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Thread: Time code help

  1. #1

    Time code help

    I have took up filming outdoor videos and have some pretty good footage as of late. I took some of it to an editor and he suggested that I use time codes. I am self taught and have no clue what he talking about. Can anyone tell me how to get a time code on the tapes?

  2. #2
    It would be a setting on the camcorder, usually automatic.
    What type of camcorder are you using and why aren't you editing the footage yourself?
    2 x Dual Core Xeon 3.0, Premiere Elements 1 - 7, Premiere Pro CS3, After Effects CS3, Soundbooth, Heroglyph, Vitascene, EncoreDVD

  3. #3
    I am shooting on a gl2 right now but am planning on upgrading to the xha1 this spring... I am trying to teach myself to edit and the footage I sent out is for someone who already has dvd's on the market and I didn't think I could do a good enough job editing it. I heard that if I black out my tape it would suffice as a continuous time code.. is that true?

  4. #4

    As soon as the camera starts recording it also writes time code to the tape. Everytime you hit pause the timecode stops but is rewritten when you start again. The only time your tape will not have timecode is if you record a segment and then fast forward a few seconds and start recording again..the few seconds of blank footage will have no time code.

    Time code is really not an issue with DV's more an analogue thing on older cameras where the editor had to linear edit and used the time code (in hrs, mins, secs and frames) to decide where to make a cut.

    If you play back a tape in the camera the timecode will appear on your LCD or EVF so if you really want someone to edit the footage just watch the footage and write down the start and end times of the pieces you want to keep clip 1: 00:01:54 - 00:02:36 and so on ...the frame count is not really necessary...all the editor wants to know is what to leave in and what to leave out!!

    I would personally try an edit yourself!! If you have a Windows Computer then Windows Movie Maker is already on there for you!! Just capture all the footage and you can decide what to keep and what to leave out!!


  5. #5
    Hey thanks Chris, I am trying to teach myself to edit and start putting dvd's together myself, but I am not advanced enough yet for the broadcast stuff these guys want. They are putting the footage on dvd's. The guy I took it to said something about a continuous time code being easier for him. Which confused me cause like you I thought an EDL would do.

  6. #6
    Some people like to "stripe" their tapes before they use them (I do this myself when I have time).

    What this means is recording over the length of a new tape, either with the lens cap on so you get a plain black screen or, if your camera (or DV deck if you've got one) has the function, with some colour bars and a test tone.

    All this does is record a continuous timecode on your tape that your camera will continue to use each time you shoot footage.

  7. #7
    I don't think that 'striping' the tape will have any benefit with DV or MiniDV.
    When you put a new tape into the camcorder it will start to record a digital metadata count on the tape. It will start at zero and continue in single frame increments (25 or 30 depending on your country's system PAL or NTSC) seconds, minutes and hours as the recording progresses and continue contiguously even if you stop and restart the recording.
    If you rewind the tape in the camera and then playback to review the footage and over shoot the end of the recording, or remove the tape and then replace it, the timecode will start again at zero. That's why it's a good idea to only review footage using the camera's review function which should line up the next recording seamlessly.
    The counter may well show up in the viewfinder as you record and playback but may not when you get it onto a computer to edit, but it will be there in meta form, you may need software that will 'reveal it' on screen. If your software has the capability, it will capture each shot you've taken as a separate clip. It does this by referring to the actual time (not the timecode) as read from the clock in the camcorder. It doesn't matter that it's not set or even accurate. It just treats each clip as the same take until there is a break in the linear date/time as read from the clock, then considers the next start point as a new clip. These two time references are listed separately in metadata with one showing as timecode and the other as time/date info.
    Here's an example.
    You put in a new tape and start to record right now.
    The time date stamp will record 10/06/13-17.03.00
    Timecode will be 0:00:00:00
    After 10 second you stop, the readings now are:
    10/06/13-17.03.10. - (year / month / day / hour / minute / second, as read from the internal clock)
    0:00:10.12 - (zero hours : zero minutes : ten seconds : twelve frames)
    You then start again, readings are:
    You'll notice that although the date/time has a gap between the end of the first and the start of the second, the time code does not have a gap but carries on where it left off. The difference in the clock time indicated to the editing software that this is a new clip.
    Last edited by GeoKil; 13th Jun 2010 at 16:43.


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