Add a SMPTE timecode

Hi, there! Filmmaker here!

I think it would be so helpful if there is a SMPTE timecode added to the latest version of Pencil2D. The ruler time format that gives hh:mm:ss:ff or 00:00:00:00. Obviously, it’s incredibly vital that we keep the absolute frames in the timeline ruler but I also believe there should be a timecode placed in a box window in addition so you can read both the absolute frames and the hours (extremely unlikely), minutes, seconds and frames (from 00 to 23 since most animation is 24 fps). The reason I’m requesting this feature is because I would import the animation frames I would make in Pencil 2D as a video project in Kdenlive and organize the frames in correlation to the timeline in Pencil2D for reference. But it is so difficult for me to know where to place each frame in the timeline in Kdenlive because the ruler time format differs from that of Pencil2D. I can’t even change the ruler time format in Kdenlive from SMPTE timecode to absolute frames, which really frustrates me. Again, it would be super invaluable if that feature could be added to this program. The absolute frames ruler time format should be an option added to Kdenlive as well.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully you can help!

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@JacobZeier1992 Hey. Thank you for your input. Even though for animators it is not as inconvenient to miss this (we all work in frames 90% of the time), I wholeheartedly agree that having an SMPTE compliant timecode is certainly important for audiovisual professionals and we’ll definitely consider a visualization toggle for a future version.

Unfortunately for the coming version we’re about to feature freeze and start fixing bugs and prepare for a release so I can’t promise this will happen soon since the last release was made almost 1 year ago, and due to different personal & technical reasons we had to delay it.

Regarding Kdenlive to change to absolute frames just click on top of the timecode monitor in the timeline toolbar and change from SMPTE to “Frames” This is the latest version for Windows (20.04.0) but I believe this has been there for a long time (at least since v17). image

Hi, again. Thank you for replying. I’m just wondering what do you mean by saying:

“Even though for animators it is not as inconvenient to miss this.”

I’m a bit confused. Hopefully you can clarify the semantics of that sentence.

By the way, I’ve been told earlier by someone from Kdenlive via Reddit about this device. It’s super helpful.

Again, thanks for the reply.

@JacobZeier1992 As you know, for classical / traditional animators before the digital era there was no SMPTE standard, and of course there were measurements of minutes and seconds, but people worked practically with measurements from the film medium itself such as feet or using film frames as a unit, sometimes even musical beats were used when the animation was orchestrated.

In modern software while having SMPTE timecode is a nice feature, most animators still work with absolute frames display and they just do the MM:SS:FF conversion when pre-planning the scenes. Also because most cuts won’t last beyond the single digit minute.

Usually you are given indications in a mixture of seconds and frames (per second) and change that into absolute frames before starting, but sometimes you are also given the animation scene lengths in absolute frames. It depends on the studio and their workflow.

To clear any confusion I was implying that most professional animators do not need an SMPTE timecode to do their work, and then mentioned how I personally think it is a helpful tool overall for other creative professionals that are less accustomed to using absolute frames and prefer minutes-seconds.

That’s about it. Thanks again for your comment. Cheers :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh, Ok. Thanks for letting me know.

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