4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2012 12:21 PM by Allynn Wilkinson

    CS6 DSLR Multicam Problem/Question

    Speedy O'Grady



      I'm working on a Multicam edit that consists of 5 DSLR cameras, and a sony-something that recorded AVCHD.


      Having upgraded from CS5, I was used to the previous way of syncing everything, nesting it, enabling Multicam and getting on with the edit.


      So after syncing all the cams, I thought I'd check what's new in CS6 and discovered you can create a multicam sequence right from the get go. The thing I can't figure out for the life of me, is how to make that work for angles with multiple clips - there seems to be only one sync point for everything. Most tutorials and videos I've seen seem to ASSUME that you only have one video track per camera angle. Life would be lovely if this were the case, but we all know that most multicam shoots can have more than one clip per angle due to card swaps, or more commonly the 4GB recording limit on DSLRs. So even doing it 'song by song' or something may not work as DSLRs can stop/start at various different points.

      So there I am, with 74 different video clips for 6 angles that I synced up and no idea how to get them into a multicam sequence in their synced form, apart from going about the nesting method.


      The reason I'm curious about this, is because I've had real bumpy playback doing things the old way. So from my synced up sequence, if I took that and nested it, enabled Multicam and used the MC window to edit, I get smooth playback for 15-30 seconds before it really starts to lag, which is driving me nuts as I have to keep pausing, go back and try again until I lose realtime playback again. This is after making sure that the AVCHD track is rendered and everything - the only other thing I could think of to ease things out is to try to make this track into a H264 clip, replace the AVCHD and see how that goes, but I don't have time to waste with test workarounds. I also can't find a way to lower playback quality in the multicam window to ease this cutting.


      I'm working on an iMac 3.4GHz Quad with 16GB RAM, so it's not the slowest machine around.


      Also, and maybe this is the first thing I should know - is there an actual difference between a nested sequence on which multicam is enabled, and the multicam sequence you create out of the bin - or is the latter just a really simple shortcut? I can imagine that it could be the same, in which case I don't need to worry about the first question above, but I can also imagine that perhaps the old method of nesting struggled with more than 4 cameras and that the new multicam sequence is better optimised for more than 4 cameras- I really don't know.


      So to recap:

      1) Is a nested-multicam-enabled-seq. the same as the 'create multicam sequence'?

      2) How can you create a multicam sequence with multiple files for the same angle when there's seemingly only one sync point for everything?

      3) How can I ease up multicam playback with different formats and multiple cams - like changing playback quality, etc?


      Thanks for your help!

        • 1. Re: CS6 DSLR Multicam Problem/Question
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          1. Yes.

          2. The old way.

          3. Get a better machine.

          • 2. Re: CS6 DSLR Multicam Problem/Question
            Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

            I never really used CS 5.5 so I can't answer much about it's multicam abilities or the difference with CS 6.  I like multicam in CS a lot because I can go back and open the nest and add more angles or shots to a track or fine tune the sync if I didn't get it right.


            I agree, however, this is a real pain with 72 clips!  Plural Eyes says it supports Premiere CS 4, 5 and 5.5 but doesn't mention CS6



            I can attest that PluralEyes works well for FCP 7 on a Mac but I haven't tried it on Premiere yet.


            As to your sluggish playback... I would definitley try transcoding the AVCHD footage to something more processor friendly.  Long format GOP is just dreadful for real time playback.  If all the DSLR stuff plays back fairly smoothly before you add the AVCHD angle I would say transcoding it would be a huge help.


            Apart from that there's not a lot else to improve playback.  Six simultaneous streams of HD video requires a lot of computer power.  You *could* transcode everything down to an SD size (keeping the initial source file names the same).  Do your edit on the small proxy footage and then swap out for the original HD files when you're done. 

            • 3. Re: CS6 DSLR Multicam Problem/Question
              Speedy O'Grady Level 1

              Thanks for the replies.


              Syncing was done alright - I did most of it manually as I've discovered that not all the DSLRs had great reference audio for a pluraleyes sync, but I managed to do that all fairly quickly - it was just what to do after the sync - or how to implement a workflow to get things synced up from the 'create multicam sequence' straight out of the bin, which at this stage only as one master sync, so I guess if you're truly keen you can sync everything up, and export each angle as a single track and do the multicam sequence, but that seems like a colossal cluster-waste of time if it's the same as just nesting it.


              So I gathered I'd have to keep doing things in the old manner. Although a super computer is ideal, my iMac is pretty spec'ed out and has handled multicam HD stuff well in the past.

              I have never worked with AVCHD though, always heard bad things about it and I've just done a test now doing a multicam cut on the 5 DSLR tracks, withouth the AVCHD and hey presto! it seems to work in real time. So will need to convert that to something more useful.


              Lots of time wasted, but I now know the best way out of this to work efficiently.



              • 4. Re: CS6 DSLR Multicam Problem/Question
                Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

                Glad ot hear the DSLR footage works in real time.  I'm sure if you transcode the AVCHD you'll have no problem with playback.  It isn't that AVCHD is evil per se.  It's just that it *is* highly compressed and very processor intensive.  Your machine will thank you for the conversion.


                If you're adept at syncing clips in a timeline (and it seems you are).  You might want to consider making the multicam nest in CS 6 with just the first clips and then opening the nest and adding more clips "the old fashioned way" the rest of the way down the line.  This works fine and it might give you some advantages over the old nested way. 


                In FCP 7 I had to do exactly what you described... syncing up the clips on the track first and exporting everything as a new master shot to sync.  Huge waste of time and (especially) space.  You don't have to do that in CS 6 (or FCP X)