Alchemist conversion 23.98->29.97

Are you all starting to get pushbacks from clients about 23.98->29.97 add pull down? I’m hearing the next job I’m doing, the client is mandating no frame blending…??? Alchemist is being bandied as the saviour. Is this a new trend? Or am I just late to the party?

just to a 80% timewarp to make 30 frames for 24. Do a FRAME based pulldown. Also, TC Convert does the same.

Alchemist? hahaha. good one. who the feck has that states side?


Unfortunately that sort of thing has failed clients qc process. And it’s not the fruit based one either.

1 Like


That makes no sense.

1 Like

Every commercial job in the US that gets to 29.97 from 23.976 is either a frame based timewarp with no mix or a 3:2 pulldown with interlacing. I’d guess less than 1% of all commercials in the U.S. are finished with a place that owns a fecking Alchemist.


Your sense of outrage makes me feel better.

@DaveWishart has had more experience in it. I had a brief look at the alchemist. Couldn’t really see what it was doing terribly different to flame. Anyone an expert with Alchemist and say what it’s doing?

Yeah, that pisses me off. Somewhere someone saw a spec sheet probably and was like cool…yeah, I want that too. Tell your clients sure, no problem, that’ll be cost of the machine plus 700 quid a spot to run it through and deal with that nonsense.

Freeze frames are always getting the kickback from QC but interlacing!? WTF!

I’ve been lucky that most of my 23.98 jobs ended up being delivered in 23.98 not 29.98. With a little probing it turned out to be an exceptable delivery frame rate.

1 Like

Off topic a little bit but have you seen this guy @johnt @randy

I have posted this before but every now and again I get 24fps that is 23.97 and 30 fps which is 29.97 and I go what the f@#! how did it end up like this.

I don’t completely understand it but it is a fascinating look at how we ended up with these terrible numbers.
Oh and is it 23.97 or 23.98? Well the the actual frame rate value used internally is 23.9760239760…


Haven’t seen it and Ill bookmark it, but, I was under the impression the drop in frame rate is where all of the color information was stored such that the same broadcast signal could be sent to color and black and white tvs.

1 Like

Is the client Alchemist?

1 Like

In my early days (2002-ish) I was excited for HD to come about because there was only going to be ONE frame rate. 24 frames per-second.

I got half of my wish.

And I second Randy’s whole-timewarp approach. I’ve delivered many national commercials in this manner.

This video makes me miss the UK. 25fps uber alles.


Anybody remember ESPN versions? 1280x720 59.94 progressive, and, what, pillarboxed? Fun for car spots.

Glad to have that behind me.


doesn’t help much when we have to deconstruct tvcs from overseas that have been cut together from old source footage shot on low rez sd, with different frame rates and conversion method for every shot in the piece!

I don’t know how you guys in US cope with all the crazy frame rate hooey all the time!

What gets me so hot and bothered about this is that, for the past what…almost 70 years…3:2 pull down has been unequivocally the most successful time warp in the history of motion pictures. It has been used since the earliest days of film acquired content and the 60hz based North American electrical system. Entire broadcast platforms and pipelines are built on the notion that the human eye cannot detect 3:2 based repeated fields and frames.

And, for anyone that’s wondering, I’d say at least 75% of all the stuff you see online sourced from North America was shot at 23.976, and delivered via some sort 3:2 pull down cadence, either frame-based of field-based. After all, most of the big content distributors have both a broadcast and web platform, and force all the web content to adhere to the broadcast specs in order to keep costs down.

The big broadcasters…ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, FOX…they are all either 1920x1080@29.97 or 1280x720 @59.94 progressive. And the odds of that changing are nil, as each broadcast spec has to be reverse compatible for some archaic FCC law.

Sent at least a couple spots off to a place with an alchemist in like 20160r17ish, also one in 2015.
I believe this place was(is still?), in NYC, but could be wrong.
Well, I guess if they insist you could timewarp with repeated frames and then use the ML_timewarp to create the new unique frames.
the little test I did regarding this sort of thing a week or two ago had results WAAAAAY better then an Alchemist.


It all boils down to overzealous QC people covering their asses. Most modern broadcast systems will ingest 2997 and 2398 indistinctly but they’re given a rigid spec and make us jump through hoops for them.

1 Like

This is true. We had a three day battle with a client who ignorantly handed us a spec sheet requesting 29.97 conversions on a pile of edits… was going to require weekend work. In the end we just asked for them to submit one and see whether they accept it and they did!


We’re also getting to the point where mid-level QC people may have never had to really deal with interlacing in their entire careers. How long have flat panels been doing secret magic to interlacing now? At least a decade, right?