Working with Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas

Two fields display timecode in the Viewer and Canvas: Timecode Duration and Current Timecode.

Figure. Canvas window showing the Timecode Duration field and the Current Timecode field.

Note: Clicking the icon to the left of each field highlights the entire field so you can enter new numbers.

Control-clicking the Timecode Duration and Current Timecode fields displays a shortcut menu that lets you select the following timecode display options:

For more information on timecode, see Working with Timecode. For more information about editing film, see the documentation that came with Cinema Tools.

Navigating with Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas

You can move the playhead around in a clip or sequence by entering a new timecode number in the Current Timecode field.

  • To move to a particular frame in your clip or sequence, enter a complete (or absolute) timecode number.

  • To move the playhead forward or backward a precise number of hours, minutes, seconds, and frames from the current position, enter a relative number.

  • To move the playhead relative to its current position, type a minus sign (-) or a plus sign (+) and the timecode value outside the Current Timecode field. (To type a minus sign, press Hyphen or press the Minus Sign key on the numeric keypad. To type a plus sign, press Shift-Plus Sign or press the Plus Sign key on the numeric keypad.

To avoid typing zeroes when moving by larger amounts, use one of the following characters instead: period, comma, plus sign, minus sign, colon, semicolon, and ampersand. For example:

  • To move to timecode 00:00:03:00, type “3.” (3 and a period). The period is automatically interpreted by Final Cut Pro as 00 in the frames field.

  • To move to 00:03:00:00 from the previous position, type “3..” (3 and two periods). These periods insert 00 into both the frames and seconds fields.

  • Type “3...” to move to 03:00:00:00.

You can also enter values in the Timecode Duration field to adjust the duration of a clip.

To move the playhead in a clip or sequence by entering a value in the Current Timecode field
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer.

    • Make the Canvas active.

  2. Click the Current Timecode field (or the icon to the left of it) to highlight the field.

  3. Enter a new timecode value, then press Return.

Instead of moving the playhead to an absolute timecode number, you can move it relative to its current position by pressing the + and - keys. For example, to move the playhead 15 frames forward from the current position, type “+15”. To move the playhead 1 minute and 20 frames back from the current position, type “-01.20” (the period automatically adds 00 to the seconds field).

To move the playhead forward relative to its current position
  • Enter + (plus), then a timecode value.

To move the playhead back
  • Enter - (minus), then a timecode value.

For example, if you type +1612, the playhead moves ahead 16 seconds and 12 frames. To move the playhead back by 16 seconds and 12 frames, you would type -1612. To move back 5 minutes, 20 seconds, and 10 frames, you would type -52010.

To move the playhead by typing outside the Current Timecode field
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer.

    • Make the Canvas active.

  2. Type a new timecode value, then press Return.

Even though the Current Timecode field isn’t selected, the timecode value you type appears in this field. The playhead moves to the location of the new timecode value, and the new timecode value is shown in the Current Timecode field.

For more information about timecode, see Working with Timecode.

Dragging Timecode Values

You can drag timecode values from one timecode field to another, or from columns in the Browser to timecode fields in the Log and Capture window. This can be especially helpful for quickly relogging a clip when you want to change its In or Out point in the Log and Capture window. For more information, see Logging from Tape.

To drag a timecode value from one field to another
  • Hold down the Option key while you drag a timecode value from a timecode field or column in the Browser to any other timecode field.

About Timecode Overlays and Sync Color Coding

In the Viewer, timecode overlays display the source timecode for each clip item. In the Canvas, timecode overlays provide a powerful way to see the sync relationship between clip items stacked in multiple tracks. You can see the source timecode track of each clip item in each track at the current playhead position.

Timecode overlays, like other overlays, don’t appear during playback; you’ll only see overlays when playback is paused. You can turn timecode overlays on and off independently in the Viewer and the Canvas.

Timecode overlays are useful in a variety of situations:

  • When matching video clips with audio clips that were recorded on separate devices but with identical timecode, you can use timecode overlays to make sure that both clips are numerically in sync.

  • When you’re searching for a range of media that a client has requested by timecode numbers, timecode overlays can help you quickly find what you’re looking for.

  • If you’re performing complex trimming operations, being able to see the timecode as you move the playhead in the Timeline can help you figure out the durations and offsets you need to trim with.

  • Timecode overlays can also help you spot-check your sequence when you’re preparing for EDL (Edit Decision List) output.

Viewing Timecode Overlays

Timecode overlay display is overridden by the Show Overlays command in the View menu. If you turn on timecode overlays and then turn off Show Overlays (so there is no checkmark next to it in the View menu), this also turns off the timecode overlays.

To view timecode overlays
  1. Make the Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline active, depending on where you want to see the timecode overlays.

    Note: Overlays in the Viewer can be set independently from those in the Canvas.

  2. Choose View > Show Overlays, so there’s a checkmark next to it.

  3. Choose View > Show Timecode Overlays (or press Option-Z).

Information Displayed by Timecode Overlays

Timecode overlays give you an “at-a-glance” view of a wide variety of information about your clip in the Viewer or sequence in the Timeline.

Figure. Canvas window showing timecode overlays.
  • Timecode numbers of In and Out points: These appear in the upper-left and upper-right corners of the Canvas and Viewer. If one or both of these have not been set, these values display Not Set. In the Viewer, clip In and Out points are shown. In the Canvas, sequence In and Out points are shown.
  • Video and audio timecode numbers: In the center of the Canvas and Viewer are lists of timecode numbers for every clip item that intersects the current position of the playhead. The column on the left shows video and the column on the right displays audio. Video and audio tracks start with the display of track 1.
    • Video timecode numbers are preceded by V and the number of the video track.

    • Audio timecode numbers are preceded by A and the number of the audio track.

    Depending on the size of the window, not all tracks may be displayed. If Final Cut Pro cannot fit all the tracks in the window, a “+” (plus) indicates that there are more clip items whose timecode numbers aren’t displayed in the overlay.

  • Color-coding of clip items in sync: Clip items’ timecode overlays are color-coded to indicate which ones are in sync. There are 12 colors used to indicate distinct groups of synced clip items. Whenever clip items are in sync, their listed timecode values are highlighted with the same color. If a clip item is not in sync with any other item, it is displayed in the standard gray timecode overlay color.

    For example, if the clip items on tracks V1, A1, and A2 all refer to the same media file, and they all have the same timecode number at the current playhead position, the timecode overlays for these tracks are displayed with the same color.