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What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?

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Esther Casas
What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:40:37 pm

Dear all,

First of all..sorry if this is an obvious question for all...but I don't really know what exactly this means. A festival asked for a timecoded text in a pdf or word document because they will do their own subtitles. I already asked how they want the timecode to appear in the document..But I didn't get any clear answer.

So I have the subtitles in text on my FCP timeline, what I think I need to do is put a time coder (starting at 01:00:00:00, standard for FCP)in my timeline and write down the exact in and out points of the timecode in thw word document every time there is text, is that what they need?

Thank you!!


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Mark Suszko
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:45:29 pm

Pretty much.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 8, 2013 at 10:13:45 pm

Ammending it slightly, I would be sure that the numbers you give them are off the final master, in case those numbers don't match with the timeline. Also be sure they know of it is drop or non-drop frame time code. For broadcast I believe they demand drop frame.


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Esther Casas
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 8, 2013 at 10:46:39 pm

Thanks Mark,

i am doing a new timecode into my final master...
Starts at 01:00:00:00

what do you mean with drop-frame??

Thks!!!


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Joseph Owens
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 8, 2013 at 11:43:17 pm

[Esther Casas] "what do you mean with drop-frame??"

There are two flavours of SMPTE time code that run at 29.97 fps. Drop-Frame and Non-Drop Frame (DF and NDF). Its a broadcast thing.

Drop frame was invented to provide a time code display that ran more closely in sync with "clock time" so that after an hour of real-time video playback, a clock and the tape timer would agree, showing one hour, EXACTLY. The issue is that at 29.97, video is actually playing a little bit slower than 30 fps, but the frame count is still predicated on 30 fps. So it takes longer, in real time, for the counter to hit 1 hour... or 108,000 frames... which actually takes one hour, three seconds and 18 frames (108 frames too many, how about that?)

So SMPTE came up with an algorithm that DOES NOT ACTUALLY drop video frames... they just made the time code counter skip 2 frames every minute except on the "10's". That works out to: 120-12=108. Math, eh?
For example, the video frame you would be parked on at one-minute (NDF) into the program used to be at 1:01:00:00... but that number does not exist in Drop Frame... it will be displayed as 1:01:00;02. You will see the time code roll over from 1:01:59:29 to 1:01:00;02. Note the semicolon -- it is one important difference in how DF is flagged. There is also a "bit" in the timecode digital "word" that is set so that modern equipment can tell what kind of code is in the stream after reading just one frame. But you would see 1:10:00;00, which is where DF "recorrects" itself.

Why the time code skips two frames, and why NTSC video runs at 19.97 is peculiar to the way NTSC video used to handle color encoding. But to say that Drop Frame is more precise than Non-Drop is not exactly true on a frame-by-frame basis... if you were to pay attention to every frame, you'd see that DF is only actually completely accurate every ten minutes. But it works out over an hour and everybody's happy except the people who are anal about hitting 00's.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Esther Casas
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 9, 2013 at 12:10:30 am

Joseph! thank you...this is a very good explanation....but I have a timecode at 24fps...do drop frames exist at 24? ( stop-motion world)...

also, you seem to know about subtitles too...I am doing the timecodes now...is it standard to break the timecodes into each sentence? meaning I will give them the timecode thinking in the way i will add the subtitles or I will add the time to match exactly in the way the actors talk?
thank you!!!


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Joseph Owens
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 9, 2013 at 3:05:38 am

Drop Frame only exists in the 29.97 world, but there are variations in 23.98 to try to predict program segments/runtimes as they are edited for broadcast -- to hit the 2997 drop frame targets, but they are not SMPTE standards per se.

It depends on whether your deliverable client is going to use your document to generate a foreign language version exactly the way you have edited them in your timeline or if someone is going to convert them into closed captioning or something else. It doesn't sound as if you're supplying a transcript.

I generate these files on occasion, and normally what I do is export a text file from the captioning software, in my case MacCaption. What has been accepted in the past is to place each caption on one line with the timecode "in" in the first column, and then the text Line 1=Column 2, Line 2= Column 3, etc., if there is more than one line of text in the caption.

Closed captions will contain different information than a transcript, though -- sound cues, for example, and a big difference is that a good transcript will identify all the speakers with their individual lines, but won't necessarily break up the individual's spoken words into the phrases that captions require for pacing-- but CC requires that an off-screen speaker be identified by name or other descriptor like "Narrator".

Personally, I like to match the text with the dialog, and try to avoid barely missing edit transitions -- having the text "pop" is distractin, so text on/off is better matched with the cuts. For a couple of projects, I created a Final Cut "Text Only" sequence and sent that -- the prj is small enough to email, and the advantages of having a ready-made timeline are obvious, I think -- just as long as the font libraries match!

When in doubt, I apply the rules of closed captioning, which you can read sometime. Its a book. But generally its about readability and grammatical clarity.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Esther Casas
Re: What are ecxactly "timecoded subtitles" in a word document?
on Jan 9, 2013 at 2:25:24 pm

Joseph! this is a great advice, thank you so much for spending your time for free with me ;)

talk soon..


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