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Re: Keycode formats for data



Dear Jan,

The defacto standard for time code/keykode databases is the Flexfile, which
was proposed by Jim Lindellen, the designer of the TLC.  As I recall, he
submitted the database plan to SMPTE for standardization, but no formal
standard has yet been adopted.

The Aaton Keylink and Evertz Keylogger create variations of the Flexfile.
 The main difference is that these systems incorporate additional data above
and beyond Flexfile requirements.  Of course, TLC systems that have the
Flexfile option make these files too.  Many nonlinear edit systems can import
and use Flexfiles or their variations.  Unfortunately, it would appear that
some manufacturers are reluctant to jump on the bandwagon (perhaps because
they're waiting for a standard to follow), so Flexfiles are by no means
universal.

I get the feeling that your main question really has more to do with
converting Keykode to time code and vice-versa.  Keykode and time code are
not interchangeable, nor were they ever meant to be.  Keykode is a film
identification system that identifies particular camera rolls by
manufacturer, stock, and serial numbers, along with a running frame count.
 It is fixed by the manufacturer and is different on every roll of film that
is made.  It cannot be altered by the user.  Time code, on the other hand,
can be whatever you want it to be as long as it bears some relationship to
the frames you want it to represent.  Consequently, any practical conversion
program would have to know where each film roll begins and ends, how many
frames there are in each film roll (this is necessary as a check on the
accuracy of the Keykode reader), and what time code you want to assign to the
start of each film roll in a transfer.  In order to come up with all that,
you would have to log so much that by the time you were finished, there
wouldn't be any converting left to do!

As far as interchange of materials between facilities goes, it is my humble
opinion that it's up to the client to decide what production and post
production methods they are going to use, and for those handling the client's
material to provide the information requested in the format specified.

Christopher Bacon
DuArt Film & Video