15 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2012 4:33 PM by Dave LaRonde

    Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?

    wet_bimbette

      Hi,

       

      Is it possible to change the timeline format in AE CS5.5 so that the sub second granularity is in tenths or hundredths of a second instead of frames?

       

      If I zoom in to the timeline then it initially shows it as whole seconds but then continued zooming results in the sub second intervals being in frames wheres I would like that to be in decimals of a second, is this possible?

       

       

      Rgds

        • 1. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          No. Doesn't really make sense, anyway, since all animation is sampled at the beginning of a frame, even if AE may have temporal sub-sampling. Therefore any changes you were to make at sub-frame intervals would be ttreated no differently and at best be influenced by the incoming and outgoing interpolation... Anything specific you wanna do?

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
            wet_bimbette Level 1

            Mylenium,

             

            Thx for the quick reply.

             

            I wish to insert a stopwatch type of timer into some sports event videos where sub second timing is important. To do this I select the precise point for the commencement of the timer and it is easier if I have a timeline of tenths/hundredths of a second rather than frames.

             

            I realise that for a 25fps video I will have an accuracy level of 0.04 seconds rather than 0.01 seconds but 0.04 seconds is OK for me. I can manage with frames for sub second intervals but if decimal sub seconds was available it would have been nice.

             

             

            Rgds

            • 3. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              You can add simple expressions to control the sub-frame start time of counters and whatnot. AS I already wrote, AE operates on exact physical time, so e.g. typing in 0.001+time in a text layer source text property will return the correct mathematical result and if you do temporal oversampling with motion-blur, it might even show up as one of the ghosting echos. if you want to enforce the display of specific values, tying it to a slider and/or using additional rounding7 value clamping/ quantization is of course possible, but you need to provide more details on the exact requirements.

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                wet_bimbette Level 1

                Mylenium,

                 

                My ideal requirement is as follows:

                 

                What I wish to do is to edit a three hour recording of 6 horse races to cut out all of the audio/video between the races and just have the 6 races plus about 30 seconds lead in before the race begins and 30 seconds after the race completes for each race. In addition, on the precise frame that the starting gates open for each race I want a stopwatch timer to start from 0.00 seconds and count upwards in hundredths of a second. The timer should then run on until the nose of the last horse to finish hits the finishing line. The timer then stops and the whole process is repeated for the next race until all 6 races are completed. All 6 races and their timers would then be rendered into one file such as mp4 or flv or wmv.

                 

                 

                 

                Rgds

                • 5. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                  bogiesan Level 4

                  There's no real need for any sub-second accuracy because you cannot supply it within the limatations of the video you have at your disposal. You set the keyframes for a counter/text/number layer and merely program which number you want to appear at any given point in time: 00.00 for the start and xx.xx for the nose at the tape. All the rest of the numbers are irrelevant since they are accurate only to 0.04 secs. If you had ultra high speed video or you had time stretched 25 frames to 100 frames you would be able to assign each 0.01 increment to an individual image. But time stretching doesn't add image data or increase the shooting time resolution; it merely makes four copies of each frame. However, every fourth frame would be a  precisely accurate representation of the original time stamps.

                  • 6. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                    Dave LaRonde Level 6

                     

                     

                    I want a stopwatch timer to start from 0.00 seconds and count upwards in hundredths of a second.

                     

                     

                    That's not going to happen.  There are two reasons.

                    First, I doubt that your footage was recorded at 100 frames/sec.  More likely it's 25, 50 29.97 or 59.94.

                    Second, the fastest frame rate in AE is 99fps... not 100.

                     

                    Anything you do will be an approximation of the actual elapsed time.  Besides, those hundredths of a second go by so fast you can't read them, anyway.

                     

                    I say faking the hundreths of a second is perfectly acceptable, and no one will notice.

                    • 7. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                      wet_bimbette Level 1

                      bogesian, dave laronde,

                       

                      If you read my post above you would have seen that I pointed out the fact that the timer would jump in increments of 0.04 seconds per frame, I am aware of that. I referred to the granularity level of hundredths of a second as that is the level at which the frames are. The timer will count upwards per frame as follows 0.04, 0.08, 0.12..... do you get it !! the granularity level at which the increments occur is hundredths albeit 4 of them at a time.

                       

                      The final video will be viewed in slow motion to ascertain performance at various stages of the races, I will notice it in my analysis of the races.

                       

                      bogesin, how can you say there is no need for any sub second accuracy, you are talking bollox, do you realise how far a thoroughbred racehorse travels in one second? A video recorded at 25 fps certainly has got sub second accuracy, it has 25 frames of them per second and in that time a racehorse has moved quite a bit.

                      • 8. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                        bogiesan Level 4

                        After Effects is a compositing system, it's not a high speed analysis application. I think you failed to read what we wrote. We know how this stuff works, you're the guy asking for help. We see reactions like yours often. Just because you don't get the answer you want doesn't mean we have not supplied one of the many possible correct answers.

                        The importance of time accuracy to the niche industry of horse racing is an interesting challenge but it is not reflected in the choices you have so far. If this little project of yours were truly important, you would have have shot using a higher film rate, something capable of resolving more than 1/25 second. Further, you may find, as you roll through the clip, that 1/25 second drifts a bit. If the shot is more than two or three minutes, the actual number of frames required to record a given span of time, playing back at 24.9+fps, will not be absolutely accurate. The time resolution of your media is the largest issue you must overcome. You can fake it or you can tweak it but, unless you have a time stamp actually burned into the image (highly recommended, by the way, solves all kinds of problems like this one), and you are dealing with so few frames of such fast moving action, you're only going to get what AE is capable of doing. Your additional statement about editing out all the nonsense in the middle implies you have the start time and you have the nose time. Those are all you need to set the keyframes for the time generator effect, whichever one you use. But you only have estimates that correspond loosely to the media. If the horce hits the tape, or whatever you call it, at 2:17:06, there is no frame that can represent that event. The difference between the starting gate opening and the  start of the clock can be one or more of these 0.004/second increments. If you were sloppy and shot the wrong shutter speed you cannot identify the actual instant whne the clock is supposed to start. What's the velocity of the swinging metal? Waht's the event that determines the start? Is it the gate fully open or beginning to open?

                        • 9. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                          Dave LaRonde Level 6

                          A video recorded at 25 fps certainly has got sub second accuracy, it has 25 frames of them per second and in that time a racehorse has moved quite a bit.

                           

                          I don't frequent race tracks, but I have been to the Kentucy Derby right along the fence, and I do understand that a thoroughbred can reach a speed of about 57 KPH.

                           

                          And since you're dealing with 25 slices of time every second, it's possible the video may miss the precise moment when the gates open and the precise moment when the winning horse crosses the finish line.  In fact, I'd think it would be very likely....

                           

                          ....thus rendering your quest for precision a little iffy.

                          • 10. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                            wet_bimbette Level 1

                            As I stated earlier, the precision of 0.04 seconds is good enough for me. I can step through the video frame by frame then lock the timer to start on the frame that gives the 1st perceptible opening of the starting gate. As long as this is adhered to for all races and videos then the level of accuracy is constant. I am happy enough with the points at which the timer starts and stops and with the level of accuracy that I am measuring, my lack of knowledge in how to create the timer is my only issue of concern.

                             

                            bogesian,

                            You are making assumptions without substance. I am not the person shooting the video so have no say in the recording rate, it is out of my control. Also, the duration of the races is considerably smaller than you have estimated therefore much less prone to "drift". Some of the stuff you have written is useful and helpful to me and I thank you for that. Your other comments indicate a pontificating and condescending tone with some delerious ramblings about swinging metal etc, if I wanted swinging metal I would have posted on a Rock & Roll forum. Now, be a good little boy and move on, there's nothing for you here.

                            • 11. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                              bogiesan Level 4

                              Dang, LaRonde, we missed the boat again. It wasn't about accuracy at all, it was about editing and faking it.

                               

                              Here's the string of events:

                               

                              > Is it possible to change the timeline format in AE CS5.5 so that the sub second granularity is in tenths or hundredths of a second instead of frames?

                              > If I zoom in to the timeline then it initially shows it as whole seconds but then continued zooming results in the sub second intervals being in frames wheres I would like that to be in decimals of a

                              > second, is this possible?

                               

                              (Yes and no. Video is video, the fame rates are firmly established. You can create a 100 frame per second timeline but you can't show it on anything. Easier to just stretch 25fps out to 400%.)

                               

                              > I wish to insert a stopwatch type of timer into some sports event videos where sub second timing is important. To do this I select the precise point for the commencement of the timer and it is

                              > easier if I have a timeline of tenths/hundredths of a second rather than frames.

                              > I realise that for a 25fps video I will have an accuracy level of 0.04 seconds rather than 0.01 seconds but 0.04 seconds is OK for me.

                              > I can manage with frames for sub second intervals but if decimal sub seconds was available it would have been nice.

                               

                              (your accuracy is not going to be 0.04, it's going to be no better than 0.08.)

                               

                               

                              > What I wish to do is to edit a three hour recording of 6 horse races to cut out all of the audio/video between the races and just have the 6 races plus about 30 seconds lead in before the race begins

                              > and 30 seconds after the race completes for each race. In addition, on the precise frame that the starting gates open for each race I want a stopwatch timer to start from 0.00 seconds and count

                              > upwards in hundredths of a second. The timer should then run on until the nose of the last horse to finish hits the finishing line. The timer then stops

                              >

                              . and the whole process is repeated for the next

                              > race until all 6 races are completed. All 6 races and their timers would then be rendered into one file such as mp4 or flv or wmv.

                               

                              (You won't to try to edit the footage in AE, do that in Premiere)

                               

                              Time remap the footage in a longer comp, stretch it out to 400% to get your level of granularity. Set your stopwatch thingy. Did you ever firgure out how to do that? Timers are available in several different ways. Not sure which one you're going to want as minutes/seconds is about as granular as you can get. You can do another timer as a self-contained movie at a higher frame rate or time stretched and then bring it back in and set it alongside the onthe one doing minutes/seconds. You then change the speed of the improted movie to move at one hundred frames/second. This takes a bit of tweaking, again diminishing your possible accuracy.

                              Then nest this comp back into a 25fps comp. You will render out of AE to a frame-based codec and then take that movie to Adobe Media Encoder for the transcode to your release media format. Do not try to export the movie out of AE; it's possible but it's not reliable. You will need to know the difference between exporting and rendering and encoding.

                               

                              Real world timers are odd requests in AE. The easiest thing I've found is to create a movie of an incrementing counter and import it. Set up multiple copies and position them carefully between colons. Run each one as a loop at whatever speed is necessary to create the illusion of a real world burned in timer. So I could have a movie that counts from 00 to 99, a new numeral on each frame. Upon import I set it to loop 1000 times then I can speed that up or slow it down to fit whatever rate of change I need. Then I create a movie that counts from 00 to 59 and do roughly the same thing.

                               

                              If you don't want to build one in AE, you can get a bright LED stopwatch and shoot that using a good macro lens. Key it over the movies.

                              There are numerous onscreen counters and timers that you can shoot off of a Mac or iPad screen. The temporal resolution of your video format is still going to be an issue since, at 25fps, there will be many frames where the hundreds and tenths digits will be off , incorrect, or cthe shutter will capture more than one numeral.

                               

                              Message was edited by: bogiesan, miserable typos, I left most of them, tho

                              • 12. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Just add this expression to a text layer. Source Code. Then drop a marker on the frame where you want the clock to start and another where you want the clock to stop. Actually, you'll want to drop the markers before you add the comp to prevent an expression error. The markers should be on the text layer. If you want to put them on the video layer then you'll have to modify the expression.

                                 

                                strt = marker.key(1).time;
                                stp = marker.key(2).time;
                                
                                if (time <= strt) {
                                     t = 0 ;
                                     t1 = Math.floor(t);
                                     t2 = t.toFixed(2).substr(-3);
                                     t1 + t2
                                }
                                
                                if (time > strt) {
                                     t = time - strt ;
                                     t1 = Math.floor(t);
                                     t2 = t.toFixed(2).substr(-3);
                                     t1 + t2
                                }
                                
                                if (time >= stp) {
                                     t = stp - strt ;
                                     t1 = Math.floor(t);
                                     t2 = t.toFixed(2).substr(-3);
                                     t1 + t2
                                }
                                

                                 

                                The first two statements call the time of the first and second markers.

                                 

                                The rest of the expression is just a way of setting a decimal point and setting the number of decimals to 2. Change the toFixed to (3).substr(-4); to make it 3 decimal points of accuracy.

                                 

                                The expression is based on time not frame rate so it will work with any frame rate. As long as the comp is exactly the same frame rate as the video the timer will be accurate.

                                • 13. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                                  bogiesan Level 4

                                  > Just add this expression to a text layer. <

                                   

                                  Yesssss! It's that simple.

                                   

                                  This clearly shows us there's an expression for everything and Dave and I have become superfluous, even as entertainment.

                                  Not a bad thing to look forward to, actually. LaRonde, you and I can retire.

                                  • 14. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                                    bogiesan Level 4

                                    Mr LaRonde, would you be so kind as to please contact me offline, at your convenience. dbogie?at?idahopower*dot-com.

                                    • 15. Re: Changing Sub Second Timeline Format In AE CS5.5?
                                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                      LaRonde, you and I can retire.

                                       

                                      And we can take our stinkin' practical effects with us, no doubt.