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Creating a burned in time code window in a FCP 7 sequence

Another hyper-technical FilmHelp article by Greg Pak
To deliver a rough cut of my new short film “Mister Green” to the funders at ITVS, I needed to create a file with time code burned into a window along the top or bottom of the screen. There’s a nice explanation at thefilmeditor.com about how to manage the trick by:

  1. Creating a nested sequence by hilighting the video clips in the sequence and hitting Sequence > Nest Item(s)
  2. Creating a window with time code for the sequence by hilighting the new single clip representing the nested sequence and hitting Effects > Video Filters > Video > Time Code Generator

But when I’d completed those steps, I saw that the burnt in time code was several minutes off by the end of the program. The problem was that the default setting for the Time Code Generator filter is 29.97 fps, while my footage was 24 fps.
Ordinarily, I’d just double click on the clip and change the effects settings in the source window that pops up. But clicking on a nested sequence opens up a different kind of window that shows the clips within the sequence. I could not find the effects settings that had been applied to the nested sequence that way.
I ended up going to the Effects tab in the browser window. Under Video Filters > Video I found the Timecode Generator effect. Double clicking on that brought up a window that allowed me to adjust the settings. I changed 29.97 fps to 24 fps, then dragged this effect to the nested sequence. And then the numbers synched up properly.
Finally, I exported via Quicktime Compression to m4v for delivery to ITVS. Word to the wise: It’s apparently not necessary to render the sequence ahead of time — the program renders the new file as it exports.

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