How to Get Accurate Time
Universal Time (UTC) is at the heart of Lumberjack System. The more accurate the time, the more accurate the logs will be. Remember that you can correct media times in the Lumberyard application, if you know the offset. UTC is available on all levels of equipment and doesn't require expensive Timecode Generators. UTC, unlike Timecode, includes date and time zone information. For those who need it, Lumberjack System does support industry standard embedded timecodes.
Tip: You only need one accurate camera for multicam setups. Lumberyard uses the time from the first angle and applies it to the Multicam Clip. Place (or move) the most accurate time source (or the one where you know the offset) in the first camera angle.
If you have to face inaccurate time, check out Correcting Time Offsets for more details.
Lumberjack can optionally use Time of Day Timecode by setting that option in Lumberyard's Preferences. When using Timecode the date and time zone information is obtained from the file, but the embedded Timecode is used instead of time-of-day.
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It’s important for Lumberjack that all camera clocks should be set as accurately as possible.
Cameras with GPS will stay accurate, but those without external connections will need to be checked before each shoot day.
Set the camera's time zone first (if it has changed) then synchronize the camera clock with the logger: The interface shows the web server's time in the device's localized time.
We strongly recommend that the first shot of the day be of the Logger's clock.
Be very careful to frame the shot first, making sure that the time display is visible, before rolling. The offset is easiest to calculate when you can compare the first frame of the clip (showing the Logger time display) with the time stamp of the media file for the same frame.
We have also had great results with Atomic Clock by CompuLab. The larger display image is easier to shoot. The Atomic Clock display time matches the Logger display time because both depend on the same atomic clock UTC.
By comparing the logger clock time (in this example on the iOS logger interface) with the Content Created time from the camera, we can see that the camera time is 1'07" ahead of UTC. Now that we know the offset we can apply it in Lumberyard.
Any GoPro with WiFi can be used as a very accurate time source.
The GoPro's date and time are automatically set when you connect your camera to the GoPro App or GoPro soware. Since all network connected devices have accurate time, this is a great way of getting accurate time for all shoots by using the GoPro as the first angle in a Multicam Clip.
Even if you don't ever use the GoPro images, it's a very inexpensive way to guarantee accurate tie with minimal effort.
This feature makes a GoPro the simplest and most accurate time source for multicam Lumberjack System projects. It is our go-to solution on our own DSLR-based projects.
IMPORTANT: GoPro recorders do NOT support time zones, so you will need to manually enter the time zone offset in Lumberyard.
Another advantage of the GoPro approach is that they tend to start first and finish last on the shoot.
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