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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:03 PM   #1
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Techniques for multicam editing with more than 4 cameras

I have a couple shows coming up where to make up for some issues with a lack of staffing, we will be positioning small cameras around a stage (ie POV cameras, etc...) for those quick, but really cool closeups of musicians. Even if we wanted to have manned cameras, it isn't possible because of the aesthetics of the performance.

Now, the multicam editing model as I understand it is limited to 4 cameras. How do those of you who go over 4 cameras deal with the limitations? I'm still pretty new to video editing (and CS5 by extension) so I'm open to all suggestions. For these shoots, we'll probably have between 6 and 8 camera streams to deal with.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

--Ben
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Techniques for multicam editing with more than 4 cameras

Funny you should ask. Already covered just a couple of weeks ago:

Multicam more than 4 cameras?

Edit: Okay, you already know about that thread and it doesn't contain the info I thought it did. Sorry about that. I could have sworn I posted my workflow in it.

Anyway, what I do is do a four-cam cut with the four most important cams, then lay the additional cams (for me they are usually just cutaways) above the edited multicam timeline, using the audio to sync. I just razor the additional tracks and toggle on and off their visibility.

Another way that should work -- but I haven't had the need to try it -- is to lay your additional tracks over the edited multicam track, then drag that into a second multicam-enabled sequence and just go through and cut away. I would think that should work but I haven't tried it.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: Techniques for multicam editing with more than 4 cameras

That's exactly how I do it - worry about the main cameras and then just slot in the secondary stuff.

To be honest, the reason was really that I know from doing live shows that I don't actually have the skills to concentrate on more than 4 sources. What happens is I can't scan quick enough so if I have more than 4, then the extras don't get the same attention. I think it's just me - plenty of people can handle far more than that!

So I soon realised I was most effective in the edit with 4 as a maximum. I also frequently take the POVs out of their original sync location to where they look the best.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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Like Adam, I could swear we have posted on this recently. I'll just add on to what I think was posted.

I pretty much do the same things the other guys do and have been doing up to seven cameras. Generally, it is pretty rare that I will constantly need more than four camera viewed. I've been trying to learn Avid MC5 which can give you up to nine multi-cam panes. Like Paul, I find it hard to watch more than 4. The others are usually for cut-aways in large or awkward performance spaces or when one of the main cams just does not have a good shot.

I typically have two main cams ("a" and "b" or a1 and a2, if you prefer). I'll use them for medium and close-ups (often from the back of the house where I can easily get to both if I am working alone or where I can have second shooter if its that kind of gig.) My main cut-aways will be "c" and "d" cams for for different angles on full or medium wide of the stage. The "e" "f" and "g" cams are for other less frequently used angles. For example, there may be cameras looking down from a balcony or clamped to an overhead rail. Maybe I need a camera aimed back at the audience. Maybe I need medium or zoomed shots of particular parts of the stage that only get occupied some of the time and which are hard for the other cameras to pick-up. (Maybe there will be a narrator/emcee who every so often stands at a far front corner of the stage or who is spotlighted while down with the audience.) The e, f and g cams are all cut-away and occasional shots. (With weddings, I can put e, f and g cams back in the rooms where the wedding party is standing immediately before entering for the processional or after leaving in the recessional. I've also used e or f cam to get shots of musicians who perform during the ceremony but have been placed away from the main ceremonial area.)

In all of those situations, I find that there really is no need to have all of the cams visible to me all of the time.

The other variation is what I call the three-ring circus performance space. For example, a couple of years ago, our all-state high-school band/choir/orchestra concert was held in a huge, arena-like room with separate and widely spaced performance spaces for band, the orchestra and the choir. There was not time to shift un-manned cameras when the performance shifted from orchestra area to choir area and from that to the band area and back again. Another example was last weekend, when I shot a dance-workshop where the main action was on a stage but there were interludes of musicians and poetry readings from a separate floor in a different part of the room. I had my two main cams in the back of the house where I could swivel them from one area to the other to get closer shots. For the dancers on the main stage, I had two small cams shooting full wide from opposite sides of the stage. I had two other cams similarly positioned so that they picked up the band and the readers and also got audience reaction shots at other times.

For the multi-ring circus situation, I'll set up separate multi-cam mixes for each performance space. I'll use one as my main editing sequence. I'll use the the other sequence when the performance is the other area. I'll edit the secondary mix and then cut and paste the edited section over that same segment on into my main timeline , (I also could have taken the musican-cam sequence and made separate editing sequences for each musical segment and then nested each such sequence into the main timeline.)
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Re: Techniques for multicam editing with more than 4 cameras

Ben,
If you want more than 4 camera angles for multicam, make a feature request: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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Re: Techniques for multicam editing with more than 4 cameras

Paul, Jay-

Thank you so much... Makes total sense an I appreciate the help.

Kevin-

Already put in the request.

--Ben
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Old June 15th, 2011, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Techniques for multicam editing with more than 4 cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
That's exactly how I do it - worry about the main cameras and then just slot in the secondary stuff.
Thumbs up.
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