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Rough Sync to Real / Actual Time

Explorer ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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Hi everyone, quick - but important question.

We are doing a project in which we'll have a couple of cameras sync'd with timecode. However, there will be quite a few other cameras in the vicinity taking videos as well that will not have the capability to do timecode, including cameras in the audience. We are hoping to figure out a way to roughly position the camera footage on the timeline based on actual time since all cameras do have some sort of timestamp (we'll remind folks to check the time on their devices). We are not looking for frame accurate placement, but even within a few seconds would save us hours of time.

Any idea if there is a way to align footage to real world time? Any ideas would be helpful.

Thanks,

Mark

www.manhattanbeachstudios.net

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LEGEND ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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There's no automatic way to do this in PP natively.  Auto-sync methods are limited to sound, timecode and edit points like markers/In/Out.

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Explorer ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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Do you think that there is a manual way, or a way to do this via plugin. If we receive 100 videos taken via individual cell phones, it would be ideal to convert the clips to some uniform standard - e.g., real time. Hoping that there is an idea. Once they're sync'd, even roughly, we can manually align that sequence with the time locked sequence and we'll have a great start.

Open to any ideas. My only guess is to go into each clip and change the starting time of the sequence timecode to the 'created date' time and hope. Very very clunky.

Thx!  Fingers crossed that there might be an idea -

Mark

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LEGEND ,
Nov 23, 2017 Nov 23, 2017

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Cell phone videos generally don't work in PP.  You might want to look into using a consumer-level NLE if you're going to have 100 of them.

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Explorer ,
Nov 23, 2017 Nov 23, 2017

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Thanks Jim. This is missing the point. This is a professional video production that is using Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator, and happens to also be using contributed videos as well. Even a quick cursory search of the internet reveals that there are thousands of tools available that can convert one format of video to any other format, and Premiere is fully capable of editing plenty of formats. The question remains how to get them on the timeline in relative proximity to where they happened in real life, or where they happened in life relative to one another. That offers two choices, neither is rocket science, but neither may exist - but smart people can sometimes come up with solutions. The first is to 1. automatically convert the real world time to some equivalent timecode and load it into Premiere in MultiCam. Alternatively, 2. somehow assign a timecode to the clips that related to real world time. We know exactly what time the clip was taken (at least to the second in many cases, the minute in others), so there is a universal timecode. The question is how to convert that into something usable.

Even if the contributed clips have a different timecode reference than the professional camera timecode, we really then only have two things to sync (the contributed sequence and the professional sync'd sequence) rather than hundreds.

I'm looking for any out-of-the-box idea. For what it's worth, there are lots of uses for this beyond our little 6 hour event.

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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That needs to start prior to the shoot. Make sure that all your cameras/recorders have their TC generators set to free run and set them as close as possible to the actual time. It will shorten your syncing process considerably if the recorders do not start and stop during the taping. If they do, you will have to figure out the offset - the difference in time code for each real - and use that to try to get the rest of the clips in sync.

Of course if you can have something that is visible to all of the cameras - even for  second, that will provide a sound and visual clue - like a film clap board - that will make your life much easier.

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Explorer ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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This isn't the fact pattern. Our cameras will be sync'd, but it is impossible to have people who are submitting videos from the crowd sync their cameras with our. In a perfect world ... but not in this case.

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Explorer ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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We're spread out over more than a mile. Absent a lighting strike, we won't have a sync signal that all cameras would see.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 22, 2017 Nov 22, 2017

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You might want to try syncing all of the cameras to audio in the multicam sequence setting and see if the results are acceptable.

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 05, 2017 Dec 05, 2017

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You may want to look into Vegas to prep your footage. The advantage would be that Vegas can be scripted to do a variety of things. I have heard there are several parachute jump companies using that feature to sync cameras from jumps.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 15, 2023 Aug 15, 2023

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It is shocking to me reading the responses below on this topic..   You have people suggesting cell phone or action camera video cant possibly be used in professional production.. people missing the point suggesting time code audio generators.. and people missing the point suggesting syncing by audio.. Premiere isnt just professional use software anymore, and the definition of professional includes YouTube quality video now, not just Cinema. 

 

Fact is this is a simple request.. when I highlight clips and create a multi-camera sequence, just give me the option under "Syncronize point" to use date/time the file was modified which is usually the date/time it was filmed.

 

I recall several years ago during a Rally (cars driving on 10+ mile stretches of dirt roads) a competeitor asking people to send in clips they took of their car on a rally stage.. something like this would be perfect to quickly align files across many devices on a timeline likely within a few seconds margin.   

In my case, its youtube use but I want to use video from my Insta360 X3 and have Premiere align them to my gopro footage from 2 other cameras.  Across 4 hours of fishing and using loop mode that creates 1 minute increment videos, I need an automatic alignment based on time created. 

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