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Thread: Multi-camera set up procedure + Q's

  1. Default Multi-camera set up procedure + Q's

    Hi to you all - thanks for all the help I've had from the forum so far, greatly appreciated.

    I have built up a selection of gear both given, sourced or bought - lights and cameras. Now I'm in a position to get going recording the various projects I have on the go. I'm in the lucky position that all of the video I will be shooting will be of the same thing, just with different people. I was wondering if you guys could give me any advice you might have in terms of setting up and filming, lighting, issues I may have etc. Let me explain what I will be shooting first:

    I'm a professional drummer who will be filming either myself or others in a tutorial setting. obviously these will always be inside - either in my small studio, on stages or in larger recording studios. I have decided on the shots I would like and the cameras I have at my disposal for which shot (with some examples of roughly the shot...):

    1. A low MCU of the feet - JVC DV500 (it's an insert shot so the 4:3 will be good for this)
    Drummer's feet | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    2. Overhead shot of whole kit - GO PRO HERO running at 1080p like this:
    Google Images
    3. Medium shot side on - Canon HF100HD running at 1080p (fitted with Kenko wide lens) Google Images
    4. Front on Shot MCU - Canon 550D running at 1080p (fitted with 50mm) - I want to get a fairly tight DOF on this as this will be mainly for talking to camera and then for me to move around whilst recording to get some movement on my fluid head tripod.
    Google Images

    In terms of lighting, I don't have too much, two medium sized soft boxes and 3 lights with umbrella reflectors.

    As well as any general advice on this, there are a couple of specifics that I would like to ask:

    1. How would you light this, considering what I have?
    2. Do you generally get the cameras in place, get the framing, then light it with multi-camera set ups?

    Thanks in advance for anymore advice, gang!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Surprised you've not had a reply, but I wonder why you want to use multi-cameras? It's hared enough getting one right, without tripping over the additional stuff, tripods, stands etc.

    am I understand "Tutorials" correctly, you are doing these for aspiring drummers?
    Amongst your excellent list of gear, and lighting stuff I could find no reference to the Audio.....(other than using yr own Studio - that's good as you will know the sound (and snags)). Surely the micing is as much an issue as the light?

    Moving around implies a dolly, the fluid head is nice but rock-steady movement is something that "lifts" a vid.

    Re-reading, I wonder if the "multi-cameras" are trained on the members of a group . . . perhaps that's it.
    It may become a nightmare at the edit stage...
    Good luck.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 09-29-2011 at 08:21 PM.

  3. #3


    Ah Vidmanners, There is nothing quite like directing a 6 camera live rig with operators on the end of each camera and you sitting on a comms line barking orders at them, I have only had the pleasure of it once ( and it was loads of fun ) so I am not a full fledged vision mixer/director but I was working on a similar event when this occurred:

    "Camera-1 Move there"
    "Camera-2 Aim there"
    "Camera-3 NO Don't do that you muppet! Aim on that lady in the pink dress"
    "Camera-5 Archbishop on the stage"

    Camera-3 then replied with
    "I'm looking in a black and white monitor! WHERE IS SHE?"
    ( Oh and I'm not camera-3 )

    The Lady in the pink dress was Her Majesty The Queen last year, There was a fancy event of some sort and the production company were recording it mainly for archival purposes.

    Now, Here is how the video side of it was handled.

    Each camera feed was fed inside a large vision mixer, The Director was then making a cut between each camera as and when it needed to be used as if he was in an editing suite. A feed from this would then go to a tape deck.
    At the end of the event, that tape deck content would then be piped over to an editor who reviews it, tweaks it and signs it off, then it is stored away somewhere.

    Now it is possible to do as many as an 8 camera setup provided your system can cope with it. I had 8 tracks of said raw content to edit once and it is quite easy to edit.
    Synch up each raw track with the other one, Some editors will support a tool to enable this feature or you can always do it manually!
    Play through the time-line and choose one of the tracks as your "starting" shot, then delete all the others that are on top or under-neath it ( To save on processing ) and when you want to move onto a new shot, find another track to change to.

    In response to the original poster, I am not a proper lampie but your solution sounds ok for your needs. One issue you will run into is ensuring the bit-rates between each camera are an exact match, Also however you are receiving your audio feed ( Which I imagine is from separate mics that are then wired up to a proper mixing desk, Giving an ok mix and then desk dumped onto CD or a hard drive recorder? ) You need to ensure that the bit-rate of your audio that is being inserted matches that of the project.

    First time I did multi-cam I realized horribly that audio coming from the mixer was the wrong bit-rate for what the camera's were set to, which meant even if I synced up the footage at the start, 3 minutes into the project the lip-sync was appalling! So be careful of that.

  4. Default

    Ah - that's good advice re the audio - im recording into my protools rig so thrs fine - audio I undertand much better then video at the moment. I was going to bounce the audio to 48khz. How do I check the bit rates of my video?

  5. #5


    Depends on the OS, But whatever your using right click, Details/More Info Look for Bit Rate. Also make sure your Project settings of the editor are set to the same standard.

  6. Default

    Ah - do you mean what am
    I using to edit it? Final cut pro.

  7. #7


    Yeah, Only reason why Camera-3 spoke up over comms was due to the Director bubbling up with incandescent rage. I suspect the next words out of his mouth would involve "DO IT" and "WRING YOUR NECK" or even "ARE YOU BLIND?!?" Not the best attitude to have for a vision mixer and director at all...

    The best multi-cam crews I have seen, You have a cool headed but firm director who is always ordering the cam-ops for the exact shot, The cam-ops stay silent UNLESS there is a genuine need for them to speak.

    Although as for music over comms, I've been part of comms rings in front of 110DB worth of PA firing and with the right comms unit the noise is not that bad, Provided the cam-ops turn their mics off when not using them!

  8. #8


    Hi! To answer your questions:
    1. How would you light this, considering what I have?
    2. Do you generally get the cameras in place, get the framing, then light it with multi-camera set ups?

    As a drummer I understand the dynamics of what you're after. I'd frame the cameras for the shots you need, then place your available lights to create the mood you're looking for, maybe even a 500w watt B&Q site light to blitz everyone into a haze from behind. Make sure all lights are out of all camera shots. Manual exposure will make sure the lights don't kill off your mood, then start recording on all cams.
    A Rim shot or flash gun would allow you to sync all cams together in the edit.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    This is all fine and dandy, but I thought theslingerland was filming drum tutorials.

    The recording therefore has to be live (and he's got the audio covered anyway)
    All that matters is that a really clean image of what he (or another drummer) is doing.

    Fancy lights are not an issue.
    Lights/stands being in shot are not an issue.

    I do think the idea of black drapes around the playing area is a good one though.

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