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Multicamera Video Editing: Some Pointers

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

The digital video revolution has ensured multi-camera editing that it is now accessible to anyone who has access to more than a few video cameras and a cool video editing application.

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    Planning

    To get the maximum benefits from multicamera shooting, it pays to allocate some time for planning. You and your team should sit down and discuss what the cameras will be covering.

    If you’re limited by equipment or manpower, go for simple multicamera shooting, which involves an extra camera manned by someone else.

    Even shooting with two cameras could produce fantastic results that may not be possible with a single-camera setup.

    If for instance you’re shooting a wedding, you can elect to shoot the main event and have your assistant shoot footage for cutaways to add variety to your video during moments when nothing much is happening.

    While two handheld cameras would suit occasions like weddings where there’s much motion among subjects, it would be a different ball game when it comes to shooting a stage performance like a play or concert.

    On such occasions, you would want to have your cameras in fixed positions. If you have three cameras, you could decide in advance what each camera would be covering.

    You could have one camera covering the whole action, another taking in the main action with background details included and the third camera concentrating on close-up shots of a singer or actor.

    Knowing as much as possible about the event would help you make informed decisions when it comes to camera placements and composition of shots.

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    Editing

    Shooting done, it’s time to assemble your clips in your video editing timeline and mix and match them to get professional-looking video.

    Before you transfer video footage from your camera, make sure you have ample hard disk space. Chances are you would be capturing video in DV mode and this takes up to 13 GB of space for an hour of footage.

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    Synchronizing Your Clips

    If you’ve been shooting a play or concert, you would want to sync the clips from your cameras.

    Once you’ve captured your footage into the computer, you would want to drag them into your timeline.

    If you have been using three cameras, then you would want to arrange each clip one on top of the other on the timeline tracks.

    One easy way to sync multiple clips is by looking at the audio waveform of the clip in the timeline.

    Expand the size of the audio tracks until you could see the waveform of each clip clearly.

    Shift or adjust the other tracks so that they’re in perfect sync with your master footage.

    Play the audio and make further adjustments until you hear the sound as a single stream without distortion.

    Once your audio is in sync, you can mix your video with the various shot compositions you have planned.