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Music video sync playback and MORE

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Blahtor Magnus
Music video sync playback and MORE
on Jan 29, 2009 at 4:28:39 pm

Hi guys. Extrenely lame guy here.

I am trying to make a music video but I don't have the workflow.
I will explain what I mean.

I videotaped different clips with the musicians infront of a GREEN SCREEN - singer, guitarists and all.
I will do the final compositing of everything in Adobe After Effects.
But I need to sync the separate clips to the soundtrack before I put them together in AE.
Sync playback that is.
I can do basic sync but I need to make the lips of the singer match PERFECTLY the soundtrack.
So I will be needing some time-stretching, time-correction or whatever it is called in the world of video editing...

How to procede?
What is a good workflow here, minding that the clips are in HD-1080 and the final composite will be in HD-720?

It seems that After Effects is not the right program for lip sync.
Somebody told me that Vegas has a "Velocity" feature that could be used.

Is it a good idea to sync the clips in Vegas, render them in Vegas and then use the rendered results in After Effects?

Or should I use Adobe Premiere because it is supposed to integrate with AE better?
Never worked with Premiere, just AE.

One more thing: in case that I decide to edit the clips in Vegas, is there a way to render them, so there is not much loss of quality?


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Jan 29, 2009 at 5:02:52 pm

Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but the time to have worried about sync was on set.

A simple hand clap at the beginning of each take could help you line the picture up to with the audio guide track recorded on set. After you lock your edit, you swap out the guide track for the real audio, you can line up the audio waveforms in your editing software.

And don't worry about trying to make perfect lip sync. Get it as good as you can, and cut away when you have to.


Post production is not an afterthought!

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Blahtor Magnus
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Jan 29, 2009 at 5:12:04 pm

Well, I can do basic lip sync by swapping the audio tracks, yes.
I have set my markers during the recording sessions and the primary sync will not be a problem.

Problem is that I want to make things PERFECT.
A singer can not lip sync 1:1 with the playback song even after 1000 takes.
But what you say makes sense. Maybe I will decide not to make things that perfect.

If i decide to go the easy way and not do any extra tweaking, then I guess working with Premiere will be better than Vegas.

What is left is to learn how to make Premiere and AE work together for my purpose.
Any tutorials on this?
Any workflow tips?



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Dan Archer
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Jan 29, 2009 at 6:00:16 pm

I agree on the perfect sync thing. Maybe one percent of all the people who ever see it will ever now the difference, and less than that if it cut in a quick shot style. As for importing and exporting clips to work with I think the main thing is to get your setting set right. Export using 601 or RGB color settings and importing them back the same way. That way you can matdh cut with an effect shot and not see color shifts, Unless you want to use that as an effect. Hey anything is possible. as far as tips. every system will have its own quirks, get to know them and good luck.

A cut is a cut & a dissolve is a disolve, and not just anybody with a system is a pro.

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Blahtor Magnus
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Jan 29, 2009 at 6:28:03 pm

OK, I will not do perfect lip sync then.
Will try to make AE and Premiere work to gether somehow.


Just out of curiosity: what if you really DO want to make a perfect lip sync?
How do you tweak it? What programs are best for this purpose? Etc...

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grinner hester
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Jan 30, 2009 at 11:32:05 pm

I speedramp things in Avid. You can do it in AE.
No need to let anything out the door less than perfect. It's a matter of setting keyframes per certain syllable. Ps are your buddys... anything where their lips are together on a beat, really.
The most obvious example of this is prolly John Michal Montogomery's "I love the way you love me"
dude was not even close to being close but the cut was done in a linear bay. Still that last starring shot witht he song's hook... take a looksy. Horribly obvious speed changes but what's a brother gonna do?
Sometimes we get to accentuate fine art as editors but most of the time we are just turd polishers.

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grinner hester
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Jan 30, 2009 at 11:27:26 pm

man, if a singer can't nail lip syncing to his own track, he just can't call himself an artist.
I was once shooting BJ Thomas and he was too drunk to lip sync so I handed him a phat hand-held mic with a big wind screen and had him hide his mouth with it.
Outside of lots of swish pans or a storyline with actors, I don't know what else to tell for a dude who can't sing the same song twice.

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Cory Dzbinski
Re: Music video sync- you are in for a world of pain
on Feb 19, 2009 at 7:12:27 pm

I don't agree with the "A singer cannot lip sync 1:1...". Any professional artist should be able to lip sync and stay with their music within .001 or even .0001 on the 2nd or 3rd take if not the 1st. I've seen it done multiple times with amateur artists. If you're off by that small of an amount it is negligible to 99.99% of the population.

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grinner hester
Re: Music video sync playback and MORE
on Jan 30, 2009 at 11:25:03 pm

you'll shoot tha band lip syncing to the playback you will be editing to. I have used everything from DAT to their cd for this.
If just needing to key your talent, you can do that in Vegas or premiere with no need for AE at all, if you light it right.
Work flows vary for sync. I like to sync one shot one time and lay it on it's own track. I do this per take or camera and only have to sync each one once... going through the timeline subtractivly at that point. I literally reveal the final edit, so to speak.

I shot a music vodeo not long ago where I applied visuals from a live perfoprmance to a digital track. They key is to just not stay on anything long enough to give anything away. I did several speed changes to match and I used cutaways to hide what I did not have... having just one true take for the song in sync.
heres a copy if it helps at all:
Lots of what "not to dos" in this one but we shoot what we can, when we can unless given time and budget.

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