Tutorial: Timecodes

Setting Timecode Test

  • Making sure the timecodes are correct can be complex and confusing.

  • The first step is to make sure you know what output type and timecode you need.

  • Stellar will try and make sure that the video timecode and frame rate (FPS) is recognised and the selected automatically.

  • Stellar will also try and find any Slate or pre-roll section in the file if it can.

  • Stellar will then set the Video Offsets accordingly.

  • By default the video start timecode will be either:

  • Zero 00:00:00:00

OR

  • The timecode found in the video file, with the possibility of a Slate or pre-roll section being recognized and taken into account.

  • Unless you’ve been told otherwise you should work with the timecode of the video file.

  • If you know Stellar is not showing the timecode you need you can set the start timecode yourself.

  • What timecode should I set?

  • You can either:

  • Assume the first frame of video should be a specific time, normally 00:00:00:00 or 10:00:00:00

OR

  • Use any burnt in timecode in the video picture to set the first frame.

  • The main help section on setting the Video Timecode is here

Quick Method

  • Move the video show it displays the first active frame. This would normally be either the very first frame, or the first frame after any pre-roll, colour bars etc.

    • If there is a burnt in timecode it will probably show 00:00:00:0 or 10:00:00:00 or possibly 01:00:00:00
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  • Right click in the video area and select Video Timecode

  • Select the correct timecode for this frame
  • Click Set
  • Now the burnt in timecode should match the Stellar timecode

You can check the current settings for the video file by:

  • Right click in the video window → Properties
    or
  • Files → Project → Properties

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  • Select the Video Tab
  • Click on the video file to see its properties

  • The two important entries are FPS and Offset
    • FPS
      • This is the frame rate or Frames Per Second that Stellar has detected for this video file.
      • You can change it, but don’t if you’re not sure!
    • Offset
      • This is the control you should change to get the displayed timecode to match the burnt-in timecode
      • This sets a simple offset between the file start time and the displayed Timecode in Stellar
      • Here it has been set to minus one to correct a one frame offset between the start of the file and the burnt-in timecode of the video.
      • Offset 2 works in addition to the main offset and is used by Stellar when a Slate or Pre Roll is detected.
  • Click out of the offset value, if you’ve changed it,
  • Click Save.

Recutting

Get timecodes in my Subtitle File to match the video timecode

Making sure the timecodes are correct can be complex and confusing.

The first step is to make sure you know what output type and timecode you need.

Stellar will try and make sure that the video timecode and frame rate (FPS) is recognised and the selected automatically.

However the subtitle (or other text file) you are working with may not match the timecode of the video. There are many reasons why this can happen, a common one is the slates or bumpers have been added or removed from the video since the subtitle file was created.

This type of problem creates a fixed offset between the video timecode and the times in the subtitle file.

Stellar allows you to change all the times in the subtitle file by a fixed amount, this is referred to as Recutting.

  • Recutting is different from Offsetting
    • Offset:
      • A time offset is applied inside Stellar to make the timecodes displayed match up.
      • No timecodes in the subtitle or AD files are changed
    • Recut:
      • Some or all timecodes in the subtitle or AD file is modified

How to recut your subtitle file:

  • Open or create a Project with the correct video and the subtitle file.
  • Work out what the offset is, if you don’t already know.
    • The simplest way to do this is find the first subtitle that contains dialog, ignore subtitle zero and any title translations for example.
    • Jump the video to the start time of this subtitle (Double click on the subtitle number or do Ctrl+ Shift+J.
    • Now shuttle the video to find the timecode where this dialog starts.
    • The difference between the subtitle in cue and the current timecode is the offset you need. Remember this could be negative or positive.

  • Now you can Recut the file
    Tools → Timing Tools → Recut

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  • OR Right Click anywhere in the Timeline display and select Recut

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Any of the above actions will open the Recut In and Out Cues

  • This will open the Recut dialog.
  • Change the timecode either by entering a value, by using the arrow keys or with the mouse wheel.
  • You can either recut the whole file or just subtitles after a specific time.
    • To do this click on the ‘Recut only from current Title’ flag
    • This will default to the current subtitle but you can change this here.
  • Click Recut

You have now recut you subtitle file.

Other Common Timecode Problems

  • The timecode is right at the begin of the video but drifts out as the media plays.

    • This will be because the FPS (frame rate) set is wrong.
    • Find out what the frame rate of the video is.
    • Set the FPS value as shown above to the correct setting.
    • Check again.
  • The video starts at 00:00:00:00 but I’ve been told the subtitles need to start at 10:00:00:00

    • This is the same problem as making sure the video time has the correct start time but you need to set the Video timecode offset to +10:00:00:00.
    • Now any timecodes captured will have the correct timecode.