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sponge1
28th November 2005, 02:49 PM
Hi all, my first post and its a granular one (sorry).

I am trying to capture footage on my new Mac G5 using Final Cut Pro. I use a 'time of day' timecode on my Canon XL2 as I often shoot with more than one camera. This means every time I start and stop recording on the camera, the timecode jumps forward in time.

Long story short - every time I try to capture using FCP (whether it be logging clips immediately or batch capture) FCP states "unable to locate timecode".

I have no idea what is going on and appreciate any helps.

Thanks in anticipation.

uncyherb
28th November 2005, 03:12 PM
I don't know that FCP is set to deal with anything other than SMPTE timecode (the one in hours:minutes:seconds:frames that is the standard across the industry).

My guess (having never dealt with anything other than SMPTE timecode in any program, but having dealt with timecode breaks before) is that you will be limited to 'capture now', without any logging abilities.

SMPTE timecode is always the way to go, even if it means a little extra work manually doing things like keeping a log book handy to keep track of shot times and such.

The reason is that most DV playback devices need up to 5 seconds to stabilize their playback... so if your shot has a 'handle' of less than 5 seconds you will not be able to "log and caputure" the clip... you'll be limited to only being able to "capture now" it. Using 'time of day' means that you have jumps in timecode between every shot, whereas using SMPTE timecode a break between shots is not registered as a break in timecode. This means that the only place on the tape that does not have a 5 sec handle is inside the first 5 seconds of the tape. With time of day timecode, every shot would need to have at least 5 seconds of 'handle' before it is usable for FCP's log & capture abilities.

sponge1
28th November 2005, 03:41 PM
A great response - Thanks.

The 'time of day timecode' is still SMPTE, however it works much the same way as a clock. It is a 'free run' timecode which relates to the time (2.30 pm, 15 seconds and 12 frames would appear as 14:30:15:12). The clock runs continuously and when the camera starts recording it captures the current time.

The point about 'handles' makes sense - I will explore this with some of the existing footage and report back.

Thanks again.

sponge1
28th November 2005, 04:58 PM
test complete. Uncyherb was right on the mark. I can still run with 'free run' timecode however need to allow enough time with the handles at the start and end of the clips.

This will be no probs for production work. The footage I am trying to capture was more candid, but thats ok - the XL2 isn't really a candid camera (no - pun).

I ended up coming across a new error message from FCP when trying to squeeze as much out of the clips as i could. It reads "you may have specified a timecode with insufficient room for pre/post roll operation". 5 seconds is spot on also.

Thanks again Uncyherb.

uncyherb
29th November 2005, 10:20 AM
Glad to help... that's what makes this place a great visit... so much help from so many people!

I should have also added that you can adjust the pre-post roll setting through FCP... just go to the AUDIO/VIDEO SETTINGS menu item (option+command+Q), then under the "device control presets" tab. You'll need to create a copy of the preset your working with (probably Firewire Pal)... you can then set whatever pre-post roll you like. Canon might be able to supply you with a good figure for how many seconds it takes for the XL2 to stabilize for playback, being a decent camera my guess is you'll find 3 seconds heaps of time... pro decks (as opposed to cameras) tend to stabilize even quicker than this, although few editors bother as they tend to have ample 'handles' on their material.