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Old June 21st, 2009, 11:49 PM   #1
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Timecode and Offset Info

I'm a new Vegas user trying my first multicam edit.

When I try to "Lay out tracks using Timecode" from the project media I get the following error message "Some media did not have valid offset and were skipped."

What I've tried:

1) confirmed the cameras were synced with the same timecode
2) Options>preference>sync made sure that output device was set to Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth , Frame rate SMTPE Drop 29.97. However, "Trigger from Midi Timecode settings" has "None" in the Input Device dropdown and no options for anything else. Is this the problem? If so, how do I get an input device, what other software do I need to load?

The files I'm using are MTS files from my Panasonic HMC-150. I know this can be a tough format to edit, but I don't think this is the problem.

Any suggestions. I did do web searches and found that some people are using the TimecodeFX in Project Media before dragging into the timeline. I'm not sure if I understand this. Does it just generate new timecode, or is it showing the existing code generated by the cameras? I tried this and couldn't seem to get this FX to work, or at least after I applied it, there was no change in laying out the tracks using Timecode.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks --Chris
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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My recommendation... just sync them up manually using the audio waveform.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Nicholson View Post
...2) Options>preference>sync made sure that output device was set to Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth , Frame rate SMTPE Drop 29.97. However, "Trigger from Midi Timecode settings" has "None" in the Input Device dropdown and no options for anything else. Is this the problem?
No, this is not the problem. None of these settings has anything to do with event sync on the timeline.
Quote:
...some people are using the TimecodeFX in Project Media before dragging into the timeline. I'm not sure if I understand this. Does it just generate new timecode, or is it showing the existing code generated by the cameras?...
This does not generate new TC - it just shows existing code. Usually, this is used to provide a TC reference to people reviewing the footage, to create what's called a window dub, or burnt-in timecode window.

What is very handy in working with TC is Options | Preferences | Video | Show source framenumbers on event thumbnails as | Timecode.

Edward's is a good recommendation. Couple things to note about the state of the art for timecode:

* Standards are mostly out the window. It's my impression that prosumer gear manufacturers don't perceive much of a market for TC functionality. There is no standard for HDV TC. When the HDV standard was developed, TC was only addressed as an option that camcorder manufacturers could implement as they wished.

* Sony Vegas and other NLEs have therefore somewhat haphazardly kept up with new TC implementations from camcorder manufacturers. To be fair, Vegas has done *much* better than FCP at this. I'm not sure about Premiere, but my impression is that they've done pretty well, too.

* None of the prosumer TC implementations is good for much more than rough sync. If you have a workflow that will acheive rough sync, with or without TC, that's about as well as you can do with prosumer gear.

* To be fair about that, real pro TC-capable gear has its post problems, too!

* IF you've recorded reference audio on all cameras, once rough sync has been acheived, fine sync is fairly straightforward. Highlight the event to be slid, then slide it using the 4 and 6 keys of the numpad (not the ones at the top of the keyboard). Pre-Vegas9, one must be careful to have "quantize to frames" on when sliding video tracks. Vegas is very good at fine sync of separate audio recordings, you can turn off quantize when sliding audio-only events. V9 does this automatically. As you're slipping and sliding, listen for echo between the various audio tracks. When it's at a minimum, you have sync.

* Note that the 4-6 slides are affected by timeline zoom level, just like using the arrow keys.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
* Note that the 4-6 slides are affected by timeline zoom level, just like using the arrow keys.
1 and 3 on the numeric keypad will always go one FRAME. 4 & 6 go one "Pixel" which is one OR MORE frames.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
No, this is not the problem. None of these settings has anything to do with event sync on the timeline.

This does not generate new TC - it just shows existing code. Usually, this is used to provide a TC reference to people reviewing the footage, to create what's called a window dub, or burnt-in timecode window.

What is very handy in working with TC is Options | Preferences | Video | Show source framenumbers on event thumbnails as | Timecode.

Edward's is a good recommendation. Couple things to note about the state of the art for timecode:

* Standards are mostly out the window. It's my impression that prosumer gear manufacturers don't perceive much of a market for TC functionality. There is no standard for HDV TC. When the HDV standard was developed, TC was only addressed as an option that camcorder manufacturers could implement as they wished.

* Sony Vegas and other NLEs have therefore somewhat haphazardly kept up with new TC implementations from camcorder manufacturers. To be fair, Vegas has done *much* better than FCP at this. I'm not sure about Premiere, but my impression is that they've done pretty well, too.

* None of the prosumer TC implementations is good for much more than rough sync. If you have a workflow that will acheive rough sync, with or without TC, that's about as well as you can do with prosumer gear.

* To be fair about that, real pro TC-capable gear has its post problems, too!

* IF you've recorded reference audio on all cameras, once rough sync has been acheived, fine sync is fairly straightforward. Highlight the event to be slid, then slide it using the 4 and 6 keys of the numpad (not the ones at the top of the keyboard). Pre-Vegas9, one must be careful to have "quantize to frames" on when sliding video tracks. Vegas is very good at fine sync of separate audio recordings, you can turn off quantize when sliding audio-only events. V9 does this automatically. As you're slipping and sliding, listen for echo between the various audio tracks. When it's at a minimum, you have sync.

* Note that the 4-6 slides are affected by timeline zoom level, just like using the arrow keys.
Thanks for your help. I think the problem is that in the middle of trying to figure this out, I somehow erased the camera timecode and then used the timecode script which replaced camera timecode with generated timecode. I have timecode, but it starts at 0.00 on each clip and is only synced as much as the cameras were turned on at the same time.

I did get all the video synced, so I'm set for this project. Next time with a bit more knowledge I'd like to at least use TC to get them roughly synced. I suppose the other issue is if you are using an external sound recording device like my H4N, you have to sync that to the video anyway, so syncing video to video isn't that much more work.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris Nicholson View Post
...I suppose the other issue is if you are using an external sound recording device like my H4N, you have to sync that to the video anyway, so syncing video to video isn't that much more work.
Video-to-video is actually slightly easier. When syncing files from an audio device to video, there is often some timebase error - there are quite a few posts on syncing the original H4 (worse) and the new H4n (quite a bit better timeclock).

Erasing video timecode - not sure how you might have accomplished this, short of rerendering, which will almost always reset TC. There's a dialog in media properties that allows one to choose, um, TC and some other stuff that's worth looking at.
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