[00:00:00] For NAB this year, I came up with a method of providing short news stories from the show floor shot on a professional camera, delivered to vertical social media within hours of shooting, but which could then be repurposed for standard 4K widescreen delivery after the show, all based on Open Gate shooting and the ATOMOS Camera to Cloud workflow.
[00:00:19] I shot a short video before NAB showing off the actual gear we used, and I encourage you to watch that if you haven’t seen it already. In this video, I’ll explain the overall project concept, review the workflow in a bit more detail, and show you the final output in 4K!
[00:00:36] There were two objectives of this project. The first, consumer facing objective, was to deliver a constant flow of professional quality “news” segments from the NAB show floor to social media, reporting on whatever cool technology we stumbled upon, in as close to realtime as possible. The idea was really to provide a little NAB experience for those who couldn’t attend in person, or even for those who WERE at NAB to see what they might have missed and wanted to check out before they left.
[00:01:01] The second objective though was as a case study. I proposed this idea to ATOMOS — who ultimately sponsored it — as a real world example of how to deliver high quality short form vertical content in near realtime while not sacrificing final delivery of traditional widescreen, more thoughtfully edited content, later.
[00:01:19] This workflow can apply to any event where both immediate updates AND longer form recaps are desired. Conferences and trade shows for example, political debates and rallies, sporting events; especially long form ones like marathons, or heck, even the Olympics!
[00:01:33] Literally anything where you want to provide IMMEDIATE bite size segments, AND traditionally edited content later, and don’t want to shoot everything twice, don’t want to have two crews, and most importantly, don’t want to sacrifice quality on either deliverable. That’s what we wanted to achieve, and what we set out to prove would work. So let’s get into how it was done.
[00:01:53] We shot with a vertically mounted LUMIX S5II in Open Gate mode, which, since the camera was vertical, made for a 2:3 aspect ratio image, at 3968 pixels wide by 5952 tall. Ultra HD 16:9 is of course 3840 wide by 2160 tall, so you can already see that the 3968 wide we got from this 6K Open Gate image, even rotated vertically, is more than we needed for the UltraHD deliverable. The 6K files were recorded internally in the LUMIX S5II to SD cards in V-Log, 4:2:0 10-bit, HEVC codec at 200Mbps.
[00:02:28] So, that’s the 6K file for use later, but what about realtime delivery? The S5II can record internally in 6K while simultaneously outputting 4K over HDMI. Since we were shooting V-Log internally, I set the camera to embed a Rec.709 LUT in the HDMI output, so the social media editor didn’t have to deal with Log footage.
[00:02:47] The camera’s HDMI output fed into an ATOMOS Ninja V+ with the ATOMOS CONNECT system attached to it. We could have actually used the original Ninja V and the ATOMOS Connect, or the Shogun Connect if we wanted a bigger 7” monitor, or even the ATOMOS ZATO connect, a lower cost 5” monitor which only does camera to cloud, and doesn’t record like the Ninja does, but because we actually didn’t care about the ProRes “originals” created by the Ninja V+, the ZATO would have been just fine.
[00:03:13] For our use, the original, for editing later, was what was being recorded in camera. The ATOMOS Connect ultimately converted the incoming 4K HDMI feed to HD “proxy” clips to push to the cloud — although for us those weren’t proxies, but in fact our new social media originals.
[00:03:29] Those “proxy” files, since vertical, are Full HD 1080 wide by 1920 tall. ATOMOS Connect pushes those HD files to the ATOMOS Cloud, which then transfers to frame.io. Our internet connection on the show floor was provided by a bonded cellular modem that we carried in a backpack from a company called Sclera; there’s a link to their service in the description below.
[00:03:48] One thing to know about these vertical HD clips; since the aspect ratio of the source is 2:3, that meant there was some letterboxing on the 9:16 clips. You’ll see how that played out in a moment.
[00:04:00] On the NAB show floor, we shot interviews and b-roll of whatever stories we wanted to cover. The footage that ultimately hit frame.io was then grabbed by a remote editor, who edited them into vertical shorts. This was the entire purpose of this project while we were on the show floor; to get professionally edited, sub 90 second news clips up to social media as quickly as possible.
[00:04:20] The editor would cut the stories, push them back to frame.io where we would review and approve, and then another person took those approved files from frame.io and posted them to our socials.
[00:04:30] Both Instagram and TikTok will take 1080x1920 vertical HD video, so the letterboxed clips needed to be scaled up about 15% to fill the frame, which we deemed acceptable.
[00:04:40] So that’s how the editor took our 2:3 aspect ratio footage up to 9:16; he scaled up a little bit, trimming off the letterbox, which also cropped the sides a bit. So, another option of course in editing if the full width of the frame was needed would be to split the vertical frame, and have some b-roll at the top or bottom, or maybe add some text… lots of ways to edit something vertically.
[00:04:59] Anyway, that summarizes the social delivery aspect. 9:16 HD clips uploaded to the cloud, remotely edited, and pushed to social media.
[00:05:10] Then, after the show, we could re-edit traditional landscape Ultra HD from the vertical 6K source. At this point, there would be no way — or at least, no easy way — to match back to the vertical edits, but that was never the intention. The vertical HD news bites were for social shorts, and by definition, short lived.
[00:05:26] I wasn’t interested in making 4K version of the exact same content, although I did put together a compilation of all my news shorts into a single video on my YouTube channel, as a place to see them all together. Aaron Parecki, my partner on the show floor in this project, did something similar. I’ll link to all of his videos below.
[00:05:42] As a side note to re-posting in this format; I didn’t know how well that would be received by my audience; some viewers have a particular aversion to vertical video, but this compromise seemed to work well, and the comments showed that the viewers appreciated it. Cool!
[00:05:54] When it came to cutting 16:9 horizontal video from the 2:3 vertical source, of course there are some challenges. Some shots that were framed for vertical end up being a little tight when cut horizontally. But this was something to keep in mind when framing every shot on the show floor — remembering that those vertical frames will end up being cut horizontal as well.
[00:06:12] But in the end, it came out great. Here, have a look. Here’s a brief NAB recap, cut from the 6K vertical footage for 4K widescreen delivery, balanced and graded from V-log! Enjoy.
[00:06:42] What do you got here, Josh? You’re showing off your new rig here at Kondor Blue booth.
Josh Yeo: Yeah. So, the Orbit, the latest thing is the new cinema arm attachment which basically - when we did the kickstarter for Orbit, we had the regular arms - they can hold like 10 pound camera weight fully extended but the motor itself is way overbuilt. It actually can hold my body weight. I’ve tested it. My partner won’t like me saying that but it definitely does.
- Don’t try this at home.
Josh Yeo: Yeah.
[00:07:18] I’m on the Blackmagic booth and DaVinci Resolve has been updated to 18.5… I’m here with my buddy Shawn - what is new?
Blackmagic: Well, there are number of things but if I started the top, I probably want to focus on the speech-to-text which we can generate in subtitles directly in a timeline. We can generate speech-to-text as transcription into the media pool on clips. This also allows us to search and then to create text-based selections for our editing.
[00:07:45] But now we get to talk about something that is new from ATOMOS itself in the ATOMOS Cloud.
ATOMOS: We now have cloud editing. So, we have ATOMOS Edit.
- What this means is that you don’t have to download the footage from frame.io that is being uploaded by a camera to cloud solution like we’re doing right now. Our editor could literally be editing footage in the cloud without downloading it at all.
ATOMOS: The proxy file is going immediately up into the edit, into ATOMOS Edit. Add some nice titles, graphics, branding, whatever you want to do, and then directly publish to social like YouTube or Vimeo.
[00:08:15] This thing is beautiful. David’s going to tell us all about it. What have we got here?
Aputure: Alright, guys. So, this is a new version of our kits. It’s not just a new version of the MC lights, it’s also a pro version which means they are waterproof and they have more punch than the previous versions.
[00:08:29] So, they come in a kit of eight. We have two types of diffusers for them. First, we have a basic diffuser which converts them from a hard punchy source back to the original one, so it’s soft. if you want even more softness, you can round it up and then it becomes an omnidirectional source. Furthermore, we have another type of diffuser which you have been requesting many times and we’ve heard you. So, it is a grid which attaches just like this.
[00:08:57] RØDE: Welcome to the RØDE booth over here with B&H and RØDE. So, I’m going to talk about two different interfaces that we’ve launched. The RØDECaster Duo and the Streamer X. So, starting with the RØDECaster Duo, it is a compact version of the RØDECaster Pro II. It has the same powerful digital features. It gives you the dual USB, the smart pads, Bluetooth connectivity, custom routing, all of that.
We’ve also debuted another new RØDECaster Pro and RØDECaster Duo, the feature at the show which is wireless connectivity directly to the RØDECaster Series.
- What do we got here?
Kondor Blue: First of all, how did you know about it? You know all the secrets before they come out.
- I know a thing or two here and there.
[00:09:43] Kondor Blue: Yeah. Well, we both have good friends over at Panasonic and they’re the ones who came to us and said, “Hey, these Pro-Blades from SanDisk are legit. These are the drives that we want to be recording on all of our GH6 and S5IIx cameras.” So, they said, “There’s no way to use them on a camera yet. Is there something that you can do?” So, we talked with Western Digital and SanDisk, collaborated to figure out how to get this done and here it is at the show.
[00:10:09] There’s only four in existence but we’ll have them available really soon here. Probably end of May or early June. Basically you’re able to use this ProBlade SanDisk handles and slide them right into your rig. Some people don’t even know there’s an SSD on here.
- Tell us what we’ve got.
[00:10:24] Deity: So, this is a 32-bit stereo recorder which is gonna do two lavalieres into it if you have a Y-split, or you can do a stereo microphone into it. Here, I’ve got a single mono lavaliere going in. It’s 32-bit float, which means you’re not going to distort and because it’s so small, it will drop into your pocket. It locks up so you can’t accidentally stop the record. So, if you throw it in someone’s pocket, you’re good to go.
[00:10:44] Battery life is going to be 30 hours, 300% more than the competitors on the market and what’s really great about this is microSD card up to 128. So, it’s easily going to hold all your audio for your shoots. Great for the TikTokers out there who want a great audio and not want to distort a clip but also don’t want to worry about audio when you’re actually doing the fun stuff like shooting video.
[00:11:12] This project came out great! We learned a lot and if we repeat this, there’s always room for improvement. Ultimately, it’s a really interesting use case in the camera to cloud workflow, providing immediate social gratification and simultaneously providing full quality footage for later delivery.
[00:11:27] If you’re interested in doing something like this at your event, hopefully this video provided what you need to know to get it all set up, but if you want to talk about it further, there’s a link below where you can schedule a meeting with me to discuss. You can also join my YouTube channel as a member, which provides access to my private Discord channel, and I’ll do my best to answer questions about it there. Thanks for watching, and see you in the next video.