Timecode + Markers



  • Of the new features announced at the Werkstatt the one that excited me most was Timecode for video in the movie player, so that one can read (and presumably trigger events) by timecode rather than by percentage of video played.

    I'm not clear exactly on how Isadora will measure timecode, hopefully with the SMTPE standard hh:mm:ss:ff.

    I would like to additionally request that Isadora events/actors could be triggered by embedded markers in video and audio files.
    To enlarge on that: in many video and audio editing programs one can add markers to the video / audio when exporting the files. These markers are usually embedded in the file.

    Here's an example of a 5 second video with three markers in it:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5hps7cpz2ve33al/izzy_feature_request.mp4?dl=0

    (this video was made in Adobe Premiere)

    I would ask that Isadora can read these markers and use them to trigger an event.

    In this instance the markers are all named. It would be wonderful if there was a "trigger by marker" actor that read the video file, read the markers in it, and let you trigger an event by named marker based on a dropdown list of the named markers in the video file.

    So in this case the markers are called Blue, Yellow and Light. So in my fantasy "trigger by marker" actor I could choose to trigger one event when the video reaches "blue" another at "yellow" and a third at "light". One could choose to ignore particular markers. If the markers weren't named then the actor would simply give them a sequential number, or give them the name of their SMTPE position.

    Thanks a lot!

    Mark



  • Hi @mark_m

    I like your idea here. Do you think there is a standard for video markers — across software developers say, Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut, Avid and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve? I am also interested to see what this implementation is going to look and behave like, I got the impression from Mark's keynote that it might be timeline based as we see in Dataton's Watchout for example. Just have to wait and see!
    Cheers
    bonemap

  • Tech Staff

    Sounds very useful


  • Tech Staff

    I think to be considered we will need to see if there is a standard for these things.

    Definitely could be useful.


  • A quick word with my friends at Adobe suggests that markers are embedded in the XMP info in the file header, and are a 'standard'. I'll have a play with opening that example file in FCP and Resolve and see if those programs read the markers. Meanwhile here's a page about the XMP: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/xmp.html



  • Using EXIFtool:

    XMP info easily extracted and the markers are clearly read and show as follows:

    Tracks Track Name               : Markers

    Tracks Frame Rate               : f25

    Tracks Markers Start Time       : 45, 75, 100

    Tracks Markers Name             : blue, yellow, light

    Tracks Markers Type             : Comment, Comment, Comment

    Tracks Markers Cue Point Params Key: marker_guid, marker_guid, marker_guid

    Tracks Markers Cue Point Params Value: 42f744a8-1685-6a80-6548-729f00000024, 564c4da8-962e-ce3c-0701-cd0100000024, cd90ac2d-d593-35dd-049c-671400000024

    Tracks Markers Guid             : cd90ac2d-d593-35dd-049c-671400000024

    So the position of the markers is shown as the frame number, and the position (in hh.mm.ss.ff)  is calculated from the frame rate. (The markers are at 00:00:01:20, 00:00:03:00 and 00:00:04:00)

    Full XMP info from the file is here

    So you can see all the info contained in the file header.

    And here's what the XMP looks like if I export it from Premiere as FCP compatible XML. Again, the markers are clearly defined as part of the XML.

    Would Isadora have to be reading the XMP info anyhow, just in order to know the other video parameters like frame rate, frame size, duration, etc? In which case would this be straighforwards? Since Isadora would just looking for a couple more lines of XMP data.

    Anyhow, I've planted this seed, given it a bit of water and compost, and hope it falls on fertile ground :-)



  • I would love this.

    Recently I've been having to do video in QLab for a few people who've insisted on it. Generally I'm not a fan of it's video side but one neat feature is how it interprets 'markers' embedded in footage. A good example is being able to start a video, loop a section, then play the end. Obviously this is possible in Issy but it's nice to be able to just add the 'markers' in premier if you're lazy like me!

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