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Timecode Burn on Sequence with Blank Video

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Loic de Lame
Timecode Burn on Sequence with Blank Video
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:12:48 pm


I'm posting this purely for the benefit of anyone whose interested in reading and to also try to gather any other ideas/techniques people have.

Basically the problem I ran into is that I have a project that runs 75 minutes and I need to burn timecode to the timeline for the sound mixer.

As usual, I setup the original timeline (we'll call it Program) and nested it into another sequence (Timecode). I applied a timecode reader, set it up as needed and checked a few spots.

Seemed to work fine. Except that wherever there was blank video in the Program timeline, the timecode generator failed to generate/render the timecode over the video.

I had no idea that this was an issue/characteristic of the timecode reader and generator filters (I tried both and they both gave the same results).

My question, and launching point for sharing some ideas, is is there a way to get around this issue in final cut easily?

In other words, is there a function that will be able to go through a timeline and substitute a slug/black for any blank video spots so that the timecode reader or generator will be able to generate video? Preferably without going through the timeline and finding all these segments...

The solution I found is to actually use compressor and go to the Filters tab of whatever export setting you're using and select Timecode Generator. Also setup a Letterbox filter that mattes your picture in order to give your timecode a background.

The only drawbacks to this method is if you need a specific timecode readout (like frames or a different timebase for some reason). The timecode filter will only read the source timecode or start at 0. I assume it follows the timebase of your exported sequence. And if the matte covers something important, that could be an issue.

I attached snapsnots of the filters I used in compressor.

Hope this helps some people. And of course, a big thanks to everyone on Creative Cow for their help!

~ Loïc

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Brian Miller
Re: Timecode Burn on Sequence with Blank Video
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:25:47 pm

This would only apply to users with a AJA card, but an often overlooked feature is the ability to have the card generate TC on output. No rendering needed!

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Declan Smith
Re: Timecode Burn on Sequence with Blank Video
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:47:02 pm

Another thing you could try is to create your first nested sequence (called Intermediate) with program in it and then add a slug as long as the nested sequence, and re-order so that the slug is on the bottom. Then create your timecode sequence and nest the intermediate one in there, then add the timecode reader to that. It's a bit messy in that you have to make sure that the length of the slug is the same as the program sequence, but then if you change the color from black to something a bit brighter, you can also easily spot the gaps in your original sequnce, so to speak.

Declan Smith
FCS3 / After Effects CS5 / Combustion / Canon 7D / Canon XL2

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