Use titles for that.
After Effects could probably be made to do this semi-automagically, if your Expression-Fu is strong. That stuff's kind of over my head, but there are plenty of forums (here at Adobe and elsewhere around the web) where gurus lurk and might be able to offer some advice.
I think this would be a fantastic addition to the Timecode effect, though, especially in the age of tapeless, file-based acquisition. That effect already has the ability to look at data about a clip, so it would seem to be a natural extension for it to read either or both the file name and the clip name as it is logged in Premiere. Time for a feature request, methinks...
Overlay on the video
What I am working on is a baby project. Essentially, I want to overlay at least the date of the clip on the video. There is a plugin called dvdate in CS3. However, it does not work in CS4 and the author said it's disabled due to CS4 changes.
The clips are named by date_time. Therefore, if there is a text formatter, this would replace dvdate in CS4.
Creating hundreds of titles are tedious and error-prone.
The timecode effect does not look at the timestamp on each frame. In stead, it's showing the time code starting at 00:00:00. On a dv clip, this does not make much of sense.
Make a segment for each time period. Use one title for that time period.
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Well, with a little bit of outside-the-box thinking, here's a solution:
- Download and install Eddie Lotter's Premiere Pro Title File Creator.
- In the Premiere Pro Titler, create a template title file and design your title according to the instructions in the Title File Creator. Just use the Area Text tool to create a text box with something like "date" as the text. Format the text as you please.
- When the title is designed as you'd like, select the title in the Project panel and select File > Export > Title. Call the .PRTL file something like "template.prtl" and save it.
- Open up a spreadsheet program; if you've got Excel, that works, or use the free OpenOffice.org software. You could probably even use Google Docs if you like. In the first cell, enter your beginning date (ie. 1-1-09). Use the number formatting options to have the date displayed the way you'd like (ie. 2009-01-01). There are lots of options for this. When the date is formatted, select the cell and drag the selection box down the column; the dates will autofill sequentially. Drag as far down as you need dates.
- Export/save the spreadsheet as a CSV file, naming it something like "dates.csv". Close the spreadsheet program (the CSV export will probably be the active document), and change the extension to TXT, so it becomes "dates.txt". You can open this up in your text editor, and you'll see a column of dates.
- Open up the Premiere Pro Title File Creator tool. Select your "template.prtl" in the "Template" section; if you only have one text box created in the template, it will be automatically selected. In the "Title Text" section, select your "dates.txt" file. Finally, in the "Output" section, select a folder, type in a filename prefix (ie. "date"), and then use one of the options to define how the file names are created. I think the "Use title text without 'xyz' prefix" would be the most useful, as the filenames will match the date, making organization easy. Hit "create title files", and the specified folder will be filled with Premiere Pro title files (.PRTL) that you can import into Premiere Pro.
No, this isn't automatic, but since there really isn't an automatic way to do it, this is close as you can get right now. Hope it helps...
Thanks, Colin. This might be what I have to do right now.
Could you tell me a few other places that I can look for helps?
Help with what? This particular feat, or Premiere in general?
In general. Like some good forums.