Modifying timecode gives an incorrect result
I posted this to the Adobe forums as well, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try and reach a wider audience. My apologies for the length of the post, but I'm trying to provide as much information as possible to try and fix the problem.
This is actually a workaround to cover a different issue that I'm having with Premiere. I'll provide that info as well just in case it has some bearing on this issue. Hopefully this will all make sense...
I'm running Mac OS X 10.9.5, and Premiere Pro CC 2015.0.2
We deal with a client that records performances directly to a Cinedeck MX (Software version 4.51), which spits out the following media: Avid Op-Atom MXF files (DNxHD 145, 1080i). They record 29.97 drop frame timecode. We've confirmed the start timecode using both a trial of Avid Media Composer and Davinci Resolve Lite, but Premiere Pro does not read the start timecode. It interprets the files as Non-Drop Frame, and assigns a starting timecode of 00:00:00:00.
OK, submitted bug reports and tried Adobe troubleshooting without a solution yet. Hopefully one will be forthcoming. My current issue is with a workaround, which is manually modifying the timecode so that it should match the original footage.
Logically, it seems like I should just have to right click on the clip in the project browser and modify the timecode. If I type in 10;29;19;00 for the start timecode, and change the timecode display format to "29.97 fps Drop-Frame Timecode", then premiere gives the file a starting timecode of 10;29;56;24. Obviously way off. Not sure if this matters, but if I type in the modified timecode with semi-colons, then the text field reverts to 10:29:19:00. If I go through the process again and keep the timecode display format at "29.97 fps Non-Drop-Frame Timecode" then I get a starting timecode of 10:29:19:00, which matches exactly what I typed in, but will drift in comparison to the correct timecode.
What's weirder is if I bring the exact same file into After Effects CC 2015.0.1, then it automatically interprets that the file uses Drop-Frame Timecode (although it also sets the starting timecode automatically to 00;00;00;00). However, if I interpret the footage in After Effects and type in a starting timecode of 10;29;19;00, then that carries over correctly (with the correct Drop-Frame starting timecode of 10;29;19;00, just to make things clear). So After Effects can modify timecode correctly, but Premiere Pro seems to be having issues with the same functionality.
Setting aside the issue of Adobe Products not being able to read the correct timecode from the files in the first place, why is it that Premiere Pro does not allow me to modify the exact starting drop-frame timecode that I desire? Did I miss a checkbox somewhere? Is there a better way that I can do this?
Many thanks in advance for your help!