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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:44 AM   #1
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Editing Workflow

I recently shoot wedding for the first time as a full time, and just get into the editing for that event. It was 3 DSLR and 1 Camcorder shooting with 2 onboard mic and 2 external recorder (H4n - 4CH with Wireless mic and DR-05 ). Once I collected all the footages and audio files into organized directories, it's quite overwhelming to start edtiting with them. One of my editor friend told me that he usually create one sequence titled DSLR Footage and dump all the footage taken into that sequence, synchronize them first (premiere pro cs5.5 ) Then create multiple sequences with title as Main Edit, Ceremony , speeches, Highlight etc. and copy the appropriate portions into those sequences.
I wonder if there are any other approaches , in an efficient way to save time. Any recommendation will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old May 14th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #2
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Re: Editing Workflow

John, the solutions are almost certainly going to be more dependent on the NLE you're using than what you're editing. Why not check out the Adobe section?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: Editing Workflow

Thanks philip for your suggestion. I'm just wondering if there is any general premiere pro editing workflow for multicam wedding shooting.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: Editing Workflow

John, one of the reasons I suggested posting in the Premiere section is that I am totally unable to offer you the help you need because I use Avid. Sorry. I'm sure you'll find lots of help in the other place for Premiere is a very popular NLE.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: Editing Workflow

I've moved from CS5 to EDIUS and my methodology is the same

create bins withing the NLE for prep, ceremony, photoshoot, reception
import clips and sort them into bins - audio files as well

create a sequence and import the footage you want from the relevant bin

I have no idea if that's the best method or the worst - it just made sense to me
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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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Re: Editing Workflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H. Lee View Post
Once I collected all the footages and audio files into organized directories, it's quite overwhelming to start edtiting with them.
Here's one way to do it:

Go through all the footage. Immediately move stuff that you won't be using into another folder/bin. Make sure you only have to go through clips once. While viewing them, trim them and rename them if necessary. This is the hardest part but you can't edit if you don't know what you've got. You can also mark separately the ones you have got to use (the money shots). You can use colors as well to sort the order of importance.

Write a brief script of how you want the final video to be like. If you have music, add that to the timeline as a guide. Draw inspiration from what you've shot or the music you've chosen. Since you have timed each event with either script or music, you know how long your edits have to be. It becomes a problem solving and enjoyable experience from here on.

Divide the script into sections pertaining to different events and so on. Begin a sequence for one event and then start editing. Start with those events that cannot be moved around and must be included. Fix their positions on the final timeline as per the script.

Fill in the blanks for each event until you have used up all the good takes. Review the entire video (with friends if possible). Don't show it to anyone who has not edited before. Otherwise you'll get all sorts of weird and conflicting advice. Stick to your script when in doubt.

Once you think you have a locked edit, you can add effects and so on. I guess you can take it from here. All the best.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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Re: Editing Workflow

Thank you , paul , for your suggestion.

And thank you , sareesh, for your detailed description of the workflow. it it tremendously helpful. Whne you are going through all the footage, discarding unwanted footage, viewing , trimming, renaming etc, do you do that in source monitor and rename them in project panel? or you do that in timeline?
Also do you have a workflow for multi - camera situation?
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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Re: Editing Workflow

You can do all of that in either the source monitor or timeline. That's one of the strengths of good NLEs. There are many paths to get to your final edit. Just choose whatever works for you and stick to it. Forget the rest. I personally use the timeline.

I have never handled a multi-camera situation outside of film school. However, a wedding project is not a multi-cam situation. That's for live feeds from many cameras edited in real time. It works the same way a regular edit works, but you need good video gear that will switch between different streams without issues (of which there are infinite).
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Last edited by Sareesh Sudhakaran; May 15th, 2011 at 11:18 AM. Reason: typo
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Old May 27th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #9
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Re: Editing Workflow

I've posted this for other panel, and Jay West gives the very elaborate,detail reply on this issue. I'm very thankful for him, and I'd like to share that reply here if anyone is interested.


Your situation sounds very, very complex and, from the sound of things, you have not done much in the way of larger projects with PPro.

Seems to me you have file management and a workflow management issues.

Splitting the project up into segments is necessary for workflow management and it creates the need for file managment techniques.

I agree with your editor friend that you need to split your project up into separate segments just so you can manage all the various footages. It seems to me that it won't be enough to create only a single "DSLR sequence" as you understood your friend to say. You will need a bunch of them. You also should create new bins and sub-bins (and name them) as you need them to help keep track of everything.

I want to be sure that there is not a vocabulary problem. Some people say multi-cam and mean only that they had a lot of cameras. I am assuming that you actually were running multiple cameras simultaneously and want to build four-track sequences of the simultaneous footage with PPro's four-way multi-cam editing feature.

First thing is some of your segments are going to be multi-cam and some might not be. (Maybe your titles sequence will not be?) You have to break the project down into manageable bits. So separate out the non-multi-cam bits and make separate bins for them.

I've found that multi-cam sequences on CS 5 that get over hour on my system (I7-950/12 g RAM) tend to make PPro start slowing down as it tries to keep track of all the edits. So, shorter segments are advanatgeous when you can manage it.

Within any given segment, the complication is trying to synchronize six different devices, 3 of which do not have continuous timecodes and two of which may drift out of sync with camera tracks over time .

Your camcorder, shoots continuously through a segment (say, the ceremony). It has audio and video in sync. You use that as your reference clip for each segment. (I am assuming that you let the camera run continuously in the segment. That is, you let it run all the way through the ceremony, and did not have somebody starting and stopping recording.)

When you have placed your camcorder video & audio in the sequence, I recommend you next address your two audio recording devices. Unless you had an accurate synch pulse, you will have to manually sync up the two audio tracks with the camcorder audio. (I'm assuming you were using them together and that you need both of them). You do this by matching the wave forms or by using software like Plural Eyes. If you plan on doing much with your set-up, I suggest you download the Plural Eyes test version and see if it works for you. It could be a big time-saver and well worth the $150.

That gets you the initial sync so that the audio all starts with the video. If you are working in very short segments, say, 5 minutes, then your audio is probably fine and you can go on to syncing the DSLR tracks. When you are working with, say, a 20 minute (or longer) ceremony, you have to deal with "clock drift" to be sure that sync is maintained. The problem here is that digital devices have internal clocks that may vary over time relative to other digital devices. This is more of a problem with some devices than others. For example, I have an mp3 recorder which will go 15 to 20 frames out of sync with my cameras over 8 minutes. On the other hand, I've heard that the Tascam units have clocks that stay very close to camera clocks, so you might not get much drift with the audio from that unit. I've heard varying reports about the H4. Either way, you will need to check the audio at regular intervals to be sure that the devices remains in synch with each other and with the camcorder video. If a device's track drifts out of synch, then you need to make a cut and slide the track back into sync.

So, let's say you've made three or four cuts to get your H4 audio in synch with the 40 minutes of video of the ceremony. You are going to need to use this track again when you go to multi-cam. Easiest way to do this is by exporting the audio as an audio file (*.wav on a pc) which you then re-import and lay over the H4 track so you have continuous audio. (Or, if you got Audition with your CS5.5, send it out to Audition and bring it back as a single file). Alternatively, you also can put it into a new sequence and then nest that sequence over the H4 track in the original ceremony sequence. While this increases the number of sequences and also requires you that do a "render and replace" in order to see the audio waveforms, but it keeps track of the edits in case you needed to go back and adjust something. Which method you use is purely a personal preference.

When you have all of that done with all the audio waveforms lined up, you are ready to start tackling sync with your DSLR segments. I do not use DSLR cams, myself, but I understand most DSLR cams are limited to shooting clips which can be up to 12 minutes before you have to start a new clip. So, in your 40 minute ceremony, each of your DSLRs might have 4 clips that you have to sync to your video. (Maybe your DSLRs shoot longer segments?) Start with the first DSLR cam's first clip. Lay that clip on the track. (You may want to add adiou tracks and move your two device audio tracks down to the bottom. That way, you can bring in your DSLR clip and its audio without accidentally overwriting your device audio). Sync your first clip with the the other tracks. Easiest if you can match photographer's flashes with the ones appearing on the camcorder track but, otherwise you are matching up to audio waveforms. (Hopefully, the room was not so big and the DSLR not so far away that you have time-delay and phasing issues; if you do have those issues, use the audio waveforms to get close to sync and then check mouth movements while playing the audio.)

You repeat this process for each of the ceremony clips from DLSR cam # 1.

Now we get to where you editor friend probably recommended a DSLR sequence. The reason for this is that PPro's multi-cam synch works with whole clips. If there is are multiple clips on a track, PPro only syncs the first clip and does not include any of the clips on that track when you go to the multi-cam sequence to edit. There are a couple of ways to get your 4 clips to show up as one continuous clip (with black spaces between the restarts.) One way is to pull a box with your mouse through the clips on your DLSR track and copy them (Cntl-C or Edit--> Copy). Open a new sequence (which you name so you can keep track of it) and paste the track you've just copied. (Cntrl-V or Edit-->Paste), You now have your clips all perfectly spaced on a timeline. Nest that sequence over the first DSLR track in the original sequence. (Drag the new DSLR sequence over the DSLR track on the previous sequence.) Alternatively, you can export just the DSLR track to an avi or mov file which you import back and then lay over the DSLR track. Again, the choice of methods is personal preference. The sequence method allows for later readjustments and the export method is simpler. Personal preference as to which you use.

You repeat this with each of the other two DSLR cams you use with the seqment.

Now you are ready to sync (Clip--Synchronize), open a new sequence, drop you first sequence into it, enable multi-cam (Clip --->MultiCam--> Enable), and open the multi-cam editing window (Window-->Multi-Cam). When you have done that, drop your two "wav" audio files onto audio tracks in this sequence. (In the multi-cam window, I am assuming that you have not checked "audio follows video." If you have that checked, you probably want to uncheck it.

You said you had "two on-board mic." I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean two tracks from the on-board audio on you camcorder or on-board mics from two different cameras or did you mean you have a camcorder like a Sony Z5/NX5 which allow you to use the built-in mic in combination with the a shotgun mounted in the camera's mich-holder? If it is one of the latter two, you may need to drop another audio track into your multi-cam edit sequence.

You basically repeat this process for each of the segments you want to have in your project. Because this will produce a lot of sequences, you may want to consider making a bin for squences, and maybe have subfolders/bins within that for particular segments. It is a good idea to rename your sequences. Instead of, say, "sequence 2" you might find it easier to call it "DSLR # 1 Ceremony" or something like that.)

At the end of this process, you have a bunch of discrete segments. I'm assuming you are supplying a disk to the couple. Depending on how you want to set up your disk, you could: (a) assemble all of your sequences together into a final timeline (nesting them in order) and export to Encore (and let it work out the bit rates needed to get it all on one disk); (b) separately encode each sequence and import the encoded files to you could build different timelines and arrangements (assuming you can compute your disk space requirements accurately enough to specify the bit rates for the encoding); or (c) import the PPro sequences into Encore, do your assembly there, and again let Encore work out the bit rates needed to get everything to fit on the disk. Or, you could use variations. Maybe you want to have a documentary-style timeline running from introduction/titles through the end of the reception and then have a separate timeline for you Highlights movie?

However you want to do it, you will find that organizing things in bins and sub-bins, and specifying names for sequences will make this a lot easier to keep track of all the pieces.
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