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Tutorial: Multicam Editing in Grass Valley EDIUS Pro 7

Here's a look inside EDIUS Pro 7's MultiCam Mode, exploring how it streamlines editing up to 16 cameras, and leaves plenty of room for adjustments and tweaks after you make your initial cuts.

 

One of the great features of EDIUS is its multicam mode. It's a very simple, and yet very powerful tool to use to synchronize footage from different cameras when you've shot an event with more than one camera. 

Setting Up a Multicam Edit

To illustrate how it works, I'm going to begin by bringing in my two shots, Cam 1 and Cam 1, as shown in Figure 1 (below).

Figure 1. Importing multicam footage. Click the image to see it at full size.

Once the clips are in, I'll bring them down to the timeline. First, I'll place my first camera (Cam 1) on video track 1, then I'll place my second camera (Cam 2) on video track 2, as you can see in Figure 2 (below), with the associated audio tracks sitting right below.

Figure 2. Cam 1 and Cam 2 on 1V and 2V, respectively, with the first channel in their audio tracks expanded. Click the image to see it at full size.

Next, I'll open up the first channel of each audio track, as shown in Figure 2 (above). In the traditional timeline, with the footage from both cameras together in the timeline, I really don't have any way of doing multicam. I need to enter Multicam Mode. To do so, I go up to the menu at the top of the UI and choose Mode > Multicam Mode (Figure 3, below).

Figure 3. Choosing Multicam Mode. You can also use the keyboard shortcut F8.

But first, I want to make sure EDIUS knows how many cameras I have in my multicam edit. The default is 2 + Master, which is exactly what I want, but as you can see in Figure 4 (below), you can have up to 16 cameras simultaneously to be able to choose from in EDIUS's Multicam Mode.

Figure 4. Choosing the number of cameras.

Now that I've selected my number of cameras, I can choose Mode > Multicam Mode and press F8 to enter Multicam Mode. You can see in Figure 5 (below) that Multicam is indicated in the upper-left corner of the timeline, and that I have Camera 1 and Camera 2 mapped in the timeline, and above I have Cam 1 and Cam 2 side by side with the master above them.

Figure 5. Multicam Mode. Click the image to see it at full size.

In Figure 4 (above), when I was picking the number of cameras in my edit, you'll note that my choices included some options with a Master and some without. The reason for this is that the footage currently selected and shown in the Preview window also serves as a master. So when I pick each one of my sources for my edit, I can see it in the preview window. In this case, I really don't need a master, but do do 2 cameras without a master would really just leave a blank spot where the master clip is, so that's most likely the reason why Grass Valley left it in.

Syncing the Audio

I have one small problem down in my timeline. If you listen at the 2:02 point in the video at the top of the page, you'll hear very clearly that my clips aren't synced up. So I need to get these cameras synced before I start doing my multicam edit because one camera is not going to be in sync with the main audio that I'll be using. To address this issue, I need to look at my waveform for each camera. I can tell from where the peaks are that it's not line up correctly. In the upper left of the timeline area, just above the track headers, I see that it says "1 second" (Figure 6, below). But If I hit the back arrow, I can take it all the way down to "1 frame," which allows me to make very precise trims in the timeline to bring the waveforms into alignment. Figure 7 (below Figure 6), shows about 1 second of the waveforms with the timeline zoomed to 1 frame.

Figure 6. Adjusting timeline zoom, starting at the 1-second default.

Figure 7. The waveforms with the timeline zoomed in to 1 frame. (See Figure 5 for comparison to 1-second zoom.) Click the image to see it at full size.

As you can see in Figure 7, zooming in to 1 frame makes it very clear where the audio is. If your audio is way out of sync, such as if one camera was started a minute later than another one or something of that nature, you could look for look for something very distinct, such as music starting, a flash going off, or a baby crying, and find it on each one of them and then go to the waveform to take a look. Once you've found the places in the waveform that you want to match, all you have to do it grab the waveform in 3A and drag it until it's fairly lined up with the peak you've identified in 1A, and then continue to do the same for additional sources if you have them. Listen to your audio, and if you're still hearing an echo (which means the two audio tracks are only slightly out of sync, but still enough to matter), go back to the very beginning of the waveform and move 3B again until you get a better match. As you can hear in our example clip in the video above at the 3:58 mark, the clips in 1V and 2V are now in sync. You can see the waveforms aligned in Figure 8 (below).

Figure 8. Waveforms aligned, clips synced, multicam edit ready to roll. Click the image to see it at full size.

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