Using a Spreadsheet to Log Timecode

You can use a spreadsheet program (like Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc) to log the timecode readings from your video and also create a running 'Total Length' calculator. This will allow you track sequence times and also allow you to see how long all of the combined sequences are in terms of total time. You can even determine how many frames are used in a sequence or your entire video.

You can download a timecode recording template for your spreadsheet on the Internet, and there are several good ones available (some are free and some cost about $25). So, here is a quick guide on how to find a timecode logging spreadsheet template and how to use it.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with a spreadsheet program installed
  • Basic spreadsheet knowledge
  • A spreadsheet template for logging timecodes

Step 1: Search for Timecode Logging Templates

First, you'll need to find a spreadsheet template for logging video timecodes. You can use your favorite search engine to find one. However, Scott Taylor of the Los Angeles area Final Cut Pro users group has created one that you can use for free. You can find the template, and a summary on how to use it, on the Los Angeles area Final Cut Pro user website.

Step 2: Download Template and Save to Your Computer

Once you have found a spreadsheet template that you want to use, download it and save it to your computer. Although you can save the template in any folder you choose, it is a good idea to save the template in the same folder with other spreadsheet templates used by your software. This will allow you to easily create blank documents from the template rather than having to save the template as a normal spreadsheet every time you use it.

Step 3: Open Template in Spreadsheet Software

Open your spreadsheet software and create a new spreadsheet based on the template that you downloaded.

Step 4: Set Up the Template for Use

Before you can begin using the template to record the timecodes, there are a few parameters you will have to set up. Although most timecode logging spreadsheets vary slightly, there are many similarities. For instance, most spreadsheets will require that you enter the default frame rate you will be using when filming sequences. Look for the frames per second, or FPS, field and enter a default number. (i.e. 25 fps, 30 fps). After you enter the default information, you can begin using the spreadsheet.

Step 5: Enter Tape or Reel Number

Enter the tape or reel number that the sequence footage is shot on. This will help you keep track of where certain sequences are located if you are using multiple tapes or reels.

Step 6: Enter Sequence Description

Enter a brief description about the sequence footage.

Step 7: Enter Start and Ending Timecodes

Enter start and ending timecodes for the video footage in the corresponding fields.

Step 8: Enter Additional Comments or Notes

If you have additional comments or notes that you would like to record about the footage entry, enter them in the Comments or Notes field of the spreadsheet.

Step 9: View Sequence Lengths and Total Running Time

That is generally all the information you need to enter into a spreadsheet in order to log the timecodes. Now, if you look at the duration field for each entry, you should see a value, in minutes and seconds, for the duration of the clip based on the timecode entries. You will also see a total or running time length for all the combined sequence entries.

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