… for Codecs & Media
Tip #903: A Caution About Frame Rate Conversions
The highest image quality occurs when media is played at its source frame rate.
During this last week, I’ve gotten more emails than usual about frame rate conversions. Some of the concerns are software related; for example, there may be a problem with Compressor converting 24 fps material to 25 fps.
However, the bulk of my email centered on jitter caused by the conversion.
It is important to stress two key points:
- The web does not care about the frame rate of your media. The web plays anything. There’s no benefit to changing rates.
- The best image quality is ALWAYS when media is played back at the frame rate it was shot. As much as possible, shoot the frame rate you need to deliver.
Converting from 24 to 48, 59.94 to 29.97 or 60 to 30 is smooth and easy; every other frame is dropped or each frame is doubled. But converting 24 to 25, or 30 to 25 or 29.97 to 24 is a recipe for stutter and jitter.
To decrease your stress, before you start shooting, carefully think about the frame rate you need to deliver – or potentially might need to deliver – then shoot that rate. (And, remember, again, that the web doesn’t care about frame rates. So don’t convert media for the web.)