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The Filmmaker's Guide to Final Cut Pro Workflow by Dale Angell

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Appendix 5

Understanding Time Code

Drop Frame Versus Nondrop Frame

There are several time code formats in use; however, they can be divided into two types: drop frame and nondrop frame. The following is an example of nondrop frame (NDF) time code:

12:45:22:27

The first set of numbers represents hours (12), the next are minutes (45), then seconds (22), and finally frames (27). It can be identified as NDF by the colon (:) in the last position. In this case, we are looking at a frame of NTSC video. We know it’s not 24 FPS film because the frame number is 27. There would never be a number higher than 23 in 24 FPS. In NDF, this is a simple counter; every frame has a sequential number that identifies it. It’s great for editing because you know exactly ...

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