12 tracks of hdv kicking my butt!

Laurence wrote on 6/4/2010, 6:59 AM
I shot video for a project in which a bunch of children are doing choreographed dancing and lipsyncing to background tracks. I have 12 tracks of video of the same thing from different angles. My idea was to switch between different angles to make the final video.

The problem is that Vegas and my hard drives can not handle that many tracks all at once. I suppose it is a lot to ask. I hit play and it doesn't start for 20 or more seconds, edit points aren't precise, etc.

Any way around this? It seems to be more the hard disk speed than the CPU that isn't keeping up. Would a RAID system handle this much throughput? How about an SSD in an external eSATA case? I could do proxies I suppose except that that would involve a couple of days of rendering out the proxies while I couldn't use the computer for much else other than web browsing.

What is really frustrating is that this was supposed to be a simple job that I'm doing as a favor for my wife's friend.


Spot|DSE wrote on 6/4/2010, 7:16 AM
ARAID might help, but nothing is gonna decode all 12 without some hiccups. Can you run in Draft, make your rough cuts, slip edit and RAM render? That's how I'd approach it since time is a factor.
Laurence wrote on 6/4/2010, 7:22 AM
I've gone through all the tracks and lined them up by hand so the timing is right. I've put markers on beats where the edits will be so that I can still edit even with sloppy preview time. I'm automating the mutes on the various tracks so that it doesn't try to play them all at once. I've just put eight gig of RAM in the computer so that I can "shift-b" preview 1 gigabyte sections (in Vegas 64 bit) which is nice.

One really frustrating thing is that every time I hit play there is a long lag before it starts to play. That really slows things down.
kkolbo wrote on 6/4/2010, 7:27 AM

WOW. That is asking a lot of a system. The only other thing that might help some is to put the source on multiple hard drives so that you have streams coming from different places. In the end I think you will probably bottleneck in the bus. Small size proxies would reduce the bandwidth trying to push down the bus, but in the end, 12 synced tracks will be taxing on the system. The mute method that you described is the other thing I was going to suggest.
PeterWright wrote on 6/4/2010, 7:48 AM
Not my idea - from memory it was from Ed Troxel and Gary Kleiner - but once you've lined up all the tracks:

1. Engage Vegas built-in Multi camera, so you have all 12 tracks on screen at once.
2. Render to new track - this gives you a single track with all the info, so preview is perfect.
3. Go through and make all your cuts between cameras as with usual multi camera process.
4. Mute the New Track and render out......

I may have missed out something, but in principle. this approach makes it work easily.
Laurence wrote on 6/4/2010, 8:04 AM
Wow that's a great idea! Can you still switch with the rendered 12 channel track? It seems like a smart way to work, but I'm fuzzy on the details of how to actually pull it off.
musicvid10 wrote on 6/4/2010, 8:14 AM
I don't think creating a multicam track will reduce the system load -- you'll be working with all twelve sources. Maybe I didn't understand the suggestion completely.

Would rendering all twelve tracks to NeoScene be an option?
winrockpost wrote on 6/4/2010, 8:19 AM
Wow Laurence, thats gotta be as many angles as monday night football,,, thats quite a favor you are doing... I don't think you are going to get 12 hd tracks going anywhere close... maybe cut this one on paper by knowing the angles then dropping in on two or three tracks and tweak from there... good luck!
Laurence wrote on 6/4/2010, 8:26 AM
Well in retrospect, I'd probably shoot less angles if I was to do it again. It's kids doing choreography and they make a lot of mistakes. They are also lip syncing and doing motions specific to different parts of the song so I can't grab from one part and use it for another. When we were shooting we shot a lot of takes and I kept moving the camera. Every take has good parts but a lot of mistakes between the good parts. Editing it together is turning out to be way more challenging than I ever imagined.
K-Decisive wrote on 6/4/2010, 9:15 AM
I did something like this a while ago. I think I had 8 tracks from a pani200 and 10 from my canon7D, not using proxies. I just went ahead and set markers to the music and didn't care if the playback was in real time. As I went through and picked each clip for that measure from the big matrix of death, I would split and cut out the rest ( not using multi cam ). Once everything was down to one clip per measure it was fairly workable. Sounds like a lot of work, but I was able to do the whole thing in 1 1/2 nights. The drawback of staying in multicam (instead of doing it the dumb and hard way) is that it eats all those extra resources.
Sebaz wrote on 6/4/2010, 9:38 AM
Laurence, I think the only way for you to do this is with proxies, and really tiny ones. Even then, a RAID would help, but the obvious way to me is to use Proxy Stream to create small size proxies. First of all you might want to think if 12 angles is the way to go. It seems a little excessive to me, like the viewer would get overwhelmed of looking at the same thing from so many angles. Not to mention that it will be overwhelming for you to have twelve different tiny pieces of footage on the screen that you have to look at to pick the one you want at that particular time.

However, if you are set on making it that way, you have to render proxies to either mxf or create a MPEG2 profile that in your case should be 720x480 widescreen. Using Proxy Stream to render to that should be pretty fast. Then after you make all the cuts and angles decisions you can revert back to the HDV footage to apply color correction or any videofx you might need.

Note that if you run ProxyStream under Vegas 9 64 bit you have to start Vegas as administrator, or it won't work.
ddm wrote on 6/4/2010, 10:06 AM
I'm guessing you don't have Excallibur? It's multicam feature has a nice ability to render a picture in picture view of your multitrack timeline, and puts it as the top layer so all you're playing is a single rendered avi, yet you still have the ability to go thru and select each camera shot as you go. You might be able to do this in the Vegas Multicam process, I've had Excallibur for so long that I've never even tried the built in feature.

Excallibur also has a great little feature that I find invaluable, when doing multicam, once you're happy with your edits, and you let excallibur assemble the finished multicam track, each cut is made up of "takes" so if there is a shot that you might want to replace, you can select it and hit the "T" key to toggle thru all of the other cameras. Using the quad split view, or in your case, a 16 camera view, it's sometimes hard to tell exactly how good a shot might be, it might go in and out of focus, and you wouldn't be able to see that in such a small window, until you get it back to fullscreen.

I've done up to 9 cameras with no issues, I usually don't even bother rendering a pip track, but 12 cameras might be pushing vegas over the edge, I've never had the 20 second delay before it even starts playing, it's just usually dropping frames like mad, and previewing in draft helps that out quite a bit.
Laurence wrote on 6/4/2010, 10:15 AM
I actually do have Excalibur. Did you do nine tracks of HD or was it 9 tracks of SD?
ddm wrote on 6/4/2010, 11:05 AM
The nine tracks I did was SD, and I just did a 4 cam HD project (no sweat) and a 7 camera mixed format. If you use the "create pip" track then it should be a breeze, since you'll only be playing back one hd avi when picking all your shots.
pascualjr wrote on 6/4/2010, 11:12 AM
I've done 9 tracks of NeoScene .avi files from original avchd files a couple of times. All files were on a RAID. Never used Vegas' built-in multicam having always used VASST's InfinitiCam. Also muted all audio tracks except one. Still choppy (lots of dropped frames) during playback while editing on the fly. But it was do-able. Really a brain fryer! I don't want to do that again. 6 - 7 tracks max. lately.
farss wrote on 6/4/2010, 3:45 PM
Try reducing your Preview RAM to 32MB or to 0.
That may cure your latency problem. Of course you'll not be able to do a RAM preview until you change it back but for timing your basic cuts having the RAM Preview disabled might get you there.

Sebaz wrote on 6/4/2010, 5:40 PM
Not my idea - from memory it was from Ed Troxel and Gary Kleiner - but once you've lined up all the tracks:

Sorry, but this approach doesn't do much at all to alleviate disk grinding and CPU processing. The only thing these steps accomplish is to render to another format of your choice the track that is currently selected in the multicam workspace. Which is pretty obvious anyway, because render to new track is meant to render what you're seeing on the monitor. The render engine cannot render many tracks at once to a new track that will allow you to choose between those tracks. You can render as many tracks as you want to a new track, if you tile them evenly or something like that, but once it's in the new track, you can't choose takes anymore. Try it yourself, create a multicam track, enable multicam editing to see the 3 or 4 tracks tiled on the monitor, select a small loop, render to new track to mxf or Mpeg2 and once it's finished, select the new track. Yes, you'll see the multicam working space, but now mute the original multicamera track. You'll see that the tracks you had before are gone, and now the light blue frame is around the track just rendered, which consists of only one angle.
PeterWright wrote on 6/4/2010, 6:31 PM
I think you've missed the point Sebaz - the render to new track is of the multicam view, so you end up having a single track displaying all 12 pics. This doesn't, admittedly mean you have the tally light changing as you select different cams, but it enables you to make exactly the same decisions with a full frame playback. You can even render the temporary track as SD DV. Playing back a single DV track instead of 12 should save quite a bit of "disk grinding and CPU processing."

- and by the way, the built-in Multicam facility also uses takes, so you can change your mind on which camera or cut/dissolve point any time.
Sebaz wrote on 6/4/2010, 7:04 PM
Wait, but enabling multicam editing and rendering to a new track doesn't render the multicam workspace that Vegas lays out for you. I tried that before my post with a three track multicam, showing the three tracks in tile in choosing mode, for calling it some way, but the new track will only have the track that was selected before. At first you keep seeing the three tracks, but once you mute the original multicam track, you end up with just one track, or angle.

What you want to achieve might be valid if you just want to preview and take notes, but for all the angles or tracks to show in the rendered new track, you have to tile all the multicam tracks manuallly using pan and crop in each of them, unless somebody created a script for that.

To me, however, it's still more useful to create proxies of very small size and bitrate so all 12 angles can be played in real multicam view, so you can choose while playing, and then replace back the sources when you're ready to render the final product.
ddm wrote on 6/4/2010, 11:10 PM
I can't say that the render to new track works in the Vegas multicam mode (never tried it), but it definitely works exactly as PeterWright described in Excalibur's multicam, and Lawrence says he owns excalibur, so I don't know how it could be much easier.
Laurence wrote on 6/5/2010, 5:59 AM
Try reducing your Preview RAM to 32MB or to 0.

I have 8 GB of RAM in my laptop. Shouldn't I be able to have a large RAM preview and still have plenty of RAM dedicated to the regular Vegas function?
PeterWright wrote on 6/5/2010, 6:02 AM
Yes, to acknowledge both Sebaz and ddm, I hadn't realised what a big difference there was between how Excalibur and Vegas do Multi camera.

After rendering to new track with Multi cam, it certainly LOOKED as if the new track had all 12 tracks in tiled view, but FOR SOME REASON, even though the New Track was ABOVE the original Multi track, the lower track was in fact what showed in Preview - the only time I've ever known this in Vegas, so there is obviously a fundamental difference in what's happening - Forum Admin, Ed Troxel or anyone who REALLY knows, please explain.

The principle I started writing about in this thtread, which does work with Excalibur, is brilliantly efficient - an unlimited number of tracks rendered to a single track for temporary preview and decision making purposes, but although it seems that this is also happening with the built-in Multi cam, we are in fact seeing a LOWER track in preview in preference to a higher track.

I look forward to being enlightened ............ yet again!


farss wrote on 6/5/2010, 7:08 AM
" Shouldn't I be able to have a large RAM preview and still have plenty of RAM dedicated to the regular Vegas function?"

Try my suggestion and see what happens.
I think it will make a difference and the reason is that's the only buffer Vegas uses. It takes time to refill the buffer so plyaback can get moving again.


Sebaz wrote on 6/5/2010, 9:47 AM
The principle I started writing about in this thtread, which does work with Excalibur, is brilliantly efficient - an unlimited number of tracks rendered to a single track for temporary preview and decision making purposes, but although it seems that this is also happening with the built-in Multi cam, we are in fact seeing a LOWER track in preview in preference to a higher track.

I don't have Excalibur, but I guess that if Excalibur works that way, it must render lots of small size and bitrate tracks to another multicam track and then show just that new track. Otherwise, it would be just a plain track showing a tile of all the tracks, but you wouldn't be able to make any decisions.

When you do a Render to new track, the reason you see a lower track is that the lower track is multicam, while the newly rendered track is not. With Vegas set to multicam mode, then Vegas only cares about multicam tracks. As soon as you get out of that mode, you'll see the upper track.
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 6/5/2010, 10:31 AM
Multi-cam in Ultimate S Pro, and Infinity cam ( infinity cam would be the one you want to use in this case ), would work to give you a single render with all the cams setup in a pip, and then you just slip that in a track between the tally and the multi-cams, and you should be able to see a live tally update for your changes, and then be able to remove the track and process it to a master track when you're done.

This would give you a very smooth editing experience, while giving you live feedback on the chosen camera.

Please feel free to PM me, or ask if this isn't clear in some way.