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Old November 15th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #1
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Syncronizing 3 cameras during shoot. (or Theres got to be a better way!)

I need a good way to Sync up 2-3 cameras during event shoots. However, i dont think there is an easy fast foolproof way to do it.

Free run time code ; on two different cameras dosnt sync up. Plus who has time to do that with all the other stuff there is going on. -And then im used to seeing how much tape is elapsed with Rec Run timecode.

I have tried the method of using a disposable camera flash to sync each camera but this is sometimes not possible to do when your running and gunning and things are happening and you have 2 other shooters running around trying to flag them down, make sure they don't forget to cut.... And ive tried using a portable DVD player with a dvd i made of timecode. But who has time to plug it in, start it up, find a place for it and then some kid trips over the cord or bumps it and it stops playing. Maybe having a video of timecode on a video ipod or something could work but the battery would have to last all day long...

I imagine a good thing to have would be a timecode slate, somewhere in the room, that each camera operator could shoot after each shot. That way all cameras would have some point of reference. However time code slates are apparently made of solid gold. I mean, they expect us to drop a grand on something about as advanced as an alarm clock. Come to think, I wish someone would just create an clock that had seconds, and frames on it, and that would solve the problem for $20 bucks.

Or i wish someone would create a plug in program that analyzes a video tracks audio and compares it to another tracks audio and then automatically syncs up the tracks together for you where the audio tracks are similar.

This is a problem with no good easy solution for DV shooters with different cameras.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #2
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I sync up 4 cams for most shoots. The key is do not stop ANY of the cameras once started until one needs to change tapes and THEN DO NOT STOP until that tape is finished or all stop such as the end of the performance or obvious end to something!!! Then most modern cams will stay in sync for a long time ( in my case over 90 mins sometimes). I sync up using waveform. Find something obvious in each cam, rough sync then switch to waveforms for fine tuning. I usually rough sync by finding an obvious visual cue( anything will do) , cuting away everything before on each of the tracks, sync together( its easy to line up on the ends), fine sync with the waveform with timeline at 1 frame resolution, then extend the tracks back to the beginning of the clips by dragging clip on timeline. I use Edius but I think this approach works for Vegas and CS3. Premiere PRo/CS3 has clip markers which makes this easier too.

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Old November 15th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #3
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I use 3 cameras all the time. I just do a still flash or count down from number 5 so all three are easy to edit. Found the count down is easier than the flash

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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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Continously rolling 4 cameras all day?

So if your doing a 6 hour shoot and you roll continuously on 4 cameras you end up with what - 24 tapes! Thats not really practical. Right now im doing all day shoots, on 3 cams, and ending up with about 10 tapes. Way too much time is spent capturing 10 hours of tape.

Yes, I do all of these methods in premiere, finding the matching waveforms, using clip markers, my point is that there needs to be a better way.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 03:35 PM   #5
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Well you could use Enosoft to capture to laptops as well as tapes and save the capture time they will even be in sync.
http://www.enosoft.net/products/enod...c_overview.htm

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Persall View Post
I need a good way to Sync up 2-3 cameras during event shoots. However, i dont think there is an easy fast foolproof way to do it.

Free run time code ; on two different cameras dosnt sync up. Plus who has time to do that with all the other stuff there is going on. -And then im used to seeing how much tape is elapsed with Rec Run timecode.

...
This is a problem with no good easy solution for DV shooters with different cameras.
You didn't say what cameras were involved. With professional cameras that have genlock and external timecode inputs, the way it's most often done is through Lockit boxes providing sync to each camera and audio recorder. The set of Lockits are tuned to each other and jammed to a common TC source, most often the audio recorder, to provide an accurate TC and sync reference. When setup properly they can maintain sync across multimple cameras, recorders, and slate to within about 1 frame every 24 hours.
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