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Old Apr 30, 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
HobeSoundDarryl
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FCPX Compressor 1080 60fps to 30fps workflow?

The problem: How to go from 1080p 60fps to 1080p 30fps (for TV 3 playback)?

I'm new to FCPX and Compressor. I shoot everything with a Panasonic HDC-HS900 at 1080p 60fps with Dolby Digital 5.1. I use ClipWrap to convert the footage to Pro Res 422. That will make it easy to get the footage at 60p (actually 59.94) into FCP X flawlessly. I edit the footage as I want it and render a final master file at 1080 60fps with Dolby Digital 5.1. This all works perfectly fine.

What I need now is a way to ALSO render a 30fps version at highest quality for the latest generation TV. That means I need a way to drop every other frame so that I go from 60fps to 30fps while trying to keep picture & sound quality as high as possible.

Prior to buying Compressor, here's what I've tried:
  • Rendering as a QT file with Pro Res 422, using a third party utility to add chapters, testing to make sure all is good with that file, then running it through Handbrake, High Profile setting changing frame rate to 29.97. This yields a nice, compact file that looks great but the audio gets out of sync toward the ends of these (sometimes 1-2 hour movies).
  • Load up the 60fps Pro Res 422 file in QT7 and export it with everything at high settings but changing the frame rate to 29.97. Same effect (audio slips out of sync well into the resulting movie).
  • I have Adobe Creative Suite and it includes Adobe Media Encoder 5.5. I max out all the settings per TV3 limits and change fps to 30. This will yield a file with audio in sync all the way through... but no DD5.1 and no chapters. Plus, this option takes a VERY L O N G time.

So, I purchased Compressor but haven't been able to figure out the preset I need that will do what I want. I'd love to get 2 presets:
  1. takes over the master file render 1080p 60fps H.264 with DD5.1 and Chapters
  2. same as 1 but drops every other frame and yields a 30fps version of the file that maximizes quality per TV 3 capabilities. Quality over file size is what matters to me here.
So then, I would simply do the work in FCPX and pass the resulting file to Compressor 2 times: once for #1 (to build a master file) and again for #2 to build an TV3 copy.

Anyone able to guide me through this? I perceive that Compressor can easily handle this but I can't seem to figure out how to set it up right.

If Compressor can't do this, does anyone know a great media converter that could take the master file and yield a 30fps TV version without losing audio sync (and keeping DD5.1 and chapters)?

I'm fine with continuing to export Pro Res 422 too (then using Handbrake) but that means I need a way to export Pro Res 422 at 30fps for the second copy (and then using Handbrake). This latter idea doesn't seem to be built into FCP X.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Apr 30, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 03:58 PM   #2
infowarfare
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post

I'm new to FCPX and Compressor. I shoot everything with a Panasonic HDC-HS900 at 1080p 60fps with Dolby Digital 5.1. I use ClipWrap to convert the footage to Pro Res 422. That will make it easy to get the footage at 60p (actually 59.94) into FCP X flawlessly. I edit the footage as I want it and render a final master file at 1080 60fps with Dolby Digital 5.1. This all works perfectly fine.
I guess I'm confused... why would you shoot only in 60fps let alone render your master file in 60fps? The whole point of shooting at 60fps is so you can conform down to 30fps or 24fps for a slow-motion effect, but shooting 60fps for the sake of 60fps doesn't make sense since your two choices of playback are either outputting to film (for theatrical release) which would playback at 24fps or for video (TV, web, etc.) which would playback at 30fps.

In other words, unless you are doing a slow-motion scene, you should be shooting at either 30fps or 24fps, especially if you are planning on showing your work publicly, yes?
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 04:15 PM   #3
handsome pete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infowarfare View Post
I guess I'm confused... why would you shoot only in 60fps let alone render your master file in 60fps? The whole point of shooting at 60fps is so you can conform down to 30fps or 24fps for a slow-motion effect, but shooting 60fps for the sake of 60fps doesn't make sense since your two choices of playback are either outputting to film (for theatrical release) which would playback at 24fps or for video (TV, web, etc.) which would playback at 30fps.

In other words, unless you are doing a slow-motion scene, you should be shooting at either 30fps or 24fps, especially if you are planning on showing your work publicly, yes?
Not really. As discussed in other threads there are advantages to shooting at higher frame rates (48 or 60) and then converting back to 24/30 down the road. Not just conforming for slow motion purposes.
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 04:26 PM   #4
initialsBB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
  • Rendering as a QT file with Pro Res 422, using a third party utility to add chapters, testing to make sure all is good with that file, then running it through Handbrake, High Profile setting changing frame rate to 29.97. This yields a nice, compact file that looks great but the audio gets out of sync toward the ends of these (sometimes 1-2 hour movies).
  • Load up the 60fps Pro Res 422 file in QT7 and export it with everything at high settings but changing the frame rate to 29.97. Same effect (audio slips out of sync well into the resulting movie).
Why not convert just the video to 30P, and then put your original audio onto it ? At least then you can see if the length of the film stays the same.
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 04:29 PM   #5
HobeSoundDarryl
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Thank you both for your posts. I'm not really looking for critique on why I shoot this way, etc. I appreciate that there are many ways to shoot video. I shoot at 60fps. I can't go back and re-shoot it some other way (and would not be interested even if I could).

I'm really just looking for help to do what I seek in post #1. I want permanent masters at 60fps and I want a second copy for what can work at TV3 limits. If I never get some hardware that can play those 60fps files in the future, then I'm just wasting hard drive space. It's mine- let me waste it.

Any help doing what I'm trying to do would be much appreciated.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Why not convert just the video to 30P, and then put your original audio onto it ? At least then you can see if the length of the film stays the same.
That's somewhat what I'm trying to do- convert the video to 30fps. The methods I've tried in post #1 will get the audio out of sync, or lose the DD5.1 & chapters. I'm trying to end up with a second copy at TV3 maximums (30fps, DD5.1, with chapters).

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Apr 30, 2012 at 10:03 PM.
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Old May 1, 2012, 03:46 AM   #6
initialsBB
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I think I'm confused... Do you convert both video and audio to 30P ? Normally you should not have to touch the audio, as the duration will be exactly the same. I'm guessing your best bet would be to do the frame rate conversion only on the video file before exporting to H264.

Have you tried creating a 30P project in FCP X and then dropping your 60P film into it ? Again, there is no reason to touch the audio. Depending on the quality of the frame rate conversion you may have to retime your audio, although normally there is no reason for it to be out of sync.

There is also an option in H264 conversions that allows "frame reordering" to maximize the compression... I have found that it can lead to desynchronizing audio especially on longer programs. Via Quicktime's H264 settings I know you can uncheck this setting, but I don't know about Handbrake.
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Old May 1, 2012, 06:44 AM   #7
HobeSoundDarryl
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initialsBB, again thank you for the input. To your first question vs. post #1, what I've tried is taking the edited file rendered out of FCP X- that is, a 1080p 60fps Pro Res 422 QuickTime file with DD5.1 and fed it into Handbrake... just like feeding Handbrake any other file (not just video but the whole file- video + audio). Normally, a long movie fed to Handbrake "just converts" (with audio in sync) but I'm not changing frame rates with "normal" movies. In this case, I'm am doing that one different thing- switching the frame rate in Handbrake from 59.94 (native) to 29.97 for the TV 3 version. I expect this to yield the exact same movie at half the frame rate and it does... but the audio slips out of sync in longer movies.

To your second question (creating a 30p product in FCP X and then dropping the 60p files into it), I have not tried that. I had assumed that would yield slow motion rather than frame rate conversion (keeping all 60fps but displaying them at half the speed). I'll try it and see what happens.

I will add that in all conversion efforts, the resulting files end up exactly the same length (of time). For example, the audio track referenced in Quicktime is not slightly longer or shorter (which, if it was, might intuitively explain why the audio gets out of sync) in the conversion.

Lastly, are you- or anyone else reading this- familiar enough with Compressor to know that what I'm trying to do per post #1 is NOT possible? For example, your potential solution involves making the conversion in FCP X itself (by creating a 30fps project first and then dropping 60fps video into it). If that works, it would suggest I could just export from FCP X and not actually need to use Compressor. Is (what I thought would be a simple) frame rate conversion NOT a Compressor render profile function?

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; May 1, 2012 at 07:01 AM.
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Old May 1, 2012, 07:18 AM   #8
KeithPratt
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I've never done it myself, but give the following a go:
  • Drag and drop your video file on the Compressor icon
  • In the Settings panel, open the Apple Devices folder, then drag and drop 'H.264 for Apple TV' on your video file
  • In the Inspector panel, select the second box (Encoder), click the cog by Frame Rate, then change it to 29.97
  • Click Submit.
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:36 AM   #9
Keebler
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Hi,

First thought is to right click and make a duplicate copy of any Compressor preset and then change the settings. I can't check now as I have something running, but see if you can choose the 60fps (of course, as long as your sequence is set that way first).
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Old May 1, 2012, 12:05 PM   #10
Keebler
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Originally Posted by Keebler View Post
Hi,

First thought is to right click and make a duplicate copy of any Compressor preset and then change the settings. I can't check now as I have something running, but see if you can choose the 60fps (of course, as long as your sequence is set that way first).
Now I'm using a CompressHD card so the instructions might be off , but go into options or settings. I duplicated a ProRes file under Apple - ProRes.

go to encoder (2nd window to the right of the main window).

if 'Settings' for audio is grayed out, choose enabled in the pull down to the right then click on settings. Go to channels and choose your setting. then hit ok and it should ask you to save the changes.

Hope that helps.
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Old May 1, 2012, 12:15 PM   #11
HobeSoundDarryl
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Keith & Keebler, thank you for the suggestions. I'll try those.

Keebler, FYI: I did exactly that (duplicate one of the Pro Res profiles) when I first got Compressor, hoping to tweak just a few settings to my needs. Maybe I didn't try hard enough but I couldn't figure out how to keep DD that way. When I worked with audio settings, it looked like it was going to output only an audio file. But maybe I didn't give it enough time & effort, so I'll try again. I hope that works as I'd love to just tweak 2 Pro Res profiles to output Pro Res with DD, apply the Chapter Markers and then run it through Handbrake for the compressed master (60fps) and (30fps) TV3 files.

Can Compressor profiles be made elsewhere and emailed and then imported? If so, if anyone can make me 2 Compressor profiles per the goal of the original post, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old May 2, 2012, 02:24 AM   #12
initialsBB
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I just created a 60p clip in After Effects, imported to FCP X and then dropped it into a 29.97 sequence... worked fine, no slow motion, same duration and speed, doesn't even need to render !

edit: tested with a 60p sequence where every frame is numbered. Once dropped into a 29.97 sequence, FCP X skips every odd numbered frame.

Last edited by initialsBB; May 2, 2012 at 04:27 AM.
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Old May 2, 2012, 03:44 PM   #13
HobeSoundDarryl
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initialsBB, thank you so much for going to the trouble there. That seems like the ideal solution to my problem (and apparently I didn't need to buy Compressor at all). Thank you very much!
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Old May 3, 2012, 03:16 AM   #14
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Compressor is still very useful !
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