Time, Timecode, Time
- HH:MM:SS.millisec (note: decimal-dot)
- HH:MM:SS,microsec (note: decimal-comma, not dot)
- HH:MM:SS:FF, where FF is for frames, starting with 00 for first frame.
In video production and filmmaking, SMPTE timecode is used extensively for synchronization, and for logging and identifying material in recorded media. During filmmaking or video production shoot, the camera assistant will typically log the start and end timecodes of shots, and the data generated will be sent on to the editorial department for use in referencing those shots. This shot-logging process was traditionally done by hand using pen and paper, but is now typically done using shot-logging software running on a laptop computer that is connected to the time code generator or the camera itself.
The SMPTE family of timecodes are almost universally used in film, video and audio production, and can be encoded in many different formats, including:
Linear timecode (LTC), in a separate audio track
Vertical interval timecode (VITC), in the vertical blanking interval of a video track
AES-EBU embedded timecode used with digital audio
Burnt-in timecode, in human-readable form in the video itself
CTL timecode (control track)
Keykode, while not a timecode, is used to identify specific film frames in film post-production that uses physical film stock. Keykode data is normally used in conjunction with SMPTE time code.
Rewritable consumer timecode is a proprietary consumer video timecode system that is not frame-accurate, and is therefore not used in professional post-production.