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Forums Adobe Premiere Pro Premiere Pro Reads Incorrect Timecode from Source-Makes Bad XML

  • Premiere Pro Reads Incorrect Timecode from Source-Makes Bad XML

  • Richard Clabaugh

    October 5, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I sent an XML of a 24p project (23.976) from Premiere Pro to DaVinci Resolve for color correction and it came in a complete and total mess. Nothing linked correctly. In checking I became aware that Premiere Pro was incorrectly reading / showing / reporting the timecode values on all the source video clips. Checking those same clips in multiple other programs show an agreed upon timecode for each clip (checked in DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro 7, Quicktime7 and Adobe After Effects) but Premiere shows a different value for the timecodes for all camera clips, rendering any form of EDL it exports effectively useless by any other program.

    Project is mostly interviews and accompanying B-roll, all shot at 24p on an EX1 XDCam camera which I have used reliably for years and for tens-of-thousands of hours of material (at 24p mostly) with no problem. The problem is NOT the camera, the problem is NOT the source video files, the problem is NOT in Resolve and is actually not really even in the XML – the problem is simply Premiere Pro has its own imaginary idea of what the timecode on the clips is compared to every other program in the universe.

    The problem is clear and simple: bad timecode, wrong timecode, incorrect timecode read from source video files in Premiere Pro. Why? Surely others have dealt with this!

    I have successfully exported XMLs from Premiere to Resolve with no problem at all when doing projects at 30fps, in fact I did 6 commercials just this week and many, many more in the weeks and months before this, but I realized in thinking back, that this may be the first time time I’ve exported a 24p base XML from Premiere Pro. Before this I’ve either kept my 24p projects within the program or, previoulsy, I was using FCP7. When the footage did not match up AT ALL, I went hunting and found this very clear timecode problem – that what Premiere shows as the timecode for each clip is just plain wrong compared to every other program, making it impossible to export a workable XML file for use.

    I’ve searched the web and forums and have found multiple other people reporting this problem, but no answers on those threads. (One unanswered post was so old it was now marked as “presumed answered” even though there was clearly no answer!)

    Here is one post someone did in great detail describing the exact same problem, although he was comparing to AVID. He also did not have a solution:

    I’ve tried many things, but no results. Obviously to get through this I’ll do some manual, sledgehammer blunt force fix like manually conforming every clip in the project in Resolve, but this is stupid. It’s clearly a bug. What are other people doing? Does anyone know if there is a switch in Premiere I need to throw to fix this?

  • David Roth Weiss

    October 5, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Have you tried exporting an EDL to see if that has the same TC issue(s)?

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
    David Weiss Productions
    Los Angeles

    David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.

  • Peter Garaway

    October 6, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Hi Richard,

    Sorry for the troubles. Not sure if this is a practical solution for you but have you tried modifying the timecode of your clips that are not being interpreted correctly via Modify> Timecode?

    I’m not seeing any open issues with files from the EX1. Can you provide a sample file for us to look at?

    Thanks in advance,

    Peter Garaway
    Premiere Pro

  • Richard Clabaugh

    October 6, 2016 at 2:54 am

    I did, in fact, try that as one of the first steps in the process and the results were exactly the same, and for the same reason. The EDL reflected the same incorrect timecode values from the source clips.

    To be clear, these in the EDL and the XML are the values that, if you manually look at the Premiere Pro timeline, is says are the start and end timecode values in the source clip for each edit, but those numbers ONLY match those frames in Premiere. No other program agreess that those numbers goes to those frames, so the EDL, like the XML, produced a garbage result.

  • Richard Clabaugh

    October 6, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Regarding Modify > Timecode — I have not yet tried that for several reasons.

    First, I would be unsure what the correct modification would be.

    As an example, one clip I have:

    Quicktime and Resolve mutually report that first frame TC = 15:38:29:08
    Premiere Pro says the first frame TC = 15:37:33:01

    That’s a difference of 56-sec and 5-frames

    But by the end frame of the clip ( 3min-11sec-12 frames)

    Quicktime says the Last Frame TC = 15:41:41:00
    Premiere says the Last Frame TC = 15:40:44:13

    That’s now a difference of 56sec and 9-frames
    A change of 4 frames in roughly 3-1/4 minutes.

    If we were in NTSC (30fps/60i) I’d think Dropframe vs Non-Drop Frame, but there is no DropFrame in 24p (23.976)

    It’s not enough difference for a 24fp vs 30fps difference, which would be a much higher drift (6 frames per second).

    Stepping through frame-by-frame does show both are counting only 24fps base (going from frame 23 to the next second in all programs).

    Have not looked to see if there are “drop frames” in either program, but Quicktime reports NDF and, as I said, there is no such thing as 24p drop-frame TC.

    Comparing other shots I find that all clips, and parts of clips, have a different offset, so in terms of modifying timecode, I didn’t know what to put in as a correct timecode adjustment, since it drifts and their was no constant offset, although it does seem that the higher the timecode number value, the greater the difference.

    Second reason I did not try this – concern I might really seriously mess up Premiere’s file of the timeline and I’m on a deadline with this project and that could be serious – so messing with the underlying timecode without being sure what to adjust it to, felt like it might be unwise at this juncture.

    If you know from experience this will fix the problem, however, I will gladly take your consul and do what you suggest — just reluctant to experiment below the hood while on a tight project deadline.

    Regarding the EX1 footage — While not impossible I am disinclined to think it is the culprit here. I’ve used it for years now with no problems in both Premiere Pro and Final Cut, DaVinci Resolve and After Effects, trading footage between each program at both 24p (23.076-just to be precise) and at 30p (29.97) with no problems, including just this week posting a bunch of commercials shot at 30p. This is the only problem that has arisen and the only new combination of elements is Premiere to Resolve at 24p.

    Well, okay – not 100% true. A couple updates and corrections to my original post that may be important:

    My wife (an editor here) pointed out that we did export another 24p project, a feature film shot in 4K on the Red Epic, and that project, which was quit large and lengthy, had no timecode issues when the XML was taken into Resolve for Color Correction. That was done at a post house off site but I checked the XML here in our version of Resolve before sending it on and it opened fine and re-linked correctly. So we HAVE exported a 24p project, and a very large one, successfully before with no problem.

    While I am not ruling out the 24p-XDCam format file being somehow connected to the problem, it’s not my first thought, especially since two other posts I’ve see regarding this problem used different file formats but had the same issues.

    Follow the link in my original post, go midway down the page and you’ll see some screen captures this man did in Avid and Premiere of matching timecodes and matching frames (where the timecodes differed) and what he described and experienced with AVID is exactly what I’m experiencing here.

    I will add one VERY IMPORTANT CORRECTION to my original post – on re-examing a clip in After Effects, it turned out to be showing the same timecode that matched what Premiere Pro said — so the Adobe Programs (Premiere Pro and After Effects) are saying one number while the non-Adobe programs (Final Cut Pro 7, QuicktimePro7, DaVinci Resolve) are all saying a different number.

    If you think a sample clip would be useful let me know where to send it and I will.

    I confess I was sort of hoping someone reading this might say, “Yes, I had that happen to me and all you have to do to fix it is go to preferences and set your interociter-interpretation techno-code emulater to read timecode channel2A in Latvarian trans-digit-multiplex mode, and all will be fine!” Something so simple and obvious I’d be slapping more forehead going, “Duh, of course, what didn’t I think of that!”

    Just hoping! 🙂

  • David Roth Weiss

    October 6, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Gotcha! It’s just a standard test as you know to try to rule out broken XML translation, which is one of silly things that sometimes happens when bigger things in our NLEs get “fixed.”

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
    David Weiss Productions
    Los Angeles

    David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.

  • David Roth Weiss

    October 6, 2016 at 4:43 am

    Send me a clip (like 2-mins long) with known timecide. You can send it to drw000 at mac dot com.


    If you can send the entire card via Dropbox that would be even better, but if not I can understand.

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
    David Weiss Productions
    Los Angeles

    David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.

  • Richard Clabaugh

    October 6, 2016 at 4:44 am

    I very much appreciate your feedback. It’s a logical thing to check. I remain open to any other suggestions.

  • Richard Clabaugh

    October 6, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Sent you an email with a link to a file along with details on what my system shows for the timecode in various programs.

    Thanks for trying to help out here.

  • Tero Ahlfors

    October 6, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Have you imported the footage using the media browser panel?

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