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Time Display Style - Default Base?

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Maria Smith
Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 23, 2018 at 6:53:15 pm

What does the "Default Base"-setting do?
(I'm working with mixed 25 FPS and 60 FPS footage, do I need to touch this setting?)



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 23, 2018 at 7:08:51 pm

Um, you really don't want to mix those two frame rates.
Not unless you're a big fan of screwy-looking motion, that is.

Furthermore, you haven't said a word about what you need to deliver. How will this be used? Who will use it? What's the next application that will use it?

And since you brought up the whole issue, what will be the delivery frame rate?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Maria Smith
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 23, 2018 at 7:19:20 pm

I don't have any delivery specifications, I'm just curious what this setting does and when I need to use it. However, I'll say that I work mostly with 25 FPS material. When should I theoretically change this setting?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 23, 2018 at 7:49:17 pm

When working with 25fps footage, the comp's Time Base should be 25.

But I'm a little concerned that you're NOT too concerned about mixing frame rates. Doing so causes real headaches.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Maria Smith
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 23, 2018 at 9:12:20 pm

Ok! So when working with 25 FPS, I should always change this setting to 25 FPS? I thought I only needed to change the comps frame rate, I didn't know that it was important to change the "Default Base"-project setting!? Also, don't worry about the mixing frame rates thing, it was only a bad theoretical situation I made up.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 23, 2018 at 10:00:08 pm

We're talking about time display here and not the comp's actual frame rate. So what would be 1 second and 2 frames in a 25fps comp if you actually count the frames could show up as frame 27 on the display.

Please note I wrote "could" -- no personal experience with it. But you can run a test to find out for sure! Import a short clip of 25fps footage into AE. Keep the Time Base at 30. Now drag the clip onto the Make Comp icon at the bottom of the project pane -- AE makes a comp for you at the clip's dimensions & frame rate.... but does it change the time display? By going 26 frames into this new comp, you will know.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 24, 2018 at 7:00:54 am

The default base comes into play if you bring in stuff that doesn't have a frame rate (for example a still image) and you've set a length for how long the single still will be when you put it in the comp under preferences - import. I have no idea if it does anything differently when the still image is actually in the comp.

I've never messed with it because I usually set the durations myself.


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Maria Smith
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 24, 2018 at 8:49:37 am

When I play around with it, it doesn't seem to change the FPS for a clip or anything...? Hmm... seems like Adobe doesn't even know what this does.


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 24, 2018 at 10:06:00 am

It won't affect video files as they have an fps value associated with them. If you want to change the fps of an image sequence or a video file you'll need to go in the interpret footage page. If you're working with image sequences you can also set the default import fps for those in the preferences.


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Maria Smith
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 24, 2018 at 12:22:57 pm

So it basically only tells AE which FPS to use when creating a comp from a still image? However, I don't see why I'm able to change this value beyond 60 FPS, for example - I'm able to change it to 500.


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 24, 2018 at 12:36:30 pm

[Maria Smith] "So it basically only tells AE which FPS to use when creating a comp from a still image? "

No. It sets the frame rate for a still image if you have an import duration set to it in preferences import. This comes into play if you put that still into a comp. I can't see this affecting anything because it's a still so it might be some legacy thing that's kept in. I've done AE stuff for over 10 years and I've never touched that setting.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 24, 2018 at 5:23:56 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jan 24, 2018 at 5:27:36 pm

[Maria Smith] "I don't see why I'm able to change this value beyond 60 FPS, for example - I'm able to change it to 500."

You might be able to conform the frame rate of footage in the Interpret Foootage settings, but the maximum frame rate in a comp is 99 fps.

If you make a comp by dragging a still onto the Make Comp icon at the bottom of the project pane, AE defaults to creating a comp at the last frame rate used when creating a comp.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter Soyka
Re: Time Display Style - Default Base?
on Jan 25, 2018 at 10:08:43 am

[Dave LaRonde] "You might be able to conform the frame rate of footage in the Interpret Foootage settings, but the maximum frame rate in a comp is 99 fps."

No longer true. The maximum frame rate is now 999 fps, as of version 14.2 (April 2017).

I just want to re-emphasize that "time display style" affects how the Ae UI shows time to you, specifically, on the time rulers in the footage panel. Like Tero, I'm not sure that the "default base" setting actually does anything anymore; the footage viewer panel does not show a time ruler for footage items.

Time display will not affect how any of your work actually renders.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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