Jun 10

Using the MarkerTool to transfer a transcript to FCP7 markers

UPDATED June 2013

Move sequence markers, lift them to clip level and vice-versa and import excel based markers into an FCP timeline… For free! http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/

  1. Export an XML of the sequence for which you want transcription markers. Make sure the sequence timecode matches the transcript timecodes (time of day timecode VS a timecode that starts at 01:00:00:00)
  2. For this tutorial, we’ll assume the transcript is a doc(x). In this word document, you have a TC column, a speaker column and text column. We will want to copy all this data in an Excel spreadsheet. But before doing so, we need to make sure there are no carriage returns within the table. If there are, data will not be properly aligned when pasting in Excel. So we first need to remove any carriage return in Word. To do this you want to open Fine & Replace (Edit → Find → Replace…). Search for: ^p Replace with: [a single space]. Click on Replace All.
  3. In a new Excel spreadsheet, your top 5 rows should have the following header: InTC, OutTC, DurationTC, Name, Comment. Only InTC and Name need to be filled.

  4. Save your spreadsheet as a regular xls(x) spreadsheet. Then save it as a tab-delimitted text file. Then close the file.
  5. If this is your first time using MarkerTool, make sure you first disable the Auto-Save XML in the preferences.
  6. In MarkerTool, click on “Import Plain Text Tab Delimited File”. First select the txt file, then select the XML file. Once it’s done, click on Save XML (the new XML will automatically have “_modified” as a suffix)
  7. Drag the _modified XML into FCP. Done!

…Often, the markers will not be placed correctly. There are 2 methods of fixing this:

The Easier Method:

  1. In this instance, the first sequence marker is at 10:42:58:03 whereas it should be at 09:51:50:05:

    Put a marker in the video clip that corresponds to 09:51:50:05. Select all the media in the sequence, and with snapping enabled, move all the media so that the clip marker lines up with that first sequence marker.
  2. Now the transcript is currently lined up the media, but the actual timecodes are off. Thanks to “Ripple Sequence Markers” (in the “Sequence” menu), if you “close the gap” at the beginning of the sequence, the markers will ripple back with the media.

The Harder Method:

  1. Export the new xml from FCP (even though the marker positions are incorrect)
  2. Reopen the xml in markerTool.
  3. In your FCP timeline, type in the incorrect TC, place your in or out point, then type in what the TC should be and add you in or out point. Then change the timecode viewers from hh:mm:ss:ff to frames. Use that number in the “move all markers” button in the markerTool.

Please note that MarkerTool requires your files to be perfectly formatted. For instance, if one of your timecodes in the tab delimited text is incorrectly formatted (0123:05:00 rather than 01:23:05:00), the app will crash.

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