Creating slow motion with cinema tools

I’ve been asked a few times about the method used to create slow motion shots using 50p or 60p footage. This process applies to clips from Canon DSLR’s that shoot 50 or 60 fps at 720p, the GoPro Hero HD, Sony EX cameras and pretty much any other camera that will shoot 50 or 60 frames per second progressive.

I use two methods for conforming my clips in Cinema Tools, one way is to select individual clips in Final Cut Pro and open them in Cinema Tools from within the editor, the other way is to run a ‘Batch Conform’ from within Cinema Tools itself and conform a whole folder of clips at once. Both of these methods are described in the videos below.

In the following video I conform the ProRes files but the native H.264 files from the 7D could be conformed in exactly the same way.

Batch Conforming

Please be aware that this process changes all of the files in the directory you define, make sure you keep a copy of the clips with the original frame-rate too incase you need to go back to them later.

Conforming individual clips within Final Cut Pro

This process changes the frame-rate of the individual clips and is non-reversable, make a backup of your clips if you might need to revert them to the original frame-rate!

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  • Comments (18)
  1. Sorry about the sound on these videos, the source files are fine but for some reason they are becoming distorted after uploading to vimeo.

    • Mark Thompson
    • April 12th, 2010 7:43am

    Thanks again Paul for this. Really do appreciate it

  2. Interesting, certainly try

    • Paul Frederick
    • April 12th, 2010 10:32pm

    Very clear and concise! I didn’t know you could do this right from within FCP. Awesome.

  3. Always interesting to read your Blogs Paul and like your work. Thanks for this tip.

    I’m using a Canon 5D2 … What way do you suggest to create slow motion at full 1080P resolution when shooting video on this camera ?

    Your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks ! ;o)

  4. Suppose I want to incorporate slow-motion and NON-slow motion 720p footage in the same timeline. What would my ideal workflow be there? Would I need to turn the 720p 50/60p footage into 24/25p without the slow-down effect?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Mark.

      I would normally approach that by mixing the 50/60p footage on the same timeline as the slow-mo footage and then exporting at 25p. I did however run into a problem recently where I shot an event at 720/50p and the result after exporting didn’t look as fluid as I would normally expect so you need to be careful. I try to shoot as 720/25p and just engage over-cranking on certain shots.

      Hopefully you’ll have more luck, let me know how it goes if you mix it up.

  5. Would I be able to mix 50/60 with conformed slow-mo footage on the same timeline without having to render one “flavour” of footage down?

    • It depends what format the video is, the settings of your sequence and your NLE. You can certainly mix things like ProRes and XDCAM-EX footage without having to render anything for the timeline to play in Final Cut Pro.

    • Derek
    • August 1st, 2010 5:13pm

    Hi, Paul
    I have FCP 6, and tried your method of getting a decent slo-mo…. but when I select ‘open in cinema tools’, nothing happens. No Cinema Tools window opens, so I tried launching Cinema Tools separately, and selecting an ‘open file’ option. That got me to the window, and selected my file (an Apple ProRes 422), but none of the speed options (or any option for that matter) is selectable. Everything is greyed out.
    Suggestions?

    • wiranga
    • April 21st, 2011 8:36am

    but, i have small problem ….now my audio file is slowmore
    what can i do?…..

    • If you need to use the audio then you need to duplicate the media, confirm one copy for the slow-mo video and use the normal version for the audio. Obviously they are not going to sync though, the slow-mo will be at least twice as long as the original.

    • Benny Kazama
    • November 10th, 2011 8:22am

    DSLR Slow Motion: Speed Modifying vs Cinema Tools Conforming
    http://vimeo.com/31889330

    • surendar editor
    • October 30th, 2013 2:08pm

    how to i convert 24fsp to 50fsp

    wat can i do????

    • If your source material is 24p then changing it to 50p will have no benefit, it will just duplicate each frame and the end results will be the same. If you need 50p for slow motion then you need to set the camera to record at 50p.

    • Will
    • December 17th, 2013 5:05pm

    Hey Paul.

    I’ve been handed some Alexa footage filmed at 40fps, but everywhere I play it (QT, Final Cut, Cinema Tools, VLC, etc…) it will play at 24fps, so it plays on slow motion. I haven’t done anything to the source clips so, apparently, that’s how they work (or else there has been some kind of problem when setting the camera up).

    Anyway, it’s a music video, so I obviously need to have a copy of every clip at normal speed, but Cinema Tools can only conform to a maximum of 30fps. I don’t know how to convert those 24fps clips into their natural 40fps… Other than, of course, changing the speed in Final Cut.

    Thanks!

    • Not sure Will, my first thought would be speeding them up in the NLE too.

    • Braxton Olita
    • May 13th, 2014 12:30am

    Hello!

    I wanted to see if anyone has run into this situation pretty please.

    When i Batch Conform to 23.98, the footage goes to the “Skipped” folder.
    Normally it goes to “Conformed” folder & is converted to 23 successfully.
    -Right now, it just goes to skipped.

    Does anyone know how to get the 60>23 conversation with Cannon 5D footage successfully ?

    Would appreciate so so much thank you thank you !