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Archival Elements and Source Time Code

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Rosie Walunas
Archival Elements and Source Time Code
on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:48:37 pm

This isn't necessarily an FCP question, but I'm editing with FCP and this might lead to a solution within FCP.

I'm working on a doc and all the archival elements - specifically the footage was numerically coded (re-named) and those elements were transcoded to our sequence codec, frame size, and frame rate.

Now comes time to output an EDL to get the clips from the vendors and the source time code starts at zero, which differs from the BITC the vendor applied to the video.

I was not aware of a source time code attached at all to any of these clips in the first place (and actually have yet to go into the office to see if there was a source timecode that matches the BITC.)

The producer wants an EDL with those source time codes that match the clips to go to the vendor.

What is the best way to go about doing this? Add this BITC time code information to the EDL by hand? Some how change the reel start in FCP for these clips? Is this even a common practice in doc filmmaking? What is the proper procedure?

Thank you kindly.

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Shane Ross
Re: Archival Elements and Source Time Code
on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:52:41 pm

Load the clips into the Viewer. Park the playhead anywhere on the clip. Go to the MODIFY menu, and choose TIMECODE...I think. I have Avid open at the moment. But it's there. And then change the timecode number to match what you see on the screen where the playhead is parked. FCP will warn you that you will be changing it on the source file (GOOD!), click yes.

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Rosie Walunas
Re: Archival Elements and Source Time Code
on Aug 28, 2012 at 12:00:40 am

Shane, thank you very much for this information.

Just checked the source clips and no source time code is attached to the original clips. The BITC also starts seconds into the video. Like you said where ever the play head is parked is where I can start the assigned source code on the reel?

If so, then I'll have to decide whether or not to change the reels at this point, or add BITCs to the EDL by hand. With that said, if I change the source tc on the reels, will that have any negative effects on the edit later on?

And, next time around, if a clip has BITC is it common to change the source tc from the beginning on for projects?

Thank you!

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Bouke Vahl
Re: Archival Elements and Source Time Code
on Aug 29, 2012 at 12:32:10 pm

For the BITC starting inside the clip, no problem.
The window will give you the option to set the current frame to the value you enter, the rest of the math will be done for you.

For good practice, you always keep timecode / reel info!
And it's best to do so before the edit.

Now, changing the TC inside FCP should not be a problem for your edit.
You can even do it outside FCP, using QTchange.
This can be a timesaver if you have lots of clips.
If the originals have TC, you can use QTchange to save the attributes.
Move the .att files next to the BITC clips.
Then you can load the transcoded ones, and apply timecode from those files.
FCP should link to the files just fine, as it links first on frame number (relative from the start), and then on TC (but your sources don't have TC, so FCP will ignore that on relink.
(It gets mayhem if you alter TC outside FCP and make a small shift!)

Of course, always make a backup, and test, before doing stuff like this!
(and keep a mixdown of the final show, if things go really bad, you can generate an EDL by hand (using His name in vain more than once...)


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