Adobe Premiere CC: No Way to Arrange by Timecode (even with PluralEyes). Use Avid/Edius as pre-processor?

In principle, it is possible to auto-arrange multiple clips on a timeline according to their timecode, e.g. from a camera that was recording time-of-day timecode automatically.

For example, if so-arranged, a timeline might look something like this:

  • [clip1]  [ clip2 ]                 [clip3]      [    clip4    ] [clip5]              [clip6]

I haven’t used FCP7 all that much, but I have a faint recollection that it did this somehow – though some other people say not.  Regardless, Avid does it, and also Edius reportedly does it, and these could be used as preprocessors in advance of Premiere, just to align the clips in tracks and time.

But (as far as I can tell) Premiere can’t do this, there are currently no add-ons for it to accomplish this conceptually simple task.  Not even PluralEyes 3, that can only sync based on audio, which is impractical in some situations e.g. large scale industrial area with different sounds in every corner…  People do it manually, e.g. by typing timecode into timeline and adding markers then placing each clip at its associated marker…

Whaaaat!!!

The nearest one can get, apparently, is to “pre-process” in an NLE that can arrange-by-timecode, such as Avid or Edius, then export an AAF for import to Premiere.   Edius also (reportedly) auto assigns each camera to its own track(s).

Edius price:

  • In the UK, I see for example that DVC have a crossgrade offer for (just under) £240 or (just under) £450 for standard purchase.
  • If it works as expected, then the crossgrade would be worthwhile (in terms of time saved) even if only ever used as a preprocessor…
    • And it’s worth checking out for general usability/productivity.
  • A demo can be downloaded from http://www.grassvalley.com/products/edius_pro_7.

Worth a try-out, when I get time, via Avid and via Edius, also to see whether Edius could be more generally useful.

Web-Search:

  • http://www.avforums.com/forums/camcorders-video-editing/1596312-2-cam-automated-video-editing.html
    • {This guy expresses exactly my frustration, others seem to be locked into synchronizing continuous-record clips via their audio, and miss his point}
      • The only way I can think of is enter the cutaway time code to the timeline and drop in the clip, it’s going to take a while.
      • Why is it so strange that I want them synced using timecode?
      • I can’t believe movie studios sync clips manually even today. So why expensive camcorders have timecode in/out to get perfectly synced ?
  • http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/adobe-creative-suite/501472-using-timecode-cs5-5-a-2.html (from 2011)
    • (Various people):
      • If only Premiere could figure out the gaps in between recordings, it would be a simple task to sync them after the fact.
      • …even with a timecode present which is synced and everything,. Premiere cannot sync a whole bunch of clips in one selection
      • Im wondering why there is that thing called timecode, if a NLE dose not take full advantage of it.  What you are suggesting is that timecode can only be utilized in conjunction with a second camera that is genlocked, but never on its own.  I was hoping that I could make one timeline for each camera, and then banding them together for multicam.
      • …yeah, a synch option to line a clip up with the sequence time would be a great feature.
      • …you’re trying to use a tool to do something it wasn’t designed to do, and then blaming the tool.
      • What you are talking about is something entirely different and new and very creative, but it’s a different animal and no doubt something they didn’t anticipate. (Whether they should have foreseen this is a different discussion, I suppose.)
      • the industry solution for thisis normally to use time of day (TOD) timecode and have the cameras kept on throughout production.
      • I refuse to give up on the timecode issue.. It would make the match up within 5 seconds, instead of 20 minutes.
      • The short answer is: With 8 cameras, The Hammer is Edius
      • Thank you for the tip about Edius.
        • I have just played around with it, and it does exactly what I need it to do.  I simply switch to multicam mode and timecode sync point, select all the clips I want to use, and drag them to the timeline. The program is so brilliant that it even can figure out which clips belong to which camera.  Everything is where it’s supposed to be. Each camera on its own track at the right time with all the gaps in between, and all I need to do is to find a common sync point at the beginning of each track, since my free run time codes were not synced against each other. Voila.
        • After multicam editing (in Edius), I export a AAF type 3 to premiere pro to color correct and finalize my project. Done.
        • I found my hammer!!!!
    • Kevin Monahan, Adobe Systems: I like the idea too. Make a request here: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish
  • http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/adobe-creative-suite/509575-auto-sequencing-using-timecode.html (2012-07-25)
    • Auto Sequencing using Timecode
    • Peter Szilveszter
      • I am currently using Avid Media Composer and my workflow is shooting on DSLR’s. Once shot I add the timecode using Qtchange so all the files now have timecode. In Avid I would simply highlight Camera A’s footage and tell Avid to Auto Sequence it, which then it creates at timeline using the very first clips timecode and lay down the remaining clips at the actual times, so my timeline has gaps etc..and then I would do the same with Camera B & C and then just lay down the footage on a separate video track, this means all my footage is now in sync and I can visually see exactly where I recorded the clips.
      • I really like some of the new features on Premiere CS6 and had been thinking of moving to it but I can not find a way to do what I have been doing in Avid, I tried searching on forums and blogs and all I can find is only being able to sync 2 clips and not multiple clips and no options to use timecode to create sequences, seems that even on the Adobe forum a few people have asked about similar and no solution.
      • I am hoping maybe someone here has a solutio
    • Bart Walczak
      • Unfortunately placing the clips on the timeline with the gaps is not possible in Premiere Pro (another case when this program could use some scripting possibilities).
      • You could try this hack:
        • Select all the clips you need, then choose “create multi-camera sequence” and synchronize by timecode.
          • It will do what you want, but it will put all the clips on separate tracks with proper gaps. Not viable for numerous clips.
        • Then copy the clips and paste them in another sequence.
    • Peter Szilveszter
      • its nice to know I wasn’t just going mad thinking that I was missing something. I so wished they had this,
      • I know I could do the sync in Avid and then just bring in that timeline but defeats the purpose of editing only on CS6,
      • ah well, I continue to just use After Effects in conjunction with Avid for the fancy post work
  • http://alilassoued.com/what-to-expect-in-premiere-pro-cs6/
    • What I would very much like to see in CS6 is…
      …automated – time-code – clip-positioning on the timeline, or snap to timecode, similar to clip-merge-, and multicam-synching
  • http://creativeclouduser.com/new-premiere-pro-cc-prelude-cc-features-released-today/ (2013-07-10)
    • A default start timecode value for all new sequences can be set in the Timeline panel.
    • {…and that is the only mention of “timecode” in the list of new features}
    • {…which overall imply that they haven’t yet got any “arrange clips by timecode” feature}
  • http://www.singularsoftware.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=649 (2011-10-12)
    • Feature suggestion. Timecode sync.
      • The suggestion:
        • Yes.. You read correct.
        • Currently Premiere pro has no way to use timecode data in a managable way to fill the gaps of a “free run” timecode recording with multiple start stops.
        • Syncronization in premiere pro can only been used between two and only two clips at a time. You are therefore unable to select a whole set of clips recorded over time in a session, and expect the syncronize function in premiere to put them in the right instances on the timeline. Simply not possible.
        • There is not a single plugin in existence which can achieve that either.. PluralEyes is the only software doing something like this, but it requires an audio track. It’s all fine, but why would you use audio as a reference when you have a perfectly working timecode at your disposal.
        • Therefore I will formally request, and spread the awareness of the power a free run timecode can provide.
          What is needed is an sync option which can use timecode data instead of audio, and place all clips on the timeline corresponding to the free run timecode of each clip. Very very simple.
          It’s like using pluralEyes but skipping the audio track.
      • {No replies were ever made to this suggestion…}
  • https://support.redgiant.com/entries/21851960-Timecode-sync-support-in-Pluraleyes-PLEASE-
    • {NB RedGiant are the suppliers of PluralEyes}
    • Request:
      • Neither FCP7 nor Premiere Pro can use timecode data to properly set up a sequence with multiple cameras stopping and starting regularly, and all jammed to an external TC source such as a LockIt Box.  PPro can do in-timeline syncing, but only between 2 clips at a time.  Not workable at all for a day’s worth of shooting on a reality show, for example.  Multicam sequence is also not a viable option, as it creates a new track for every time any one camera stops and starts.
      • It seems this basic functionality would be straightforward to add to Pluraleyes, for times when reference audio isn’t available, but free run TC is (which is very frequently for me and other producers of unscripted TV projects).  This would be an amazing addition.
    • Another (2013-10-03):
      • There are ways to get timecode even on a clip that doesn’t have it (movieola, for example) in an aux timecode track. Audio is often stamped with timecode at its start.
      • Having PluralEyes 3 scan for valid timecode or aux timecode (or… dare I ask it… SMPTE linear timecode in an audio track…?) would be a HUGE boon for higher-end workflows that are timecode based. Combined with PluralEyes’ ability to export standalone clips, this is a major capability improvement for post-production.
      • Thanks for considering…
  • http://www.grassvalley.com/products/edius_pro_7
    • Home > Products > Editors > EDIUS Video Editing Software > EDIUS Pro 7
  • http://www.jonahlee.com/index.php?categories=Premiere%20Pro
    • Adobe on the new Premiere Pro (2013-04-04)
    • AAF and XML import improvements to allow you to move projects and sequences from Avid and Final Cut Pro 7 (or earlier) systems.
  • http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/45/893327
    • Avid MC7 AAF imported to Premiere CC
    • August Anderson, 2013-08-14, Problem:
      • Trying to export AAF from Avid MC7, and into Adobe Premiere CC using AMA’d footage, but sequences are blank.
      • The source material that I’m AMAing to ProRes4444. Everything is relinked. I export with the right settings (I’ve tried with and without Edit Protocol, and the correct tracks are enabled). When I try to import the AAF into Premiere, it’s gives me an empty sequence with a trillion markers denoting that “[Generic] clip was dropped because no related footage was found.”
      • I’ve tried it in After Effects as well, same results (unsurprisingly).
      • I’ve also re-imported the AAF back into Avid successfully. So I know the AAF works on some level.
    • Michael Phillips
      • I use AAF with Edit Protocol to reference camera originals (linked via AMA) in Resolve with no real issues. Do you get the same issues if you were to transcode to DNxHD on a small test to see if that works?
    • August Anderson
      • Interesting, so the issue might be with Premiere’s interpretation.
      • All DNX media was connecting fine. Just not AMA.
  • http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/How_To/How-to-export-an-AAF
    • Avid Knowledge Base: How to export an AAF (2013-07-30)
    • How to export an AAF and the AAF export settings explained
    • {This is a really helpful guide, with details of lots of the little settings involved}

 

 

 

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One Response to “Adobe Premiere CC: No Way to Arrange by Timecode (even with PluralEyes). Use Avid/Edius as pre-processor?”

  1. […] noted in an earlier post, Adobe Premiere can’t do this, but Avid and Edius can.  I already use Avid, so that will […]