Give Your Clips Metadata Automatically with the iPhone/iPad App QRSlate

I've used (and unfortunately paid for) a couple of iPhone slates in the past. They both worked in their own ways, but they weren't really as good as the real thing. The one positive that I've enjoyed from these slate apps is that they can be much easier to read, whether you're in the dark, or your AC is getting sloppy with their handwriting. QRSlate is a whole different animal. So if you're looking for a new slate app to go with that new iPad, this one can give you automatic metadata when you transfer your footage. It's a pretty clever solution to help save you time and aggravation in post.

Thanks to cinema5D for originally finding this, here's a video explaining the process:

Here is a tutorial using their Desktop App, which is necessary to make the QR feature work:

A description of the entire process from their website:

  • Shoot your project using QR Slate the same way you’d shoot with any other slate: Hold it up and record it. Make sure the camera can see it!
  • When you’re finished, import the footage to your computer like usual. Drag and drop the movie files into the QR Slate desktop application. The Desktop App will analyze your video, find the slates within the movies themselves, and then import the footage into Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid with the included metadata!
  • But what if you’ve already slated the take, you’re rolling, and need to revise it? Or there’s a take you really like and want to mark it for later? You couldn’t have known that before the roll!
  • The Script Supervisor / Take Organizer lets you revise, modify, and delete takes on set. You can change any available field and get everything clean and organized before passing it off to editorial. All those preciously helpful script supervisor notes will no longer by thrown in a drawer next to the sound report ever again!
  • During the roll, you can also drop Markers. Markers can be named and commented on, and will appear in your clip when imported into the NLE, right where you added them during the shoot! A powerful tool for long single takes on things like reality tv or documentary.
  • When you’re finished with the shoot, you can email yourself an updater file, drop it in with the footage, and your media will be automatically updated with the most recent metadata!

This is really one of the most useful slate apps I've ever seen. Not only does it help you stay organized, but it's going to greatly speed up your post workflow by giving you real metadata. One of the more interesting features is the ability to drop markers. If there's any relevant information you need to remember about a take while it's happening, like a particular line delivery or a mistake (like a boom in the shot), this is a great way to have it automatically attached to the clip in post for you or your editor. That's about as handy as it gets. Obviously this doesn't completely solve all slating issues, but it's a relatively cheap solution to a rather annoying and time-consuming problem.

The software has been updated to work on all major editors: Final Cut Pro 7, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Avid Media Composer. The iPhone and iPad apps are free, but the Desktop App will run you $40. If you need a quick turn-around for something you're shooting, having clips already named correctly can save a tremendous amount of time.


[via cinema5D]

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Your Comment


I have a buddy who uses QR Slate. He loves it. It takes care of a lot of your assistant editor's work if you take the time to correctly set it up and use it on set.

March 19, 2012 at 6:40AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


No Windows Desktop version. ...damn.

March 19, 2012 at 7:24AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Señor Marine,
I have purchased said software after your posting, but am curious: how would one take advantage of this for multi-cam productions? I.e., GoPro from below, side-DSLR shot and front DSLR cam? Slate (sound) sync all, and paste meta data from A-Camera? Or any better suggestion(s)?

March 19, 2012 at 12:32PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I've got a couple of ideas. One would be to use a separate iPhone/iPad for each camera - this way at the end of the shoot you've got three QR files and you know that each of them goes to each of the cameras. The other solution could be to take your time while slating, and maybe name the roll or scene with a specific designation. For example, if you did it with the scene name, you could have Scene 1A-a (keeping the camera designation in lower case) for your A-cam, Scene 1A-b for your B-cam, and Scene 1A-c for your C-cam. Then you just restart that all over again for the next shot or scene - Scene 10B-a Take 7 - Scene 10B-b Take 7 - Scene 10B-c Take 7. It might get tedious to have to change that during the slating process, but that seems like an easy way to identify which is which just using their software. You might be able to come up with some simpler solutions but I figured I'd take a shot.

March 19, 2012 at 2:11PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

Thanks Joe-- all good suggestions-- if I hear of any other methods I'll post them here :)

March 19, 2012 at 5:27PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Hey guys. We're always interested in taking suggestions too. If you think you there's a way for us to simplifying things for multicam'n, let us know. Maybe a new option to select on the slate itself? We've been working on ways to multicam, but haven't found the best solution yet. We don't want to make people feel like they have to have 2 slates for obvious $$ reasons.

Shoot us an email if you think you have an idea!

March 20, 2012 at 4:29PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


As an aside... I never minded using the insert slate within the iPhone app PCam if you're shooting MOS since PCam is loaded with a bunch of other camera tools. If you're shooting sync, it's far more appropriate to use a proper clapperboard.

This QR slate looks interesting, perhaps the company will move into building it into a real smart slate with an extra LCD screen so you can have the advantage of proper and accurately synced timecode as well.

March 19, 2012 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


How does one Jam TC into an iPad?

March 20, 2012 at 5:23PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Just got my first iPad... Very good question. Will look into it...

March 20, 2012 at 8:00PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

Some slate applications can do it over WiFi or the headphone jack. QRSlate doesn't have that feature yet. We designed it strictly for metadata management of smaller productions. But we're looking into how to integrate it.

March 22, 2012 at 1:53PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Is there any windows alternatives anyone can suggest?

March 23, 2012 at 5:24AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


The movieslate app lets you sync TC thru the headphone jack. You need a headphone jack that has 3 stripes, not 2 like stereo. I don't know how to write the character, but movie slate has a "star" symbol between "movie" and "slate".

March 25, 2012 at 2:46PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Daniel Mimura