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PAL vs NTSC

rockanomicon's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 days ago
Joined: 10/24/2006 - 2:37pm
1. Does filming in PAL, vs. NTSC make that much of difference in attaining the infamous, "film look". ( I will probably be shunned for even usingt those two words in the same sentence. ) Sure i understand that 25 fps is closer to 24fps than the NTSC's 30 fps, but those are numbers on paper, and I think we all know how well (or poorly) numbers on paper reflect actuality.

I realize that equipment does not make a great product, its the person behind the camera, and their talent (or lack there-of). Believe me, I've been playing music for over 13 years. There is nothing quite like the person with the $3500 gem of a guitar, that thinks a $3500 Les Paul is going to make up for a lack of talent. But in the same breath why shoot yourself in the foot to prove a point.

2. Has anyone used the Magic Bullet Suite for After Effects? If so, what was your configuration and what were the results?

ThomasTyndan's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/26/2006 - 1:10pm
the PAL standard is the non US/Canada broadcast framerate. You use that standard so you don't have to do any conversions or adjustments. So if you want to do it the traditional "film" way you can buy DV camcorders that record in NTSC 24 FPS. the US/Canada Film framerate. Like the perfect in everyway, and also very expensive Canon XL2. The human eye has trouble differentiating small movments at around 12 FPS but it can pick up strobing at fast movements at around 24 FPS. The 24 FPS is kinda arbitrary as it is just the speed that film cameras are standardized to film at. If you want the film look on DV buy a XL2 and use Magic Bullet. Also make sure that you shoot a shollow depth of field. In order to recreate the optics of a film camera.

Which brings me to the second part: I have never used Magic Bullet in After Effects, but I do use it in in Sony Vegas, what do you mean configuration?

Welcome to the forums!

rockanomicon's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 days ago
Joined: 10/24/2006 - 2:37pm
Thanks for your reply!

As far as configuration, I just meant, what type of Editing suite are you using it with? What type of camera(s).

Are you pleased with Magic Bullet?


As far as camera's go, I was looking at the Panasonic series both were 3CCD units, one happened to be PAL format, the other NTSC.....

Ive checked out the Canon, and its sweet.....oh yesss. It is sweet. But out of my price range at this time.

ThomasTyndan's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/26/2006 - 1:10pm
With a good NLE honestly PAL and NTSC really doesn't matter, but if you live in America you should go ahead and get NTSC. Besides NTSC can also be slowed down without too much jumpyness. I myself do filmamking so I will usually shoot in 24 fps progrssive scan, unless I'm doing some kinds of slow motion. To say I'm pleased with Magic Bullet is an understatment. It is incredible. I quickly put together a Magic Bullet demo video for you. This is a still picture of myself outside Bodiam castle in England, It was shot, by an unskilled photographer on a Sony digital Camera. So as you will see by the RAW image it is kind of a plain image.

The Demo will alternate between the RAW image and the 3 Magic Bullet filters (1.31MB):

http://www.tyndanproductions.com/offtopic/MBDemo.wmv

The first filter is called "Basic" is just does some color correction and image enhancment. I run everything I film for my movies through this.

The second filter is "Night" It makes the image look like is was shot at night, kinda it cannot do anything with and fires etc in the shot. so this effect is simulating Moonlight.

The Third is called Warm, it makes it look like it was shot on a nice sunny day, this filter is used all the time to stimulate happyness in viewers, just as another filter called Cold stimulated opposite emotions.

I have to say that although Magic Bullet is good they do not offer sutome controls and you will find you will not use many of the filter, but with the Basic, Warm, Cold, and Night, you can instantly make anything you shoot look good. And although these shots are still images, motion video looks just as good.

I use Vegas 6. and right now I am using a Canon Optura Xi until I can afford a XL2.


Compressor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 3 days ago
Joined: 10/23/2006 - 1:00pm
Where do you plan on showing your project? ThomasTyndan did a great job at explaining the two formats. I just have a little bit more to expand on it.

If you want your project to be shown on a bigscreen some day and will eventually convert up to 35mm PAL usually works out better because it's a progressive scan format, which means for every frame you get one complete image. You also only need to take out one frame of footage compared to six frames of footage in NTSC. The one problem with PAL however is long projects often have problems with audio syncing. Removing 1 frame doesn't cause a problem in one minute clips, but after an hour it becomes noticable.

NTSC is the format to use if you expect your planning on selling your idea to television networks, or if you plan on making it into a video distribution deal.

Thomas has the best idea though. Try to find a camera that does both and is able to be customized. 24fps progressive scan isn't NTSC or PAL, but compression programs are getting better every day and you can always convert your project into something else when you are done.

paulears's picture
Last seen: 3 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am
I only discovered this forum this week, and I thought I'd respond to some of the threads - I make my living out of lighting, sound and video for entertainment - I don't do wedding style work, mainly odd stuff - all with a theatrical link, so car chases in Cardiff, chasing aeroplanes down runways - these are my kind of thing.

The PAL v NTSC thread has some useful comment, but the actual point and background are a bit confused. NTSC has nothing whatsoever to do with the 'film look'. PAL/NTSC are simply the colour systems that were developed on both side of the Atlantic - in America, mains electricity is 110V 60 Hz and over here in the UK where I live, and in western europe we have 230V 50 Hz. In the early days of television, the number of frames per second was derived from the mains, so Americans went to 30 (well, 29.9ish to be exact) and we all went to 25. Film projection in cinemas stayed with 24fps everywhere.

When colour TV sprung up, rather daftly, we Brits went with one system and you Americans went with another. The system of transmitting colour was very different. From the UK perspective an NTSC signal had too many frames per second, and had very different colour information. It was possible, back in the seventies to convert with a very expensive gadget, that converted the colour info, and then threw away a few frames making it nearly the same as our system. This didn't do quality any favours! When you converted our stuff into yours, you simply duplicated a few frames each second to make it match. Again small problems, but apart from a little jitter from time to time on fast moving content it was ok.

Move on a few years and the TV manufacturers decided to design circuits in each tv and vcr that could switch between the systems. They rarely told people, but in most cases a PAL tape would play ok on an NTSC TV, and vice versa. Never quite looked as it should, but most people were happy.

It has got a lot better with digital video cameras - The main differences now are just slight differences in the size of the frame 720 x 576 for PAL and 720 x 480 for NTSC - this is a pain, as it means that swapping from one to the other means cropping or stretching has to happen - not too obvious unless the content has a picture of planet earth, or a clock.

Playback of NTSC or PAL DV material isn't cut and dried. I've shot on NTSC and loaded it into my PAL system and edited it - works ok, but I've tried the tapes on some other machines and the results have not been quite so straight forward.

Now onto the bit about 24 frame shooting. It has very little to do with PAL or NTSC, it's just a new way of shooting material that has some of the qualities of film - including some of the defects too!

You need a very different technique to record images on 24f - your wobbly, fast panned stuff isn't any good - the image goes really soft and stuttery - we've been used to being able to shoot all sorts of ways, many quite uncontrolled, but giving decent images. With 24f you need to develop film techniques, good quality pan and tilt heads, good focus and framing skills and being blunt, a professional style of shooting. The 'film look' so often talked about is a combination of the technical setup in the camera and practical skills. 24f technique is just a 'new' format, the colour system is a part of the past, and only now matters in the processing of the signal - something we can do really well nowadays.

There is tons of data available about all the different types of HD systems and much of it doesn't make much sense to beginners (or to be honest to many pros like me) The best advice I'm following at the moment is to hang on. A friend has recommended 3 different HD systems so far this year - each one described as the proverbial dogs bo**ocks.

My advice to anybody considering buying a new camera now is to try them out against each other - you do need to try 24f in all it's variants to see if the results are what you want. 24 frame progressive can give truly excellent results, but does need a lot more care in framing, focus, colour balance and movement. Whatever you do, buying an NTSC camcorder when you live in the uk is bad, as is buying a PAL version if you are in the states.
sorry for a long winded first post - but your forum does look interesting
paul

rockanomicon's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 days ago
Joined: 10/24/2006 - 2:37pm
Well thanks for you input guys, I do appreciate it.
I know the most straight foward solution to this would be filming with a unit that is capable of 24p. I am sure in the future that will be a possibility. I am simply going to learn how to do things without all the bells and whistles.

ThomasTyndan's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/26/2006 - 1:10pm
The most straightforward solution would probably be to go out and buy a 35mm film camera. but you didn't hear that from me :D

I know that Canon's XL2 does a 24p shooting mode, that I think it converts to NTSC 30fps on the fly, so you don;t have the audio syncing problem. But do not quote me on that. I am doing filmmaking myself, and when I have amassed the money I am buying an XL2 as far as I have been able to research it is the best camera you can get for Digital filmmaking purposes. check out this video here it talk about the XL2 and the 24p shooting mode. It also has some great examples. The best part is that this feature tour was not created or even licensed to be created by Canon. it was done by dvcreators.net on their own, but Canon latched on the the video shortly after its release. Anyway, check it out, and you will become a believer...

http://dvcreators.net/media/demos/xl2featuretour/xl2featuretour.html

rockanomicon's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 days ago
Joined: 10/24/2006 - 2:37pm
Ya, the 35 mm would do the trick too, but....I think we all know that story...
Anyway....I am a guy, going straight to film would be like pulling over and asking for directions when I am lost.....sure its the most logical thing to do, but completely out of the question.

ThomasTyndan's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/26/2006 - 1:10pm
Heh, don;t really got o film, that is a whole new problem to deal with. You are wanting to do filmmaking right? If you have the money the XL2 is unparalleled. honestly take a look at the XL2 tour. You could do a lot with it. It is designed to allow for the "film look" and it has the control and the felexbility that you would want, as a blooming professional.

Just out of curiousity what camera were you looking at?

The one suggestion I will make straight off the bat is that in order to really work with your video like it is film, take the time to convert it to the correct "format".

This means the following. Any mini DV is going to produce a DV formatted video which is 720x480, and ussually interlaced. But with any good NLE you can convert video to a god format which would be as follows (for widescreen which is necessary for the film look): 24 progrssive scan, 854X480 (yeah change the resolution to full resolution instead of the standard anamorphic) and make sure you leave it uncomporessed.

This will take up a lot of hardrive space, but you should they be able to work with the best possible film format. and it makes visual effect a whole lot easier. I have close to a terrabyte of space on my computer and I am building a file server to house another 1.6 terrabytes.