Three Angles From Just One 4K Shot – Odyssey 7Q Titan Video Tutorial

Convergent Design recently released the Titan update for their Odyssey 7Q and Apollo lines that allows you to extract different HD angles from a single 4K live source. In this guest post, UK-based filmmaker Jonathan Warner runs us through the benefits of using this workflow.

In all spheres of business, the competitive landscape generates significant pressure for companies to remain profitable, or even stay afloat. Perhaps for this reason, some corporate clients have acquired a tendency to further tighten the purse strings. However, as content creators it’s important that we provide exceptional value for money so our clients remain happy and are more likely to keep commissioning work from us! That’s why I’m always looking at ways to streamline the workflow, or wring out as much productivity from the equipment I use as I can.

For example, one of my clients requires me to record business presentations that involve demonstrations of thousands of products over the course of a few days. The presentations need shooting for live projection around the conference room and, in addition, the recordings need to be uploaded to the client’s corporate intranet quickly after each presentation. In all cases, on-screen text needs to be generated on the fly for each product. Each product presented needs to be shot with a combination of wide and close-ups, which would ordinarily require multiple camera setups with two or more operators, increasing the cost. But there is another option.

titan

The Titan feature for the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ – 3 angles from a single 4K source

I recently purchased the Titan feature for my Odyssey 7Q+ which allows me to switch to multiple HD outputs from a 4K source. This means being able to go from a full wide-shot to cropped windows, effectively mimicking the effect of having a multi-camera setup. As the single camera stays in the same position, the perspective remains the same, but the ability to switch between wide and close-up very quickly as a single operator is certainly a boon.

The Titan feature gives you two cropped HD windows that you can move anywhere within the 4K frame with your finger on the touch screen. You can even change their position before cutting to one of them, allowing you to frame up your shot in advance. You can also move the window of the shot that’s currently selected, simulating a pan move.

In order to add on-screen text and graphics, I also use a Roland V-1HD vision mixer, which allows me to take the output of the Odyssey and mix it with graphics outputted from a laptop. Sometimes I use the output from Adobe Premiere, or if it’s just text I’ll use PowerPoint. In both instances, a black luma key on the Roland removes all the black parts of the image, leaving just the graphics that I want.

And that’s just one example of how to use the Titan feature of the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+. Since having this gear, I’ve been asked by a number of other clients to do similar work. The idea is to try and become as indispensable and useful as possible, providing that added value that customers demand.

For more information, visit the Titan info page HERE.

Does the new Titan feature sound like something that would benefit your workflow? Let us know in the comments below!

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Florian Klaes Reply
Florian Klaes June 19, 2017

Wouldnt it be even more convenient if our NLE’s could create multi-cam sequences based on 4K footage – that would save hardware space aswell, right?

cinema5D Reply
cinema5D June 20, 2017

That would be great indeed! But for a live-cam setup, this is a great solution.

Reply
Martin Jangaard June 19, 2017

OK, thanks for the review, but all well and good & it might be useful – one day. However, it’s not the same as having three “proper” camera angles. In the review, camera “angles” are mentioned continuously, but this doesn’t give you different “angles” as such, just the ability to crop one image- we do this already all the time with 4K footage in the edit, but we then have the ability to finesse each crop by re-racking, re-sizing and grading to make it look right.

So, picking up on one example cited -shooting a live event presentation – if you have two presenters on stage with a demo area in the middle with only one single wide shot, most of the time it’ll be really wide and then your “crops” are not going to have enough detail or cropping/zoom in them, even at 4K.

I’d say that, at the moment, if your doing this kind of work as a one-person operation then please approach event coverage with a master GoPro wide at 4K, then a 4K mid shot of the stage presenters, and then concentrate on shooting nice single close-ups, again in 4K with prime lenses.

Sync them all together in “MultiCam’ mode in the edit software, make a few good & quick cuts in the timeline where necessary and you’re done. This is all doable, as a single operator or better with a second person as editor. Might take a bit longer, but the end result will look nicer. Also, the pressures and demands of event coverage is not the same as the example given in your review, of a group photo of seven people in a studio!

Call me “old-fashioned”, but all of these new ways of doing things are ultimately dumbing down, first the budgets available from clients now, and ultimately the craft of film making as a team effort – even if we find that the “team” is shrinking massively.

I’m sure I’ll use this bit of kit on a specific project at some point, but I’m not going to rely on it as my sole option.

Good luck!

Reply
Matthew Dove June 19, 2017

I was nodding along untill you said prime lenses. On live events, as a one man band?! I think you should give yourself a break and invest in a nice servo zoom.

I’m kinda intrigued to try out titan in a low budget or otherwise constrained live web streaming environment, something I do occasionally. Seems like a nice way to add value to a single camera stream that would otherwise be pretty dull. I own an odyssey 7Q+ but have never tried this feature. Will give it a wirl. Use apolo quite regularly.

Reply
Martin Jangaard June 20, 2017

Thanks Matthew,

Point taken and yes, a decent servo zoom is what we’ve always been using on different cameras in the past.

I’ve actually been in this situation, as a one man band, quite a lot recently and how about using an FS7 as the main C/U camera on your tripod, with the old trusty Canon L 24-105 f4.0 Zoom plus Meta Bones Speed Booster. I’m sure a lot of us have this in our kit already – cheaper than a servo zoom, I’m sure.

Yes, I agree we need to give this new capability in our tool-set, but lets’ try it properly in a real world environment to test it before we unleash it on our clients.

Keep me posted.

Lee Robinson Reply
Lee Robinson June 20, 2017

Theoretically, they are all the same angle…just 3 different options from the same composition.

Tim Oudshoorn Reply
Tim Oudshoorn June 20, 2017

Rogier Van de Weerd multicammen met 1 camera!

Reply
Jonathan Warner June 20, 2017

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments. I note a couple of things…

Firstly, I probably shouldn’t have used the term “camera angle”, but rather a “crop” – you are absolutely right, the angle is the same as it comes from the same source, my bad!

Secondly, there has been mentioned in these comments that this may not be suitable in a real live event/conference. Well I can assure you it can do, I have used the Titan feature in exactly that situation. Granted, it cannot be as good or unique as three individual cameras positioned in different locations, but for certain situations (where budget cannot extend to many operators) then this feature is great! I recently used it a corporate conference of about 300 people. One 4K wide shot of the stage gave me the full stage (wide) and 2 flexible mid-shots of the presenters. Granted it didn’t give me a big close-up of just the head and shoulders, but for this particular event it was fine. But I accept that multiple cameras, each with an operator (using servo zooms!) is a better solution if budget allows.

No tool is perfect for every situation – but for specific needs these things can be put to good use!

Thanks for watching.

Reply
Jonathan Warner June 20, 2017

Forgot to say – in the conference I referred to I had the Odyssey tethered to the FS700 with a 20m SDI cable to the conference control desk where I was sat, so the camera itself was locked-off and unmanned – it worked a treat in this situation!

Christian Schmeer Reply
Christian Schmeer June 20, 2017

Mhm I only see a use for live streaming. Otherwise doing this with an NLE will give much more precise controls.

Reply
Garima Mishra June 23, 2017

Awesome 3 Angles From Just One 4K Shot i couldn’t believe it..Thanks for information.

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