Learning Vegas: Multicamera editing (Tutorial)

Vegas® Pro makes it easy to work with video from multiple cameras right from the timeline. You can capture and edit video for a single scene from multiple cameras or for a single scene shot multiple times from one camera. Multicamera work is generally completed in five steps.



Shooting multicamera video

If possible, use the same make and model of camera and the same settings. Otherwise, you may need to do significant color correction in order to match the look between cameras.

When shooting multicamera video, there are a few key components to consider before getting started:
If possible, provide a single timecode source to all cameras.With synchronized timecode, Vegas Pro can lay out multicamera media in perfect synchronization. Otherwise, you’ll need to manually adjust the alignment between clips.Unsynchronized timecode between two cameras—even of the same type—drifts as much as one second per hour. Likewise, date/time stamps also drift and can only be used for approximate layout. If you only need two cameras on your shoot, be aware that some Sony cameras (e.g. HVR-V1) can synchronize timecode (using a feature called “TC Link”) over IEEE-1394.

Set the date and time in each camera. The closer these are, the better the approximate layout will be. Even if you’re using a master timecode source, you should set the date/time as a backup.

Before or after each scene, record a synchronization point. It is preferable to use a video slate board for this purpose, but you can also employ a loud and visible hand clap. You can also use a flash from a still camera, but you must disable any red-eye reduction, as this can cause multiple flashes. A fast camera flash combined with a fast shutter speed can be problematic as well.Regardless of the synchronization method you choose, it must be visible by all cameras.

If you forget to record a synchronization point, you’ll have to align the clips using another reference point, such as something consistent in the audio or video. Be aware that in distant shots, the audio captured by the camera’s microphone will be delayed from the video (1 frame for every 11.5 meters).

At least one of the cameras should be recording the audio you’ll use for the final edit. Alternatively, if you’re using dual-system sound, you can record audio on another device altogether. If you are shooting a musical performance, you might even be using the studio-recorded audio track. If you record audio on multiple cameras, you’ll be able to switch between it along with the video if you choose

Capturing multicamera video

You can use the Sony Video Capture application included with Vegas Pro to capture recordings from each camera in your multicamera shoot just as you would normally.

However, when you capture multicamera video, it is especially important to give each tape (or disc) a unique name; Vegas Pro uses this information to create a track for each camera. Before you begin the capture process, enable scene detection in the capture application so each segment is captured as a separate clip.

Synchronizing video in multicamera projects

In order to effectively edit multicamera footage within Vegas Pro, you must have your video clips synchronized. The best place to do this is the timeline, using the same Vegas Pro editing tools as you would for any video project.
Laying out clips using timecode or data/time stamps
Adjusting alignment using audio waveforms
Adjusting alignment using video

Creating multiplecamera events

Vegas Pro uses takes for multicamera editing. For more information, see “Using takes as alternate versions of events.” While the multicamera editing feature can be used with any multitake video event, Vegas Pro makes it easy to build multitake events for multicamera editing.

When Vegas Pro creates multitake events from your camera tracks, the take order will match the track order. As a result, it’s a good idea to first reorder your tracks if you have a particular order you prefer (wide shot, medium shots, handheld).

Once all of your cameras are laid out across tracks, synchronized, and ordered to your satisfaction, select the tracks from which you want to create a multicamera track (or press Ctrl+A to select all tracks). For more information about synchronizing your video, see “Synchronizing video in multicamera projects.”

From the Tools menu, choose Multicamera, and choose Create Multicamera Track from the submenu. Vegas Pro builds a set of tracks containing a series of events, with takes representing each of the cameras.

A new event is created for each time a camera was started and stopped, as well as empty “(no camera)” takes for video events where cameras were missing.

If you have envelopes, effects, or motion applied to the original camera tracks, these will be lost during this operation.

You’re now ready to start editing your multicamera video. For more information, see “Editing multicamera video.”

Editing multicamera video

Once you have synchronized multitake events, you can use multicamera editing mode to choose takes and switch cameras. This can be done while Vegas Pro is paused for cuts at precise points (such as certain timecodes or beat markers), or it can be done live during playback. Playback continues even when a take is chosen.

When multicamera editing mode is active, video envelopes, effects, and motion are bypassed in the Video Preview window to preserve your playback frame rate.



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