The man behind “PluralEyes” syncing software

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I was so impressed with PluralEyes that I decided to buy it myself. I then became an end user and followed the great video tutorial to the book, the tutorial comes as part of the download.

I choose a first communion I had filmed last weekend…that was my 20th and last year with the same primary school. As usual we produced a 2 camera shoot, now to set the technical scene…the main camera a Sony EX-3 has 1 internal mic for ambiance and 1 external mic pointing at a speaker. The second camera a Panasonic HMC151 recording to SDHC card pointing at the alter and the lectern where we had a small radio mic taped onto their goose neck mic. The radio mic was only there to pick up the priest and the children as they were speaking.

I brought in about 2mins of  HD footage  from both cameras, remembering the radio mic was almost inaudible as it had no speakers pointing it’s way…well I nearly fell off my seat when I pressed the sync button to discover both video and audio were in perfect sync, my hat is off to Mr Sharpe.

pluraleyes-on-dockIt took an email to discover how to invoke the PluralEyes application as it is not that clear in the tutorial, I put the blue, orange, green icon on my dock.

I also discovered a minor bug that is being looked into about creating a Multicam clip and the media being off line when it’s clearly not. Now this might be a settings problem with my FCP but Bruce and his team are looking into this one.

I sent Bruce some questions…

1. I notice in your tutorial it mentions starting a new project…can you not start a new sequence in an older
project and call it PluralEyes.  If not why not. (Reason. It would be great to re-visit older 2-3 camera projects 
to re-sync them)

Good point and you’re right. There is no need to create a new project.

2. Is this application calculating sound files if so I assume HD and SD take the same time to analyze.

Yes, most of the time is taken analyzing audio, so there’s no major time difference between HD and SD. With regard to the time taken, it takes somewhat longer to process longer clips, but the more important factor is how many clips there are. It takes a few minutes to do a couple hours worth of material in 10 clips or so. But recently someone did a project with eight hours of material split among about 80 clips. That needed to run overnight. We weren’t really expecting that what’s people would do, but some do and we are looking at ways to speed it up even more.

3. I assume it’s better taking the PluralEyes ICON onto the Doc.

Sure, that works. Personally I’m a major user of Spotlight, so I hit command-spacebar, P-L-U, return to start PluralEyes. It would be nice to be able to start PluralEyes from within Final Cut but that has some limitations that mean having a separate app is the way it is for now.

4. Is there any conditions when syncing does not happen. ie. long video clips of about 60mins etc.

The PluralEyes matching algorithm is very robust under a wide range of conditions. That’s part of the secret sauce that makes it unique. About the only conditions where it might fail are (1) minimal overlap (e.g., 20 seconds overlap between two hour-long clips), or (2) really atrocious audio. An example of the latter was some clips we pulled from YouTube of a concert. One of the videos was taken on a cell phone and the person was making a loud phone call which drowned out the music. That proved to be a bit much. But for anything less extreme, it has proven to be very reliable over many hundreds of tests.

Having said that, we are always looking to improve the algorithm and are eager to investigate any time PluralEyes doesn’t work as expected.

5. Is this the level of fantastic support other customers can expect or will it usually be Monday to Friday 9-5

Ha, ha! YES! 🙂 It’s a result of a couple of things. First, we had hundreds of beta testers over a period of a few months, so most of the problems have been ironed out. The number of support incidents is therefore fairly small and we can spend the time needed to take care of them.  And, as above, we are very interested in making PluralEyes as solid as possible. We take very seriously the goal of automatically synchronizing with just the push of one button.

Second, the product has just come out very recently so if we’ve missed any problems this is the time when they are going to show up. The sooner we get on them and fix them, the happier everyone will be.

This is indeed great software and all in cost me $189 including a CD and tax…  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED  

 http://www.singularsoftware.com/autosync/index.htm

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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