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I recently started working with Blender in order to do some video editing for a research project. In it, we are using multiple GoPro cameras to capture the same scene from different angles. Unfortunately, we have no way to start all the cameras at the same time, which means I have to sync them up in post. I figured out one way to do it (by matching all the videos on an audio cue), but it's pretty time-consuming and not really feasible with the amount of participants we will be running.

My main question is: Is there a way to show a camera's innate timecode within the editor? I know the info is there, because I've seen it in the GoPro Studio video editor (which I can't use for other reasons). All of our cameras are set to the same date/time, so being able to sync them on that data would make life much easier.

I've tried Stamping the output with date/time metadata, but it uses information on when the video was rendered and not when it was originally recorded. Trying to figure it out on my own has brought me to the Proxy/Timecode options, but I'm confused as to what exactly the Timecode portion of that area does; everything I've found on the topic only focuses on Proxies.

I'd appreciate any help or recommendations to help me avoid tedious audio-matching.

Edit: Here is a short sample video from a camera we are using.

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    $\begingroup$ Related: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/47804/… - the audio cross correlation works pretty well for me to sync multiple shots. Not the very answer you are looking for but at least related... $\endgroup$ – Samoth Jun 23 '16 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ Could you provide a short sample file including such a timecode to fiddle around with it? $\endgroup$ – Samoth Jun 23 '16 at 13:47
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    $\begingroup$ This is actually more an FFMPEG question than a blender question I think - if ffmpeg can read gopro's timecode from the video files, then you just have to generate that timecode from within Blender's VSE using 'RecordRun' option. Otherwise, you may try FreeRun (rec date) option to use file's timestamp as basis (will be less precise than real timecode, but could be enough still). $\endgroup$ – mont29 Jun 24 '16 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Samoth I've added a 15-second clip from one of the GoPros; I'm not sure how to extract the timecode from it alone, but when I open it in GoPro Studios it shows the absolute time at which it was recorded. Thank you for linking the other thread. It seems like that solution requires more experience in Blender and Python than I currently have, but I guess now's the time to learn. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Jun 24 '16 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ As fas as I know, VSE does not use SMPTE time code and does not access metadata from the video. Blender does not have any automatic sync functions. You might want to try using resolve or premiere. what you want to do is quite easy (and automatic) using either of them... $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jun 24 '16 at 14:42
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My main question is: Is there a way to show a camera's innate timecode within the editor?

If your question is regarding LTC, the answer is absolutely not.

You can muck with libLTC, but even then, it won't be what you are looking for.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's disappointing, but at least now I know that's a dead-end path. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Jun 27 '16 at 12:54

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