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Softron Intros Multicam Logger for Apple Final Cut Pro X

New application from Softron Media Services allows a user to log all of the different angles (or inputs) used in a live multi-camera production edited in FCP X

Softron Media Services® will demonstrate Multicam Logger at its booth (SL9007) during NAB 2012 in Las Vegas, NV, USA on April 16, 2012 and at the SuperMeet at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas on April 17, 2012. Multicam Logger is a new application from Softron Media Services that allows a user to log all of the different angles (or inputs) used in a live multi-camera production. It records which input the producer has selected on his vision mixer and when. Multicam Logger thus creates a multicam clip for Final Cut Pro X using the logs and the files recorded by any type of video recorder. The purpose is to use the resulting media to edit a final version of the production which could include necessary corrections.

Multicam Logger has been designed to interface directly to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Production Switcher Line. The inputs on the ATEM appear immediately on the Multicam Logger screen. Selecting a device on the ATEM automatically selects it on Multicam Logger and vice versa, selecting it in the Multicam Logger application immediately selects the appropriate ATEM input on the switcher. The clean and easy to use interface indicates which item is currently selected as Program and which is selected as Preview. Multiple ATEM Production Switchers or multiple GPI devices can be selected providing unlimited flexibility. To connect to a GPI device, all the user needs to do is connect the device to Softron's GPICommander2 (sold separately.) Logged information includes the Start, End, Duration and Input for each input into the ATEM.

By moving from camera to camera or from one device to another device, Multicam Logger notes the timecode for the start and the end of the selection. It also displays the duration and which input has been used.

Once the live session has ended, the user selects the file in the Finder that he wants to associate with the input and drops it onto the named input. He can then create a Final Cut Pro X multicam clip which combines all of the camera angles from the live session into a single file that is imported into Final Cut Pro X. All of the changes will then appear in FCP X and are ready to be modified. The user can then work as he would with any standard multicam clip to change which angle is chosen and when, as well as to modify the edit points, add effects, etc..

Multicam Logger does not record any video and is hardware agnostic. What Multicam Logger does is log the angles that the producer has selected on his vision mixer when producing a live show. To get to the multicam clips afterwards, it is necessary that you have the capability to record each of the cameras on set and ideally the program output as well. To record each camera feed, the user can select whatever solution is appropriate. (Of course, our bias is to use Softron's MovieRecorder for all recording.) Recording devices can include the AJA KiPro or Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck, even cameras with built-in memory can be used. After the Live production, to create your multicam clip, you simply drag and drop each recorded file(s) to each camera angle in Multicam Logger. For example, during your live show you recorded the Camera 1 feed using MovieRecorder which created a video file named MyLiveShow (Camera 1).mov. Simply drag that file and drop it on the Camera 1 line in Multicam Logger. This file will now be associated with that angle.

Before Softron's Multicam Logger, the user had to record all camera feeds and the Program output. If there was an error or something from the live production required a change later, the producer had to write down the moments of the error in a script file so that it could be fixed in the edit suite. There the user had to import all of the recorded camera and program feeds into the editing software. The clips had to be added to the timeline and the editor had to rely on the script notes to see where there was an error or what needed modification. The correct camera angle had to be found and overlaid on top of the program and exported.

The advantages of Softron's Multicam Logger are:

- You can record the Program output but it is not necessary as all of the camera feeds will be logged correctly. Less hardware is required.
- You do not need to manually note in a script the timecode where there was an error in the production that you do not want incorporated into the finished edit. The producer can do that using a simple shortcut automatically associated with the current angle.
- Everything will be very quicker for the editor to bring into Final Cut Pro X.
- There is no need to search for possible mistakes, the rejected angles will be marked in the timeline.
- There is no need to sync the angles, they will all be automatically synced.
- You will only need one click of the mouse to replace one angle by another or to adopt edit cuts.

“More and more, multicam is becoming the differentiating factor in editorial work,” said Pierre Chevalier, Technical Director for Softron Media Services. “ One reason for this is the fact that live programs are more and more made available as VOD afterwards, and broadcasters want to be able to easily make small modifications to their Live to correct some mistakes that were done (no Live is perfect). The ease of use of multicam clips in Final Cut Pro X allowed us to bring more power to multicam logging and editing, also using great Final Cut Pro X features such as Keywords and rating. Until Softron made it easy to work with multicam clips in an edit-while-ingest mode, bringing clips into Final Cut Pro X to edit live was somewhat cumbersome. We have approached multi-camera logging for live productions in much the same way – we made it easy.”

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