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Frame Rate, drop and non-drop, etc
Old 2nd September 2007
  #1
Frame Rate, drop and non-drop, etc

Does anyone know if there is a way to identify what a quicktime's frame rate is and if it was done as drop frame or non-drop? We've been given a piece to work on and the editor (novice) does not know if it's drop or non-drop and doesn't even know the frame rate. He's using Final Cut Pro. Does anyone know the defaults for FCP? I'm guessing if he doesn't know, then it would be using the FCP default. Thanks in advance for your help! Hope you're all having a great holiday weekend
Old 2nd September 2007
  #2
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starcrash13's Avatar
On a Mac, Cmd+I will tell you the framerate. If you have QTPro, you can Cmd+J and see if it's drop frame. If you have MPEG Streamclip (free) you can find out as well by pressing Cmd+I. There are several other ways, too.

I believe FCP defaults to NDF, but the editor can pretty easily figure it out by looking at the timecode. Is it counting to 30? Is it counting every frame? Is there a semicolon instead of a colon between seconds and frames? This is really basic stuff.

If you're working with video internally inside your DAW and there's no window burn to match, then you can really call it whatever you want. Changing the framerate inside your DAW won't affect sync, just the grid and counter. Unless it's a situation where you are discussing TC locations back and forth, it won't really make a difference. If your running in sync with other devices, well then...that's a different story.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #3
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minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash13 View Post
you can Cmd+J and see if it's drop frame.
really?

i just looked at a drop frame QT and hit Cmd+J and i could not find any indication that it was drop. what am i not seeing?

tell your editor to look at the sequence settings in FCP.

FCP defaults to Drop -- which is rather annoying when you get projects from ill-informed editors.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #4
In mpeg streamclip hitting CMD-I only seems to get me the frame rate, not whether it is drop or non-drop. Thanks Minister for the info on FCP default, I still would love to find a way to see drop or non-drop to eliminate the need to ask the editor.

Here's the info MPEG Streamclip gives me:

Duration: 0:59:20
Data Size: 11.92 GB
Bit Rate: 28.77 Mbps

Video Tracks:
DV/DVCPRO - NTSC, 720 × 480, 4:3, 29.97 fps, 28.77 Mbps

Audio Tracks:

Stream Files:
FOR SOUND 053107 (11.92 GB)

In QT Pro cmd-J gives me some info, but I also don't see where it would indicate drop versus non-drop. We'll be doing some work using Virtual Katy since the picture is not locked and knowing drop versus non-drop will have an effect on synch once we try to conform.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

semi colon for drop- colon for non drop is how final cut pro and quicktime display this info. That should be all you need to look for...
Old 2nd September 2007
  #6
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minister's Avatar
meathman,

how does QT display the semi-colon when there is no TC burn?


in the end, as Starcrash says, it won'y matter. the sync of the audio is tied to sample rate. he is not driving a VTR with code. layback will be fine.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #7
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starcrash13's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post

i just looked at a drop frame QT and hit Cmd+J and i could not find any indication that it was drop. what am i not seeing?
My machine I'm on right now doesn't have QTPro installed so I'm probably wrong, but I thought that the properties where it shows all the video, audio, and TC tracks indicates DF or NDF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
FCP defaults to Drop -- which is rather annoying when you get projects from ill-informed editors.
That is annoying. Thanks for the correction.

Back to the pix editor, the easiest way to determine DF v. NDF is colon (NDF) or semicolon (DF) in the TC. Or, is the TC skipping to ;02 at the beginning of every minute (except those divisible by 10)? IIRC, there's a menu item in FCP called Project Properties or Audio Properties or something to that effect that would also tell you. I'll check it when I get home (yes, I'm at work on a Sunday!). At least I have geeky online forums to occasionally distract me from conforming my foley predubs.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #8
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minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash13 View Post
Back to the pix editor, the easiest way to determine DF v. NDF is colon (NDF) or semicolon (DF) in the TC. Or, is the TC skipping to ;02 at the beginning of every minute (except those divisible by 10)? IIRC, there's a menu item in FCP called Project Properties or Audio Properties or something to that effect that would also tell you. I'll check it when I get home (yes, I'm at work on a Sunday!). At least I have geeky online forums to occasionally distract me from conforming my foley predubs.
Sequence Menu/Settings... (Cmd+0), third tab Timeline Options.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash13 View Post
the easiest way to determine DF v. NDF is colon (NDF) or semicolon (DF) in the TC.
I don't know if this is now defunct or was a unilateral decision by TimeLine, but my MicroLynx displays drop frame with a comma instead of a colon or semicolon. At least it used to when it still worked.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
I don't know if this is now defunct or was a unilateral decision by TimeLine, but my MicroLynx displays drop frame with a comma instead of a colon or semicolon. At least it used to when it still worked.
All VTR window burns use colon for NDF and semi for DF. Ditto for my NL audio recorders.

Philip Perkins
Old 3rd September 2007
  #11
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starcrash13's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
how does QT display the semi-colon when there is no TC burn?
It doesn't. There is a pull-down menu on the little counter on the bottom left of the QT window that lets you choose among min:sec, timecode, or frames. But...it's drop-frame only regardless of the actual frame rate. Not very "Pro".
Old 3rd September 2007
  #12
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starcrash13's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
We'll be doing some work using Virtual Katy since the picture is not locked and knowing drop versus non-drop will have an effect on synch once we try to conform.
Conforming to picture changes made by a clueless editor! Sounds like fun.

Should be a thread unto itself.

One more tip:
Ask the editor what his last frame of picture is. From there you can pretty easily determine DF or NDF by checking it against your DAW timeline.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #13
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minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash13 View Post
It doesn't. There is a pull-down menu on the little counter on the bottom left of the QT window that lets you choose among min:sec, timecode, or frames. But...it's drop-frame only regardless of the actual frame rate. Not very "Pro".
I guess i should not have put my post as a question. meathman's post did not address the original poster's issue.

but i think we have given him more that enough to go with.

you should be calling the director or producer or post supervisor or whomever to ask. the fact that the editor does not know is.............
Old 8th September 2007
  #14
Thanks for your help guys, this was helpful!

Turns out the editor was using the FCP Default of DF. Technically is this a bad thing for the editor, should I advise him to change or just let sleeping dogs lie?
Old 8th September 2007
  #15
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starcrash13's Avatar
No biggie. Just as long as you're on the same page.

Most folks generally prefer non-drop because it's less confusing. As a side note, in film it's more common to use footage rather than TC for things like communicating notes or conforms. It's also less of a mouthful than spitting out a full TC location.
Old 13th October 2008
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
jason kanter's Avatar
 

I recently had a similar problem. Had a video that was supposed to be 29.97 drop. I opened it in QT Pro and it says nothing about drop/ND. I opened it in Nuendo4 and likewise, it only describes the file's speed, not whether it's drop or not.

Now the animator who created the file swears up and down that it's drop (which it's supposed to be), and I believe him as he has much more experience with video than I, but how can I be sure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash13 View Post
There is a pull-down menu on the little counter on the bottom left of the QT window that lets you choose among min:sec, timecode, or frames.
My QT Pro (on a PC) only has "Standard" & "Frame Number" as drop down options.
Old 15th October 2008
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kanter View Post
but how can I be sure?
The thing I found worked best was from the posting above from Starcrash13 ==>

Originally Posted by starcrash13
the easiest way to determine DF v. NDF is colon (NDF) or semicolon (DF) in the TC.
Old 15th October 2008
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

If it's a quicktime, and if you'll be delivering a file, then it doesn't matter whether it's drop or non-drop. The number of frames is the same, it's just how you count them that's different. As long as you sync up at the top, you should be in sync at the end.

It's helpful (and recommended) but not essential to know what frame rate the editor is using because then when you open the OMF, it will land on the right place in your timeline, and also you and the editor can have conversations about the project using the same numbers.

However, it is absolutely essential to know what frame rate the editor is working at if you are going to re-conform.

But otherwise, a Quicktime generated from a DF session and a quicktime generated from a NDF session should be identical.


Tangential trivial: the offset will be 3:18 for every hour between DF and NDF.

-Richard
Old 1st November 2011
  #19
Here for the gear
 

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I feel this is important for archival purposes.

In drop-frame, the first two frames are skipped every minute, except on minutes ending in zero. so 01:02:00;00 will jump to 01:02:00;02.
Old 1st November 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

All especially fun when a show needs to be cut to a particular duration. I had to do a cutdown with the online editor on a show where we were 20seconds long by the end thanks to the offline guy cutting in the wrong rate. Complete nightmare!
Old 2nd November 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooquu View Post
Sorry to revive an old thread, but I feel this is important for archival purposes.

In drop-frame, the first two frames are skipped every minute, except on minutes ending in zero. so 01:02:00;00 will jump to 01:02:00;02.
Agreed.
This is very important.
Old 2nd November 2011
  #22
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Jfriah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
We've been given a piece to work on and the editor (novice) does not know if it's drop or non-drop and doesn't even know the frame rate. He's using Final Cut Pro.
I'm borrowing this quote for my 'Quotes and Affirmations' thread.

But, also keep in mind, folks, you NEED A TIME CODE WINDOW BURN ON THE VIDEO in order to use that little theory about drop/non drop.

Match up your 2-pop and tail-pops (what? the editor didn't GIVE any?) and there you go. And, what? People are still working in DF/NDF? Everything isn't just 23.976 these days?

Jeff
Old 2nd November 2011
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah View Post
Match up your 2-pop and tail-pops (what? the editor didn't GIVE any?)
That drives me crazy
Old 9th November 2011
  #24
Here for the gear
 

I don't think it will tell you DF or NDF but if you use a Mac, here is an application that everyone should have. it is called VideoSpec.
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