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Old November 1st, 2013, 04:37 AM   #16
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Neil,
In the past I have incorporated power point directly into the video by switching to the slide when the presenter talks about it. Or when he/she switches to it, whichever seems appropriate. I like the idea of having a split screen with the presenter and slide visible at all times with a zoom in on the slide when the presenter makes a point about it. The only derog: is the information readable using the split screen? Of course this depends upon the player size, and the encoding parameters. I'll have to experiment with it.

I also like the idea of framing the second camera with the presenter and screen to use as a cut-away, along with syncing the slide changes. Although this may be too confusing/busy if the split screen idea is used. I will have to try it out and see how it looks. But I definitely will frame the second camera this way (if possible) regardless.

Lots of good ideas here!

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Old November 1st, 2013, 12:40 PM   #17
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

I regularly shoot our company meeting. We use two cameras: a Canon 5D2 with 70-200/2.8 IS II lens and a standard, small chip, Canon camcorder. The camcorder is locked down and shoots wide to cover the presenter, audience, and screen. I use a couple of elliptical stage lights - one as a key and one as a backlight - to get the speaker bright enough to reasonably match the screen. The camcorder has XLR inputs and records continuous audio from the sound system.

The 5D2 shoots up to 12 minute segments and is mainly used for medium closeups of the speaker. I can go wider when appropriate and can find people in the audience when they are highlighted by the speaker. The main trick is that I start with a rule of 1/3rds when the speaker starts and move to a rule of 1/5ths when the slides are important. I then fade the slides in on the side. It's similar to the approach they use on The Daily Show and Colbert.

The camcorder recording is the master. I can always see the slides and hear the audio. I create a track of the slide files based on it and sync the 5D2 files based on the audioe. When the 5D2 is in a transition (between clips, getting focus, or searching for an audience member), I go to the wide shot. I also use the wide at the start, the end, and when the message includes the audience and a larger feeling. That said 80 percent of the final product is the tight shot with the slides to the side of the presenter. I can also go full screen with the slides, but I only do that when the slides are small-font eye charts.

Previously, we used a live webcam to our remote locations. Now, we send the produced video out for next day viewing - and the audience loves the improvement. With a switcher and a bigger crew, we could achieve the same thing live. That said, the minimal crew and one day turnaround is the right balance for us.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 07:37 AM   #18
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Jon, what's the final resolution and format of the program the field views the next day, and how do you make it available to them? Also how long is the typical program running time?

Anyone else also chime in with this info.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 01:51 AM   #19
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Hi Jay,

The running time is usually 90 minutes. I deliver 720p h.264 from a 1080p Cineform master. We transfer the files over the Internet to a shared server at their location. From the Cineform master, I make a Blu-ray Disc for historical purposes. It's all shot at 24p.

The meetings are usually in the morning, and I'm, well, "focused" all afternoon. I can't sweat the details or go for perfection in the edit. The process is typically:

1) Ingest,
2) Sync the video files to the audio,
3) Mix the audio, which is basically just normalizing the various speakers. No fancy mixing here,
4) Lay in the slides and adjust their timings (also includes making the first and last slides the Intro-Outro slides - the overall process takes quite a bit of time),
5) Duplicate the slide track to create the over the shoulder inset.
6) Do the "switching" from wide to tight to tight-with-over-the-shoulder to full-frame-slide. This has to be prioritized. I start and end with the wide and most everything else is tight. I also use the wide to cover gaps in the tight shot. I mix in the over-the-shoulder when I pan over to make room. I go to full frame slides for the eye-charts. This takes time - especially when trying to cut between wide and tight on motion and for the right impact.

BTW, while narrative works are often best with cuts, this stuff often works well with quick fades to give a smooth, non-jarring feeling.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #20
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Great suggestions by a lot of folks here. A 2nd inexpensive camera (even standard def) is one way to get the sync down for the edit.

Depending on how often that you'll be doing these types of gigs, I can offer a few more possible solutions:

1) Use Telestream's Wirecast application on a Mac or PC as a Switcher. You can download a free trial to test. With ethernet you can run the Desktop Presenter app on the presenter machine and record their screen activity. With an HDMI or HD-SDI IO card/box, you can add in your camera as a video source. Blackmagic Design has some inexpensive IO options to bring the video+audio in. You would record the mix live to the hard drive. That way at the end of the preso you have the edit done, or you can go back and clean it up.

2) As others have said, another popular route is to record the screen to a recorder such as an Atomos Ninja. You'll need some way of scaling the VGA or DVI signal - we have found good luck with the Gefen Gefen, LLC - High-Definition Scaler We have one local customer that does a lot of these and uses a Panasonic recorder due to the low bandwidth codec Panasonic AG-HMR10 Handheld Video Player - Professional Video Recorder

3) For the folks that are doing a ton of these and have the budget, a full on HD switcher is the holy grail. Blackmagic's ATEM's work well with the VGA/DVI converters, the ATEM Television Studio is a good start at $950. We're really excited about Roland's VR-50HD coming out this month that has scalers on all channels Roland Systems Group U.S. - Product: VR-50HD
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Old November 5th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #21
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Hi Guy

Good suggestions but with a lot of my conference gigs I don't have a clue what there talking about… so live switching would be a nightmare… and there low budget. The second camera is there more than just a way of getting sync, it also provides a second angle and if the idiot at the lectern walks out of shot you may be covered.

By the way have you had any experience withe the Gefen VGA to HDMI scaler, Ive tried the cheaper DIGITECH and it does not work. Also, what happens if you are already getting a 720p VGA signal?
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Old November 6th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #22
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McClure View Post
Hi Guy

Good suggestions but with a lot of my conference gigs I don't have a clue what there talking about… so live switching would be a nightmare… and there low budget. The second camera is there more than just a way of getting sync, it also provides a second angle and if the idiot at the lectern walks out of shot you may be covered.

By the way have you had any experience withe the Gefen VGA to HDMI scaler, Ive tried the cheaper DIGITECH and it does not work. Also, what happens if you are already getting a 720p VGA signal?
Actually, live switching is pretty simple and intuitive. Just act as if you're paying attention as an audience member and cut as you would naturally look from presenter to screen.

We have a local corporate client that has 8 conference rooms and has 8 systems that we built for them to capture these types of communications for internal use. They are built around the ATEM Television Studio in a rack case with the Gefen box. These Hi Def Scalers were meant more for consumer use so they do burn out unfortunately. I wrote a blog post awhile back of some of the other solutions DV Gear Talk: DVI to HD-SDI converter Options With a simple VGA to Component cable the Gefen Hi Def Scaler will take in Analog VGA, then you can also use a simple HDMI to DVI cable to bring in HDMI. Or vice versa for output. They handle 720p no problem. Here is the link to the manual http://www.gefen.com/pdf/GTV-HIDEFS.pdf These were only around $300 We are in the middle of transitioning over to the more "industrial grade" AJA ROI to provide "Region Of Interest" support. It is a DVI to HD-SDI converter/scaler. Our tests have proven very positive. You can even output a matte "green screen" for a live key of the screen activity. Pretty snazzy stuff!

Again, it all boils down to budget. My apologies to the original poster if this has veered way over budget. Just trying to throw all the options out there in case anyone else may benefit from our experiences.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 10:42 AM   #23
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

I work in corporate audio visual / video productions on a regular basis. As a technical director I have access to everything in the room AV and video. The company putting on the show is usually my client. That means I have to get it all correct and professionally produced so I must invest in some high end gear.

For many years now I have been using a Sony Anycast. I got it the first month they were released. It is a VERY expensive high end live production video switcher / scalier with external hard drive recording. Ninety percent of everything that happens in a ballroom environment is still SD (even when we are shooting with HD cameras) so my SD Anycast still sees a lot of service live switching and recording. Sony recently released the second generation Anycast. The new one is HDMI & HD/SD SDI based. These are very versatile machines and may be over budget for some guys in this thread but I'm throwing it out there because the old model like mine is now available for about a third of what I paid for it because of the new model release. There are HD cards available for it. Mine has paid for itself many times over.

To bring cost back down to earth keep this in mind. Earlier in this thread I mentioned details of a feature in PowerPoint called "rehearse timings" that will record the slide changes and play them back so you have perfect sync. To advance slides remotely the vast majority of AV companies use the same device. It is called a Perfect Cue. It is a radio operated remote, it is not like the cheap IR remotes presenters carry around. The receiver has dual USB outputs to advance the slides. If you ask the AV technicians if you can put your computer on the second output there is a good chance they may let you. It will all depend on their set up and the conditions of the show. My point is, with rehearse timings turned on and slide changes coming right from the presenter you will have a perfectly synced PowerPoint for screen capture and efficient post. I hope this helps.

Steve
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Old November 7th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #24
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

Around here, without Perfect Cues and Barco Screen Pros you got nuttin'! ;-)
Anycasts aren't around here as much as others but having used them I gotta say, they are the boss! TV studio in a box. Pricey but man they do the job.
I'm not really fond of the Barcos but they're really solid.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 11:48 AM   #25
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

The Barco screen Pro and PresPro are the AV standard around here too. For my own use I bought the Anycast because of the video production capabilities it has. You don't see too many of them.

They made a big mistake with the new one, IMHO. They made the whole thing touch screen. Whoever made that decision has never sat next to a nervous meeting planner so scarred she shakes you by the arm before every cue. I have. Give me big buttons to punch on, not some stupid piece of glass!

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Old November 7th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #26
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Re: Syncing the presenter's A/V content

I do prefer buttons. For me, it's a positive switch, no chance of missing...well, less chance of missing and yeah, some "show producers" would be better off not having that responsibility. :-)
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