How to turn 50p and 60p footage into slow motion using After Effects (PC and Mac)

Here is a quick tutorial showing you how to conform 60p, 60 frames per second footage to 24p, 24 frames per second footage on a PC or Mac using Adobe After Effects.  This is especially useful if you have a Canon 7D or T2i with the ability to shoot at 60 frames per second and you would like to slow it down.  Also, this tutorial works if you have a higher frame-rate of footage such as that shot with a GoPro-HD or Phantom.

As an added bonus, this tutorial shows you how to conform your footage all at once, instead of clip by clip.

If you have a Mac, Philip Bloom has an excellent tutorial for how to conform footage using cineform.

Unfortunately, PC users don’t have the option of using Cineform, so we are more limited in our options.  Another difference of choosing this method over using Cinema Tools is that it does not permanently alter your original video file.

It is possible to do this easily with After Effects plugins such as Twixtor which may offer better results but with the Pro version coming at the cost of $595.00, I would rather not pay for something that I can do natively in After Effects.

Also I have seen video tutorials of people stretching their footage using After Effect’s time stretch feature but I have found these tutorials require calculations, frame blending, and motion blur to accomplish what this tutorial does without any of those requirements.

-Text Tutorial-

Open up After Effects (I’m using CS3 but this tutorial also applies to CS4 and CS5)

Now let’s say that you want to conform all of this footage at once.  Simple.

Import all of your footage into After Effects.

Select the First Video File. As long as they are all the same resolution, it should not matter which one you select.

Right Click on it and Select Interpret Footage> Main> Go To Frames> Select Conform To Frame Rate >Type 23.976 into the box. (This will desynchronize your audio) >Select OK.

Now you have 10 or possibly more files that you also need to conform.  Instead of doing them all one by one.  Select the file that you have already told to interpret the footage >Right Click on it>Go to Interpret Footage> Select “Remember Interpretation”.

Now, Select all of your footage except for the one you already told to interpret >Right Click on your selection > Go to interpret footage > and the only selection it is possible to make is “Apply Interpretation”.

Now, all of your footage should say 23.976 when you right click on it and select interpret footage.

You could try dragging these files individually into their own compositions and rendering them individually but this takes a large amount of time, especially when you factor in rendering time and the need to babysit the entire process.

Instead, Select all of your footage and go to Composition > Add to render queue.

Now, all of your files automatically put into separate compositions and are ready to be rendered one after the other.

Before you hit render, you will probably want to tweak some settings so you don’t have huge files.  I use a custom output format based on Quicktime JPG that saves a lot of space in comparison to raw uncompressed footage.  You can read more about it at Video-Copilot.

To set your default output module, when you are selecting your output module from the drop down menu, hold the control key and select the one you want.  Then when you add your files to the render queue, you do not have to select the individual output modules for each of your video clips.

The only other thing you really need to consider is where you are outputting your clips to.  To save yourself time with selecting your output location, especially if you have a lot of files you are conforming;  first open After Effects and just render one clip and save it to the folder that you want to save it to.  That way, when you are rendering all of your clips, they will save by default to that folder and you don’t have to add each of them custom to the folder.

Render your clips.

Please feel free to post replies to my YouTube video or comments here with links to your videos that you have conformed using this method.

-Download this tutorial in High Definition-

– [wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=271 linktext=’Conform 1080′ /]  HD MP4

To see some examples of 60p footage that has been slowed down to 24p using this technique, check out my George Bush Presidential Library video.

Technical Details

Camera


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11 Comments
  1. thanks for the tutorial. everything is very detailed except your " custom output format based on Quicktime JPG". you then provide a link to http://www.videocopilot.net which doesnt help since that site has 8 million things. could you tell what your custom output format is or how to make one so my output file is not 71TB's lol

  2. Why not just use time remmaping instead? (I know u can do this in premiere so im sure theres an even beter version of it in after effects)
    Because if u do then u can set keys for where u want 2 slow it down for, 2 get awesome slomo in just a section and then u cud gradually speed it up for that returning 2 reality time look!… Well basically cuz u have the option 2 set keys u cud get super creative with ur slomo and either have instant changes in time or gradual changes very very cool >.<

    And ofc if u wanted 2 just slow down ur entire video clip u can do that 2 (with time remapping)
    But yes i suppose if u wanted 2 change the entire video thingy then changing the fps is the way 2 go, 2 each his own 😉

    but ye if u havnt tried time remapping b4 play around with it, its super cool

  3. err sherbert…. sorry, i just read thro more of ur stuff and realised u were doing this for a whole bunch of clips, then yes changing the fps wud be a whole lot faster ^^
    (time remapping is still lotsa fun tho >.<, bt time remapping 50 clips wud not be very fun at all)

  4. Unreal – just what I needed. Shot a bunch of stuff yesterday at 50p on a 5D (I'm in Sydney, AUS) and Cinema Tools rejected it when I went to conform it to 25p due to some compression issues so this did the trick perfectly. Thanks mate.

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