The highest resolution method to convert PAL DV

to NTSC and make it look like film

DVFilm Atlantis Online Help

System Requirements - Macintosh Version

  1. A large amount of hard drive space (6GB to process 10 minutes).
  2. A PowerPC processor (G4, G5), 128MB memory recommended.
  3. Quicktime 5-7 with "Recommended" (full) installation (QT5 included on CDROM).
  4. OS X (10.0-10.4). OS9 is no longer supported.
  5. DV editing software such as Final Cut Pro Final Cut Express or iMovie.
  6. Can also be used with non-DV editing systems which can import/export Quicktimes, see FAQ # 6 below.


  1. Copy the DVFilm folder to your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the DVFilm Atlantis icon on your desktop or folder to start the application.

A quick-start guide appears which will guide you through use of the program and which explains each option. Check here for an online version of the quickstart guide.

Complete List of Atlantis 2.2 Conversions

Conversion of Movie Files

  1. For long projects, it's recommended that you break up your film into 10-20 minute scenes, or 20-minute "reels" and process them separately. Use your editing software to export the final cut of your movie in Quicktime format. Export a self-contained movie or Quicktime with DV compression. If your editor allows you to choose the quality setting, use maximum quality. Here is a page of suggested quicktime settings for iMovieHD or FCP.
  2. From the File menu, select File->Open. Navigate to the directory which contains your source material, and double-click on the desired input file. It must be in movie format.
  3. Player controls will open to show you the movie. You can use the volume control, the slider, and the single frame buttons to examine the source footage.
  4. Click on Process->View Options to choose how you want the material to be processed. If the source material is 16:9 anamorphic (squeezed) you may choose to shrink that down vertically with a letterbox (after deinterlacing). If the source material is 4:3 (standard television aspect ratio) you may choose to crop that to 16:9 with a letterbox. Or you may choose not to use letterbox at all. The check box for Deinterlace must be checked if your footage was shot standard interlaced PAL or interlaced NTSC. Uncheck the box if your footage was shot in frame-movie mode (Canon XL-1 or GL-1).
  5. Add Grain - check this box to add simulated film grain (processing is slower with Add Grain).
  6. Red Boost - check this box to boost the red layer for warmer tones.
  7. Check here for help on the PAL/NTSC Options.
  8. After you have chosen your desired options, click OK.
  9. To start processing, click on Process->Start Process.
  10. Processing takes approximately 10 min for each minute of material, depending on the speed of your hard drive and computer. While it is processing you may use your computer for other tasks. To cancel processing, click Stop on the progress bar pop-up.
  11. After processing is complete, the player controls will allow you to view the processed footage. You will notice that about 2 out of every 5 frames of NTSC show interlacing, this is a normal result of the 3:2 pulldown conversion. DVFilm Atlantis cannot play back the movie in real time, so you will need to print the footage to tape using FCP or iMovie to see the results (see following step).
  12. The processed footage is saved to a temporary file called New Movie. You must change the name if you want to use this file. To change the name, click on File->SaveAs and enter the name of the Quicktime file to which you would like to save the results, and select the directory where you want to save it. The directory you choose must be on the same disk drive as the source movie. For iMovie users, you must use File->Export to export the movie to a DV stream.
  13. Then start up your editing program and create a new DV-NTSC timeline. Import the processed Quicktime and insert into your timeline.

Help on Batch Processing - click here

Help on Advanced Options (Mac version 1.05 onward)

The advanced options pop-up is provided for experienced users who wish to experiment with the processing parameters.

  1. Show motion detector mask -- this outputs the motion detector mask instead of processed video, to allow you to adjust the motion detector sensitivity (see 4).
  2. Show line detector mask - this outputs the horizontal line detector for testing this feature.
  3. Turn line detector off -- the line detector prevents aliasing on sharp horizontal lines when the camera is moving slightly. You can turn the line detector off which may be appropriate for high-shutter speed shots or if your camera is always static. Turning the line detector off will also speed up processing.
  4. Motion detector sensitivity -- a larger number makes the mask more sensitive to motion, a smaller number makes it less sensitive. The recommended setting is 50. The line detector works better with values of 25 or smaller. Click here to learn more.
  5. Grain amount - the amount of added film grain, if selected.
  6. Red boost amount - the amount the red layer is boosted, if selected.
  7. Workfile quality - always set to "Max."
  8. Process in background - gives up more time to the computer between frames so you can use it for other tasks. Slows down processing speed.
  9. Blur Horizontal Lines on Motion - this effect softens horizontal edges when they are moving around in the frame. This further helps remove aliasing, or dot-crawl artifacts.

Known Issues and workarounds

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use DVFilm Atlantis to convert NTSC to 24 fps? No, for that use DVFilm Maker
  2. Can I use DVFIlm Atlantis to convert NTSC to PAL? Yes.
  3. DVFilm Atlantis will not read my movie, what's wrong? Your files must be in a form readable by Quicktime, which includes Quicktime files with any compression method. This does not include editor project files. Try opening the file with the Quicktime player. If the Quicktime player cannot read your file, then DVFilm Atlantis will not be able to read it either.
  4. How can I use DVFilm Atlantis with other video editing systems? If you can use your editing program to export a Quicktime, export your project with the following settings: Quicktime, Motion JPEG B, Quality level 95% or higher, using the same frame size with which the video was captured. You can use a higher quality setting but 95% is the recommended minimum. Read the exported Quicktime into DVFilm Atlantis and process it. DVFilm Atlantis will use the Motion JPEG B encoder to create the new movie. Then import the new Quicktime movie into your video editing program for conversion and playback.
  5. The DeInterlace option seems to have no effect on my video, why not? If you shot frame mode, or used a slow shutter speed of 1/30th sec or slower, cameras like the Canon XL-1 and the Sony VX-2000 will record both fields simultaneously, and so the DeInterlace option in Atlantis has no effect. We do not recommend shooting in these modes because the slower shutter speeds will blur motion much more than a movie camera would. With DVFilm Atlantis and standard, interlaced video, you get both film-like NTSC video suitable for digital projection and (with your PAL version) compatibility with transfer to film.
  6. What about fast shutter speeds like 1/250th sec? We do not recommend these either. Processed footage will look best and most film-like at 1/50th sec shutter speed. If you need more information on why to use certain shutter speeds and how that interacts with transfer to film or with DVFilm Atlantis, we recommend the book SHOOTING DIGITAL.
  7. Do I get free updates when you make performance improvements to the software or release a new version? Download links are sent free by email. Updates on CDROM are available by mail to registered users, for a small upgrade fee ($35). Go to the DVFilm Update Center
  8. The output NTSC movie looks jerky when there is movement, how do I fix that? Click the option for "Output upper field first" because your editing system may require that. However if you shot your PAL movie at very high shutter speed, pan and tilts may look jerky even though the field order is correct. 1/50th sec shutter speed is recommended for PAL production, for the smoothest conversion of PAL to film, or to NTSC.
  9. Why does it look like some NTSC frames have interlacing, even though Atlantis is suppoed to convert the PAL to progressive-scan as a first step? This is normal, and you will not see the effect when the NTSC footage is played back on an NTSC monitor. The reason you see interlacing on frames of NTSC is because of the 3:2 pulldown conversion. Some PAL frames are printed to 3 NTSC fields instead of 2, and so some NTSC frames will have fields taken from different PAL frames, i.e, from different points in time.
  10. Why does the NTSC ouput movie look squashed with respect to the PAL movie? PAL and NTSC have different pixel aspect ratios, but the Quicktime and Atlantis players always display with square pixels for fastest processing. The image will look normal when you play it back on a television.