There were a few different stages of excitement that I went through after getting my Canon 7d. First I played around with all of my manual nikon lenses (using an adapter of course). Next I marveled at the settings and the live view feature. Finally I decided I wanted to go out and shoot some slow motion video. This is fairly easy to do seeing as the camera shoots both 720p and ntsc at 60 frames a second. The software side of slowing things down required some thinking, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
Here is what I (and the wisdom of the internet) have come up with.
1) camera to mac transfer -> image capture
This is pretty self explanatory, transfer one file or the whole card. It is up to you. Put it somewhere in your project directory. I use a folder called “Incoming”. Done.
2) conversion of H264 to prores -> MPEG streamclip
Open up mpeg streamclip. Load in one clip, or start a batch process. Hit file>export using quicktime, select the second “apple prores 422” preset down (That one is the HQ one.) I usually select a folder called “Prores clips”. Hit export.
3) 60fps to 24fps ‘conversion’ -> cinema tools
Cinema tools is installed with final cut.
This app only changes the metadata on the prores file so it plays back at 24 frames per second, not 60. Bring in the clip, hit conform. Select 24 fps. Hit conform again. Close the clip.
4) Final cut pro for the edit and export.
Import the files into FCP, and drag one into a new composition. It should ask you if you want to match the sequence settings to the clip settings. Hit yes. If you have an older version of FCP then just set your settings to the picture above.
That’s it! When you play your footage back in FCP it will play back smoothly at 24 frames per second. Your clip will be around 2.5 times longer, and consequently 2.5 times slower. If you watched the clip at the top you may have seen the second and third slow motion clips. Those were created using software called twixtor. It looks at existing frames and tries to create “new” frames that are a mixture of the surrounding frames. This works fairly well with low complexity subjects and small-ish slowdowns. When I have it slow a clip down to 25% of it’s original speed it needs to ‘create’ 22 frames per second (based on a 30fps clip) with only 8 frames to base those input frames on. Not to get too math heavy; it is a cool piece of software and it works amazingly well sometimes, but it certainly has it’s limits.