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Old February 24th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Working with more than 4 cameras

So I've grown quite fond of the multicam interface in Premiere. It is quick and easy to use and allows for an accurate way to choose camera angles in post.

That being said, I'm a bit frustrated at the limit of 4 cameras. I've been expanding and will need to be able to work with well more than 4 cameras for some concerts that I'm working with. Some are 5, some are 6 or more. The general minimum that I'm working with is 3 static cameras, 2 that move, and an extra one or two that are capturing back stage, audience and other action.

I can obviously combine some of these angles into single tracks, but with others, there is no way to make that happen.

Does anybody have suggestions as to the best way to take advantage of the multicam editing, but also deal with more than 4 camera angles?

Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
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Old February 24th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: Working with more than 4 cameras

Hi Ben,

Since you have a few static cameras, why not put the 4 moving cameras in a Multicam sequence and cut them up together, keeping in mind that you still have those static shots waiting. For example, put the WIDE and MEDIUM static cams on tracks V1 and V2, and put the finished Multicam sequence above them. You can then "cut holes" in the sequence to reveal the static shots beneath as needed.

I do a lot of wedding edits, and due to the multiple audio tracks and the timeshifting and such that I do, I edit 3-4 video tracks manually and don't use Multicam. Rather, I stack tracks based on preferred angle, like MAIN CLOSE-UP camera on V3, B-roll cam on V2, and Wide Balcony on V1.

I scrub through CU footage on V3 and cut away parts I don't want, revealing V2 B-roll footage. If V2 clip is not good at that moment, I cut out to reveal WIDE shot beneath that on V1. As V2 and V3 cams are moving, there are times neither is a good shot and I know that I am guaranteed good with V1 then.

Jeff Pulera
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Old February 24th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #3
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Re: Working with more than 4 cameras

Cut it in Edius, export a AAF type 3 to premiere pro and finish it up.

Edius has the best multicam workflow. You can work with more than 4 cams, and as a bonus it has a great free run timecode sync management, where it leaves gaps in between clips if you do start/stop recording, Something that Premiere pro cannot do.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: Working with more than 4 cameras

There have been other discussions of variations of this by me and others. See for example post number 15 in this thread for an example:

Premiere Pro editing workflow for multicam wedding

Basically, we all do something similar to what Jeff described, although there are personal preferences about how we layer the tracks. I run up to seven cameras. I've done this for weddings where I need backstage views, shots of musicians off to the side, etc. I do this for concert and dance shoots where there may be multiple stages. Like Jeff, I put my main cams into the 4-way multi-cam sequence and use the others tracks for cut-aways. (Typically, the multi-cam will have the one or two operated cameras and the two best tracks of static video).

When it comes to editing, Jeff likes to put his multi-cam track on the topmost track where I prefer to put my multi-cam sequence on V1 and then add the static cut-away cams to V2, V3 and V4. V5). I scroll through the non-multicam tracks to find stuff that might be useful or necessary and mark it. (These might be shots, for example, where I have a shot from the camera in the back-room that is catching the bride and her parents as she waits to make her entrance, or maybe a camera on musicians over to the side, or maybe something among the guests .) I mark those so I can see where there are important shots to look for as I go through the multi-cam edit. Then, wherever there are places in the multi-cam where I do not have a good shot, I also look to the cut-aways.

This is where Jeff likes to razor out holes in the multi-cam track to reveal the lower cut-away shot and where my preference is to razor out clips from the cut-away tracks and drop them straight down to overlay on the mutliicam track. This is just a workflow personal preference. I can see where Jeff's approach also has merit. I use my workflow because --- apart from the sheer inertia of having always done it the way I do --- my approach allows me to clear off the upper tracks when I'm done. That makes it easier for me to add graphics, titles, special effects (maybe a picture-in-picture overlay), and the other stuff I do. I might do it differently if I were making rough cuts that i knew I would have to come back change later.

Sometimes, especially with festivals and the larger high-school concerts and recitals, there are multiple performance spaces. I'll position myself in the middle with a couple of cameras that I control and have a couple more static cams for each of the different spaces. For example, I'll use my operated cams and two static cams to cover the orchestral segments, and build a multi-cam segment for that sequence. For the choir performances at the other end of the room, I'll re-aim my operated cams and pair with the two cams down there and add all of that into a different multi-cam sequence. Then, when everything is edited, I can nest all the various sequences on a single timeline for feeding out to Encore to make the DVD.

Regarding Dominck's comment, there have been times when I thought it would be nice to have more panes in PPro's multi-cam editing window the way Vegas and Edius do. What I found when I tried this out with Vegas and Edius (and also with Avid Media Composer 5) though, was that the individual panes started to get pretty small. On my 24-inch computer monitors, it was hard for me to follow them all and see the detail that I wanted to see. I probably needed a much bigger monitor to be able to see things well enough for me to edit that way. I personally find Edius easier to work with than Vegas, but both Grass Valley/Thompson and Sony have downloadable, full function trial versions that you can use if you want to experiment.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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Re: Working with more than 4 cameras

Thanks for the information presented here... We just shot for a live performance show about a week ago and I'm collecting all the footage and setting up sessions and such now.

I think I'm going to follow a procedure similar to what was described here- I'm going to start by putting all 4 of the "important" cameras into the multicam edit. Those are all relatively close shots- left, right center and a POV camera that was on stage. From there, I can then decide which of the far shots and backstage I want to drop in to change things up a bit visually. All together, I am running 7 cameras on this shoot- the show was shot with 6 Sony EX-1 and 1 MC-50 camcorder. Some of the rehearsal footage used a couple Panasonic HVX200 with an EX-1. Making them all play nice together has been a breeze in CS5.

Eventually, I may look at other software, but probably not until CS6 comes out and I know where Adobe is headed. I can only hope that they can make this a bit easier in the future.

Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
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