Friday, September 26, 2014

New Age Recorder - like Atomos Shogun with built in NLE and shoot to track list

New Age Recorder - like Atomos Shogun but with a built in Non-Linear Editor and shoot to track list

Why not create a recorder that records right into a timeline? (I used the Atomos Shogun as a possible example, because these guys make great stuff and might be able to do it.)

The way this would work is that there would be a sequence for each scene. You would create video and audio tracks in this sequence for each of the camera angles or required audio and then shoot them in any order you want, just filling in the tracks as you shoot them.

You could then export this whole sequence EDL in Final Cut Pro X format (XML) and most NLEs will be able to load it as a rough cut. (Avid, FCP, Premiere, Smoke)  If you have to re-shoot a take, you could add more video and audio layers and they would all be organized from the beginning and your editor would save a lot of time in post. (What a wicked time saver that would be for 48 hour film people. You can shoot angles for each shoot, (by moving the cursor on the tracks before starting a record) lay them into audio and video tracks for a rough cut - the ability to just record the take on the fly into the timeline as they are shot would be killer. Then you would be able to be ready to go when you get back to edit.) If the recorder (like an Atomos Shogun) had this built in and also the ability to make in and out points on clips (as it does already) and lay those cuts into the sequences manually (in case you forgot to select a scene, etc.) - that again would be killer.

Ok -> workflow example for one scene: See diagram below
3 camera angle scene quick and dirty:
0) create a sequence for scene ONE
1) set up 4 video tracks and 4 audio tracks in the timeline (at time A)
2) select video track one and audio track one
3) record Master shot (Master in diagram)
4) select video track 2 and audio track 2 (at same time A)
5) record over the shoulder one (OTSAB)
6) select video track 3 and audio track 3 (at same time A)
7) record over the shoulder two (OTSBA)
8) select video track 4 (at same time A)
9) shoot cutaway (Cutaway_Ambient S)
10) select audio track 4 (at same time A)
11) record ambient sound (Cutaway_Ambient S)
and like that - you would have that scene it in the can.

(Yes - these would nominally be the same length. I just figured that initial cuts would be rough. You can slide them, cut them and get perfect trimming in the NLE)

This scene would be saved as the sequence for scene one. For scene two you would create a sequence for scene two and do the same sort of workflow. If you wanted to shoot multiple scenes out of sequence - you could create scenes and tracks in scenes as you needed them and fill in the tracks in each scene as you shoot them. For instance, if scene 1-10 had the same location and lighting you might shoot all of the Masters, then all of the over the shoulders, etc. so that you didn't have to change lighting and camera setups too much. In this case you could create sequences for scenes 1-10 and then record the Master for scene ONE in its sequence and then the Master for scene TWO in its sequence, or whatever order you want.

Below is an example for what this might look like interface wise (utilizing the Autodesk Smoke interface).
Note the Scene One and Scene Two sequence tabs. Most NLEs at this point allow you to save these sequences and then load them as clips in the timeline just like any other elements.

When you got to editing you would now have your videos and audio, a set of sequences (one per scene) and a list of sequences (scenes) that can be dropped into the timeline by scene number. This would be so much faster than having to line all that up in post. As you click on the sequences that are placed in the timeline in Smoke it will open the embedded sequences timeline. In this way you can edit each scene as a sequence and then edit the scenes together in the overall master sequence.

How 'bout it?!

The recorder could then use this set of sequences to organize your clips as well. You could double click onto the scene and then on the clip to either hear it or see it played back. Most recorders with a screen can do playback right now and those that don't can playback to an external monitor. The only problem now is that you have to hunt through a pile of files to find the clip you want. You can always name the clips shot 1 take one, etc. , but isn't shooting straight to tracks just so much better? Maybe the files could even be named according to the scene and track name automatically by the software in case your editing software can't read XML files (say it isn't so!), wouldn't that be great.

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