Sync multiple angles? Amateur with iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mrmma, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. mrmma macrumors member

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    Dec 27, 2006
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    Missouri
    #1
    This weekend my family is having an event and I'd love to use two camcorders to record two angles. Is there some easy way to sync two non-pro camcorders using iMovie, so that if I cut from one angle to another, there is no loss of time?

    My only guess at an approach would be to use a bell or some sort of beep to "sync with sound" on all tapes, but this seems difficult. Any tips or suggestions?
     
  2. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #2
    I don't believe that iMovie has the ability to do multiple video streams. To accomplish what you want to do, you would need at least Final Cut Express.

    P-Worm
     
  3. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #3
    Couldn't you use the time codes on the tape to achieve at least that?
     
  4. mrmma thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 27, 2006
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    Missouri
    #4
    Okay...FCE tips?

    Thanks!

    Suppose that I get FCE (academic pricing is pretty good through my store). Is there something I should know about before shooting from 2-3 cameras?

    -mrmma
     
  5. mrmma thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Is it generally possible/easy to sync time codes for different camcorders? e.g. I've got a canon, my brother a sony, and my father a "flip."
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    East Coast
    #6
    I would guess that syncing the clocks on separate camcorders would be difficult. Even if you could set them at the exact same time, differences between the camcorders may cause drifting.

    Certainly, for most projects, this isn't a big deal since you probably don't need to get to the gnat's ass ... but it would bug me.

    I second the suggestion about using sound to sync the tapes. A clapboard would be cool, but I guess any sharp sound would do.

    I think it would be easier to use iMovieHD (vs. iMovie08) since there's better/more audio controls. But then FCE would be even better.

    Good Luck!

    ft
     
  7. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2006
    #7
    Just a warning: You cannot easily do multi cam management with FCE like you can with Final Cut Pro.
    ( as described here: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/multicam_editing_martin.html )

    The basic elements of that tutorial will work, of course, so it's worth going over, but the features like viewing all the angles automatically and selecting which camera you want, you'll have to do manually on the timeline.

    I am an amateur with ambition ( the most dangerous kind! ) but I synced 4 cameras for my own wedding some years ago. I was able to do it pretty easily based on a loud cough someone did right before the wedding. I laughed when I first realized that could be my marker. :)

    If you're filming an event never stop rolling, it's relatively simple to synchronize your different cameras. One caveat that I encountered was one camera of the bunch had a significant dropout of footage due to the mileage the camera had on it. There was a good 2 second offset for that camera on the timecode after that burp. The remedy was simple enough though... split the clip and look for a new audio event to sync to. But if you don't have any mechanical problems like that, you shouldn't have a hard time.

    I noticed you asked about different camera models in another post in this thread. I had identical cameras, so there wasn't any possibility of problems with camera quirks for me, but I would be concerned with the actual video differences... lense quality, CCD sensor size ( "real resolution" ) and color matching ( both in quality/fidelity and the bias of the sensor...what is that called.. color "phase"? ). If one camera is considerably "better" than another and they are both placed at similar distances from your subject, it will be really noticeable.

    With the 3 cameras you mention ( thought you didn't specify the models for 2 of them ) you're probably going to run into some trouble in the quality and color matching realm. Get to know the color corrector very well. Do all the tutorials and read the 1000 page PDF manual included in FCE. It's worth it. :)

    Good luck!
     
  8. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #8
    mrmma,

    Listen to huntercr. He hit the nail on the head with everything he wrote. I do multi-cam editing quite a bit with FCP, and his suggestions are very good.

    - Martin
     
  9. mrmma thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 27, 2006
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    Missouri
    #9
    Wow. Thanks for the responses. I'm not looking for anything spectacularly professional, just a few pans of the "audience" of 13 nieces and nephews watching Grampa's magic show...

    I think what I'll do is set up a few cameras, roll tape, use an obvious sound at the beginning, and figure it out afterwards. At worst, I'll have a backup sound track.

    I'll check out that link. I don't have the time to learn the ins and outs of complicated software, so 1000 page or even 100 page manual is not likely soon.
     
  10. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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    Cold beer land
    #10
    That's funny.
    I did basically that same a few weeks ago. Except mine was to overlay a high quality audio track instead of the audio from the camera.

    Sync-by-cough (SBC)
     
  11. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2006
    #11
    Thanks Martin. You flatter me. I have appreciated everyone's advice on here for awhile now and I'm glad to be able to contribute. People like you, p-worm, DH, and LeathalWolfe ( I'm sure I left some people out, please forgive me ) that are the real experts!
     
  12. mrmma thread starter macrumors member

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    Missouri
    #12
    It turned out that it was good to have three cameras, because one didn't have a tape and the other's battery was dead...

    I'll tackle the multiple angle video a different day.
     
  13. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    Mar 11, 2005
    #13
    You don't need two cameras for that. I film a lot of music performances, and I have one camera with the "main" clip I put on V1, then if I have a pan or another clip, I find a good place to fit it in and put it over V2 and mute the audio so it looks like I have two cameras.
     
  14. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #14
    Great thread guys. I'm hoping to do something multi-angle, but on something for a short film and/or a sitcom that I hope to develop with my friends. A lot of the info was stuff I've been learning gradually when researching this. But I didn't know that FCE would be pretty bad for editing a multi angle vid. That's a little sad (I have FCE 3.5 which I purchased last year w/ my MacBook Pro for an extra $99).

    Also, any suggestions on where to get a clapboard from to create the sharp sound?
     
  15. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #15
    A couple of 2x4s and a hinge, all available from Home Depot or similar.

    Or you could spend thousands on a professional slate with time code display. Your choice.

    - Martin
     
  16. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Buffalo
    #16
    FCE is not bad for editing a multi-angle video. It is just a more manual process. I edit multi angle videos with FCE all the time. You just have to be prepared to spend some time learning.
     
  17. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #17
    Actually, I would argue that it would probably be easier to learn with FCE. The multiclip feature in FCP can be a little tricky to learn and understand at first. Once it is set up, though, you can always retain all possible angles in the viewer, whereas in FCE you'd have to switch manually each time you want to evaluate a different angle (i.e. shorten/lengthen clips or switch track visibilities), and you'd still just see one at a time. It's a huge time saver in FCP.

    - Martin
     
  18. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #18
    Any one with two hands. No need to get high tech on this. Just clap once really loud in view of both cameras.
     
  19. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #19
    This is a good point. It is definitely easier to learn on FCE as there is less to learn. I was trying (albeit poorly) to say that FCE can be tough on beginners in general, but if you are patient and stick with it you'll never regret it. I know many a person that, in my opinion, gave up on it too quickly. And once you get the hang of the basics, things really start rolling for you!
     
  20. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2006
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    #20
    I'll go with the cheaper options here guys. Thanks.

    And thanks to slu and AviationFan for the feedback on FCE. Good to know that I can do what I want with FCE. I'm still yet to really use it and have had it for over a year now. Hoping to start using it soon.
     
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #21
    70 year old tech works well for this problem. http://www.studio1productions.com/clapboards.htm

    Use a "clap board". Or just walk on front of all the camera while all are rolling tape and yell out "take one" and clap your hands. This will create a "spike" that you can see on the audio tracks. Then you just nudge the tracks to line up all the spikes.

    Using a real clap boad makes a sharper spike and it will be easy to see in the video if you go frame by frame exactly on with frame the board cloased.

    One thing: Worry a lot about the sound quality. Don't depend onthe internal mics. Buy some decent mics and move them up close. Viewers will put up with cruddy video but poor sound, no.
     

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