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How to Mix Multiple Frame Rates In a Single Timeline

Filmmaking frame rates explained
frame rates video

Adjusting your camera’s frame rate while filming is one of the best ways to change the feeling of what you are capturing. It’s also the easiest way to control how motion is captured and will appear on screen. The three most popular frame rates are 23.98 fps, 29.97 fps and 59.94 fps, although its not uncommon for filmmakers to round up and refer to them as 24 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps. There are plenty of videos and blog posts dedicated to what frame rate is “best”—but ultimately each of them can serve a purpose—and there’s no reason you can’t mix multiple frame rates into a single project. 

In a new video Mark Bone explains how to successfully mix multiple frame rates in a single project and why you might want to use this technique. 

Frames Rates Explained

The lower the number of your frame rate the more motion blur you will see in your footage. Something shot at 24 fps is generally thought to be the closest to how the human eye sees, its also often described as the most cinematic frame rate. As frame rates increase motion blur will be eliminated. If you end up shooting at a really high frame rate like 120 fps you end up with extremely slow motion footage where it appears that time is standing still. 

Mixing Frame Rates 

In order to mix multiple frame rates in a single project you will need to set your timeline to the highest frame rate that you shot. If your timeline is set to 24 fps you won’t be able to play back footage that was shot at 30, 60 or 120 fps. Bone suggests setting timelines to a high frame rate if the client hasn’t specified what frame rate they would like the project delivered in. When you’ve set up your timelines in this way it allows programs like Premiere to use pull-down patterns. This is when the program repeats frames in to stretch playback time from 24 fps to 30 or 60 fps.


If your timeline is set to a lower frame rate  like 24fps and you are trying to playback clips that were shot 30 or 60 fps you will notice that your footage appears jittery. When an editing program tries to playback footage that was shot at a higher frame rate in a timeline with a slower frame rate it will drop frames from the clips. If you are noticing super jittery playback its an indication that you need to increase the speed of the timeline. 

Why Deviate From 24 fps?

Footage shot at 24 fps is generally described as being the most cinematic way to shoot, but that doesn’t mean its always the best fit for a project. One reason that so many filmmakers favor the frame rate is because its what tons of iconic films have been shot with. 24 fps was the slowest speed that film could be run while also capturing sound—because of this it became widely used for making movies and has remained the established look ever since. However with newer digital cameras its becoming more common for filmmakers to experiment with 30fps, 60fps and even 120fps as a way to advance storytelling. Ultimately the “best” frame rate is going to be different for everyone. There is no perfect frame rate, but you should pick frame rates that match the purpose of your video. 

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