Latest post Tue, Jul 17 2018 7:33 PM by ematteso. 16 replies.
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  • Thu, Jul 5 2018 11:25 PM

    • ematteso
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    Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Hey all, 

    Forgive me if I'm missng something obvious here: we're running Avid 2018.5 and I'm attempting to multigroup some archive concert footage [1080p/23.976 DNxHD] and we've recently upgraded to High sierra. 

    The way I learned to multigroup is the sync map > AAF > pluraleyes and back situation. However, Pluraleyes 3.5 keeps crashing every time I try to use it and I fear we have upgraded beyond our ability to use it. I was hoping that with the new "analyze by waveform" addition (this office just upgraded from MC6.5) that there would be a way to skip the pluraleyes and copying auxiliary timecodes step and just multigroup by waveform. This method works in chunks for the most part, but I can't seem to get it to analyze over an hour of footage that way. Maybe because there is no consistent external audio track.  

    Things I've attempted: 

    -using premiere to create a faux "external" audio clip by patching the audio and synchronizing in the premiere timeline, then multigrouping everything with it in Avid. Nada. 

    - downloading resolve thinking there might be a way to sync the cips in there and my brain melting.

    - looking at entangle and knowing this office won't pay $20/month for it (but I could beg if someone can confirm this is a good solution). 


    So if you've got any ideas: 

    I'm looking at 5 cameras, no cam timecode, no external audio (although each clip has audio), no slate, and every camera cuts multiple times. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of a timecode clock on set, but not on every camera nor for every cut and even if I did, i'm not sure exactly what to do with them. This is footage from 1999 and i'm a newb. Any help would be much appreciated!  

  • Fri, Jul 6 2018 12:01 AM In reply to

    • jdrouette
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Will Blank has one of the best comprehensive tutorials on multigrouping within Avid. It can be a labour-intensive process and it you'll still need to manually sync footage if you don't have a guide track or TC, but it should otherwise cover everything you need to know.

    Hopefully Avid will eventually manage to simplify this process with more automation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFpTMGnvXAI

    Avid Media Composer 2018.7 Symphony option, Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Express on macOS 10.13.5, iMac Pro (2017) 10-Core, 3.0GHz Intel Xeon W, Turbo... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 6 2018 12:12 AM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Yes, this is the tutorial I learned from initially. By "manually syncing footage," do you mean by looking at waveform and doing the best I can? I have lined it up pretty well in the sync map but with 5 cameras and so many cuts, I can't fathom the human error and time it would take to get it right before applying the auxiliary time code.

    This will of course be my last resort, but if there were any other ways to get my sync map lined up I would love to use those first. 

  • Fri, Jul 6 2018 12:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    ematteso:

     

    Hey all, 

    Forgive me if I'm missng something obvious here: we're running Avid 2018.5 and I'm attempting to multigroup some archive concert footage [1080p/23.976 DNxHD] and we've recently upgraded to High sierra. 

    The way I learned to multigroup is the sync map > AAF > pluraleyes and back situation. However, Pluraleyes 3.5 keeps crashing every time I try to use it and I fear we have upgraded beyond our ability to use it. I was hoping that with the new "analyze by waveform" addition (this office just upgraded from MC6.5) that there would be a way to skip the pluraleyes and copying auxiliary timecodes step and just multigroup by waveform. This method works in chunks for the most part, but I can't seem to get it to analyze over an hour of footage that way. Maybe because there is no consistent external audio track.  

    Things I've attempted: 

    -using premiere to create a faux "external" audio clip by patching the audio and synchronizing in the premiere timeline, then multigrouping everything with it in Avid. Nada. 

    - downloading resolve thinking there might be a way to sync the cips in there and my brain melting.

    - looking at entangle and knowing this office won't pay $20/month for it (but I could beg if someone can confirm this is a good solution). 


    So if you've got any ideas: 

    I'm looking at 5 cameras, no cam timecode, no external audio (although each clip has audio), no slate, and every camera cuts multiple times. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of a timecode clock on set, but not on every camera nor for every cut and even if I did, i'm not sure exactly what to do with them. This is footage from 1999 and i'm a newb. Any help would be much appreciated!  

    Hi, Just a few tidbits of advice:

    Re Avid Waveform Grouping. If it fails at one hour +  (which was my experience with just 2-cams with identical sound )  and above, is there a way to break the job into smaller chunks? Maybe you can “divide and conquer”.

    Along those lines, I would ask if among the 5, are there 2 cameras that are most easily “mapped”? Perhaps a lockdown and another “less stop/start-y” wide shot?

    You mention a “glimpse of timecode on set”... is there any chance you can track down an audio recording of this old event?

    Without that, it seems you have already tried patching together a complete audio track made from the 5 cameras... were they

    all receiving the same feed from a mixer? 

    In some cases, lighting cues and flashes from cameras helps find sync. 

    For me its about getting SOMETHING in sync and working outwards from that to sync the harder cameras (the ones with the most on/off cuts) or least clues.

    Perhaps you work hard to get 2 out of 5 cameras in sync. Perhaps you can export audio Wavs in shorter, discreet chunks defined by common audio rather than entire clips. Try Avid Waveform analysis on on/off parts of a single 3rd camera clip. but only using a short section of sound from your existing sync map. Perhaps that is a slow path to success...

    tidbit: sometimes it doesnt matter if your shot is in sync... in other words, don't drive yourself crazy. You will have every opportunity to tweak sync during the real edit. Do cheat shots, etc.

    Just curious: how would you describe each of the 5 camera positions, their exact # of on/off cuts; and the kind of music/venue. 

    Many of us here have been in your shoes: stay at it, it seems you are doing lots of smart things.

    Once you achieve your 5-cam syncmap sequence, by ALL means, check out GROUPITFORME.com.

    Windows7 Pro; HP 820z, 16GB ram; Composer Nitris DX, Squeeze v8.5 Pro _____ Windows10 Pro x64 Dell XPS 8930 Special Edition Tower i7-8700 3.2 Ghz; 32GB... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 6 2018 5:31 PM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Yes, I think I can break it down into 4 or 5 more manageable chunks. Since the tails of these clips are uneven I don't love the way the cameras will cut out in that setup, but I could play with it more to break up the chunks to end all around the same point (I'm just a little limited on time so it may just have to boil down to the rough solution). 

    There are two cameras that feel more locked off, one appears to be on a jib and is a Medium to Wide shot most of the time and the other is a fairly locked off close up. It's a band on a televised stage with an audienve, the other cameras generally rove around. 

    I could potentially get an audio recording, or it's possible the fully edited piece exists in our media, although it wouldn't be raw sound. We're an archive documentary and the sheer amount of footage is pretty crazy. I think the patched audio track I made is fairly accurate so I was thinking I could try to line all the cameras up to that. Again it'd be time consuming/human error prone, but it's an option. Then I guess I'd go through and do it the auxiliary time code way once it's all lined up. 

    timeline

    https://imgur.com/a/U9WFBvf

    Hopefully that image works but that's what my timeline is looking like. Most cameras cut 10-11 times, one stops after about 5 cuts but it ends early. I just roughly lined it up based on waveform. 

    I am just going crazy that there isn't a better way. I feel like this would take a fraction of the time to do in Premiere with the timeline synchronizing option. And I'm sure it used to be much easier when Pluraleyes was an option. I have actually tried exporting my timeline as an AAF to import into avid but for whatever reason Premiere always rejects them as being corrupted or broken (which is just a whole new troubleshooting issue). And I've considered potentially partitioning my hard drive and downloading an older OSX so I can run Pluraleyes on it and then just import the bin after or something.

    Have you ever used Entangle? There is a 3-day trial that requires a credit card that I'm totally willing to try if it seems like it'd be a suitable replacement for Pluraleyes. 

    I hope it doesn't sound lazy to make manually syncing my last resort, I just really don't trust that it would come out as accurate and it's 2018 how is this still a thing? Plus this probably won't be the last time we encounter a taped concert like this, I'd love to come up with an efficient workflow. 

    Thank you for the support/encouragement and sorry for the rant. 

     

  • Fri, Jul 6 2018 7:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Thanks for the info and screen shot. Looks like just two spots without overlap... a break I suppose.

    Sorry but I don’t know Entangle or Adobe workflows but I keep hearing good things about Premiere re multicam. 

    Ive used Plural Eyes and liked it but here’s another tidbit:

    no matter which automated software you use, you probably need to double-check the results if it is that kind of job.

    So learning to sync two identical sound sources by ear as you Trim one against the other, monitoring both, is not such a

    bad habit to get into. You zero in on tell-tale phase-cancellation effect. Now that Avid offers sub-frame slipping you

    can potentially surpass its own Group by Waveform (since I don’t think you get that done for you). 

    Anyway, if your original sound man somehow sent a basic live mix to all the cameras, you owe it to yourself to

    see if the guy saved a multi-track or whatever. You get bonus points in video heaven for that...

    best of luck...

    Windows7 Pro; HP 820z, 16GB ram; Composer Nitris DX, Squeeze v8.5 Pro _____ Windows10 Pro x64 Dell XPS 8930 Special Edition Tower i7-8700 3.2 Ghz; 32GB... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Jul 7 2018 4:52 PM In reply to

    • tpowell
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    If Premiere is allowing you to create the synched tracks, but you wamt to multicam in Avid, you can always sync in Premiere, then output the entire 1 hour track as a "same as source." Then just bring in the 5 1hour clips and multigroup those for your edit. Waveform synching can be a bit sloppy (a few frames either way is common). i do a lot of multicam with 7 or 8 cameras and no time code, sometimes even no audio, but I have a line cut. It makes manually synching fairly easy, and I can visually verify the exact frame for synching. If I have cameras that start and stop a lot, I make a track for that camera, then either do a video mixdown, or export same as source, for that track. It seems like an extra step and extra drive space, but it greatly simplifies the proces, gives me fewer clips to keep track of, and allows me to put a basic color correction on that camera all at once, rather than dealing with a lot if individual clips. Just a thought.

  • Mon, Jul 9 2018 5:19 PM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    So that actually was my original thought (synching in Premiere and bringing it back to Avid), but for some reason exporting an AAF of my sequence and bringing it into Premiere isn't working. So I guess I will either have to troubleshoot that, or export each individual subclip and import into Premiere, which is doable but also seems like I'd almost get the same amount done in that time if I tried to line it all up manually in Avid. 

    This is all great stuff, thank you. I'll see if I can manage to get it to work. It's really very mind blowing that this isn't an easier process at this point in time.

  • Mon, Jul 9 2018 5:26 PM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Unfortunately this was shot in 1999 so tracking down original audio might not be doable. I'm sure there's something at the original studio (they'll have to online this whole doc eventually afterall) but I might just be stuck with this for now.

    I can definitely take the time to line it up manually and I may just end up doing that...it's just driving me crazy that there's not a set workflow for this. It won't be the last time on this show that we encounter this type of concert footage and I want to figure out the most efficient and accurate way to do it. So thank you so much for all the advice and help! 

    Re Pluraleyes: I may end up partitioning my hard drive with an older OSX and version of Avid and see if I can just create a "multigrouping station" on one of our older mac towers. Then we can do the grunt work on there and just bring in the bins to our current project. Just an idea.

  • Mon, Jul 9 2018 7:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    I like your Plural Eyes idea. But in terms of that screenshot of timeline: are the clips only in sequential order but not yet in sync?

    just curious: you said No Timecide. What was your capture/Import process? Were these clips MXF files or other imported files or did you bring in tape? there should be some TC on the clips and I am wondering what the offset if any is between cameras.

    was there an Avid Sequence from 1999?

     

     

    Windows7 Pro; HP 820z, 16GB ram; Composer Nitris DX, Squeeze v8.5 Pro _____ Windows10 Pro x64 Dell XPS 8930 Special Edition Tower i7-8700 3.2 Ghz; 32GB... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Jul 9 2018 8:11 PM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Yes they're in sequential order and I did my best to map them out roughly by waveform, but without a solid track to guide me they're a little rough in places. 

    I received essentially a proxy from each camera, they were just some H.264 .movs. I imported them as MXF files to match my project. There wasn't any jammed timecode information from set or anything. Since this is an archive doc, we're just receiving random clips from TV stations and studios, etc. None of our footage will be original or raw (for now). But I'm certainly no expert on timecode if I'm missing something, I just know that the "multigroup by Source TC" and "Multigroup by Film TC/Sounc TC" don't give results. Also all of the camera takes were in one clip. So I went through and cut them up into pieces since obviously there was passing of time between each cut.

    Down the road (if the clips get used in the cut) I assume they'll track down the licensor and try to get an original. So there's no Avid project. Every once in a while i get a glimpse of a timecode clock on the stage, but it doesn't happen every time a camera cuts and I'm not sure what I'd do even if it did. I assume you could add it as some kind of auxiliary timecode and sync that way? But it's inconsistent in the footage unfortunately. 

    On the bright side (and this almost makes it worse) we seem to have received a copy of the final edited version that aired. So we have that, worst case. The director likes to cut his own stuff and likes full control as well, so I've been asked to provide all the options. Second best case I think I can get this Multigrouped in 4-6 chunks by waveform and provide that. 

    Currently I'm exporting each camera's subclips and used my patched together audio track to sync in premiere, then reimported into Avid. Hopefully I'll end up with 5 solid master clips that can then be grouped together even just by in-point, but at the very least their waveforms should hopefully match up. It's just very tedious (until i can try my pluraleyes partition idea). 

  • Mon, Jul 9 2018 10:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    “Final edited version” ? Of what, a full concert, using your 5 cameras? if so, you should be able to eye-match your cameras. I think that’s easily done for your sub clips if any part of them was seen (hopefully in sync)  in that final version.

    Windows7 Pro; HP 820z, 16GB ram; Composer Nitris DX, Squeeze v8.5 Pro _____ Windows10 Pro x64 Dell XPS 8930 Special Edition Tower i7-8700 3.2 Ghz; 32GB... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Jul 10 2018 9:33 PM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    Yes it was a VH1 show called "Storytellers" where artists came and played music and told stories. The edited version had been cut together and trimmed with commercials added etc.

    So I think I understand what you're saying and you're completely correct, I could go through and do it all manually, either visually or by looking at Waveform. I would just have to do that with complete accuracy over 50 times and then add auxiliary timecode. The show is almost 2 hours long, so I was just trying to get a more efficient workflow as this also won't be the only time we encounter this type of concert/show footage. 

    And I actually think I've found a decent way (or two). The first one syncs 5-7 clips at a time and removes the need to assign auxiliary timecode, which is already a big help (although it does add some import/export time, but I think the trade off for less human error risk is well worth it and still saves time).

     

    WORKAROUND 1:

    - Did the usual multi-grouping process/ laid out a decent sync map (as seen in my screen grab) although I imagine you'd only need this is you need to cut your original clips up. Otherwise skip to step 3. 

    - Got everything subclipped into separate pieces then exported all clips (same as source). 

    - Imported those clips into Premiere CC

    - Used the audio I patched together to create a track that mimics an 'external audio' track 

    - Synchronized those clips in a timeline to the audio track and exported as a solid camera clip

    - Imported the new solid camera clips into Avid

    - Double checked everything lines up in a sequence, set an in-point at the head of each camera.

    - Multigrouped by in-points

     

    THEORETICAL WORKAROUND: Untested

    - Partitioning main drive to install an older OSX to run MC and Pluraleyes on

    - Doing grunt work on that drive, saving the bin in a place to bring into the current project, so the classic adding auxiliary timecode way

  • Wed, Jul 11 2018 12:23 AM In reply to

    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    I Googled that show, saw some YouTube’s.  Got a sense of the original production perhaps. Very helpful.

    To recap (please verify): 

    You received a set of 5 MP4’s, each representing a camera/position.

    All those 5 Mp4s have the same sound (a clean mono or stereo version)?

    You also got an MP4 of the original final edited show with commercials?

    Each of the 5 MP4 Clips included “time jumps” that you isolated by making subclips.

    The timeline you posted shows the 5 MP4’s, with their subclips, on their own track, V1 thru V5.

    Which track of the 5 shows the “main”, on face camera and which track has the second front-facing camera used most frequently in the Edited MP4?

    Will those 2 cameras overlap so that “checkerboarded” together,  you would have a complete soundtrack, or if not, the longest possible continuous run of original sound? I think so.

    I would then seek to eye-match those two camera tracks to the portions of the edited final MP4 that coincide. Look to eye-match from sections of the final edited MP4 that seems like it was a “live cut” with no pull-ups or time jumps. I would expect that once eye-matched, the subclips involved would stay in sync between themselves for the full duration of their use. I would compare the sound at the start and end of the overlap between the two subclips, to be certain. All based on hearing a“phasing” sound and the absence of echo.

    (Based on that timeline you posted, it seems you have a break of indefinite time that shows up 3 clips from end on v5.) 

    If the MP4 is your best quality available, then you ought to be able to do everything you need in MC, just by video mixing down each track or if you prefer, exporting to OP1a with sound and re-importing. 

    if all of that succeeds, you can re-do the whole process but this time add the 3rd 4th and 5th cameras, BUT since they seem to be Audience shots, over-the-shoulder or back of stage views, I would suspect that they were “cheat shots” done in the final edited MP4, so you may not rely on them for help finding sync.

    But you may get close or even dead-on if you pick the correct cam3,4,5 image to eye-match to. Look for shots that are long not short as they would be less likely a cheat.

    I remain dubious that plural eyes, Avid Waveform or Adobe will have success since the audio got encoded to MP4’s, but I have no real experience there... just negative thinking. That’s why I like eye match. And 50 is not so bad... you will get good at it.

    (I suspect you may be able to get an archived MC project file from the original online or offline Avid editor, which may be useful.) people tend to save things.

    Did you say that someone else is onlining your work? And what the heck are you doing anyway?

    good luck.

     

    Windows7 Pro; HP 820z, 16GB ram; Composer Nitris DX, Squeeze v8.5 Pro _____ Windows10 Pro x64 Dell XPS 8930 Special Edition Tower i7-8700 3.2 Ghz; 32GB... [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Jul 11 2018 12:58 AM In reply to

    • ematteso
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    Re: Multigrouping Avid 2018 without Pluraleyes

    We received 8 seperate files, but a few were the same camera just from the second hour of the show. All of them have separate audio, some audio is completely destroyed in parts (the footage scrambles too). And yes, I lined them up and subclipped them out. 

    Track 5 is the main jib, track 6 is the main close up. They don't line up perfectly in terms of gaps in the audio, but I managed to create a complete soundtrack by patching the gaps and mixing down. 

    I then used that soundtrack to sync one camera at a time (about 10 subclips each) in Premiere (which allowed me to avoid synching each piece by hand and then also adding auxiliary timecode). Then I exported and brought them into Avid where it was as easy as grouping by in points from there. It did add some import/export time, but that was time I used working on other things! 

    The audience cameras are roving and so they do often catch the main artist so I can't do much cheating with those clips. If it were up to me, we'd just use the original cut but alas, I'm just an AE. There's a very large chance that none of this will ever get used.  

    The original media is probably somewhere in the archives at Viacom. I'm not in contact with them, but our archivist is. So it could be possible. Whoever onlines this film will probably be either another editor or post facility, but they'll only want to pay to dig up any more materials if we're definitely going to use them in the cut. 

    I'd like to get a workflow down without those options (orignal project etc) anyway as this is really prep work for some concert footage that's coming in straight from film scans, never edited before. So I won't have that as an option in the future. But that will be a whole new beast to manage.

    But the good news is, I managed to get the first hour and a half of this show totally grouped! Thank you for all the tips! 

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