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Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame

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Martin FisherTimecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 2:39:30 pm

Hi there,
I have to deliver a TV Show and the network is asking that the timecode (drop frame) should be starting at 00;58;00;00.

I have 2 problems:

1-When i tell AE (CS5) to Start at the timecode 00;58;00;00 it automatically changes it to 0;57;59;28. But then, if I move 2 frames forward, it counts 00;58;00;02. So i guess that this is ok, BUT this doesnt match the 00;58;00;00 required by the network.

2- When i export a movie using this timecode and i open it in QT, Quicktime counter repeats the first two frame numbers ! Kind hard to explain as i dont speak english quite well... i'll try again: I open the movie in QT, and frame 0 is numbered 0, framed 1 is numbered 0, framed 2 is numbered 1, 3 is 2, 4 is 3, and so on... the first two frames counts are repeating... and the same happens with the timecode count.
I uploaded a QT movie so you can check this yourself: http://f1.creativecow.net/940/qt-drop-frame-from-ae

I appreciate any help on any of this two problems.

Thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 2:57:24 pm

[Martin Fisher] "I have to deliver a TV Show and the network is asking that the timecode (drop frame) should be starting at 00;58;00;00."

Double-check that beginning time code with the network!!! Who are these guys, anyway -- Bob's Television Network or something?
You should point out that in NTSC Drop-Frame time code, 00;58;00;00 doesn't exist. It does in NON-Drop-Frame, but not DF.



[Martin Fisher] "When i tell AE (CS5) to Start at the timecode 00;58;00;00 it automatically changes it to 0;57;59;28. But then, if I move 2 frames forward, it counts 00;58;00;02"

Yup -- that's how Drop Frame time code works! I don't know why it's starting at 00;57;59;28, because at the the 58-minute mark, the time code goes from 00;57;59;29 to 00;58;00;02. While the video is consistent from frame to frame, the time code jumps over the :00 and :01 frames. This is done to compensate for NTSC's screwy 29/97 frame rate.


BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY.....

Why the heck are you trying to do time code in AE in the first place? Worry about it in your editing application where you can actually DO something about it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Martin FisherRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 3:24:36 pm

Once again, thanks for you help Dave.

"Why the heck are you trying to do time code in AE in the first place? Worry about it in your editing application where you can actually DO something about it."

Cause they only sent me the show, and (among other things) i have to put the 30 secs of black, the SMTPE color bars, Slate, etc. in the beggining.

All of them should be placed at an exact timecode, and the show should start at 01:00:00:00. So, i need to know if i can trust the AE timecode for that (starting at 0;57;59;28 instead of the non-existing 00;58;00;00).

Overall i have to have TWO exact minutes from 0;57;59;28 to 01;00;00;00.

Do you think i can trust it ?


And, as a second question.. have you watched the video I uploaded ?? The double count on quicktime isnt right, is it ?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 3:55:08 pm

[Martin Fisher] "Cause they only sent me the show, and (among other things) i have to put the 30 secs of black, the SMTPE color bars, Slate, etc. in the beggining."

And HOW are you doing that? HOW are you adding the black, bars, slate and program? If this is going to tape, you're certainly not trying to make bars in AE... are you? If you are, your bars will be inaccurate.







[Martin Fisher] "...the show should start at 01:00:00:00"

Right. And as long as you have the required amount of black, bars, slate etc. prior to the one-hour mark, you're good to go. If you have a couple of extra seconds of black at the head of the tape, the world will not come tumbling down.

Look: just use your editing app do do this stuff. Lay down about a few minutes of black on the tape beginning at 00;57;30;00 or something. Back time your edit, adding bars/tone/slate/program so the program hits at one hour straight-up.

If you don't have the equipment to do this, you have to PAY someone to do this for you. Right now this sounds more than a little bush-league, sorry to say.

If you're NOT required to deliver this on tape -- if you have to deliver a movie file on a hard drive, for example -- tell us NOW.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Martin FisherRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 4:09:11 pm

Yes, i am adding them in AE. The bars are a Still image downloaded from wikipedia (SMTPE bars... 75%). Checked them on a vectorscope and they seem to be fine.
Do you think there is a problem on doing this in AE ? And why the bars will be not accurate ?

And again, Yes. This is going to tape (Digibetacam). And im paying someone to do that, but im sending them the QT with the Black, Color Bars, Slate, etc. Im also sending them 4 audio tracks.

The test tone on the bars is not generated by me, but it is generated by the guys working on the audio.

If you think that some of this is wrong, pls let me know so i can correct it.

And thanks again !


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Dave LaRondeRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 4:12:07 pm

[Martin Fisher] "The bars are a Still image downloaded from wikipedia (SMTPE bars... 75%). "

Ooohhh, I wonder why the rest of the broadcast engineering world hasn't thought of that?

Never, EVER do this sort of thing for an editor. Bars are recorded when the program goes to tape. Tone is recorded when the program goes to tape. Time code issues are resolved when the program goes to tape.

You're overthinking this. Just send the editor your completed work, which I believe is a program-length movie file and an accompanying audio file.

Let the editor worry about the time code, and the bars, tone & slate -- that's the editor's job, not yours. The editor is the final stage of quality control before the program is delivered. If the editor's trying to palm that job off on you, that's one crappy editor.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Martin FisherRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 4:46:17 pm

Dave, your irony regarding the color bars makes me think that making them the way im making them is terrible wrong. So i'd love to know why is this so wrong.

I just want to learn everything i can, and not just let the editor know why his bars are better than the ones from wikipedia.

Again, thanks for the help.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Timecode Doesnt exist / Drop frame
by on Jul 28, 2010 at 5:00:03 pm

As I said earlier, the editor is the final link in the quality-control chain before delivery.

The editor checks luminance and color saturation levels, ensuring everything is legal. The editor monitors audio levels, ensuring they fall within specifications. The editor makes sure that the program starts at the correct time code. And since everything goes through his system and out to tape, the editor is the one who puts on the bars & tone. It's that simple.

If you want to make up a still for the slate, knock yourself out. But don't go doing work that should be done by an editor. You tend to your knitting, and make sure your own work is right. And that work doesn't include bars & tone.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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