Removing 3:2 Pull-Down or Conforming 25 fps PAL to 24 fps

Once you have captured the clips, you may need to process them before editing. In most cases, you should edit clips at the same frame rate as your original footage (23.98 fps, 24 fps, or in PAL countries, sometimes 25 fps). This ensures that any film lists you export will be accurate. It also helps with synchronizing the audio to the video clips, avoiding having to modify its speed.

There are two common issues with your clips that you can correct while working in Final Cut Pro:

Standard Reverse Telecine

The telecine process adds duplicate video fields to make 24 fps film footage fit within 29.97 fps video. The film-to-NTSC video case is particularly complex: the film is slowed from 24 to 23.98 fps during the telecine process to match the discrepancy between 30 and 29.97 fps. Simultaneously, film frames are repeated in a 3:2 pattern, resulting in duplicate video fields. Once your video footage is captured to disk, you need to perform a reverse telecine operation to remove the 3:2 pull-down. You can perform the reverse telecine operation on media by choosing Tools > Cinema Tools Reverse Telecine.

Although you can initiate the reverse telecine process in Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools actually performs the task. If you perform reverse telecine in Cinema Tools, more options are available than in Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro always uses the last settings that were used in Cinema Tools. You should always perform reverse telecine on a clip directly in Cinema Tools to verify the proper settings before batch processing clips using Final Cut Pro.

Important: Performing reverse telecine using Final Cut Pro modifies a clip’s original media file—you do not have the option of creating a new media file as you do when using Cinema Tools. Also, you must have read-and-write privileges for the media files you want to process.

To use Final Cut Pro to start the Cinema Tools reverse telecine process
  1. In the Browser, select the clips you want to process.

    Note: Only files using a 29.97 fps rate will be processed.

  2. Choose Tools > Cinema Tools Reverse Telecine.

    Cinema Tools opens and performs the reverse telecine operation, displaying a dialog that shows the task’s progress.

Removing Advanced Pull-Down

Advanced pull-down is an in-camera or in-deck method of embedding 23.98 fps video within 29.97 fps video. It uses the same principles as traditional film-to-video telecine 3:2 pull-down, but it uses a slightly more complex 2:3:3:2 pattern that is more efficient for computer editing systems to remove. Advanced pull-down is used in video recording systems to achieve 23.98 fps within a 29.97 fps format. Film is not transferred using advanced pull-down. Formats that support advanced pull-down include Panasonic DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50, and DVCPRO HD. Because film is not involved, Cinema Tools is not necessary when working with this kind of footage.

Note: Many of these video camcorders also have a traditional 3:2 pull-down mode. If your goal is to edit at 23.98 fps, there is no value in using this mode because you can’t take advantage of advanced pull-down removal in Final Cut Pro. If you accidentally shoot in this mode and you want to remove the pull-down, you will have to use the Cinema Tools Reverse Telecine feature.

For more information, see Working with 24p Video.

Conforming 25 fps Video to 24 fps

In countries that use PAL video, film is sped up by four percent (from 24 to 25 fps) and then transferred to PAL video. You can capture and edit the PAL footage and then deliver a 25 fps EDL (instead of a traditional cut list) to the negative cutter, who matches the 25 fps timecode back to the original film edge codes.

However, one of the problems with the method described above is that the original audio is four percent slower than the PAL video containing the sped-up film footage, so you can’t match the audio to your video in Final Cut Pro. To avoid this problem, you can use the Conform 25 to 24 command to slow your PAL video footage back to 24 fps. Unlike reverse telecine, which must actually remove fields or frames of video, the Conform 25 to 24 command simply slows the duration of each frame by four percent so that the footage plays back more slowly at the film’s original 24 fps rate.

To conform a 25 fps clip to 24 fps in Final Cut Pro
  1. In the Browser, select one or more clips you want to conform from 25 fps to 24 fps.

  2. Choose Tools > Conform 25 to 24.

    The clips are conformed to 24 fps.

    If any of the selected clips are not 25 fps, a warning appears stating that one or more clips will not be processed.

Important: Conforming a clip modifies the original media file. If you need to undo the conform process, you must use the Conform feature in Cinema Tools. Additionally, you must have read-and-write privileges for the media files you want to conform.

About 24 @ 25 Timecode

Conforming 25 fps video to 24 fps does not alter the 25 fps timecode of your PAL footage, so this command creates an unusual media format in which the video rate is 24 fps (the original rate of the film) and the timecode rate is 25 fps (the original timecode numbers from your PAL videotape). When you conform 25 fps media files to 24 fps, the media file timecode rate is defined as 24 @ 25. You can verify the timecode rate for a clip in the TC Rate Browser column or in the Item Properties window.

24 @ 25 timecode makes it easy to work at 24 fps but retain 25 fps timecode throughout your edit. You can then export a 25 fps EDL that matches your PAL video footage and therefore can be matched by a negative cutter to the original film edge code.

Note: Because the editing timebase and playback are based on 24 fps, the 25 fps timecode no longer accurately represents the true passage of time. For example, 38 seconds of video (as defined by its 25 fps-based timecode) will actually take 40 seconds to play.

Creating 24 @ 25 Sequences and Easy Setups

To properly edit 24 @ 25 clips, you need to create a sequence with an editing timebase of 24 fps and set the timecode rate of this sequence to the special 24 @ 25 option. This option displays 25 fps timecode in your sequence as though you were editing PAL video, but the sequence plays back at 24 fps.

There are two sequence presets designed for 24 fps PAL video:

  • DV PAL 48 kHz - 24 @ 25: This preset uses a 24 fps editing timebase and 25 fps timecode. When you export an EDL from a sequence with this sequence preset, 25 fps timecode values are used. This method is more common and should be used when you intend to export a 25 fps EDL for the negative cutter, instead of a cut list.
  • DV PAL 48 kHz - 2: This preset does not support 24 @ 25 editing. Instead, both the editing timebase and the sequence timecode are 24 fps. This method should only be used when you intend to export a cut list from your 24 fps PAL project.

You can use the DV PAL 24 @ 25 Easy Setup included with Final Cut Pro, or you can create your own 24 @ 25 sequence preset if you are working with a format other than DV.