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Thread: Multiple Camera or video stream synchronization calculator.

  1. #1
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    Default Multiple Camera or video stream synchronization calculator.

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm new to the forum but certainly not new to video editing. I've been doing editing in one fashion or another since I was 14 years old... (strictly analog then) and over the past 25 years or so I've used a plethora of video editing software "solutions"...
    Currently, my editor ju jour is a product called EditStudio Pro 6.05 from http:www.mediachance.com/video/index.html and the reason I really like this program is that it is absolutely stellar in terms of editing multiple camera streams on the timeline. Unlike nearly all of the other products on the market, EditStudio does NON-DESTRUCTIVE multi-camera editing by virtue of a special 'multi-camera' track. In nearly every other product, you have to delete sections of your video stream in the timeline in order to display the content from the video stream below. In some cases, if you have more than 2 streams, you have to make cuts to 2 or 3 streams... With EditStudio, you simply add the multi-camera track to the project and move your timeline cursor to the point where you want any particular video content from any of your video streams to be displayed and click on the appropriate camera button assigned to the stream and a keyframe is deposited onto the multi-camera track that will tell the rendering engine when to switch video streams. The real beauty is that if you decide (or your client decides) that the cuts need to be changed for some reason, you simply disable the current multi-camera track and add a new one and apply new keyframes. No video is ever deleted from the timeline unless you specifically decide to delete part of the video stream for some other reason. This being said...

    One of the 'harrowing' aspects of working with multiple camera or video streams, especially from cameras without any gen lock is you have to synchronize the video between one or more streams. Depending upon your method, this can be quite tedious, but even more tedious is doing the time calculations involved in determining how much to move your video streams right or left on the timeline relative to your 'primary' video stream. Of course which stream you decide to make your 'primary' stream is very arbitrary. It doesn't necessarily need to be the top video stream layer. Well, now the calculation of the various time offsets just got a whole lot easier. I got tired of doing all of these time calculations all the time and I decided to write a multi-camera synchronization calculator that allows you to calculate up to 4 video streams in just a few seconds...

    The Multiple Camera Synchronization Calculator is freely licensed. I do ask for a small donation if you find the program saves you time. If you are using it in a commercial environment for a number of users, all I ask is that you make a donation for the quantity of users.
    You can download the software freely from the following link that points to my Google Drive:
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_SQ...it?usp=sharing

    The application is digitally signed with my code signing certificate from Comodo to ensure the executable and the installer are not modified for your protection.

    Here's a screen capture of one of my calculations:

    MultiCam Calc.jpg

    As you can see, you first select your video standard and whether you want to use SMPTE time code formats or the format used in EditStudio Pro by default.
    EditStudio uses the following format:
    00h 00m 00s 000 The last 3 digits of the format are the number of milliseconds on the timeline.

    SMPTE time code formats supported by the calculator are as follows:
    00:00:00:00 and 00:00:00.00 where the last 2 digits correspond to the number of frames and are delimited in the format by either a colon or a period. In some cases, software uses a semi-colon, but it's currently not supported.

    Next, you select your primary camera stream in the drop-down field and enter your timeline start time, end time and the time code you would like to synchronize to for each of the video streams as they are currently positioned on the timeline.
    Then, you click the "Calculate" button at the bottom of the screen and the new starting times are posted into the "Offset Time" fields on the screen. You can, if you would like to, select any of the streams as the Primary Camera and re-calculate to see which of the streams would be easiest to use in terms of moving streams on the timeline.
    This calculator would be useful for virtual ANY video editing software that allows for the editing of multiple video streams.
    If you're interested in it, let me know...

    Regards to all!

    Ben E. Brady
    Last edited by benebrady; 02-25-2013 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    I just chop my streams up where required and then turn transparency to 0% for the tracks I don't want showing through, leaving one track on 100%. All tracks stay in sync, nothing is ever deleted from the timeline, and I can go back and change them whenever. You can also blend your edits this way with easy drag fades.

  3. #3
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    You missed the point of the post altogether... the post is about the calculator for calculating synchronization times, not how to display secondary and tertiary video streams...


    --
    Ben E. Brady

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by benebrady View Post
    In nearly every other product, you have to delete sections of your video stream in the timeline in order to display the content from the video stream below.
    This is not true, so the theory seems flawed in the first place.

    I can understand why you would sync tracks once, but from then on they all stay in sync don't they?

    You infer that this process has to be done a multitude of times, which is what I don't understand.
    Last edited by Stripe; 02-26-2013 at 02:37 AM.

  5. #5
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    I don't infer anything of the sort... But for every NEW project you have multiple camera streams in, you DO have to go through the same process. So do you have to do the same types of calculations over and over and over again, yes... but certainly not for the same project! Unless you don't save your project... The post isn't about displaying the video, although that's certainly a drawback for the vast majority of video editing tools on the market... the post IS about doing the calculations over and over and over again for every new project. It gets tedious... very tedious. Here's a post on my blog with much more detail as to why I wrote the program, why you and any other video editor would want to use it and most importantly, how to use it.

    Brady's Blog: 02/24/2013 - 03/03/2013

    Thanks for your reply...!

  6. #6
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    Nope still don't get it,

    The blog states...

    in order to create the desired scenes, you had to actually cut video out of the top-most video stream in order for the rendering engine to display the video stream below it. This resulted in a nightmare if you had to go back and try creating a different scene as the process of making the cuts in the top-most video stream was destructive to the content of the timeline. Once you delete it, you can't get it back. You have to start all over with your project. I started looking at a lot of other video editing software with an eye toward how multiple video streams are handled. Every package I looked at, except one, used the very same destructive approach toward editing multiple video streams.

    None of this true. You don't have to delete anything, and it's certainly not destructive. Even if you did delete a section of track, you can simply drag it back again. (Sony Vegas/Sony Platinum)

    Every multi-cam project has to be synced once, usually via sound cues, (nothing a calculator can help you with). And even then if I film 4 songs from a concert on 2 cams, I sync the 2 tracks together, then save it, then cut out each individual song from this master sync, leaving me 4 projects of the 4 different songs. The footage was only synced once but I have 4 separate projects all in sync. The transparency technique explained above means no footage ever moves, it is only ever hidden from the render engine, and can be unhidden at any time.

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