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Timecode issues with time-of-day

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Jon Meeker
Timecode issues with time-of-day
on Apr 3, 2015 at 1:17:57 am

Hi there.

So, as I understand it my workflow is nothing new to the industry, though I am. I'm an assistant editor for a small reality show production company.

I have recently started syncing clips by time of day timecode as any audio based syncing takes way longer to correct if things go wrong.

When I get new footage I am instructed to create stringouts, and then chronological timelines for that day based on the time code. So, I go to the beginning of the clips and set the timeline to the start time of the first clip. I then add a layer of transparent video to extend my timeline to the maximum. Then, I start double clicking clips, using their STARTING timecode as no one has touched the footage yet and no in and outs have been set. I then copy and paste that timecode into the timeline and insert the clip so they are all laid out chronologically. Then camera B and so on.

My issue is this: For some reason, I go back and check myself, and all the clips are off. To check myself, I just repeat the process and see if the playhead goes to the beginning of the clip. If correct, it should butt right up. The problem is it doesn't, like the clips have been moved or I had been using the wrong time code.

This happens on multiple sequences, and sometimes Ill check myself and they are in the correct position, then later on everything is off.

While I am new to the industry as a professional, I have been around this for years and I really cannot figure out what is going on.

I hope I was able to explain it fully and I do appreciate any help.

Thanks,

Jon


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Ht Davis
Re: Timecode issues with time-of-day
on Apr 3, 2015 at 2:07:40 am

They are not in sync out of the box.

You have to sync them yourself.

You can try synchronizing by an auto method if you have a marker set up. IF you have already set the time of day timecode to appear in the video somewhere, you need to find a point where those times line up exactly, and sync to that. Then you may have to adjust a little, but it will be close.

Premiere can sync by the clapper or some other cross sound adjustment if all the video is from the same scene. If not, you may want to use the time of day to get close and then balance from there on your own.


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Ht Davis
Re: Timecode issues with time-of-day
on Apr 3, 2015 at 2:14:10 am

PS.

the camera time of day is an internal clock, not necessarily in the video file. You need to sync to some other timing cue or source.

Cue would be an audio or video cue that you can mark by a specific frame, and then align them all to that. A clapper is a great example. Otherwise, find a very heavily pronounced consonant sound, and mark it; then continually adjust with only 2 videos at a time until aligned, then move to the next set.

A timing source could be an audio or video marker for the time that is exact. There have been very few video box based timing sources, but for audio, you could use a single audio source box with an internal timing mechanism and multiple outputs to send to your cameras if they're not mobile (or send an output over wireless if a camera is mobile); the audio timing source would be the same for all of the cameras, the audio would be essentially the same, and you "SHOULD" be able to sync by the waveform of the audio very easily.

If you want more help, send a message...


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Jon Meeker
Re: Timecode issues with time-of-day
on Apr 3, 2015 at 2:40:12 am

I'm sorry if I did not explain myself fully.

The problem is NOT audio sync. I still have yet to start that process. I am still stringing everything out by time of day. The problem is when i double click a clip, and use the starting timecode to overwrite it into the timeline at the correct time, at some point the clips are moved away from where I put them, like if I were to use a timecode somewhere in the middle of the clip, instead of the starting timecode, when overwriting to the timeline. It seems to happen when I move onto the second camera but I haven't been able to verify that yet.

I use keyboard shortcuts, and have them layed out in a fashion that I should not be moving ANYTHING during this process. I dont select any tools, I just double click to pull media to the source, and repeat.

I really cannot imagine why this is happening. The two editors I work for didn't seem to know either, as neither one had seen the issue before. Its not as crucial because I do still have to sync by ear, however this seems to defeat the purpose of using time of day if I have to go back and fix it every time.

Thanks again for the help. I'm more than willing to admit I'm doing something wrong but I really can't figure out what.


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Ht Davis
Re: Timecode issues with time-of-day
on Apr 3, 2015 at 4:34:41 am

When you double click, do you edit the Markers tab or the Source tab? When you do this the way you describe you are typically editing a clip MARKER, not the entry of the clip itself. Not the clip itself.

Start with a fresh sequence. For each clip, first type in your start timecode in the sequence box where it shows the current timecode. mark the in (no need to mark out), and then go to project panel, select the clip, right click it and select "Insert". It will ask how. You should be able to simply ripple edit and insert it right where you need it. Finally, make sure you only have one track selected for this, the track where you want the video to be placed, otherwise it's a toss up for where it will go.

You don't typically set the starting timecode in the sequence. There's a way to do that per clip, but it happens in the project panel, not in the sequence; and it's clip only--it will show you the starting point you select as the staring timecode when played in the source monitor, but nowhere else.


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Ht Davis
Re: Timecode issues with time-of-day
on Apr 3, 2015 at 9:29:29 am

Just had another thought... I think you can only do a start time move by interpreting footage, by setting the sequence timecode, or by actually tagging the clip in the project panel somehow. But other than that...

Your sequences... ...Are they multi cam?
If so, you are going to be doing some serious nesting later anyway, right?
Why not make a sequence for each section of the day, set the starting time code in the sequence settings to that hour you want to start it at, and then work from there? Drag clips onto it, then place them with drag and drop. If you keep the section sequences within the length of your longest clip (round up to the nearest hour or half hour), you should be able to place the clips fully into their sections, and synchronize those if the sections are orderly enough. If it's helter skelter, skip that idea and check the following.

IF you are in CC you can sync clips on an empty sequence using the sound first (Built in and can be done in bins, so you can create bins with sections of the day, align the clips, create a sequence with a different timecode to start--other than 0000--and drop the clips on it and they'll align, then use that sequence where you want it), working with one section of the day at a time, and then MARK THE CLIPS not the sequence where they match up, and use the comments to note which clips. You can then drag them into the sequence later, drag the first one for that days section where needed, and then place the others where it lines up for audio sync, and you can multi cam that later.

In CS6, use plural eyes to do that sound alignment, working with one section of the day at a time, and then MARK THE CLIPS not the sequence where they match up, and use the comments to note which clips. You can then drag them into the sequence later, drag the first one for that days section where needed, and then place the others where it lines up for audio sync, and you can multi cam that later.
to align each section:
align the main clip to the 0000 or frame 1 (start) timecode of the sequence, sync by sound in plural eyes, then mark that main clip only, using the source monitor and comparing it with the sequence, for where the first frames of the other clips fall. Alternatively, you can create a sequence with that clip, create the markers in that sequence as you play the other sequence in the source monitor, and mark your new sequence where the other clips align their first frame. When you're ready, you use this sequence, adjust the starting timecode, and let it fall into your main cam setup sequence where it may, and you may have to tell it to go to it's desired location, but afterward, place the other clips that align in their marked locations (the marks should show up as small dots at bottom of clip icon in sequence), and then replace the now nested sequence with it's original clip (to allow multicaming without problem).


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