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Author: Myron Achtman

Multi-Camera Editing

  1. Before you capture footage, you'll need to start a new project in Avid and name it. A New Sequence dialog box will appear asking you to name your sequence. Do so. Assure that all the project settings match the tape format you'll be using (such as HD, PAL, NTSC, and so on). Click Okay when done. Click on the Sequences rack in the lower left corner, then double-click on the name of the sequence you've created.

  2. Create a new rack in the project window. A rack is essentially a folder that will store your clips. Name the new rack. Click on the logging tool just above the timeline. Make sure that the capture interface is configured for your capture device (such as a FireWire camera). You'll be prompted to enter a reel name. Make sure that the name you give corresponds to the tape you'll be importing from (such as camera 1) so that you don't get confused later on. Enter a unique reel name, then click the checkmark to accept it. You'll see that name appear at the top of the logging window. Assure that the codec matches your tape's codec and enter the name of the clip you'll be capturing.

  3. Notice the Multicam Capture dropdown box, which says Camera 1 by default. Click the dropdown menu and you'll see that you can have up to 16 different camera designations. This is the biggest gotcha with Avid multicam editing: be sure that this is set to camera 1 for every tape you capture from. If you select any of the others, you'll import video but no audio.

  4. When you're ready to capture, click the Play button below the capture window, then click the capture button. Once you're done, push the Stop button, also below the capture window. After you switch tapes, enter a new clip name that corresponds to that tape and again make sure camera 1 is selected. Do this for all other tapes. Your clips will appear in the previously named rack at the bottom of the screen. When finished, exit the capture window and return to the Liquid interface.

  5. You'll need to synchronize your clips before you can edit. Find a common synch point that shows on all the imported videos. A camera flash is a popular choice, because it produces a single light frame which is easy to find. Select your first clip and find your sync point. Right-click to the left of the preview window, then choose Edit/Set Marker. You'll see a gray triangle at the top of the window. This shows your marked frame. Repeat this step for the remaining clips, marking the same point.

  6. Avid will, by default, use the audio from the top clip in the rack, so you'll need to reorder your clips if you want to use audio from a clip that's lower in the rack. You'll need to rename the clips to reorder them; you can't just drag one to the top.

  7. To sync your clips, right-click on the rack and select Multicam Sync. Choose to sync all the clips in the rack. You'll see a dropdown menu asking how to synchronize the clips. The default option is by timecode. Change this to sync by the first marker. Then, click the large button that says to sync the selected clips for multicam editing. Avid creates a new clip, named after the first clip in the rack, with a .sync suffix. Double-click on this to bring it in to the source viewer and see all the clips in the window. You're now ready for multicam editing.

For more on multicam work with Avid, check out Achtman's video tutorial.

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Added: 2009-01-21
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