Blackmagic 6K cameras, an ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO, DaVinci Resolve Studio post software form the streaming workflow for Sarah’s artwork channels on social media.
On the surface, Sarah Renae Clark’s hugely popular social media channels show followers how to transform colouring art pages into epic works of art. But underneath, Sarah’s colours, designs and themes are there to help people relax, connect with their creative side and feel more optimistic about life.
Sarah’s channels have attracted a global following of over 500,000 subscribers and include multiple programs on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. Sarah has built a social media content company that continuously creates very high quality live streaming and prerecorded content.
When she and her production partner Shane Clark saw the need coming for higher production values to help expand her channels, they started recording with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro digital film camera. Building on the results they obtained from incorporating that single camera, they also bought the new ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO switcher and Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro cameras, along with further Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pros. This new equipment made it possible to turn Sarah’s business into a multi channel streaming company.
New Cameras, New Workflow
“Blackmagic cameras, Resolve and the ATEM have had a large influence on our ability to grow from just-starting-out streamers to having a complete multi-camera studio. We have even been able to produce members-only content for people who want to watch longer drawing videos, more livestreams and behind-the-scenes content,” Sarah said.
“We started small, like most YouTubers. We used ironing boards for desks and all kinds of things for tripods for our phone or old DSLR. But I am an artist, and so it was important that I be able to show details, beautiful colours and capture the artwork from different angles while also talking to the camera. This led us to our first Blackmagic camera, and now that we have six, we can be as creative as we want.”
Since May 2023, two Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pros, four Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pros, an ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO, DaVinci Resolve Studio post production software and DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor keyboard have served as their streaming workflow. Content is shot in 6K and sent to the various delivery platforms in 4K.
Art Studio as Streaming Environment
“We operate in an art studio environment as well as a streaming environment. Artwork is done over long periods of time, so we use multiple cameras to capture it from the most interesting angles. Everything is shot in 6K, which allows us to capture everything we need and then reframe certain details later if needed without losing quality,” Shane said.
All six camera feeds are sent into the ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO. The switcher’s built-in multiviewer allows Shane to monitor from behind the scenes, and Sarah to monitor while creating her artwork. Camera files are captured using the switcher’s ISO feature – recording all inputs into separate files, precisely synchronised via timecode – and turned into DaVinci Resolve files that Shane uses for editing and colour correction in DaVinci Resolve Studio.
“For videos that we want to feel more candid or for teaching content, we find the ISO function extremely helpful because we can speed up our editing process significantly,” he said. “For instance, when we do an ISO recording with the ATEM, being able to access all the files on the network instantly is much more convenient and straightforward compared to transferring files from a USB disk.”
The Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro in particular has improved the way they are able to create videos and manage production team members. “The cameras are a massive step up from using traditional DSLR cameras for our content, and they work directly with the ATEM and Pocket cameras. The larger screens and camera controls on the Studio Cameras make the work more visual and easier to use. We recently took the Studio Cameras to the studio of another experienced producer, where their ease of use and functionality was a big talking point. The crew were admiring the cameras and asking lots of questions,” Shane said.
Multi-Camera Made Simpler
The combination of the new cameras and ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO has created a workflow that makes it possible for Shane and Sarah to manage a multi-camera shoot. “For live streaming, simple features, like having green and red tally lights and larger screens and camera controls in a simple setup, have made the whole process more intuitive and easier to use,” Shane said.
“Also, capabilities like shooting in various frame rates, recording and accessing views of other cameras, make a big difference for us. The ability to label the inputs makes it easy for other team members to jump in and assist without feeling overwhelmed. Putting everything together, we can create, expand and not worry about the equipment.”
To handle the large amount of footage they shoot, Sarah works with a group of editors using Cloud Store Mini 8TBs. This way, she can include an assistant editor who ingests footage, sets up projects and does the first round of cuts. Simultaneously, another editor works on the creative edit in the same project file, and will often be working on more than one project at a time.
“Slow, laggy footage was a major frustration for us in the past because we were trying to use a regular NAS inside our studio – the same NAS we used for everything in our business. The Cloud Store Minis are a better alternative for shared editing. They perform well with our multicam 6K footage and having high speed access to our footage, which multiple people can work on at once, has significantly increased our production,” Shane said.