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Old June 26th, 2004, 08:08 AM   #1
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Understanding Timecode

As it stands right now, I'm going to be shooting my movie with a DVX100 that I am sharing with another fella. My question is this, how would the camera's time code be useful to me, especially since my dialogue will be recorded straight into the camera? Thanks in advance.
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Old June 26th, 2004, 08:34 AM   #2
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Are you wondering what you need to do with timecode? If so,
nothing. However, it can be quite useful. I use it for:

1) when spotting my footage I write down the timecode where something is good or goes wrong (I've added timecode to the video to see this on a TV)

2) when I am working with somebody else I can easily say: I want the audio to rise from 0:25:23 till 0:30:01 for example. Or I want effects added to that time range, etc.
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Old June 26th, 2004, 09:17 AM   #3
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You can't really edit on a nonlinear system without time code. You capture all your footage by time code, log your take sheets, find your takes, etc. On professional cameras you can set the timecode sequentially, ie., tape one would be 01:00:00:00, tape 2 would be 02:00:00:00, etc. I don't know if that camera allows you to do that or not; if not, be sure to label each tape and log and capture it with the right number/letter, etc., or you'll never be able to find stuff because there will be lots of repeating time code. As long as each tape is captured with a different name, then it's OK.
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Old June 26th, 2004, 05:49 PM   #4
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Well, I have to disagree a bit with Bill. I always capture letting
the capture software break up my shots on where I pressed
stop / start. So I get a file for each scene / take. Then I can
really edit without timecode and I usually do as well. It is a lot
easier to communicate like file xxx and timecode yyy to someone
else.
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Old June 26th, 2004, 09:33 PM   #5
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The DVX100 does enable the user to preset time code.
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Old June 27th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #6
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I'm with Rob. I like having video files labeled a certain way, and then I break them down into seperate bins in Premiere
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Old June 27th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #7
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We keep take sheets by time code. How do you know where a shot is if you haven't written down the time code? I can log the time codes on any computer and transfer that to the Avid if I don't need to watch the tapes. I also label shots too as I log them.
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Old August 12th, 2004, 08:34 PM   #8
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I am using a non-pro DV camcorder (Pana PV-DV851). Everytime the camera shuts off there is a time code break on the tape, meaning even if I let ther camera idle for five minutes, the tape saving, auto shut off breaks my time code. How do you guys get around this? I have heard that the pro cams have the ability to disable auto shut off, but don't you still shut the camera when moving around between setups? I am interested in keeping Tcode unbroken during an entire tape. Is this possible?
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Old August 12th, 2004, 09:04 PM   #9
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Professional cameras don't reset the time code if you shut down. Smaller cameras will pick up and continue the time code if you start recording again where there is already a video signal. In other words, when you power up again, rewind just a couple of seconds back into the tail of the last shot, and the camera should continue the time code sequentially. Of course, you need to always shoot a few seconds of rundown at the tail of each shot, which you should be doing anyway. It's always a good idea to not shut down the camera in a part of a good shot. Most tape damage that occurs will happen when the tape is "grabbed" during start up or shut down or ejection. I always record several seconds of tail before turning off the camera or ejecting the tape.
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Old August 13th, 2004, 10:34 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tip...I do always shoot a little tail on my takes for safety in editing, but I've never rewound into the tails to continue Tcode...I'll try it. Thx again!
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Old November 28th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #11
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I never use timecode when NLEing. I know what I shot and just load what I need naming each clip as I load and then start cutting. I think it would be helpful to use it for long format projects like documentaries and features when it would be almost impossible to remember shots with days and weeks worth of tape. But it's not necessary to do for linear or nonlinear unless you use automated loading (batch capture) and/or are creating an EDL. I think these were the kinds of applications Bill may have been referring to. I just load and cut and it works fine.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 09:12 AM   #12
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I couldn't edit without batch capture and creating an EDL. Without time code, your take sheets would be meaningless too.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #13
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Many cameras have an "end search" function that will rewind and pickup your last frame of timecode, so you avoid the timecode break problem. Manually rewinding works too.

You know your timecode has been reset when it reads 00:00:00;00 in your camera.

You can also dub tapes if you know you have timecode breaks (this will write new timecode unless your deck/other camcorder is set to clone timecode).

Quote:
I am using a non-pro DV camcorder (Pana PV-DV851). Everytime the camera shuts off there is a time code break on the tape, meaning even if I let ther camera idle for five minutes, the tape saving, auto shut off breaks my time code. How do you guys get around this? I have heard that the pro cams have the ability to disable auto shut off, but don't you still shut the camera when moving around between setups? I am interested in keeping Tcode unbroken during an entire tape. Is this possible?
All consumer cameras will shutoff after 5 minutes to protect the tape. The heads are engaged onto the tape and will eventually create a dent in it (if you're adventurous with VHS tape, you can try this out- leave it paused in there and then eject it after 5 minutes, then take a look).

It might be that pro cameras only disengage the tape mechanism... I don't know.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #14
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Without timecode, if the drive you digitized footage to died for some reason, for the media was accidentally deleted or went missing, you wouldn't be able to capture it EXACTLY as you did before. Meaning that the section of the footage that you used in your cut will be off when you re-captured, and you'd need to re-edit from scratch.
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Old December 5th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #15
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All video cameras operate on varying types of "time code" because if you didn't you couldn't capture to your NLE or playback in a player. What the difference is with say the 100A or Xl2 is that you can set the time code. And the great thing about settable timecode is if you want to rebuild the project (at a distributors direction) at an online facility and all your tapes are 01, 02, etc. along with an edit list, the project can be auto assmbled which saves a lot of time & money.
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