3. Technical Specifications

Sound

When editing, sound should be placed on multiple separated tracks such as dialogue, music, and effects/ambiances.

Set the sound levels within the software so that dialogue averages -16 to -10 dbfs and never exceeds -8 dbfs. Adjust the volume on speakers or headphones so the dialogue plays at an appropriate volume. (Even if you plan to use the still SOFA production credit, you might want to put the animated credit on as a reference to help set the speaker or headphone level.) Then set sound levels for music and effects so they are appropriate relative to the dialogue. Sustained music should not exceed -6 dbfs, and no music or effect should ever exceed -3 dbfs (and then only at the highest dynamic point).

When exporting to ProTools use the equivalent of these specifications:

Reference Video

  • Format: QuickTime
  • Preset: NTSC DV 24p (this applies to Adobe Premiere CC)
  • Video Codec: H.264 (use DV-NTSC for Avid and Final Cut Pro 7)
  • Quality: 75% (this applies to H.264)
  • Width: 720
  • Height: 480
  • Frame Rate: [match source] – IMPORTANT!
  • Field Order: [match source]
  • Aspect: D1/DV NTSC (0.9091)
  • Audio Codec: Uncompressed
  • Sample Rate: 48000 Hz
  • Channels: Stereo
  • Sample Size 16 bit
  • Audio Track Layout: Single stereo or dual mono track

OMF

  • Sample Rate: 48000
  • Bit per Sample: 16
  • Files: Encapsulate
  • Format: [default]
  • Render: Trim Audio Files
  • Handle Frames: 120 (5 seconds)
  • When possible, uncheck all options such as pan, levels, efx, etc.

Picture

The only export guideline is to use a delivery codec rather than an editing codec for SOFA screenings. That is to say do not select ProRes codecs for exporting files for the end-of-semester screenings. They have stuttered on playback. The QuickTime format (.mov) with the H.264 codec is suggested as it is known to work and provides uncompressed sound. Files encoded as .mp4 with AAC sound (minimally compressed) are also acceptable. It is suggested that you match the width, height, frame rate, field order, and aspect of your source material.

Please note that in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, the H.264 codec is a hidden option in the QuickTime format. After selecting “Quicktime,” select the “NTSC DV 24p” preset then, in the video tab, change the video codec to “H.264.” Next, select “Match Source” or make individual adjustments to match your source or desired output. If the height and width are manually changed from 720×480, typically the aspect must be manually changed to square pixels (1.0).

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

  • Format: QuickTime
  • Preset: NTSC DV 24p (“Custom” will appear once changes are made)
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Quality: 100%
  • Width: [typically match source]
  • Height: [typically match source] (unlock the aspect ratio by clicking the chain icon)
  • Frame Rate: [typically match source]
  • Field Order: [typically match source]
  • Aspect: [typically match source]