Timecode Format

The Timecode Format parameter allows the user to tell the plug-in whether the current project is using a “drop frame” or “non-drop frame” timecode format, in hosts where this information cannot be extracted through the plug-in SDK.

The possible values are:

  • Non-drop Frame: timecode has no gaps, regardless of the current frame rate.
  • Drop Frame (NTSC Only): when the current frame rate is either 29.97 or 59.94, the timecode has a gap of one frame at the beginning of every minute, except the first minute and all subsequent minutes divisible by 10.

Developers should add this unique parameter to their plug-in only if the composition needs to know if the current project is using the “drop frame” timecode standard available for NTSC frame rates of 29.97 or 59.94. If a plug-in does not generate or process timecode this parameter may be omitted.

This parameter is mapped to a boolean or numeric input in the composition. In After Effects and Premiere Pro, the input will be true if the sequence is set to use drop-frame notation, false otherwise. In Final Cut Pro and Motion, the input value is entirely dependent on what the user selects in the UI, since the FxPlug SDK currently does not provide an API to extract this information.

This parameter is never displayed in After Effects and Premiere Pro because the timecode format is extracted by FxFactory through the SDK and fed to the composition. Unfortunately the FxPlug SDK lacks this capability, hence requiring the user to manually adjust this parameter to match the current project setting.

Whether the timecode format is specified by the user or obtained transparently through the plug-in SDK, the resulting value is also accessible through a new output in the Timing Info Structure patch called “Drop Frame Timecode”. The output can only be true when the current frame rate is either 29.97 or 59.94.

In Final Cut Pro and Motion a “non-drop frame” timecode format is always reported for frame rates that do not require or support the “drop frame” convention, regardless of the user selection in the host. In other words, “drop frame” timecode format may be on when the current frame rate is 29.97 or 59.94, but it would always be off for exact frame rates such as 24, 25, 30, etc.