Handling Footage at 24 Frames per Second

I've had a lot of questions about how to import footage shot at 24p into Final Cut Pro. There are some differences, so just opening a new project and hitting "Import" won't work. A couple adjustments have to be made.

Shooting in 24p(a)
This article is going to assume you're shooting on a Canon XL2, DVX-100, or similar camera. There are two 24p modes in the camera, 24p and 24pa (also referred to as 2:3 and 2:3:3:2 pulldown methods). Without going into technical details about pulldown, 24p is meant to be played back at 30 frames per second and only LOOK like 24 frames per second, while 24pa is meant to actually be converted to 24 frames per second when it is imported. 24p is fairly straightforward (shoot and edit in 30fps as normal), so I'm going to discuss 24pa here. It gives you a true 24fps shot without interlacing. Check your camera's manual on how to set up 2:3:3:2 recording.

Capturing Footage
Assuming you already have your footage logged (this article anyone?), you'll need to set up a capture preset.
  • Go to Final Cut Pro->Audio/Video Settings.
  • Click on the "Capture Presets" tab.
  • Click on "DV NTSC 48kHz" and click "Duplicate"
  • Name the Preset "DV NTSC 48 kHz Anamorphic 2:3:3:2"
  • Check the Anamorphic 16:9 checkbox if you shot in Anamorphic
  • Leave your FPS at 29.97 frames per second. The footage will be converted to 24p after importing.
  • Click Advanced, and in the dialog box, change Interlaced to Progressive (you may need a camera or tape deck connected to do this). Close this window.
  • Check "Remove Advanced Pulldown and/or Duplicate Frames from Firewire sources"
  • Hit OK to save the setting
Right click on the clips you want to import, then choose Batch Capture. Under Capture Preset, choose the preset you just made.

Editing Footage
You'll also have to set your sequence up for 24p editing.
  • Go to Final Cut Pro->Audio/Video Settings.
  • Click on the "Sequence Presets" tab.
  • Choose "DV NTSC 48 kHz" and click "Duplicate"
  • Rename the Preset "DV NTSC 48 kHz 24p"
  • Check "Anamorphic 16:9"
  • Change the Editing Timebase to 23.98
  • Click "Advanced" under Quicktime Video Settings and change Scan Mode to Progressive. Click OK.
  • Click OK to save the preset
To load this preset into a sequence, click on the Sequence window in Final Cut and hit Command-0 (zero). Click "Load Sequence Preset", then choose your preset. You're ready to edit!

     - Wes