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The wiki text:


Results in: 0:101:30


This template can be used in scripts where I want to show time-points at the end of sentences and/or sections of text (see example). In these "timespan" captions I show:

  • #1) The duration - how long that particular sentence/section takes in seconds or m:ss
  • #2) The running total in mm:ss - the sum of all durations up till that point
  • #3) The same running total in total seconds - shown when you roll over
  • #4) The same running total in total frames representing total seconds time frame rate (usually 30 fps) - shown when you roll over

As anyone who has edited movies will know, timing is everything when you have to sync the video with the sound (or vice versa). If you're making computer generated 3D animations or "cartoon videos", keeping track of keyframes is particularly important. The tags I show here I use mostly to time narration for Video Scripts. Often the process is very iterative, so it's common to write a script, only to realize it is way too long for the content you wish to show, and thus will have to cut down the script - meaning most of your "running total" time values will probably have to be changed. Doh! Thankfully one a video is "approximately right", it can be tinkered with by hand (shorting or delaying the animation a couple of seconds here or there) to get the timing just right.

How to calculate the values quickly

Calculating the values above can be a bit cumbersome - nobody likes converting from "mm:ss" to total seconds over and over again - so my method is as follows:

  • #1) I print a copy of the script (without timespan) to read aloud and/or dictate onto my smart phone.
    • NOTE: I find reading from a printout easier and helps me scribble notes of what I might want to change
  • #2) I use a stopwatch to write down the running total in (mm:ss) at certain key points which tie in with movie events.
    • NOTE: If you've recorded to smart phone or computer this will show the same running total for you and help you go back later if you want to change the granularity or make changes
  • #3) I copy these vales into an Excel spreadsheet with formulae to help calculate the duration (difference) between time points and generate the Timespan tags.

Below are formulae you can cut and paste into Excel (make sure you paste into cell A1). In this setup you only need to enter values into the first two columns, and can cut an paste the values in last row into MediaWiki. To add more rows simply select the last row, then drag the bottom right corner/plus arrow down to repeat the formulae.

cumulative mins cumulative secs total secs total frames tot secs difference min diff secs diff wiki text
CHANGE CHANGE =A2*60+B2 =C2*30 =IF(ISNUMBER(C1),C2-C1,C2) =FLOOR(E2/60,1) =MOD(E2,60) =CONCATENATE("{{Timespan|",IF(F2=0,G2,F2&":"&IF(LEN(G2)=1,0&G2,G2)),"|",A2,":",(REPT(0,2-LEN(B2))&B2),"|",C2,"|",TEXT(D2,"#,###"),"}}")
CHANGE CHANGE =A3*60+B3 =C3*30 =IF(ISNUMBER(C2),C3-C2,C3) =FLOOR(E3/60,1) =MOD(E3,60) =CONCATENATE("{{Timespan|",IF(F3=0,G3,F3&":"&IF(LEN(G3)=1,0&G3,G3)),"|",A3,":",(REPT(0,2-LEN(B3))&B3),"|",C3,"|",TEXT(D3,"#,###"),"}}")

Here's and example of the output when I enter 0,50 then 4,10 and 6,5 (cumulative 6 minutes, 5 seconds) into the first two columns:

cumulative mins cumulative secs total secs total frames tot secs difference min diff secs diff wiki text
0 50 50 1500 50 0 50 {{Timespan|50|0:50|50|1,500}}
4 10 250 7500 200 3 20 {{Timespan|3:20|4:10|250|7,500}}
6 5 365 10950 115 1 55 {{Timespan|1:55|6:05|365|10,950}}

And finally, lets say you want to modify this so that instead of entering running times you can enter just the duration part - thus allowing you to see how the total running times change if you changed the length and/or added extra sections. For that you should modify the table as follows (changes shown as underlined):

cumulative mins cumulative secs total secs total frames tot secs difference min diff secs diff wiki text
=FLOOR(C2/60,1) =MOD(C2,60) =IF(ISNUMBER(C1),E2+C1,E2) =C2*30 =CHANGE ME =FLOOR(E2/60,1) =MOD(E2,60) =CONCATENATE("{{Timespan|",IF(F2=0,G2,F2&":"&IF(LEN(G2)=1,0&G2,G2)),"|",A2,":",(REPT(0,2-LEN(B2))&B2),"|",C2,"|",TEXT(D2,"#,###"),"}}")