Director Mode captures HD video from all camera angles and compiles each angle into one video file with every media asset, effect, and transition used during your production. Director Mode is a useful tool for recording offline productions in HD or live streaming at locations with limited bandwidth while retaining HD video files for later use. This article covers how to enable Director Mode and helpful file transfer procedures for creating the final composition.

In this article:


Director Mode Overview

To ensure HD quality is captured on all camera angles, there are certain feature limitations while using Director Mode. Keep the following in mind when enabling this feature:

  • The built-in camera on the main switching device (i.e. iPad, iPhone) will be disabled.

  • Remote Guest footage will not be available for the final composition.

  • Director Mode is only available in 16:9 (horizontal) format.

Note: All devices running the Switcher Studio app must be running up to date iOS versions. However, it is not recommended to use beta iOS versions.


Audio Capture in Director Mode

Audio from each of the remote cameras will be captured, but the master composition will only include the main switching device's audio.


Enabling Director Mode & Setting the Composition Format

To enable Director mode:

  • Tap the Outputs tab on the main switching device (i.e. iPad, iPhone).

  • Toggle Director Mode to the "On" position.

  • Tap Continue.

    • This dialog box indicates that the built-in camera will be disabled in favor of high-quality recordings.

A yellow “DM” icon will appear in the top-left corner when Director Mode is enabled.A yellow “DM” icon will appear in the top-left corner when Director Mode is enabled.

To set the Composition Format

  • Tap Advanced Settings in the Outputs tab.

  • Tap Composition Format.

  • Tap the desired resolution: Auto, 1280x720, 1920x1080, or 3840x2160 (4K)

Note: In order to use 4K, the device must be running iOS 15 or higher.


Advanced Feature: Changing the Composition Frame Rate

When using Director Mode, you can adjust the frame rates of your Switcher Studio production. The finished composition will have a fixed frame rate once it pulls all the angles back in and rebuilds the video. Specific frame rates are sometimes a requirement for broadcast stations.

We do not recommend adjusting the frame rate unless you are an advanced user. To change the frame rate:

  • Tap Advanced Settings in the Outputs tab.

  • Tap Composition Frame Rate.

  • Tap the desired frame rate.

Note: It is not possible to use a composition format of 3840x2160 (4K) while also using a composition frame rate of 60fps.

Understanding Camera VFR Mode

By default Camera VFR (variable frame rate) Mode is enabled. When VFR is enabled, the camera will change between 24 fps and 30 fps, based on the lighting. Disabling Camera VFR Mode will create a composition with a constant frame rate. However, it will not be a perfectly fixed frame rate composition.


Compiling Footage & Assets for the Final Composition

You can compile the video clips from each camera angle to create the HD composition once the recording has ended. However, videos do not have to be compiled immediately. You can reconnect all of the devices and create the composition at any time as long as the files are not deleted. Prior to compiling footage, make sure there is ample storage on your primary switching device to store the videos from all camera angles.

  • Connect all remote cameras (i.e. iPad, iPhone) to the wireless network.

  • Open Switcher Studio on the main switcher.

  • In the Inputs tab, connect the remote cameras that were used for the recording.

    • Connected devices will show a blue check next to their name.

  • Tap the menu icon (☰).

  • Tap My Recordings.

  • Tap the recording (i.e. 2022-01-26 10-03-36).

  • Tap Director Mode Recording.

    • The angles from each device will display and begin transferring to the main switching device via WiFi.

    • A progress bar below video and Composition will indicate when the transfers are complete.

  • Tap Composition.

  • Tap the share icon to save the composition to the desired location (ex. Photos, Files).

Note: If the message “Missing (Please Connect Device)" appears, then not all devices are connected. Connect any missing devices and return to the file in the My Recordings.


Speeding Up File Transfers

Transferring video files for the final composition can take some time depending the length of the recording and how many cameras angles were used. If you have a poor WiFi signal or have no wireless connection available, this can also slow down the process. For each of these scenarios, the following file transfer methods can be a great alternative.


File Transfer Using a Mac (recommended)

Requirement(s):

  • Mac computer with AirDrop enabled.

  • AirDrop enabled on all remote camera devices (i.e. iPad, iPhone).

  • Lightning to USB cable.

First, follow these steps on each remote camera device (i.e. iPad, iPhone):

  • Open Switcher Studio.

  • Tap the menu icon (☰).

  • Tap My Recordings.

  • Tap the video file(s) from the production (i.e. 2022-01-24 13-40-52).

  • Tap the share icon.

  • Tap Open In…

  • Tap AirDrop.

  • Tap your computer (i.e. Tim’s MacBook Air).

After all videos have been AirDropped to the computer:

  • Plug the main switching device (i.e. iPad, iPhone) into the computer with a Lightning to USB cable.

  • Open Finder (⌘ + N).

  • Click your device name (i.e. "Tim’s iPad") under Locations in the sidebar.

  • Click the Files tab.

    • A folder titled Switcher will be displayed.

  • Drag the video files from the computer's Downloads folder into the Switcher folder.

Lastly, on the main switching device (i.e. iPad, iPhone):

  • Open Switcher Studio.

  • Tap the menu icon (☰).

  • Tap My Recordings.

  • Tap the recording (i.e. "2022-01-24 13-40-52").

  • Tap Director Mode Recording.

    • The transferred files will display here.

    • Wait for the progress bar under Composition to complete.

  • Tap Composition.

  • Tap the share icon to save the composition to the desired location (i.e. Photos, Files).


File Transfer Using iTunes on Windows

Requirement(s):

  • Windows computer with iTunes installed.

  • Lightning to USB cable.

First, follow these steps for each remote camera device (iPad, iPhone):

  • Connect the device to your computer via Lightning to USB cable.

  • Open iTunes.

  • Click the device name in the iTunes sidebar (i.e. "Tim’s iPhone").

  • Click the File Transfer tab.

  • Click Switcher.

  • Drag the video files to a location on the computer (i.e. Desktop).

After all video files have been transferred to the computer:

  • Connect the main switcher to your computer with a Lightning to USB cable.

  • Click the device name in the iTunes sidebar (i.e. "Tim’s iPad").

  • Click the File Transfer tab.

  • Click Switcher.

  • Drag the video files from the computer location (i.e. Desktop) into the Switcher folder.

Lastly, on the main switching device:

  • Open Switcher Studio.

  • Tap the menu icon (☰).

  • Tap My Recordings.

  • Tap the recording (i.e. 2022-01-24 13-40-52).

  • Tap Director Mode Recording.

    • The transferred files will display here.

    • Wait for the progress bar under Composition to complete.

  • Tap Composition.

  • Tap the share icon to save the composition to the desired location (ex. Photos, Files).


File Transfer Using AirDrop on iOS

Requirement(s):

  • AirDrop enabled on all mobile devices (i.e. iPad, iPhone) used with Switcher Studio.

First, follow these steps on each remote camera device (i.e. iPad, iPhone):

  • Open Switcher Studio.

  • Tap the menu icon (☰).

  • Tap My Recordings.

  • Select the video you want to transfer (i.e. 2022-01-24 13-40-52).

  • Tap the share icon.

  • Tap Open In…

  • Tap AirDrop.

  • Tap your main switching device (i.e. iPad, iPhone).

    • Ensure AirDrop Receiving is enabled on the main switching device.

Next, on the main switching device (i.e. iPad, iPhone):

  • Open the Photos app.

  • Tap Select in the top-right corner.

  • Tap the video(s) that were AirDropped to the device.

    • A blue check mark will appear on each selected video.

  • Tap the share icon.

  • Tap Save to Files.

  • Tap On My iPad / iPhone.

  • Tap Switcher.

  • Tap Save.

  • Open Switcher Studio.

  • Tap the menu icon (☰).

  • Tap My Recordings.

  • Tap the recording (i.e. 2022-01-24 13-40-52).

  • Tap Director Mode Recording.

    • The transferred files will display here.

    • Wait for the progress bar under Composition to complete.

  • Tap Composition.

  • Tap the share icon to save the composition to the desired location (ex. Photos, Files).


Keyword(s): director, mode, recording, composition

Did this answer your question?