How to get scource timecode from AVCHD into CS6?

Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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The scource material I record with my Sony FS-100 camera records timecode and displays it when played back in the camera. Importing the media into CS6 (and CS5) all clips start at 00:00:00:00 no matter how I select the timecode display.

Importing directly from the SD card as .MTS files or with the Sony software as .M2TS doesn't make a difference.

I have to edit a project shot with two camera's and separate audio, all with a synced identical timecode.

How can I get Premiere to recognize the scource timecode of the clips?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Enthusiast , May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

podieopos wrote:

Which causes some other difficulties. The camera starts naming the clips from scratch after inserting a new SD card, starting with 00001.mts again, creating the danger of errors with double filenames...

Any solutions for that?

This is the single biggest problem with AVCHD, in my opinion, and it makes no sense to me why it works this way - especially having worked with P2 media which shares a lot of the same metadata controls but also has unique file naming.

The general workaround is

...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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>directly from the SD card as .MTS files

My understanding of media from SD cards is that you need to copy the entire folder from the SD card to your data hard drive, and then import the files from there

I don't really understand how it works, but I've read that "metadata" is contained in the folder structure itself, and that metadata is required

You might try a forum search for metadata... I know I read about that sometime in the past month or so, but did not save a link

http://forums.adobe.com/search.jspa

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2015 Jul 27, 2015

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  1. Copy contents of SD to computer.
  2. In Media Browser, open the Private folder. Prem displays the media files.
  3. Select the files you want, right-click the selection, click Import. Prem imports the files with the time code information. Read the TC in an overlay, the ruler in Source monitor or with the plug-in applied to the clip in a sequence.

To bad we have to rely on users to find out how to work premiere. Sounds like a bad product to me.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 27, 2015 Jul 27, 2015

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Hello Bill,

To bad we have to rely on users to find out how to work premiere. Sounds like a bad product to me.

We have this Help content:

I hope that is helpful.

Thanks,

Kevin

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Enthusiast ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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The MTS files contain almost none of the metadata - and timecode is metadata. When working with SDHC media and AVCHD files or similar types of files (P2, SxS) you must copy the entire folder structure from the card, changing nothing (and that literally means nothing...no renaming files, no deleting anything, no moving files inside one folder to another one).

Picture the entire contents of the SD card as a single file that cannot be changed and you will have the proper start to the workflow.

Following that, you use the Media Browser to import your files to Premiere Pro. The Media Browser knows how to read the contents of the card properly to extract all the metadata for timecode, along with all the other stuff (like spanned clips, where a single recording spans multiple clips due to the FAT32 formatting of all these types of camcorders).

That's the only way you do it for AVCHD and similar media. Using the "Import" function in Premiere Pro is useful for other media types like PSD, JPG, GIF, AVI, etc....

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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Even all that doesn't always work Christian.  I have some AVCHD from a Panasonic camera that doesn't show any native timecode within PP either.

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Enthusiast ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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Jim Simon wrote:

Even all that doesn't always work Christian.  I have some AVCHD from a Panasonic camera that doesn't show any native timecode within PP either.

Which camera, and is it always not showing timecode, or just once in a while?

I've worked with 8 different AVCHD supporting cameras from Panasonic and Sony and never once had an issue with timecode using the correct workflow. This is with something in the neighborhood of 800 hours of footage. Roughly.

I had one clip on a shoot once that didn't have the proper timecode (I record free run T/C set to 24 time so I never ever see 00:00:00:00 in my work). Everything had proper T/C except this one clip. When I saw that pop up on the clip when I was syncing three cameras, I went back and looked at the clip that was still on the SDHC by putting it in the camcorder. It didn't show the T/C on the camcorder and I asked the shooter about it, and he said "oh, I forgot to sync until after the first segment." So that was a human error rather than a metadata error.

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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HMC70.

Never shows it.

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Enthusiast ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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Jim Simon wrote:

HMC70.

Never shows it.

Weird...we never had any trouble with the HMC70 and it was always a B-cam (was later replaced by an HMC80 but is now replaced by an AC130). Syncing timecode in CS4 and later was fine.

I do remember some people having issues, seemed like maybe there was a setting on the HMC70 where you could not get timecode, but I don't remember anymore. That was 2008 or 2009.

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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Thanks guys,

Christian was right, you have to copy the SD card exactly as it is and import the clips through the media browser. Then the time code comes along with the clip.

I tried to rename the clips (and the xmp file) but that meant trouble. Importing form the menu also meant trouble.

Which causes some other difficulties. The camera starts naming the clips from scratch after inserting a new SD card, starting with 00001.mts again, creating the danger of errors with double filenames...

Any solutions for that?

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Enthusiast ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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podieopos wrote:

Which causes some other difficulties. The camera starts naming the clips from scratch after inserting a new SD card, starting with 00001.mts again, creating the danger of errors with double filenames...

Any solutions for that?

This is the single biggest problem with AVCHD, in my opinion, and it makes no sense to me why it works this way - especially having worked with P2 media which shares a lot of the same metadata controls but also has unique file naming.

The general workaround is to make sure that you put your SD contents for each card in it's own unique folder on your hard drive. How unique you want to make that folder is up to you. For me, a typical project is this:

  • D:\ drive (or whatever letter you have)
    • Project folder (so something like "197 HS Graduation Project 2012")
      • Video
        • ReelA_01 (this folder is for the 1st SDHC card from camera A)
        • ReelA_02 (this is the 2nd SDHC card from camera A
        • ReelB_01 (1st SDHC card from camera B)
        • ReelC_01 (1st SDHC card from camera C)

You get the idea though...unique folder for each card so I more or less know where everything is.

I create a similar folder structure for the bins inside PPro, so I have:

  • Video
    • ReelA_01
    • ReelA_02

Again, you get the picture. It's important to keep track of your media because one day you might move your project or your media files to a different drive or into a different directory and have those clips go offline inside PPro. You'll be able to reconnect all your lost media successfully IF you have kept good about your media in the project bin as well as your hard drive. Come up with whatever naming system or directory structure you want, but my advice is to make it as clear and understandable to you as possible and to be CONSISTENT every single time.

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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Thanks again Christian,

The picture is clear and it will get me going.

(still it is amazing to need a workaround lijke this in a professional environment...)

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Enthusiast ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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podieopos wrote:

(still it is amazing to need a workaround lijke this in a professional environment...)

I agree. It's really Panasonic at fault here because there's been no reason given as to why they can't design the camcorder with a unique identifier option, even if it's just random as opposed to something like a preset "ProjectName_Clip0010.MTS" or similar.

Of course, P2 workflows have their own considerations, but file naming conventions aren't one of them. In all cases, it's about wrangling the file format to keep the data fully intact, and there are no other solutions at this point that seem to be able to help much.

Adobe actually has taken some of the hassle out of it by offering the Media Browser panel that is especially useful in CS6. It's not really Adobe's problem to solve with the on-disc media management but perhaps they will implement some solutions in a later iteration if Panasonic or another company hasn't taken on the task by then.

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Guest
Feb 04, 2014 Feb 04, 2014

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Hi Christian,

Hours I poked around on the net looking for precisely this answer you've given a couple of years ago.  Works beautifully.  And, if you're still around out there somewhere I thank you.  Profusely.

I'm also wondering ... do I grab right from the very first folder / which is AVF_INFO & PRIVATE, or do I grab from deeper in: (AVCHD)?

Just wondering.  I'm setting up a shoot for some scientists; need to be very specific about capturing and filing all their video data ... otherwise I'll be having to fly across the continent to fix things if I get it wrong.

All the best,

Ben

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LEGEND ,
Feb 04, 2014 Feb 04, 2014

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do I grab right from the very first folder

Yes.  The full PRIVATE folder.

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Guest
Feb 04, 2014 Feb 04, 2014

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Got it.  Thank you.

Question:  So I pull in the Sony FS700 files, as recommended.  Yes, I get the original timecode - for the first twenty minutes.  The Sony is capturing in 20 minute segments ... no matter that the camera is running continuously.  The second clip though, starts at zero in the Source window.  Even though it reads continguously when played back from the camera.

I'm trying some settings in the menu of the Sony - how the TC is recorded.

I have found a date-time display on the final clips (in the camera), so the Sony is obviously recording them.  But I haven't found the info in the metadata in Premiere yet.

I'm uploading another try on the timecode as we speak ... will report back.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2012 May 31, 2012

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You might also read http://forums.adobe.com/thread/919388?tstart=0 to see how Bill Hunt sets up a project folder... where I presume the folder copied from the SD card would join the list of other folders

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New Here ,
Jun 23, 2022 Jun 23, 2022

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Hi guys,

Unfortunetelly I have simmilar problem. I'm recording using Panasonic s1 in AVCHD 50i, free run. Timecode is visible in camera in preview mode, but after importing to premiere or davinci every clip starts from 00:00:00:00. I copied whole card with data structure and I tried import straight from card- no ressults. Of course I used media browser as you suggested, but even in media browser in column timecode there is no information. I have checked option to use original media timecode. I tried on two machines, pc and mac with no results. But timecode is there, becouse camera can see it. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2022 Jun 23, 2022

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See if this helps:

1. Copy the entire SD card to the Media drive.  Do not delete, rename or move anything inside those folders.

 

2. Make sure the Media Browser is seeing the folder as AVCHD and not as Files.  (Drop down filter to the left of the eye.)

 

3. Use the Media Browser for Import duties.

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2022 Jun 28, 2022

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Hi @Jeff Bellune  thank you for your message, I did it that way from the beggining, but it's not working.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11PM4HAyw8PmylD9o2b-rzfKbl2IgUxi9/view?usp=sharing

I uploaded test files from my sd card. I have no idea how to deal with that ;/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 28, 2022 Jun 28, 2022

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Tested your clip: timecode starts at 00.00.00.00 on windows. Mac wont be any different.

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2022 Jun 28, 2022

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Yeah, weird I know, but somehow camera in preview mode can read the timecode.

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