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Thread: Synchronizing multiple camera footage

  1. #1

    Default Synchronizing multiple camera footage

    Hi All,
    I'm new to filming and editing, so please forgive my ignorance.
    I've got a GoPro Hero 3+ and a Sony HDR-TD30VE Camera. I'm planning on getting another GoPro at some point and possibly a Garmin Verb, as after my first couple of attempts making films, single camera angles limit the interest of the film in my opinion. Having multiple view points I hope will make my films much more interesting.

    My problem comes in synchronizing the footage and audio and after searching around it seems that most of us do it by eye, manually. I certainly can't afford Pluraleyes.

    However, is it possible to synchronize the time and date on all these cameras from my computer etc. so they all have exactly the same time/date set? And if so is it possible to synchronize the footage in post production by the time/date stamp?

    Also is it possible to shift the time stamp on the footage to match the footage of another source in post production?

    Just for reference I'm using Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 64-bit on the PC, not sure if any other information would be helpful before people can answer.
    Many thanks

  2. Default

    If what you're shooting is scripted or planned in some way you could use a strobe at the beginning and/or the end of the shot to facilitate manual syncing. Mostly I use the audio from the various sources to get things close, then nudge a little to fine tune as needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    So long as all can pick up audio, a short sharp clap - just a clap of your hands, two pieces of wood or even a clapperboard (oh, so that's what they are for!) will do the trick. Anything that will give a definite peak in the wave form. Alternatively a strobe as bouldersoundguy says - ie use a camera flash.

  4. #4


    It might be worth you googling Pulraleyes and seeing if that can help you? I believe it can work in standalone mode, letting you sync your footage and then import it via XML or similar into your editing software. I needed to sync something fast once, installed Pluraleyes and synced 4 cameras in seconds.

  5. #5


    Synchronising camera time (where the camera supports this feature) will get you close, but not fully sync'd unless you are jamming timecode to each camera as you record, something usually only found on more professional cameras.

    Any significant event can be used to align the tracks manually, and many people forget that this was the way many of us did it for years before PluralEyes and other similar products were launched. If you reduce each track to 50% size on screen and offset them within the main viewer (e.g. camera 1 top left, 2 at top right, 3 at bottom left etc) then you can see all cameras at the same time. Once sync'd return them to full size and zero offset.

    Remember, even if you're sync'ing 3, 4 or more cameras, they don't all have to be able to see just the one sync event. As long as any two cameras can see the same event you can sync those two cameras. Sync'ing a third camera to an event that the third camera plus either one of the first two can see will result in all three being sync'd and so on.

    You can sync to any point anywhere in the footage, so you could sync camera 1 & 2 to an event near the start, camera 3 could see the same event as camera 2 at (say) 2 minutes in, but that then guarantees sync with camera 1 as well. Camera 4 could be sync'd with any of the first 3 cameras, perhaps even near the end and now all cameras are sync'd.

    You could sync on audio (remember using on camera mics could cause sound delays / echos so timing could be out by a frame or two) or visuals and preferably both.

    It's not hard, it just takes a little practice.

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