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Thread: Video is expensive, and other learnings...

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    Video is expensive, and other learnings...

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    I have been playing around with video for about a year now, going from one camera to two, and just this past weekend, managed to have 3 cameras up and stay in focus for more than 15 minutes. I've learned a lot.

    First, it costs a bundle if you want to do multi-cam recording. I've got basic consumer digital cameras (2) - low-middle mirrorless from the past few years with "fast enough" lenses to work indoors mostly, and a pretty old camcorder that probably cost $200 back when. So, pretty quickly you're over 1 large, and that's for very basic stuff. Prosumer or better, fuggedaboutit. And then there's [big] batteries galore and SD cards (64GB if you want to try and get through an evening without changing cards - not always easy depending on where the card access door is!)

    Then, there's storage. I go through GB like a new bag of pita chips. Just ordered another RAID enclosure and a couple of big drives because I am maxed. I thought I had enough for *years* of audio, and it's gone. poof. Sure, there's a lot I could purge but I've done all the temp/optimized file cleanup and there's not enough to do more than a couple short projects from media I've already got in libraries.

    Software, maybe free stuff is good, but it usually lacks one or two things you'll really want at some point. Mine was the fractional rotations needed to account for cameras just enough off plumb/level to make you start to turn your head. More $.

    And, finally, I don't think it's a one-man job if you want to guarantee success. You might get lucky, but I always have some failure - hence the adding of cameras. You can't watch the record levels and check that cameras haven't decided to autofocus on a fly that just went by and then instead of going back to the perfomer picked out a lightbulb halfway to the stage, or something. [Being in two places at the same time problem.] And, in a live situation, finding a place to put a camera that you can get a decent angle often means you have to set it and leave it there for a long time because you don't want to be standing on a customer's table all night.

    Anyway, I'm off the soapbox now. I'm still in the "trying to figure out if I even want to do it" phase, and seem to keep pulling out the credit card. Going to see if it gets easier before I fill up these new disks and decide if it's fun or not. Hoping that gives me a year
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    I use a $70 pawn shop camera, a tripod I got for free, and a lamp.

    I also have <20 Youtube subscribers.

    Maybe there's a correlation here...

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    Well, the number of subscribers probably has more to do with content than quality of the recordings, and I don't mean quality as in musical quality. What you want are kittens and epic fails, or just plain stupid, or something insane like skydiving without a parachute, you know.

    I'm not trying to get subscribers, but decide if I can help folks get some better quality videos of a performance, e.g., for promotional use or to get gigs. I know I'm repeating myself (but not sure if I said it here), but these days everyone, and that includes bar owners/managers, don't really want to listen to audio to make a decision, even if it's just whether to spend 30sec more listening to audio. They want to see a video.

    I like to go record live performances because it has challenges, I always learn something new because there's always a new twist, performer, instrument, etc., and if it helps someone hone their craft, even better. But, the reality is there's not a business there as far as I can tell, unless [maybe] you can do video, too.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    In 2 years I've cobbled together a small YouTube channel, and I've spent an absurd amount of cash to support it. But I enjoy the challenge, and the fact that there are a few thousand people in the world willing to watch my boring-assed akward videos makes it pretty rewarding. I've learned a crap-ton about lighting, camera settings, lenses, editing, etc. And I still have miles to go.

    But it's just me in my studio, and I've thrown away as much footage as I've actually published (maybe more!). I bet that capturing a live performance adds yet another level of challenge on top of cameras, lighting, sound, timing, editing and publishing. At least when I egregiously mess up, it's just a matter of doing it again. But a live performance is one and done. I wouldn't be able to deal with the pressure. But I bet that makes it even more rewarding when you pull it off. Hats off, man, and good luck!

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    Wait, I am curious. Is this about music video production or podcast video?

    I really am curious because I have found out recently how expensive multi camera shoots for videos can be. Good lord, the editing alone likely takes more time than the recording does... Over-exaggeration but damn... Not my forte...
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    If you are eating storage, you're probably shooting at a too high resolution. You need HD when doing professional montage. You don't need it for a Youtube channel. I archive original recordings on DVD or offline harddisk after preparing them for editing. And video gets reduced in resolution, if needed and compressed to keep it workable.

    Have you tried OBS (Open Broadcaster Studio)? It's free and pretty complete.

    A lot of people seem very happy using webcams and other simple camera's with OBS. Makes it a lot easier. If you're making music video's, the picture isn't as important as the sound. Sometimes, some graininess is even thrown into the picture to point to the sound as the most important thing.

    And FWIW, my YT channel has 1 video and 47 views. But I started it to share. Not to get popular. And the one vid I didn't even shoot myself. It's an archival copy of a "historic" VHS I digitized.
    MB Pro, FF400, AKG C451-C1/CK8, NT1, B5, MD21, Korg RC168, DEQ830, ADA8000...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    Wait, I am curious. Is this about music video production or podcast video?

    I really am curious because I have found out recently how expensive multi camera shoots for videos can be. Good lord, the editing alone likely takes more time than the recording does... Over-exaggeration but damn... Not my forte...
    Well, I was posting specifically about what I was doing, which is trying to add video to recordings of [live] music performances. Not "music video" for MTV (does that still exist?) with artsy extra things, but more than a static single camera (trés bad I've been advised) or jittery hand-held phone video.

    Good software makes it easier but just alike audio, you have to start with a good performance. And, also like audio, mistakes made with recording or subsequent processing can make it worse instead of better. And, it's only marginally similar in terms of workflow IMO, so you're going to be starting over.

    Repeating myself, but I'm not trying to get YT views or subscribers. I was just whining about the effort and work to get home and find out there's even more work and money waiting, and perhaps mistakes or problems happened in the video that means I can't use a good chunk of the raw material. But, I've learned (now) not to rely on auto-focus, though whether I can really get a good manual focus will be seen with the next time I set up and try that.

    Here's a couple really quick edits from last Sunday. The first is 2 cameras because the middle camera went out of focus and I didn't know that until the end of the night, and one angle isn't great because the bass player is largely out of frame. (A bass player friend tells me they learn to do that early in their career ). And lighting is uneven, especially obvious in the 2nd video, though I could have spent a little bit more time trying to balance the shots on that one - at least the middle camera was still working!

    The other big challenge with live video is finding camera placements that have decent angles and that also aren't frequently blocked by people. Usually that means they're up high and against a wall if you can find a high shelf or perhaps mounted elkhead with just the right antler structure (true case). You just never know. In this small room, the high locations are almost too high, but everything else is almost always blocked. I need a fleet of stable, silent, hovering drones that can stay aloft with a camera for a couple hours .



    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
    If you are eating storage, you're probably shooting at a too high resolution. You need HD when doing professional montage. You don't need it for a Youtube channel. I archive original recordings on DVD or offline harddisk after preparing them for editing. And video gets reduced in resolution, if needed and compressed to keep it workable.

    Have you tried OBS (Open Broadcaster Studio)? It's free and pretty complete.

    A lot of people seem very happy using webcams and other simple camera's with OBS. Makes it a lot easier. If you're making music video's, the picture isn't as important as the sound. Sometimes, some graininess is even thrown into the picture to point to the sound as the most important thing.

    And FWIW, my YT channel has 1 video and 47 views. But I started it to share. Not to get popular. And the one vid I didn't even shoot myself. It's an archival copy of a "historic" VHS I digitized.
    I shoot basic HD and render to 720p because it looks fine on phones and even upconverts Ok on our old TV. Nor am I trying to get popular.

    Final Cut Pro X is actually fine. It wasn't free, though, but since I was already dablling in iMovie it seemed like an easier, if a little spendy, next step.

    The storage problem is largely due to capturing multiple cameras. 3 cameras for 3 hours and you've got 100GB more or less. But then, when you start to edit, FCPX starts creating optimized versions of your edits so you can continue to see what you are doing. This is because, like DAWs, edits are non-destructive, but unlike audio, your average computer doesn't have the horsepower to apply those edits and FX like layered videos, titles, et al with cross-fades, on the fly to HD video so you can actually see what you've done and continue to edit. So, intermediate renderings and all kinds of other files are generated. This can be disabled, of course, and manually cleaned up after each project is "done" but it slows things down quite a bit, and if you want to go back and re-edit, you'll either work slowly or wait while those files are re-generated. In short, it's better to have lots of available storage. ("On FedEx vehicle for delivery" is what the tracking # says ). So, that problem is solved. My other problems I'll just chip away at for a while and see how it goes.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Sorry, I didn't realize that subscribers was a bad word around here.

    The same principals apply whether doing live music, music videos, or "video podcast". I was doing it the hard way in Premiere Elements and Magix, but now I've got a hold of Resolve (free if you want to try it) and its got actual multicam support like Premiere Pro and Final Cut. Getting the multicam clip set up takes a lot of tedious alignment since I'm not using timecodes or anything. But once it's set up, it's just a matter of clicking the angle you want when you want it. It's super handy.

    But you can smoosh together any cameras for multicam, they don't all have to be fancy. I've used combinations of a nice camera, a less nice camera, a cell phone, a webcam, and desktop capture (for tutorial stuff). Since they're from different angles, they don't have to be super consistent with each other. Just find interesting angles and away you go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpui View Post
    ... I was doing it the hard way in Premiere Elements and Magix, but now I've got a hold of Resolve (free if you want to try it) and its got actual multicam support like Premiere Pro and Final Cut. Getting the multicam clip set up takes a lot of tedious alignment since I'm not using timecodes or anything. But once it's set up, it's just a matter of clicking the angle you want when you want it. It's super handy. ...
    Final Cut Pro X will do the sync for you - i.e., no "tedious alignment" - using just the audio from the clips. I've found it works almost all the time without any problems at all, even with the cameras' audio having all kinds of crowd noise, random conversations, glasses being dropped, whatever. Then it's just as you describe, let the multicam clip roll and pick your angles as it goes along, with all the sound coming from whichever audio you choose. One of the "clips" is my separately recorded audio, so that's selected as the audio to use for the "multicam clip" that's being edited.

    Haven't tried it with anything longer than 5 or 6 minutes but so far it's immensely helpful, and another reason I've been able to swallow the upgrade price.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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