I had some old 8mm (16fps) and Super-8 (18fps) film transfered to HD video (1080p30). Since the video is 30fps, they telecined it, duplicating frames. The telecine pattern (from looking at the video frame-by frame) appears to be: AA BB CC D EEE FF G HH II JJ KK L MMM NN O PP

Which seems breathtakingly awful from a playback point of view. It should have been something like: A BB CC DD EE FF GG HH I JJ KK LL MM NN OO PP

So my question is: Are there any tools out there that can fix this?

My secondary question is: Should this have been digitized at 16fps? Seems like that would minimize file size, introduce no errors (like I'm dealing with now) and let the playback engine decide how best to convert the frame rate (when needed).

1 Answer 1


For question one, the short answer is not that I know of with that pattern. Most NLEs today include tools to reverse 3:2 and 2:3 pulldown, and you ~may~ want to experiment with the clips to see if those help improve it. You may also want to export as a targa sequence. Sometimes this export has tools specifically built to remove pulldown. Sometimes not.

As to recording in 16fps, that's not really an option since video systems don't RUN at 16fps. The whole purpose of pulldown in the first place is to take a 24p (or, in this case, 16p and 18p) source and stretch it into a 30i destination. Any way you slice it, it's just not a clean transfer.

16fps should typically be a 3:4:4:4 pulldown, and 18fps a 3:3:4. Obviously, your telecine house got confused. Maybe they'd be willing to re-do it if you bitched loud enough>

While it may not be possible to fix the problem because of the transfer rate, I will share what's worked for me in the past with a similar situation. I had some Super8 and I transferred it frame-by-frame as a series of jpgs. I loaded single frame jpgs into my NLE, rendered out the jpgs as a file, then added a velocity envelope to adjust the speed as if it were 30p. A little cumbersome, but it got me the results I needed.

That being said, I'm sure if I'd hunted some more, I'd been able to find a function that would have played back these stills at a certain frame rate in the project settings. Or, since this was a few years ago, just before true HD was starting to make its way into NLEs, that funtionality was missing, but is available in current versions.

If the pulldown is really screwing you, and you can't get something close enough from the software, I'd recommend a clean transfer For safety, I would do a video file at the correct pulldown rate, and a series of frame-by-frame bitmaps.

Good luck!

  • Is there no useful tool (command line) to pull out individual frames from a 1080p video? If the individual frames positions can be derived, then a looped batch file with frame numbers is doable.
    – horatio
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 15:45
  • There may be some open source something of which I may not be aware. However, the problem is not pulling individual frames, but de-interlacing them along the way, too...and knowing which frames are full frames and which are interlaced.
    – dwwilson66
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 15:50
  • When he said duplicating frames, I presumed it wasn't interlaced, but I see that I misread it.
    – horatio
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 16:02
  • Telecine, by nature, interlaces. That's why I hate it. :)
    – dwwilson66
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 16:20

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