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Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier

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Mark Suszko
Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier
on Apr 6, 2020 at 11:59:03 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Apr 7, 2020 at 12:01:17 am

I did a basic 12-screen "Brady Bunch" matrix of my band mates singing and playing to pre-recorded guide tracks. it went over very big, bigger than I expected and now the encore is a 20-screen version with players from three cities. My decade-old imac at home is chugging a little at 18 layers, plus a couple of compound clips, but still soldiering on if I give it a little pause at the top of the stairs to render and catch its breath;-)



I'm learning by trial and error and am getting better as the edit goes. My next project like this will get even better, I'm sure. But I'm not too shy to ask for tips from people who've done a lot more of these, either in FCPX or Motion. Tips on the most efficient ways to set up the grid/video wall, order of operation, organization, audio sweetening and mixing, synching tips, anything you have some experience on.

Because of bandwidth and latency issues, musicians can't do this live via Zoom or Google Hangouts or whatever, not without spending a lot of money to adjust for timing problems... so, we just have everyone download a guide track and playback locally on headphones, while they record their parts. I then put it together. It's a mishmash of webcam and smartphone raw footage, that often requires a lot of color-correction, stabilization, and other tweaking, but you get what you get with these projects.

This is going to be a huge and popular thing this year as we deal with Covid-19. No other practical way for musical groups to play together, our practices and performance seasons are all in shreds... and so the esprit d'corps generated by participating in one of these is invaluable. It is quite a rush to hear and see it come together layer by layer as the harmony parts click into place.

A funny trick of human perception I'm getting out of watching this edit come together is, even if the levels are all objectively equal, the audio of a particular track seems to get a little louder as you concentrate your viewing on their particular little square. Weird.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier
on Apr 8, 2020 at 10:18:37 am







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Mike Fitzsimmons
Re: Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier
on Apr 8, 2020 at 10:09:47 pm

Saw this freebie.

https://idustrialrevolution.com/collections/xeffects-free/products/xeffects...

Haven't tried, but they have others I've liked. Hope it helps!


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David Farquhar
Re: Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier
on May 6, 2020 at 5:15:32 pm

I'm just embarking on a similar project at home for our band so its all new to me. Biggest question I had at the start was how to position all the different videos so they lined up. Two options I came up with
- borders in between the videos. Allows you to move the videos around manually losing the mouse, and as long as the borders are over the top of all the videos you can afford to be a bit sloppy with exact positioning.
- no borders between the videos. Still working on this, I think you need to manually calculate the right parameters to use for scale / trim / crop to make a video in some random size (depending on how it was recorded) end up in your desired size e.g. 300x300 square. I'm working on a spreadsheet to do those calculations for me as it seemed a bit complicated.

Any thoughts on those? Happy to share my spreadsheet when its finished


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Mark Suszko
Re: Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier
on May 6, 2020 at 9:16:08 pm

Well if you download the free fcpx templates from BolderVideo, that gives you many preset walls in different numbers, and the space in between can be varied from none to a lot.

But you might not want to lock yourself into doing just a uniform wall. The next one I do after my current one will probably be a hybrid: large panel or panels in the center, smaller blocks above and below. You can also go asymmetric: look at Mondrian abstracts for design hints.

My home system was bogging down under the load of so many tracks, even at lower rez settings. I ended up turning off tracks until I got it down to a set of five, mastered those over chroma green, then turned off those tracks and turned on the next five, exported, etc. These will all stack perfectly in the final composite but the system will look at it as only three or four total video tracks and not 20 or 30. But it is forcing me to be careful building mixes in the submaster layers.


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David Farquhar
Re: Multicam PIP and video walls - need tips to make this faster/easier
on May 7, 2020 at 9:38:12 am

Thanks will look into it. Good tip on managing multiple tracks. My iMac is 8 years old (with upgraded SSD) so anything to help performance will be great.


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