Final Cut Pro Tip #049

This is Geeky Mac’s first Final Cut Pro X tip!

Conforming frame rates to get flawless slow-motion with over cranked footage.

There are an abundance of cameras and format out there these days. From different resolutions to different frame rates, it’s hard to keep tack of it all. Luckily FCP X makes it easy for us. Most of the time we don’t even have to worry about this because FCP X takes care of all the work. But what if you shot at a higher frame rate with the intention of slowing down the footage? This used to mean you had to make a copy of the clip, go into Cinema Tools and conform to the your time lines frame rate. This is much easier in FCP X, and there is no need to create an copy of the clip, and it’s completely nondestructive!

I’m an avid snowboarder and like to use the Go Pro camera to capture some footage to play around with. I like to shoot at 720p 60, but I like to edit in a 23.98 timeline because I’ll only be posting the video online. This also allows me to get some amazing slow-motion shots.

To make this happen in FCP X, start out by making sure your project is setup at the desired frame rate and resolution. In this case 720p 23.98.

Now lets take a look at the footage that we shot with the Go Pro. It should be 720p 59.92.

When you use this footage in your timeline it will play back in real-time, effectively removing extra frames. The next step is to conform the footage and have it play all frames, creating a great slow-motion clip. Scrub you clip and select your in and out points and place in in the timeline. Select the clip and click on the Retime Menu.

You will find the Retime Menu on the upper right side of the timeline.

In the retime menu you will see several options. While you can use the “Slow” option, this will not necessarily get the optimum results, and you’ll have to manualy select the speed. For the best results, in this case, you’ll want to select “Conform Speed”. This will adjust the frame rate of the clip to match the frame rate of the timeline. So now the the 60p clip is effectively playing back at 24p, roughly a 40% reduction in speed. Those slow motion clips look great as you’ll be playing back every frame captured by the camera.

Check out the before and after video so see the results. First the footage in real-time, followed by the slow motion clip.