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Thread: PAL framerates, filmlike?

  1. #1
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    Default PAL framerates, filmlike?

    Because PAL is only a frame per second faster than the film framerates, it should look quite filmlike, right? For the most part, I've thought this, as everyone else probably has, but how come on some soaps or cheap programmes it can look "sped up" and smooth, like NTSC?

    Is it to do with camera settings, like shutter speed?

    Sorry for the rather dumb question, but it's something I'm quite interested in finding out..

  2. #2

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    PAL runs at 25 frames per second, film runs at 24 frames per second, should be good to go right?
    Wrong!
    Film dislpays a full frame each time, however PAL is a TV standard and so it is interlaced. That means that each frame is actually a half frame and when it displays a picture it scans the first half down the screen then scans the second half down the screen which gives the "impression" of a full picture.
    Clear as mud?
    Get on to the internet to find explanations of interlaced video etc and you will get the idea.

  3. #3
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    Ahh, so basically, there are 50 half frames showing in one second? With some things being broadcast with only one frame filling both halves, creating a film look?

  4. #4
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    I suggest you stop worrying.

    The film look is nothing to do with interlaced or progressive or frame rate - that is film student crap talk.

    Progrssive and interalced do have different advantages but looking like film or isnt one of them.

    Worrying about getting a ' film look ' is daft and misses the point totally.

  5. #5
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    Well, I was just wondering what makes some things look less smooth than others, even when the frame rate is the same.

    I watched a film the other day, and there was a view from a security camera, which had a smooth motion look to it.

    I don't like the smooth "soap look", and just want to avoid it.

    Does it all come down to shutter speed?

  6. #6

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    The perceived "smoothness" of film as compared to digital video comes down to a few factors that we have already mentioned on this thread.
    Yes to some degree it is frame rate, add a little difference from the interlacing then top the whole thing off with the fact that you are dealing with a digital, not analogue, recording of the file.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure what the filmlook is, but if you're talking about "smoothness", i think it boils down to the machine it was originally rendered on. Compression struggles with alot of editing. The reason you may see a smoother motion on cctv is there is no editing involved - just capture, compression and record.

    And, I really don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about! It's just a thought.

  8. #8
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    Hmm, interesting.

    I did a little experiment just to clear things up...

    I recorded a panning video of my bedroom using the PS3 Eye camera on the computer at 50 progressive frames per second (and made a halved rate version with virtual dub), then added both to a Vegas project, edited them to randomly switch, and then rendered at 50i.

    It seems that lancecarr was right and it all boils down to interlacing. You can quite easily see the difference between the 50i and 25p clips, so my problem is solved. Although I could be totally wrong, I'm a bit of a newbie.

    You can download the video and have a look for yourself here... (50 interlaced is indicated by a running dog)

    3MB 50i vs 25p video test.avi

  9. #9
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    Just to add to the confusion when film is displayed the projector has a shutter that flashes the film on the screen at 48 fps or more, they always tried to make films look smooth, you never saw many pans unless it was to follow some object like a horse and carriage, and the film was so slow it blurred movement in the direction of travel, It's probably why security video looks smooth, it probably has motion blur. so when I was watching films 50 to 60 years ago, the best technology of the day was trying to get smooth films, so now we have the ability to get smooth video why do you want to live in the past, give me interlacing every time.
    Bryan

  10. #10
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    Haha, you've got a good point there... it's just that if you're trying to make a budget movie, it helps for it to not look like it was shot with a camcorder.

    I went to my friendís house a while ago and he has an LCD TV and Sky... Jurassic Park was playing on one channel, and it was very smooth indeed, as if it were 50 fps. No idea how it looked like that, wouldn't it have been shot in 24p originally? Heh, anyway, my sister who knows nothing about video, commented on how cheap it looked, and asked me why. So it obviously does make a difference, even for the general public.

    I guess itíll have to be more common place in films before people see 50i (or whatever) as a non camcorder look.

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