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TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format

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Ben Insler
TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 1:58:28 am

Hey All,

I'm new to Avid, so forgive me if this is a newbie one, and thanks in advance - I'm pretty stumped (and some of my Avid editor friends are as well), and I can't find any settings that solve the issue below. I'm on MC 5.5, Mac OS X (10.6.8)

I've been noticing when I create sequences in certain formats that the sequence's timecode display in the top left of the timeline (not the record monitor TC display or TC window) is not running at the same rate as the sequence format - or rather, is not displaying TC in the same format. For example, if I make a new 720p 23.976 project, the sequences I create in that project display timecode that counts 30 frames. Certain frames are skipped to maintain 24 fps, but nonetheless one second of frames counts as follows:

00, 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 09, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29

Notice that frames 02, 07, 12, 17, 22, 27 are missing from the count. Strangely enough, typing +30 on the numeric keypad will advance the playhead 1 second (24 frames), while typing +24 will only advance the playhead 10 frames. Also, in the duration indicator between the Source and Record monitor timecode displays, the duration is counted in 30 frames, not 24. This only happens in the 720p 23.976 Project setting. In 1080p 23.976, a 24 fps counter is used on the timeline.

Additionally, on 1080i 59.94 projects, a 30fps counter is again used for all 60 frames in a second, with each counted frame number of time code representing two frames. To advance from frame 00 to frame 01, you would need to press the right arrow key twice to move two frames.

Is there any way to make the TC run at the correct count from 00-23 for a 23.976 sequence of the first example, or more generally have the Timeline TC display match the timebase of the sequence?

Thanks again. Totally stumped.

Ben


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Michael Phillips
Re: TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:26:10 am

That's because NTSC and 720p are 30 frame timecode counts per SMPTE specifications. 23.976 within these formats is a "fabricated" frame rate within the 59.94 interlace or progressive formats. Also, the tape based legacy of these formats dictated how these formats got implemented and the ability to capture and output to those formats.

That being said, Media Composer was designed to handle both timecodes, as well as 25fps with a variety of pulldown counts. So while the project dictates the base rate based on SMPTE, you can highlight the entire START column and do a cmd-D or ctrl-D and select TC24 from the pop-up dialog. From there, the actual 24fps timecode will be calculated and you can now track both the 30 and 24 as needed. EDLs can be exported as 24, 25, 30, pulldown, no pulldown, 24 source, 30 record, and vice versa, etc.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Ben Insler
Re: TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:58:04 am

Thanks Michael - I'm trying what you've suggested and I'm getting the following error when I try to copy the start TC into TC24:

"No modifiable entries in column "TC24"

I can't type anything in the TC24 column either.

Any thoughts?


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Michael Phillips
Re: TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:07:07 am

Ah... you probably need to be in a matchback project. When you create a new project you can set it to be matchback. Just pick 35mm 4 perf (default). Even though you're not using film, it does allow for other "benefits" such as multiformat timecode tracking, 1/4 frame resync, etc.

You should be able to create a new 720p/23.976 matchback project and open up your existing bins.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Richard Sanchez
Re: TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:13:31 am

I just tested this out myself, and it seems pasting into the 24 and 30 columns works for clips in bins but not for sequences. For those, in your composer window, you should be able open a second timecode row in the composer window, and navigate to Sequence . Timecode > 24. You can do the same in the timecode window for tracking In and Outs, as well as in the timecode burn in effect.

I was having a similar issue on the show I'm working on, which was causing us problems multigrouping production audio to our video clips because it was tracking 29.97 frames, albeit skipping frames like Ben mentioned. Our solution was to flip our format tab to 1080p 23.976 and import our audio set to 23.976 and then flip our tab back to 23.976 NTSC. The timecode stayed at 23.976 and we were able to multigroup it.

Richard Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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Ben Insler
Re: TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 4:48:18 am

Well, I have to say that I thought Matchback might help out but didn't really know what it did so I never tried it. It actually didn't change a thing, but I appreciate the idea. And the TC Window and Record monitor TC are great suggestions for tracking time, but what about doing actual editorial math? I find it frustrating that in my current 720 project (and granted it's a test project), I can't think in blocks of 24 since the TC math is done on a timebase of 30, meaning that I can't type +12 and know I'm rolling an edit by 1/2 a second, etc.

I'd really love to understand the Avid workflow (coming from FCP). If you want to cut a 23.967 project, do you always use 1080p, even if it's shot in 720? What's the standard practice for broadcast/motion pictures - I can't imagine it's the hoop jumping that we're doing here.

Thanks again!

Ben


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Job ter Burg
Re: TC not displaying correctly based on sequence format
on Mar 6, 2012 at 8:54:17 am

Pretty sure that if you set the upper TC display above the record monitor to TC24, and you type +12, that you will advance half a second.


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