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24P playback of 24P video

Mocojez's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 01/23/2010 - 10:03pm

I just watched the tutorial on creating a 'film look' using 24P, and I felt there were some misleading statements. I'd also like to add a very big comment about PLAYBACK.

If there's no way to display or present your material at 24fps, I challenge the whole concept of shooting at 24P. Most decent video editing software now has the option to work in 24P format, so the material can be encoded to 24P MPEG-2 and displayed using HD DVD and a 24P-capable LCD screen (at a multiple of 24hz, with 120hz and above being optimal). You can also play directly from many cameras in 24P direct to these screens.

However, if you have to convert to an NTSC broadcast format to display the 24P, forget it. A lot of material is still produced on film for TV broadcast, and they generally shoot at 24fps. I've even seen digital video shot at 24P for television broadcast, which is perverse. The whole system for getting feature films onto North American TV is a horrible compromise. The 3:2 pulldown 'expansion' of film frames to interlaced video is not part of the 'film look', especially since that effect doesn't happen in places with 50hz systems, like the UK. They don't watch movies on TV with any 'mashing' of frames.

The TV production world uses 24fps for no other reason than it saves money, particularly in post production. I've seen many TV commercials shot at 24fps where the advertising agency actually believed they were producing a 'film look', which is a testament to the disingenuous nature of advertising.

A couple of other comments:

Motion blur is not the same as strobe - it's the opposite. Strobe occurs when the brain cannot perceive continuous motion, and this happens when we use a slow display frame rate COMBINED with a fast shutter (or narrow shutter angle in a film camera). At 24fps we don't perceive the black phases between the projected images - that's what persistence of vision means. But a narrow shutter angle means that each frame only captures a small percentage of the motion, and we can't put that movement back together in a fluid way. The narrow (or fast) shutter also decreases the motion blur, making things crisper, and this INCREASES the strobe effect.

I also totally challenge the idea that you should add film grain, unless you want a 'vintage' look. 35mm film has more than twice the detail resolution of HD video, and a modern feature film shot on film and transferred to digital video has no perceivable grain, unless it was intentional. Grain comes from degraded stored print, or from high speed stocks 'pushed' in exposure, printing or development.

And lastly, I wanted to comment that the 24fps standard for film-making is not set in stone. I agree that it was introduced with costs in mind, and then became a standard which was difficult to alter for the same reason. But movies are increasingly shot on digital video, and displayed on digital projectors. There's no doubt that a higher frame rate would raise the quality, so I predict that 30fps might be introduced in the near future.

Movies certainly produce the highest quality of image, being processed in post production and projected in theatres at about 4K resolution, but we can only display those images currently on a TV screen at 1920 x 1080, so I have to ask why we trying so hard for a 'film look' in video at 24P, when HD video at 30P arguably looks better on a TV screen?

I look forward to getting some comments!


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

60i (30 frames with 60 interlaced fields) has always been the standard broadcast quality since the early days of television. More recently with the introduction of digital video, video producers have been trying to acquire more of a film look in order to compete with india filmmakers by setting the rate which they record and reproduce to 24p. Film was always recorded and processed in 24p and sent to a 60i analog broadcast. Not the most ideal, but interlaced was intended to create a 60 'frame-ish' affect being able to broadcast in only 30 frames. 24pwas almost universal for video recording since people have tried to boost the quality of their productions, when in reality they took on one of film's disadvantages into acquiring something more 'filmic'. If I had more options I would honestly shoot only 60p (or 60i if there's no 60p option), except for those occasions when wanting to imitate something that happened in the past, or achieving a special affect. I'd check out this article:

http://videomaker.com/community/blogs/videonews/2008/10/4083-opinion-24p-must-die/


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"The TV production world uses 24fps for no other reason than it saves money"

How does shooting 24fps save money?

"interlaced was intended to create a 60 'frame-ish' affect being able to broadcast in only 30 frames."

I could be wrong, but I thought the real reason we shoot 60i is because of our electrical wiring in this country, which runs at 60Hz. But like I said, I could be wrong or maybe we're both right.

Mocojez,

I agree with you. I'm not down with 24p. The only time I find it acceptable is if you are transferring to film. The thing that bugs me most is people think 24p actually makes their video looks like film. It probably has the least impact. Composition, camera work, lighting...those all have a much bigger impact for creating a film look than the frame rate.

In my opinion, the standard should be 30fps, whether progressive or interlace. I don't like 60p because it looks too good. You see almost no motion blur, and motion blur is natural. I WANT to see some motion blur. The only time I would ever shoot 60p or higher is to achieve a VERY clean slow-mo effect.


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

"I could be wrong, but I thought the real reason we shoot 60i is because of our electrical wiring in this country, which runs at 60Hz. But like I said, I could be wrong or maybe we're both right."

Wasn't even quite sure myself, but I think my words are better stated as: 'interlaced video was intended to create a 60 frame-ish affect while only being able to broadcast only one field 60 times a second.'

"In my opinion, the standard should be 30fps, whether progressive or interlace. I don't like 60p because it looks too good. You see almost no motion blur, and motion blur is natural. I WANT to see some motion blur. The only time I would ever shoot 60p or higher is to achieve a VERY clean slow-mo effect."

This part of your post struck me amusing at first, but I sort of get your point of making better motion realism (which in a lot of cases it's a good affect). For the most part, 60p was created to move forward in attempt to ditch the whole interlaced gag. 60p is really the only progressive mode that creates enoughadequate fluid of motion. 30p is still a bit too jabbish - I'd still take 60i over it. If I had the option, I'd only use 24p for achieving a certain affect, not as my everyday story/movie/documentary shooting mode. I've heard some RED cams can shoot 120p for achieving some motion affects while retaining the good quality of 60p.