What Is Timecode in Video Editing? [Timecode Explained]
How does timecode help when editing video footage?
A lot of clients hire us as their local Chicago camera crew. Clients out of town or out of the country use us to record corporate video, client testimonials and shoot video at trade shows.
"How can I view the video that we just shot?" It's a question we often get from our clients.
Most of the time raw video is shot in a professional format that clients cannot easily manipulate. Either it's in a CODEC (Code-Decode) that their computer has a problem running or it's in a proprietary video format such as P2. However, there is one option we can provide to help clients view the video footage we just shot, we can provide you with window dubs.
TIMECODE & WINDOW DUBS?
A professional video camera has the ability to generate "timecode".
Timecode is an invisible digital address that is recorded along with the audio and video. When processing the video, a production company has the ability to superimpose the timecode onto the multimedia making it visible. This is what's known as a "window dub".
The black number in the bar, that's the timecode. For example:
Timecode is displayed as [Hours : Minutes : Seconds : Frames]. For instance, in the sample above the clip begins at 14:34:00:02 (14 hours, 34 minutes, 1 seconds, 18 frames).
Why is Timecode significant when editing video?
Timecode allows video producers to take meaningful notes. (When taking notes skip the frames, since they are 1/30ths, or 1/24ths, of a second - way too fast to be accurate at this point).
Since timecode is a digital address the numbers are "fixed" to the footage. It's not an arbitrary time, it's an exact time.
The clip above runs from: 14:34:00:02 - 14:34:23:02, meaning it's a 23 second clip. If you took the raw camera footage to any post-production facility worldwide and asked the editor to cue up to 14:34:00:02 they would go immediately to the frame at the beginning of the clip.
Timecode = efficiency designed for the video editing suite.
By viewing window dubs, producers and clients can determine what parts of interviews they like, choose amongst several "takes" of the same comments and get a feel for what the footage looks like. Whether done in a spreadsheet or even just pencil and paper, it’s an efficient way to know and prepare for how the footage will be edited. Additionally, by logging the footage in advance of the edit, clients can get their project produced faster. This will help to hold down costs when producing corporate & broadcast video productions.
Questions or thoughts? Feel free to call to discuss how Acclaim Media can help you produce your video production efficiently and drive results: 630.961.9580
Interested to see what the final edited version of the video from the clip above looked like?
Acclaim Media Productions is a video production, corporate video, marketing communication & web video company based in the Chicago area but providing services internationally. We help large corporations, successful small businesses & forward-thinking non-profits build stronger organizations through video production.