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  • Import clips with timecode

  • Alex Gat

    June 9, 2017 at 10:42 pm


    I have shot clips with two 5d3s. On each cam, the timecode count up is in free run and originally set to the internal clock.

    As both internal clocks are very close to each other, I was thinking I could determine the lag (in frames) between the two cameras on one clip and sync all clips from that camera at once, so I could get both set of clips exactly on the same timecode. I also have recorded sound on a different device which internal clock is also close to that of the cameras so I will do the same with the audio.

    Unless you tell me I can’t rely on that, this is not what’s bothering me.

    What I would like to do, is to be able to create a timeline based on the timecode of the clips (and audio files). Right now each time I create a timeline, all clips are stuck one again the other in a straight sequence.

    Is there a way to import the clips while positioning them exactly at the time they were shot ?

    I hope I made myself clear, I think this is a very common question and I can’t find the answer.
    Thanks to all anyway.

  • Marc Wielage

    June 10, 2017 at 6:44 am

    This won’t work, because the cameras have no genlock, meaning whatever frame rate they’re at is kind of “free-running.” It could be a fraction of a percent off from true 24.00fps or 23.98fps, so they’re both going to drift. This is the problem with non-timecode cameras — especially DSLRs. They generally will not stay in sync over a long period of time.

    One partial solution is to do a slate clap at the head and tail of each clip, then line those off and see how far off they get over time. Chances are, it might only be a frame or two every 10-12 minutes, but they do slip. If it’s short takes, you can get away with it to a point, but it does require manual line-up and a close eye.

  • Alex Gat

    June 10, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you Marc,

    I thought about it yes and I never expected to have my clips and tracks synced right at the frame.
    In fact I expect the timecode to allow me to overlay multicam clips and sound tracks quicly on the timeline without having to look if each clip correspond to each track. Once the clips overlaid, I expect when looking closer to have them unsynced by not by far.

    Does that make sense to you ? Is that worthy ?

    Anyway, that does respond to “how to insert the clips (and track)” at the time they were shot. I have found a way around, I do a multicam, then I create a timeline with that multicam, I open the multicam clip in the timeline to see all my clip at the right timecode. Then I position them down on track 1 (because so far each clip has its own track !). I copy the whole bunch of clips. I create a new timeline into which I paste the clips. That is all what I have found so far.

    It surprising that Create a timeline with clips respecting their timecode” is not an existing feature.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Dmitry Kitsov

    June 12, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Hello, Alex,
    to a degree you may achieve a partial result (having a timeline with two tracks, with clips positioned on the timelines based on their timecode)
    You may use Multicam creation, using TC as a synch.
    You might want to check in the metadata that the camera # is unique per camera (you can edit this in the metadata editor for multiple clips)
    You can then set options of the Multicam clip creation to use timecode. Make sure that framerate matches too. You can then create layers based on the camera name.
    After that you can open Multicam clip in a timeline, to check the alignment, you can use the Multicam clip as intended, or copy its content and paste it into a regular timeline.

    Dmitry Kitsov,
    Blackmagic Design technical support agent

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