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Old December 23rd, 2004, 10:25 AM   #1
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Using multiple cameras/final editing

Hello everyone,
I currently own a GL2 and would like to purchase another one in the future. I use Vegas 5 to edit. I would like to use both cams at once so that I can get a variety of shots, now my question is what is the easiest way to edit these two together? I'm not sure if it would be easier to use some type of video mixer, or if I would just need to load video from both cameras in my comp and work with it from there in Vegas.
Thanks!
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 12:05 PM   #2
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For live studio/non-field production work they can be used to do a live edit, which can take less time that doing things in post. Video mixers are kind of expensive (~$600 for ok used analog mixers on ebay, around 2 grand for a new mixer).

You can edit the two cameras in post. It takes a little work but not too much. The multicam tool Excalibur (for Vegas) can help you out a lot depending on what kind of work you do.

One issue with post mixing is getting the cameras to sync. There are various methods: (in order of easiness in post)
A- Use a flash or slate with clapper on the head or tail of your shots. This makes sync a breeze, but may not be practical.
B- Use a visual cue in the video to cue. Items hitting each other, flashes (see A), a drum stick hitting something, etc. It takes a small amount of time to hunt for such a cue that is easily visible from both angles.
C- Use the visual cue from someone saying a plosive syllable... i.e. b's or p's. There is an instant where the speaker's lips are closed then suddenly open.
D- Other visual cues if you can't find any of the above.
E- Audio spikes. Transients (i.e. hi-hat on drums, gunshots, items hitting each other, balloons popping, etc.) will make an audio spike. The problem with this is that sound takes time to travel, so cameras in different positions may be slightly off. Also, some cameras' microphones differ in transient response.

In your NLE, just drop a marker on the sync point and line up the markers.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 11:07 PM   #3
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If your editing system allows PIP, it is even easier to do. Make one video stream the PIP and then sync them. I usually do it very quickly by looking at the audio waveforms. They have the same shapes in the same places. That gets it very close very quickly. Then to zero in on it (asuming the camera microphones were approximately the same distance away from the source, I pan one camera sound track to the left, the other to the right. Now just slide them until there is no echo. This is very fast and very accurate.

If your system is RT then you can just allow the timelines to play along and hit the marker key every time you want to switch cameras. Then just go back and cut all timelines at the place of the markers and combine the two streams.

I can do up to 4 cameras in this manner without having to use a multi-camera software package.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 11:32 PM   #4
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I filmed a concert once with a 5-camera setup. What I did in post was just capture all the video from each camera and put all of them in the timeline in separate video tracks (I was using Premiere). Then I just played around with what tracks were visible and picked the best looking shots. It was a little tedious, but I think using multiple cameras and editing them into a seamless video is just a tedious process. This method was really easy and it worked pretty well for me.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thanks, that was all very helpful info!!
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Old December 27th, 2004, 03:48 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : If your editing system allows PIP, it is even easier to do.

I can do up to 4 cameras in this manner without having to use a multi-camera software package. -->>>

Yes, Vegas allows PIPs. And, yes, Vegas can do exactly what you mentioned without any third party software.

Where Excalibur shines is that it automates the process saving you time. You simply pick the proper sync points in the various cameras and it will automatically sync them on that point AND create the PIPs for you.

You then place markers as you mentioned but it can also give you at "tally light" feature so, as you preview the timeline, you'll always know exactly which camera is selected. After all markers are placed, it will then create a master track containing all of your selections.

The bottom line is that Vegas can easily handle this type of project. The use of scripting simply automates the task to make the process go much faster and with fewer headaches.
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