Post Production: An Introduction To Time Remapping

Timing is very important and in post production timing, remapping is an important tool. Many times a clip just isn't up to the standard you want. However, the image looks fantastic with great color and beautiful graphics. It turns out that something with the timing is what needs work. Perhaps the clip is too short or long, needs to be sped up or have the speed carried throughout the clip. There are plenty of timing issues that can be used to make a clip exciting and interesting, that holds the audience's attention.

Time Remapping Options

Time remapping makes it possible to change time flow through a clip. Applying this remapping is normally a breeze as it is necessary to select the video layer and then apply the remapping. However, controlling remapping gets tricky though the results are always worth it. Some of the remapping options include adding a hold frame at the beginning or end of the clip. It is possible to reverse the playback so the video plays from right to left instead of the usual left to right. It is also possible to alter the ramp and speed of the playback. Normally key frames are needed to surround the sections played at different speeds. Think of them as brackets around the frames that are played at the same speed. It is possible to fix jerky playback by applying frame blending.

Remapping of Audio

All of the remapping of the video also needs to be applied to the audio. Matching up the time remapping for audio and video are what make animations work with voices. By changing the music timing and not the video timing it is possible to create suspense and interesting atmosphere. Any changes that are made with video remapping can be used with audio remapping. By remapping voices it is possible to create stutters and stops. It is also possible to eliminate pauses that are too long or scratching and other noises.

Variable Speed

The variable speed effect is not as straight forward as one might think. This effect will change the speed within the clip but it does not actually alter the length of the clip. Additionally, most variable speed on the video will not affect the audio so the audio will have to be changed in the same way as the video. This effect can be applied when looking at the timeline of a clip as well as in the viewer window. The software may contain a time remap tool on the timeline, a key frame editor, changing the motion bar in the timeline and changing the speed within the motion tab in the viewer.

Keeping Track

An excellent way to keep track of your remapping is through a graph. Software that provides a time value graph will show the changes in the time mapping. The slope of the line will display the speed of time. A straight line is a time freeze or hold, down sloping line a slower time and an up sloping line an increase in the speed. Be aware that if you drastically change the timing of motion then the motion quality may suffer.