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Chapter 4. Projects, Sequences, and Clips > Changing Your Source Timecode

Changing Your Source Timecode

You can modify the source timecode of any clip in Final Cut Pro. When you use the Modify Timecode feature to modify a clip's source timecode, the change is written as a permanent change in the clip's source media file on disk. The source timecode modification will be reflected in every use of that clip in all projects.

Auxiliary timecodes allow you to assign an additional timecode reference to a clip without modifying its source timecode. Final Cut Pro clips have two auxiliary timecode fields. You can view a clip using the Source, Aux TC 1, or Aux TC 2 timecode (Figure 4.65).

Figure 4.65. Control-click the Viewer's Current Timecode field and select from a list of timecode viewing options. You can view a clip using the Source, Aux TC 1, or Aux TC 2 timecode.


There are no hard and fast rules about when to modify timecodes and when to reference auxiliary timecode fields. Generally speaking, modifying is an appropriate choice if your Final Cut Pro source timecodes need to be adjusted to conform to the timecode of your master tapes—the ones you're going to use to cut the finished version of the program. For example, you would modify the source timecode of your Final Cut Pro files to conform to master tapes if you needed to create an EDL whose timecode values would reference your master tapes, rather than the Final Cut Pro files.

Auxiliary timecodes are useful for synchronizing material from a variety of sources to a master timecode without modifying any clip's source timecode (synchronizing multiple shots to a music track in a music video, for example).

To change a clip's timecode

1.
Double-click a clip in the Browser (Figure 4.66) or in the Timeline to open it in the Viewer.

Figure 4.66. Double-click the clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer window.


2.
Move the playhead to the frame where you want to establish the new timecode.

3.
Choose Modify > Timecode.

4.
In the Frame to Set pop-up menu at the top of the Timecode dialog box, do one of the following:

  • Choose Current to set the currently displayed frame to the timecode value you enter in the Source field.

  • Choose First to set the first frame of the clip's underlying media file to the timecode value you enter in the Source TC field (Figure 4.67).

    Figure 4.67. Select First, and the timecode value you enter in the Source TC Timecode field will be applied to the first frame of the clip's underlying media file.


5.
Enter a new timecode value in the Source TC field, and click OK.

The timecode value of the media file on disk is modified to reflect the change.

To change a clip's auxiliary timecode

1.
Double-click a clip in the Browser or Timeline to open it in the Viewer.

2.
Move the playhead to the frame where you want to establish the new timecode (Figure 4.68).

Figure 4.68. Position the playhead on the frame where you want to establish the new timecode.


3.
Choose Modify > Timecode.

4.
In the Frame to Set pop-up menu at the top of the Timecode dialog box, do one of the following:

  • Choose Current to set the timecode value at the currently displayed frame.

  • Choose First to set the timecode value at the first frame of the clip.

5.
Check the box next to the Aux TC you want to set, then enter a new timecode value in the Aux TC 1 or Aux TC 2 field and click OK (Figure 4.69).

Figure 4.69. After you've entered a new timecode value in the Aux TC 1 Timecode field, click OK.


To view a clip's auxiliary timecode

  • In the Viewer or Canvas, Control-click the Current Timecode field and then select Aux TC 1 (or Aux TC 2) from the shortcut menu (Figure 4.70). Aux TC options will not appear in the shortcut menu unless you have modified an auxiliary timecode.

    Figure 4.70. Control-click the Current Timecode field, and then select Aux TC 1 from the shortcut menu.


✓ Tips

  • Drop frame or non-drop frame? That is the question. If you are unsure about whether your clips were originally recorded or shot using drop frame or non-drop frame timecode, you can identify your clip's original timecode format. Control-click any timecode field in the Viewer, Canvas, Timeline, or Log and Capture window. The shortcut menu lists Non-Drop Frame, Drop Frame, and Frames. The clip's original timecode format is shown in bold.

  • Merged clips display a separate TC tab for each item in the clip that's linked to separate source media, so you can modify each element's timecode independently.


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