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Mult-Camera Capture

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quicksilver8907
Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:28:31 pm

Hey Guys,
Okay so I have a studio and I need to capture from 3 cameras. I don't want to use a video switcher because I want all three raw files, there will be no editing during the actual recording. I just want all three cameras to be captured as seperate files onto the hard drive of a desktop computer that will be in the next room. So my question is what hardware do I need and what software do I need in order to accomplish this? I am currently using Premiere Pro, so if I can capture directly into that that would be great, but it is not necessary. Thanks for the help.
Tyler


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Bob Bonniol
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:50:31 pm

In general, when you are just going unswitched to record (referred to as "iso") you do it in a device per camera scenario. There are several applications on PC for making a windows box into an out and out high level DDR. This allows for up to uncompressed capture. But this begs the question: why are you skipping tape ? That's the oldest form of "iso" and it works well. Conversely you could iso direct to high end decks as well.

Then, yes, you probably could capture live with an NLE, but that depends a great deal on how robust your system config is.

But let me stress this: I mentioned one device per camera. Unless you plan on encoding and storing the live videos in a codec consistent with internet delivery or mobile devices.. And then you'd have to have an app that reads and encodes all inputs simultaneous.

Can't help you there...

In my expperience it's a computer per camera.

Bob

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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ThomasLeong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 15, 2007 at 9:28:27 am

Possible direct to a pc, but with DV only, far as I know: 3 streams

Personally, I've done it with 2 streams uisng my DVStorm2 card and a firewire card. 3 was a bit beyond my system then.

Thomas Leong


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ThomasLeong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 15, 2007 at 9:28:53 am

Possible direct to a pc, but with DV only, far as I know: 3 streams

Personally, I've done it with 2 streams uisng my DVStorm2 card and a firewire card. 3 was a bit beyond my system then.

Thomas Leong


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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 15, 2007 at 9:30:46 am

Possible direct to a pc, but with DV only, far as I know: 3 streams

Personally, I've done it with 2 streams uisng my DVStorm2 card and a firewire card. 3 was a bit beyond my system then.

Thomas Leong


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Tyler Groom
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 17, 2007 at 7:21:57 pm

So exactly how do you have it set up? What are you running from the cameras. i.e. firewire, composite, etc... What are you using this for?


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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 18, 2007 at 6:51:29 am

Feeds were Firewire and composite from a DV camera and a satellite TV cable box. The free DVCapture utility from Canopus allows you to specify your inputs for each source : Firewire, composite, or S-Video.

I did it as a test to see how many streams my non-RAID 1.6GHz P4 with a Canopus DvStorm2 capture card and a cheap 3rd party Firewire card fared with the Canopus DVCapture utility. This was a few years ago.

However, some other Canopus DVStorm2 users appear to have successfully captured wedding recordings from 3 cameras at site.

Thomas

PS Apologies for the previous multiple posts, but the Cow site replied that I had to change my user name to post, neglecting to inform me that the post had been accepted. So I changed my user name be inserting a space between names.



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Tyler Groom
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:58:36 pm

So what if the distance will be too far to capture using firewire. How would I capture two feeds without using firewire?



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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:39:16 pm

Add a Firewire Booster/Repeater. Gefen has them.

Thomas



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Andy Stinton
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 12:34:51 am

Okay call me dumb ... Pause for multiple answers:) But what is the matter with good old fashioned tape? Everything I have read here has too many variables in it to insure success.

Hard drive storage for future editing does not save any real time.

Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 6:47:21 am

"...what is the matter with good old fashioned tape?"

Perhaps for near fail-safe security where one has no second chance to record an event, I agree tape is safer than writing to hard-disk live, other things being equal (clogged recording heads, tape drop-outs, etc). But for those events where second chances are available, direct to disk does save substantial tape-to-disk transfer time almost equal to the duration of the recording session itself, assuming of course that any later editing is via NLE and not linear tape-based machines. Obviously, for added security, if the cameras have built-in tape recording mechanisms, these can be used as backups.

To each his own, and Tyler's original post requested direct-to-disk capture for 3 cams in his studio.

Thomas



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Andy Stinton
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 3:25:18 pm

I don't see the time saving. The editor has to review the footage to edit it, around here they type comments on the clips as they digitize so that they can refer back to each clip. When the footage is straight to a hard drive they still have to review and chop the files up into clips and then put comments in . Where is the time savings ?

The other issue that we have seen, is that you are stuck with codec that use initially. With tape you can redig and use a different compression method.

Yes there can be issues with capturing to tape as you have mentioned, however the space in this box is not long enough to list the problems that you run into with a computer .





Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 4:31:52 pm

No one editor has the same workflow.

So perhaps Tyler's workflow requires 3 big files that he can edit with. His 'event' may merely be a 3-camera view of a single session, and as long as the start points are aligned, a multicam edit generally requires selecting a single camera view at any point in time. No notes required nor breaking up into smaller files before editing.

Or it could be something else.

Thomas



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Tyler Groom
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 9:35:47 pm

Well to give you the exact scenario that I am involved in is this. We have a studio that has a green screen set-up in it. We want to produce a video. There would be three cameras filming the same thing from different angles, etc. I could capture them to tape and then record them into the computer, yes. But, it can be difficult to sync them up perfectly to each other. Therefore I figured that capturing them directly into the computer, would be more efficient, but please give me your thoughts...
Thanks



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Andy Stinton
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 10:32:04 pm

I think that you can already see from mine & Bob's and Thomas's views that there are two different schools of thought.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I don't see any difference in the syncing process between digitizing methods.

I was wondering how you are going to capture the sound?






Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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Tyler Groom
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 21, 2007 at 10:46:34 pm

I was going to capture everything in via firewire or composite, but if you think that it is no easier to sync that way than there is no point in spending the money on the equipment. But please give me your ideas on the situation...



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George Socka
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 22, 2007 at 2:42:28 am

Three computers running DV Rack ( Adobe On Location now ) In another thread somewhere someone had gotten DV rack to capture 2 DV streams at the same time using 2 unique FW cards.

If you are shooting DV, then no other codec will ever produce a better picture than raw DV

Or search for DVIO and try running that 3 times - using 3 FW cards.

Or Newtek VT5 which does this on paper - never actually touched one though.

George Socka
BeachDigital
http://www.beachdigital.com


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andy stinton
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 24, 2007 at 2:43:47 pm

I'm very interested in how the sound get efficiently mixed into the recording. I take that these computer capture methods require a line from a mixer back to the camera ?

Can you control each audio feed back in the computer?

Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 24, 2007 at 5:33:58 pm

Andy,

AFAIK, using Firewire as the medium, the audio is captured simultaneouslly with the video down the same wire. There is no control over either till after the capture. However, not sure about DVRack though.

Thomas



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Tyler Groom
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 27, 2007 at 6:34:02 pm

If I were to just capture the tapes, which I think we will do because there is no reason to capture directly into the computer. What is the easiest to sync the two cameras in Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0?

"The camera may add 10 pounds, but the computer can take off 50"


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Thomas Leong
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Dec 27, 2007 at 10:00:33 pm

Others have done it by -
1. Activating a camera flash at the start of each camera recording; and/or
2. Use an audio signal/blip to indicate start of recording sent to both cameras at the same time.

Then line it up on two tracks in the NLE.

Thomas




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Robert Smith
Re: Mult-Camera Capture
on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:10:32 pm

It certainly saves time for us. talk to Taco@sceneware.nl , he has an encoder solution to handle 6 streams of DVCProHD over firewire to a single encoder box w/raid drives.



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