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Thread: Multi-Camera Video Timing Issue

  1. #1

    Question Multi-Camera Video Timing Issue

    Hi all,

    I am fairly certain that this question has been answered somewhere on the Web, but I'm having the darnedest time finding it.

    I am in the process of editing a video for a wedding reception using Premiere Pro CS5.5.2. Because we had a VERY limited budget, we shot with three different less-than-ideal cameras: a Panasonic HDC-SD90, a Sony HDR-XR260V, and the venue's own balcony-mounted camera feeding to a Toshiba DR430KU DVD Video Recorder, which all dump roughly 4½ hours onto the timeline.

    While the two camcorders have no issues with each other (as their footage rarely overlaps), there is an apparent "frame drift" between footage from the Sony camera and the Toshiba DVD recorder: after about 1.5 hours, both the audio and video from each source is very noticeably out of sync with the other by about 26 frames. (Both of the sources are supposedly timed at 29.97 FPS—my hunch is that the much older DVD recorder uses a lower-quality timing mechanism, since it was never intended to record video to be edited later.)

    At any rate, is there a good way to fix this video timing issue in Premiere itself? I know there is a "Time Remapping" option under 'Video Effects' in the 'Effect Controls' panel, but it uses a percentage slider which is difficult to get right for such a slow sync drift. Thanks for any help!

    Last edited by amanisdude; 09-24-2013 at 08:33 PM.

  2. #2


    Hmm... It seems that I may have just solved my own problem.

    I'm now getting very good results using the standard 'Rate Stretch Tool'. If anyone has any more advanced suggestions, please let me know! Thanks.


  3. #3


    I agree, the Rate Stretch tool sounds a good idea.

    I would be interested to know whether it is timing issue. I naively thought timers have been accurate for decades. I think that even the difference between 29.97fps and 30fps would create a difference of 162 frames. I wonder if one cam is simply temporarily failing to record a frame sometimes (about 26 times in 160,000 frames).

  4. #4


    It could be an issue with missing frames within each clip, though I haven't discovered any thus far.

    However, I did discover that, because one of the sources was a DVD recorder, it breaks the video up into chapters, and all the chapters lose two to five frames in the transition (a limitation with the buffer in these old recorders, no doubt). When re-adjusting for the gaps that should exist, I recuperated most of those 26 frames, but most of the chapters were still a few frames off by the end (most, but not all, interestingly enough).

    So the issue is in part due to dropped frames when switching to new chapters, but each chapter still slowly loses sync with the camcorders if the camera footage spans enough time. My best guess is that, since one of the cameras wasn't actually a "camera" (it was a DVD recorder), its timing mechanism may not have been held up to the same scrutiny as that of the internal recorder in an actual camera. (After all, videos recorded by DVD players are not generally intended to be edited later on—they are usually edited already.)

    But that's just speculation. As I said above, it could also be a problem in how the DVD recorder handles dropped frames; each DVD chapter runs roughly 30 mins 09 secs, and most seemed to be 1 to 2 frames off by their end. (Premiere indicates that all the footage is 29.97 fps.) I'll still keep an eye out for these mysterious "dropped" frames if they should come up.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Last edited by amanisdude; 09-25-2013 at 02:50 AM.

  5. #5


    UPDATE: It seems that the issue may, in fact, be dropped frames. While any have yet to catch my eye, I've just noticed a DVD clip come a whopping 349 frames short!

    In Premiere Pro CS6, there is an option to show dropped frames by enabling "Show Dropped Frame Indicator" in the monitor panel menu. Does anyone know a similar trick for CS5.5?

    Thanks, and sorry for the continuous posting!

    Whelp, I'm at a loss. I just ran the clip through VLC, and it only dropped 10 frames, and all at once at that (maybe somebody bumped the recorder; I don't know).

    I did notice, though, that the video file's timecode is utter crap. VLC says the clip is 14:12 (min:sec), but it plays for over 30 mins(!) and occupies 30:12 on the timeline. Maybe Premiere is trying to upscale the video using its own timing estimates on account of the file's crappy timing data? I denno.

    Anyway, I guess that should simplify stretching the clip out. It still doesn't explain why all the clips (which are all the same length) are not having the same timing issues. Whatever. Probably just a bad DVD recording.

    Last edited by amanisdude; 09-25-2013 at 07:41 AM.

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