Adobe Premiere Pro terms

Drop-Frame Timecode

Timecode format compensating for frame rate discrepancies.

What is drop-frame timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro?

Drop-frame timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro is a method of timecode calculation that is used in video editing. It is designed to compensate for the discrepancy between actual time and the time as displayed by the frame rate in NTSC video formats. NTSC video runs at approximately 29.97 frames per second, rather than a precise 30 frames per second. This slight discrepancy can cause the timecode to drift from the actual elapsed time over longer durations.

To correct this, drop-frame timecode drops two frame numbers each minute, on the minute, except every tenth minute. This helps to keep the timecode in sync with the actual elapsed time. It's important to note that no video frames are actually dropped during this process, only the frame numbers are skipped. This method is commonly used in broadcast television in the United States and other countries that use NTSC video standards.

How to use Drop-Frame Timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro?

Drop-Frame Timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro is used to accurately sync video and audio, especially for broadcast television which operates at 29.97 frames per second. To use it, you first need to create a new project or open an existing project. Then, go to the "Sequence" menu, select "Sequence Settings", and then choose the "Editing Mode".

In the "Editing Mode", you can select the timebase for your project. If you're working with NTSC video, you'll want to select "Drop-Frame Timecode". This will ensure that your project's timecode will run at the same speed as real time, despite the frame rate being slightly less than 30 frames per second. After setting up the drop-frame timecode, you can then proceed with editing your video as usual. The timecode will automatically adjust to keep in sync with real time.

What is the difference between Drop-Frame and Non-Drop Frame Timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro?

Drop-Frame and Non-Drop Frame are two types of timecodes used in Adobe Premiere Pro to keep track of time in a video project. The main difference between them lies in how they handle the discrepancy between actual time and the frame rate of the video.

Non-Drop Frame (NDF) timecode runs at a consistent frame rate, typically 30 frames per second (fps) for NTSC standard. It does not skip any numbers, but it does not accurately represent real time. Over an hour of footage, NDF timecode can be off by about 3.6 seconds because the actual frame rate of NTSC video is 29.97 fps, not 30 fps.

On the other hand, Drop-Frame (DF) timecode compensates for this discrepancy by skipping ahead two frame numbers every minute, except every tenth minute. This makes the timecode run in sync with actual clock time, but it can cause confusion because frame numbers appear to be missing. Despite its name, Drop-Frame does not drop any actual video frames, only frame numbers in the timecode.

How to switch from Non-Drop Frame to Drop-Frame Timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro?

To switch from Non-Drop Frame to Drop-Frame Timecode in Adobe Premiere Pro, you need to follow a few simple steps. First, open your project in Adobe Premiere Pro. Then, navigate to the "Sequence" menu at the top of the screen and select "Sequence Settings".

In the Sequence Settings dialog box, you will see a section labeled "Timebase". Here, you can choose between Drop Frame and Non-Drop Frame timecode. To switch to Drop Frame, simply select "Drop Frame" from the dropdown menu. Click "OK" to save your changes. Now, your project will be using Drop Frame timecode.

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