every project is taken
on a case by case situation whereby any or all parts of this workflow
are changed or abandoned all together.