Friday, October 4, 2013

Multi-cam in two minutes or less

Last month, I posted about a new piece of software that's taking the FVA market by storm. A few days ago, I received a personal tour of the software's many features from SIFT's Customer Support Manager. But, before you go thinking that such a tour is only available to powerful and influential members of the media, or before my head swells ... every new customer gets this hands on tour of the software. Pretty cool, eh?

Anyways, back to work.

One of the features that really stood out to me was their implementation Multi-Angle Video Display (multi-cam mode). Remember that FlexView Pro isn't an NLE, so there's no editing involved. Here, we're taking the videos as they are, in their native formats and running them in sync for display purposes. I've had to set these jobs up countless times after big incidents involving multiple cameras, or where suspects show up on multiple cameras / or multiple systems (in the case of pursuits).

SIFT's FlexView Pro allows users to view multiple video files at the same time for analysis/comparison/display. There are three methods with which users are able to create Multi-Element Assets:
1. Using the Multi-Angle Import , to import organized folders of video
2. Copying/Pasting Clipboard to Asset, from one asset to another asset
3. Add File to Asset, as an additional angle to an asset

The best part of this functionality is the Sync-Lock. If two Elements of an Asset are not recorded in sync together, the Sync-Lock tool can adjust their timelines so they will play back in sync.

With Sync-lock, the LOCK button allows for the Elements timelines to be Locked or Unlocked in relation to each other.

Simply scrub each video's time line to the point where they are in sync. Then click on the Lock. When playback begins, they will be in sync.

So for this example, the videos were loaded, sync'd and locked in less than two minutes. You can choose to play the videos back on your computer, or package the project up for distribution (includes a free player in the distribution package).

Import multiple camera views, sync them up, lock them down, and view them in just a few steps. No worries about converting the files to something your NLE will accept - FlexView handles anything that will display in Windows Media Player, and Milestone files as well. (If you need a container conversion, you know how to do that quickly as well.) No worries about expensive hardware. I ran the test on my famous $350 Lenovo laptop.

After the tour, the discussion about business models was quite illustrative of the mindset of the newcomers to the FVA market. Rather than extending the life of decades old tech to squeeze out every last dime of profit, these new players are giving us entirely new, purpose built software based on our needs as they are today, with flexibility to handle tomorrows issues. That's a plan that appeals to the geek in me. And, it's that kind of attentiveness to the emerging needs of law enforcement that will win them many customers in the days and months to come.


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