Working with 60 fps Timecode

Some high definition video formats, such as 720p60, have a video frame rate of 60 (or 59.94) fps. Final Cut Pro can display 60 fps timecode for 60 fps media files, or you can choose to view the timecode at 30 fps, using the special 60 @ 30 timecode display option.

60 @ 30 is a timecode display option used specifically with 59.94 and 60 fps video footage. Because 30 fps is a more universally accepted timecode rate than 60 fps, it can be useful to view your timecode this way. Also, most DVCPRO HD VTRs display this timecode rate when playing back 60 fps tapes. Each 60 @ 30 timecode number represents a pair of video frames, with the second frame distinguished by an asterisk (*).

When you are using 60 @ 30 timecode, Final Cut Pro recognizes asterisks when you type them into timecode fields. Typing a plus sign (+) followed by an asterisk (*) in 60 @ 30 mode is the same as typing “+1” in 60 fps timecode.

Note: Mapping 60 frames to 30 numbers per second is not a new concept. VITC timecode represents each pair of fields (in other words, each frame) with a single timecode number. Fields 1 and 2 are distinguished by an asterisk placed on field 2. 60 @ 30 timecode works similarly.