FCP 7: Multicam Cookbook

[ In my Final Cut Pro 7 classes, I often provide single-page “Cookbooks” to help master a common problem. Here are the instructions I provide on constructing a multicam clip in Final Cut Pro 7. ]

Creating a multicam clip is simple if you follow these instructions. Remember, all clips in a multicam clip must have the same: codec, image size, frame rate and scanning. Be sure to set the RT popup in the top left corner of the Timeline to Unlimited RT, Dynamic image quality, Dynamic frame rate.

  1. If the clips do not have matching timecode, set a sync point for each clip. Multicam clips can be sync’d based upon a common In, which you set; common Out, which you set; or one of three timecode tracks. For example, set the sync point by loading each clip into the Viewer and set an In at the clapper slate.
  2. In the Browser, select the clips you want to group into a Multicam clip.
  3. Choose Modify > Make Multiclip.  Pick a sync point from the menu, then click OK.
  4. Double-click the new multicam clip in the Browser to load into the Viewer. Don’t worry about the file name.
  5. Just as you can set Ins and Outs for clips, you can also do so for multicam clips. For example, you would not want to include the clapper slate in the Timeline edit. So, set an In or an Out for the multicam clip.
  6. Edit the multicam clip to the Timeline; I use either the F10 shortuct, or click the red envelope at the bottom left of the Canvas.
  7. Put the Timeline playhead into the clip, then, from the center pop-up menu in the Viewer, set Sync to Open. This opens the Timeline clip into the Viewer so you can see all the different angles.
  8. In the center pop-up menu in the Viewer, set Audio > All. Generally, audio comes from a single clip. Click the clip you want to use as your audio source. When the waveforms appear, click the Video tab. The green box around a clip indicates audio source.
  9. From the center pop-up menu in the Viewer, set Video. Click the starting image. The blue box indicates the initial video source.
  10. Select the Timeline and press the Home key.
  11. Press spacebar to play. If the Viewer doesn’t play in sync, reselect Sync > Open.
  12. With the Timeline selected, play the timeline and either:
    • Click the image in the Viewer you want to switch to
    • Use Tools > Keyboard > Multicamera editing to set the keypad to edit multiclips. Then, while holding the Command key, type the number of the shot you want to cut to using the numeric keypad.
  13. Trim Timeline edits using the roll tool or replace an image in the Timeline by putting the playhead in the Timeline clip then click the new image in the Viewer.
  14. When done editing, select Modify > Collapse Multiclip to reduce the load on the hard disk.
  15. To reconstitute a collapsed multicam clip, select the clip in the Timeline, then choose Modify > Uncollapse Multiclip.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Click here for an illustrated article on multicam clips in FCP 7.

Click here for a video tutorial on multicam editing in Final Cut Pro 7.


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18 Responses to FCP 7: Multicam Cookbook

  1. Hi Larry,
    The article link for TECHNIQUE: FINAL CUT PRO 7
    Chroma-key Cookbook lead backs to this multiclip article.
    Would love to read about chroma-key 🙂
    Cheers,
    Robert

  2. shakti hasija says:

    Hi Larry,
    Thanks for this amazingly helpful and simplified work flow. Its made multi cam editing an enjoyable process for me.

  3. Claude says:

    THanks for your excellent walk-through – you saved me today when I was on deadline 🙂

  4. naven says:

    Hi
    I am not able to use Multi camera editing, while using keyboard numbers like 1,2,3 and 4 or command 1,2,3 and 4 for editing in timeline. Is it because I have keyboard with out number separtely in my right hand side to the key board?

  5. James says:

    Hi – thank you for a really useful guide. I am editing with a 4 camera set-up and 5 radio mic tracks – can I cut between audio with similar ease or assign the audio track cuts to other keys?

    • Larry says:

      James:

      I would suggest building an audio multicam clip, then using these techniques to switch between mics.

      HOWEVER, keep in mind that FCP does not allow mixing mics, simply cutting between them. If you need to mix, you’d be better off in a program like ProTools or Adobe Audition.

  6. Pingback: Multicam Madness | Larry Store

  7. Francisco says:

    Hi Larry! Your site is wonderfull help , I’m going to become a member soon when I purchase Final cut X (anytime soon)

    I want to know how to fluently work on multicam but my timeline remains with the yellow rendering line and i cannot work with this because its not fluent…do you know with which settings i could fix this? I appreciate your help , thank you

    • Larry says:

      Francisco:

      The best thing to do is to optimize your media and, if you are editing more than six cameras, convert to editing proxy files.

      Larry

      • Michael West says:

        Good morning Larry:
        I’m using FCP 7 on a 2012 IMac (moderately new).
        I’ve been using FCP 7 (as an amatuer/hobbyist) for a few years.
        Always had a problem with dropped frames when multicam editing.
        I just learned about the offline/proxy workflow which I believe will solve my problem.
        Here’s my situation:
        4 cameras (Canon HG20).
        Off-loaded the footage to a G Tech 1TB external hard drive (all shiny and new).
        When I convert the footage to proxy (using Media Manager) to multicam edit (using Pluraleyes to sync), should I store the proxy files on a drive other than the one containing the original footage (G Tech)?
        Thanks for being you.
        Michael

  8. Astropioneer says:

    Hi, Larry. Wondering if you have any thoughts on how to handle an out of sync multicam clip in FCP7.

    Half-way though a multicam concert video edit one of my angles went about 30 seconds out of sync. Is there a way to “slip” an individual angle from one point onward, without affecting the earlier portion or the other angles?

    Any insight you could provide would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Larry says:

      AstroPioneer:

      The easiest is to edit the out-of-sync audio directly into the Timeline under the multicam clip, then turn off the multicam clip audio and slip the new audio into sync.

      Then, edit the multicam clip video only. That way, you don’t need to change the multicam clip and and work with in-sync audio just for that corrupted section.

      Larry

  9. Jule says:

    Hi, Larry,
    Such great information! 3 questions for FCP7 multiclips –

    I’ll be cutting a concert where 3 cameras turned on and off (7Ds) to one audio track, is there a simple solution to syncing that? I can pluraleyes, but will Multiclip recognize just those 3 video tracks, or do I need to export, then re-import before I multiclip?

    Also I’ll be slipping sync on some shots to use the best performances. Should I just matchframe and put those on a higher video track than the Multiclip?

    Finally, the director (out of state) will want a reference video with timecode of all 3 cameras. Effectively I need to export from the Viewer, rather than the Canvas, to get 3-at-once multiclips the way I can see them in FCP7. Is this possible? My only ideas are to export each camera separately with TC, or to record the Viewer itself and send her that.

    I appreciate all your years of helping us all out. You’re invaluable! Thank you!
    Jule

    • Larry says:

      Jule:

      1. If there’s a break in the Timecode, you’ll need to use PluralEyes to create your multicam clip.

      2 You can slip shots in the multicam if the change is minor. If you are using entirely different takes, put them on a higher track.

      3. You can’t export the viewer. The best option is to create a separate sequence where each clip is on its own track and export that.

      Larry

  10. Josh says:

    Hello Larry, i have a major problem, i see the same source in the 3 multiclips (three different cameras) , days ago it was ok, but today i have this problem, any suggestion?

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