30 Frame Capture in a NTSC Film Project

by Michael Phillips and Alan Stewart


Film Composer 6.5.1v1 (forward) allows capture of 30 frame film based material into a 24 frame project. In 6.5.1v1 through 7.2 this feature is only available once a Console command has been entered. Once enabled, film to tape transfers that were done without pulldown can now be captured directly into a film project. This feature is principally for special effects that are generated on a frame to frame basis to tape and need to be integrated into the film project. Picture only digitize is available when this mode is active. 24 frame and 30 frame capture can be edited together in the same sequence.

Beginning with Film Composer XL and Symphony 2.0(24p), animators and others wishing to capture every frame from a videotape for 24fps playback can go to film settings and select Video Rate. Each frame from the tape will be captured without dropping any fields (assuming no 3:2 has been applied). No Console command is required.


Console Command (6.5.1v1 - 7.2)

The feature is enabled by typing "pulldown choice" into the console and hitting return. You will then be greeted by a warning message "EDL's are not supported when capturing at this rate". Click OK.



Once the feature is enabled, go to the "film" settings and select "video rate" from the transfer speed selector. This will now indicate to the system that every frame of video should be digitized. Once digitized, the picture will play back at 24fps. The setting must be changed back to "film rate" if normal 24 frame capture is desired.


Supported Outputs

Digital Cut:

Digitized media will behave like any other digitized picture. All playback of Avid media will depend on Video Slave Driver settings and menu selector in the "Digital Cut Window".


Digital Cut

Playback Speed


film rate



film rate



video rate

29.97 (20% faster/ 1 to 1)



All Cutlists will be displayed correctly for film based media regardless of capture rate. All captured material assumes a 24 frame playback. All cutlist tool options are available.


Unsupported Outputs



The EDL Manager and composition (sequence) currently only understand media that has been digitized from a source with a 2/3 pulldown. All picture digitized in the 30 frame mode will be off by 20% of the duration. EDL's are not intended to work nor are they supported at this time.



Batch digitize is only supported within groups of transfer rates. This means that all pulldown transferred material can be digitized together and all 30 frame transferred material can be captured together. Capture settings are not contained in the clip, so the setting needs to be set for each type before digitizing takes place. The only way of identifying how the clip was digitized is by looking at the "Pullin" column. 24 frame captured material will display either A, B, C, or D. 30 frame captured material will be blank.

Copyright 1999 Avid Technology, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Link to Avid Technology, Inc. for more technical info regarding Avid products.
Link to
Filmmaker's Home Page/ Editing.
Link to Zerocut main page.
Alan Stewart.