Final Cut Pro 6 - About Timecode Overlays and Sync Color Coding

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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:


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.


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


Do one of the following:

 Choose View > Show Timecode Overlays.
 Press Option-Z.

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Part II

Learning About the Final Cut Pro Interface

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.

 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 one or more 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.

Shows timecode

for the In point of the

current clip or sequence.

Shows timecode for the
Out point of the current clip
or sequence.

Timecode numbers for

the video clip items at the

position of the playhead

Timecode numbers for audio clip
items at the position of the

Items that are in sync are color
coded with the same color.

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