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Multicam Workflow, Including Color Grading & Sound Mixing

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:20 pm
by MayaMedia
Hello! I use DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.6.3 on OS X 14.1.1.

I have used the old Multicam workflow and then, after a break, started to again. Seeing there was a new multicam workflow, I watched many video tutorials on it, including one by Blackmagic, plus by YouTubers Jason Roberts, Camera Tim, MrAlexTech, Darren Mostyn, Kevin Stratvert and Casey Faris.

I am either missing something, or the new workflow has limitations.

The actual syncing of footage works well. But, once into the editing, the problems start.

Audio: I often want to mix several audio sources, not simply switch between one or the other. The new system does not seem to lend itself to this, but I can "Open in Timeline", do the audio work (fade between mics, add reverb, etc.) Sadly, one may not export from the opened timeline, but must export with the multicam timeline. So I've exported audio only, then imported my mix into an extra track in the multicam timeline. This is most inelegant, but it works.

Color Grading: Even if I were to do all my color grading on separate clips before syncing, once I do the sync & start making cuts, I will need to tweak them again. But again, one may only tweak color grades in the open timeline, and far worse, it does not seem to update in the multicam version of the timeline. This appears to be true even if I quit & relaunch Resolve. One shot in the current project requires video noise reduction, and I always add that just before rendering, since that is so processor intensive that merely playing back is impractical. So, I do need to do color grading late in the workflow, and cannot do it solely at the start.

Oh dear, I forgot to mention that, I have a client who likes to show multiple angles at once, highlighting 2 or 3 musicians during the concert. We did this with the old workflow, but I'm not even sure how to manage this with the new one.

Again, I may be missing something because all the tutorials I've watched or read are about multicam, but not about a full workflow that includes audio mixing and color grading. If I am not missing something, then multicam is broken in Resolve and I'll need to punt and use either Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. I have experience with those programs too, but am hoping to stay fulling Resolve. Hoping that is not necessary, but if I can't color grade, I'll have no choice.

Thank you very much for your time.

Re: Multicam Workflow, Including Color Grading & Sound Mixin

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2023 7:07 am
by Marc Wielage
So this is a concert video? I'm assuming that your cameras don't have common timecode, slaved to a multitrack recorder.

What we used to do with concerts in the 1990s and 2000s is: create a timeline with good audio and good picture (say, the wide shot). Now, take picture-only from the other angles and get it in visual sync with that. Keep at it for however long it takes until it's very close to being in sync. If you have to drop a few frames every so often -- or duplicate a few frames -- find a lull in the performance to do so.

Assuming the concert audio is continuous and does not change from camera to camera, you can then stack the video tracks and switch picture-only and still get the benefit of Multicam editing. (Multicam is covered in great detail in the Resolve 18.5's Chapter 41, "Multicam Editing." starting on p. 803.

If it were me, I'd cut in a color-managed timeline so you have "some" kind of basic look in the picture, instead of having to look at Raw log files. I'd go through all the material, edit the show from top to bottom, lock the edit, and then create a new timeline. Flatten all the clips to just one track if possible (unless there's split-screens or transition effects), and use this for final color.

The mix is a good question, but I don't know the nature of what you recorded on. Ideally, a live concert would be recorded using multiple microphones and multiple tracks, and then you'd go through and ride the levels, balance the music and vocals, and figure out how to best deliver a soundtrack that works with the picture. In general, for TV show and feature mixing, they drag along a lower-res single file instead of using the original camera raw files, since it's less stressful for the processor.

Re: Multicam Workflow, Including Color Grading & Sound Mixin

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2023 4:27 pm
by MayaMedia
Thanks! I'll read those pages in the manual. Again, it's the full workflow I need.

I make sure my recording media are faster than the manufacturer demands, so I don't have any dropped frames alerts.

Yes, I do syncing with wave form analysis, and the other thing is, it seemed to work better with the old system. Every clip would match in the old software unless the sound was particularly bad. With the new software, it's faster, but only works with a few clips, and then I have to manually sync the rest. It's a clear step backwards.

Old fashioned stacking of the files is fine, and if I can set that up for the future, I will. I don't want to use the new system again if I can avoid it. I did also note, however, that selecting several clips, right-clicking and selecting "match by waveform" is only available in certain parts of the UI, and this is frustrating. The new system simply does not seem mature.

I'll go read those pages now and hope for the best. Thank you again.

Doing basic color grading before editing is what I usually do, especially adding the Color Space Transform, but there's no getting around the fact that I need to tweak it as I go. One shot may just not quite match the last and, since this was shot outdoors, the sun just won't cooperate and stay still, so things change. :)

The fact that the open timeline adjustments of the color grade do not seem to update, even after relaunching the software, is disturbing.

Re: Multicam Workflow, Including Color Grading & Sound Mixin

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:20 pm
by MayaMedia
Thank you again. I had to go finish another project, but I'm back to this one now.

Sadly, it still doesn't work. I now have 3 different color grades for one shot, but can't seem to change them. I've attached the png files. The muddiest one is a result of trying to copy & paste a grade, but this seemed to just apply the grade twice.

It's a mess, and I'm now afraid I'll need to simply start all over again. There is nothing about the new system that makes things easier for me; it only makes the program more labyrinthine and I'm ready to just go back to Final Cut Pro if I must.

The manual page says it should work:

If you want access all of the angles within a multicam clip for grading, right-click it and choose “Open in Timeline” to expose each angle within a superimposed stack. Then you can open the Color page and grade whatever angles you want…

It also says:

…you’ll want to turn on Unmix in the Color page viewer so that you can actually see the currently selected angle in the Thumbnail Timeline while you work.

But that button does nothing as far as I can tell.
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