5 ways to a better multi-cam production

​​Broadcasters of all kinds increasingly look to multi-camera production to deliver exciting footage that immerses viewers in the action. However, producing multi-cam footage can be extremely challenging, especially when multi-cam means loads of cameras and hundreds of hours of footage to be sorted, edited and finished.

It’s unsurprising, then, that the production process of multi-cam filming is lengthy; hours can be spent uploading and labeling content before the editing process even begins. Once the content is stored centrally, attention must be turned to the challenges surrounding workflows and feed management within the editing process. Maintaining an efficient process is crucial in maximizing your content’s potential. Time can easily be wasted searching for files, using disorganized review workflows and swapping between cuts of feeds. An effective editing system can overhaul content production and help get that content to viewers quicker. Here are 5 ways to improve your next multi-camera production. 

Leverage your metadata

Metadata can transform how you search for your content. Are you looking for content shot by a certain camera? Or are you looking for content of a certain presenter? Instead of trawling through hundreds of folders or thousands of hours of footage, marking content with metadata enables you to use a search function and quickly retrieve the content needed to enhance the broadcast. Adding searchable metadata will save a huge amount of time when you compound the savings over your entire project. 

Prioritize managing your feeds

Editing multiple feeds brings its own challenges. Matching timecodes across different feeds can take time. Even just determining what feed to use can be complex when handling lots of content. This complexity can often result in editing resources being exhausted through carrying out repetitive tasks. This is why you must prioritize managing your feeds. 

Content selection and matching can be done efficiently through an interface that simultaneously allows editing while clearly displaying multiple feeds on one screen, with relevant information accessible through simple navigation.

Streamline your workflows

Highly efficient workflows create better work – and more of it. Throughout post-production, the production team will rely on optimized communication. With a large number of moving parts, the editing and reviewing process requires more than one person –  typically a full team. Ensuring that the entire workflow is logical and dynamic is vital. It is important that the systems in place can enable tiered permissions to allow certain users to perform specific tasks. For example, editors need to be able to make significant changes while producers just need an overview of the content to make suggestions. 

Having a solution that creates a tailored user experience based on a person’s role not only improves the workflow, but also ensures that the correct people have full access to content when required.

Use proxies for faster post-production

The amount of resources needed to access, obtain and edit large video files is immense. Additionally, transferring large files within the editing process can become a time-consuming task. Using a proxy file circumvents the task of retrieving the full-size master file. 

More than just adding the benefit of using proxies, the dual proxy record mode can revolutionize the editing process when handling thousands of hours of content. By simultaneously recording master cameras with a low-res editing proxy, post-production teams can work through the footage while making edits – without spending hours and hours on content exports alternating between the low-res and high-res file types.

Centralize content storage

Writing directly to the cloud is becoming an increasingly popular option within the production processes. Infrastructures are now in place to enable content to be both stored and processed solely within the cloud, if and when required. Many productions now choose to manage multi-cam content in the cloud since its flexibility improves cost and allows for many operational efficiencies. For example,  have your media ingested directly to the location of your editors. No transferring media, copying media from one space to another saves time and headaches. The cloud can offer varying levels of services, allowing production teams to tailor their use of the cloud to their projects. 

With multi-cam projects potentially creating hundreds of hours of content per day, many production teams benefit hugely from having cloud-based management of their assets. Storage can be quickly dialed up if a project runs over by a couple of days, offering a flexible and dynamic infrastructure. Additionally, cloud-based editing and feed management allow for minimal hardware infrastructure, resulting in lower overhead and more flexibility within the workforce.

Ultimately, multi-cam productions can deliver a much more engaging experience for viewers. However, this type of production is not without its challenges. Having cloud-based workflows and the right tools and processes in place can make those multi-cam productions seamless, helping the production team focus on creating great content.

On top of all of the before mentioned benefits, cloud storage allows for the safety of the data. There are too many resources being used to capture that data; it holds much more value than just the cost of the media it’s on. Cloud storage introduces redundancy to your workflow, better protecting that valuable data. 

Create your own 3G to 12G SDI, NDI, SRT, IP2110 ingest solution with Cinedeck CD2

CD2 Ingest software is a Windows-based ingest application that provides all the features and benefits of Cinedeck’ hardware platforms but as a software-only product. Cinedeck has have been doing multicam for nearly a decade and have a robust solution as a result. Edit while ingest, playlist and playout along with ingest scheduling are just a few of the features that Cinedeck CD2 offers.

Cinedeck CD2’s recording capabilities include channel count, framerate and resolution. It has frame-accurate recording for one or more groups of channels on the same server, or across multiple servers. It is able to record hi-res and proxy files per channel, then route each file type to a separate storage volume. For instance, have all your 4K encodes write to a one storage space while the matching proxies write to another volume. During recording, each time the user specified duration is reached or the manual ‘break’ button is pressed, the current file is closed and the next segment file begins. Previous segments can be fully-accessed for playing, copying and more. 

Cinedeck CD2 supports modes of control including VDCP over IP, AMP, RS422, RS232 and a REST API. For RS422, Cinedeck CD2 works as both controller and controlled device. Drag and drop its capture into editing applications for immediate editing. That means you can edit while you capture with Premiere in XDCAM Op1A and ProRes MOV or Avid in XDCAM and DNxHD/HR with Avid Media Central. 

The software can also record a redundant file to a local internal SSD independent of a network’s health. For example, send primary 4K and proxy clips to shared storage for redundant 4K to an SSD. You can schedule a single or group of channels for one-time or repeated records. 

Parameters for recordings can be set on a per-schedule basis. For example, you can customize the schedule with presets. Playback for one or more channels, also known as ganged playback, is available. When a channel recording is stopped or played, controls become available for playback control. A simple playlist feature is available on the new user interface where you can select clips, mark in/out and order the list of clips for playback.

Click here to learn more about  Cinedeck CD2.

Cinedeck are a group of outside-the-box thinkers creating workflows that are inventive, direct and make plain sense.

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