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Old November 11th, 2003, 08:12 AM   #1
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Controlling time code printed in FCP

Does anyone know how to layer a time code on the final print...but one where I can control the start/stop points, the layout, the color, etc.?

Instead of laying a time code over the whole print, we're thinking of having the time code start at 00:00:00 for each individual dialogue (12 dialogues per tape) since we don't want a time code showing constantly...such as over the transition animation...and also since each dialogue is very clearly labeled with a big number making it easy to fast forward to each dialogue.

So basically what I need is something that allows me to establish a starting frame, color and font, and then it will count until it gets to my set stop point.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 08:38 AM   #2
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Do you actually mean the real TC as part of the video signal? Or a series of moving numbers keyed over the image?
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Old November 11th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #3
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That would be a series of moving numbers, Jeff...not the actual timecode.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 08:46 AM   #4
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Have a post house make you a window dub of TC rolling over a black background (black burst). The post house can change the position and size of the TC window. Digitize the window dub and key it over your images. If the post house wants too much for a window dub then just rent a TC generator. I use to rent them for about $20 a day.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 08:50 AM   #5
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But then there's no push button control over font, color, size, etc. I've been searching for a generator plug-in for FCP to do this...kind of surprising that one doesn't exist (at least not that I've found).
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Old November 11th, 2003, 09:01 AM   #6
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You could probably change color but fonts will be tough. Size is easy to change, rent the TC generator and make multiple window dubs at different sizes. There was a TC plugin a while back, I don't remember changes in fonts though. I'll try to find it. Did you search Version Tracker and the Apple FCP discussions?
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Old November 11th, 2003, 09:08 AM   #7
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I'll try those, Jeff. Thanks for the suggestions. I used my old standby, Google, and came up with nil.

Cristoph Vonrein! Joe Maller! You other plug-in developers out there....listening?
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Old November 11th, 2003, 09:12 AM   #8
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Google can't get into the Apple discussions.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #9
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That's interesting to note. Thanks, Jeff. I never realized that.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 10:14 AM   #10
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Tell me exactly what you need and I'll knock it up for you - it shouldn't be too hard...

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Old November 11th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #11
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Wow...thanks, Graeme!

I'm just looking for something that allows you to overlay a counter and...

1. Allows you to choose the font face, size, style, and color
2. Allows you to position it where you want
3. Allows you to determine the start and stop points for the counter within a clip

That sums up what I'm wishing for...but since nothing like this exists, I can think of other options that might be appealing to other FCP users, such as:

1. Ability to show true TC or to generate independent counter
2. Ability to determine how the numbers are formatted...for instance whether to show the full traditional TC or to show just minutes and seconds, etc. I think for non TC usage, like for educational clips, only minutes and seconds are really needed. Some people might also like to add hours to show subject time span.
3. Ability to add an optional text label with the counter...such as "Running Time: 01:04" or without text such as "01:04"
4. Ability to set opacity and drop shadow

How's that for a wish list? ;)
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Old November 11th, 2003, 10:45 AM   #12
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I'm just going to modify the existing generator. I like the idea of being able to limit the amount of information shown. I suppose we need to be able to put descriptive text on it also.

Can you explain a little more about the start and stop points and I'll see what I can do...

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Old November 11th, 2003, 11:01 AM   #13
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Graeme,

For instance, with these educational videos I'm shooting, there are about a dozen dialogues on the video...and then the students also get a textbook. In the textbook, the lessons and exercises cite dialogue examples from the video.

For example, the textbook will say "Review Dialogue 10" and then will have single lines pulled from the dialogue and then have a reference marker such as "Dialogue 10 / 03:10-04:02" for a duration or "Dialogue 10 / 05:22" for a specific point.

So that means I need to be able to set a starting point in the clip for each dialogue (set at "00:00" or however the number is formatted) and then a stopping point. That way, every dialogue would have a 00:00 start point which wouldn't necessarily be frame 1 of the clip. More likely after some sort of intro.

Maybe dragging the generator into a certain frame would be the easiest way to determine the start point...just wherever you drag it is 00:00. But then you have to be able to set duration. I guess the easiest way for the user would be to roll the end of the generator to match the end of the clip where the counter is showing, then the generator just fills in the count in that number of frames. Not sure how practical that is from your viewpoint, though.
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