Final Cut Pro X: Multicam Cookbook

Posted on by Larry

This “cookbook” is designed to provide a checklist to quickly create, view and edit multicam clips in Final Cut Pro X.

Creating a multicam clip is simple if you follow these instructions. A single multicam clip can contain video, audio, and/or stills. While you can mix and match codecs, frame size, frame rate and scanning, you will get the best performance if they match. The best way to match media is to optimize it. This standardizes all clips in the multicam into ProRes 422, though it won’t change frame sizes or frame rates.

NOTE: Multicam editing is NOT the same as audio mixing. Use multicam editing to edit your video, then, in a second pass, expand all audio tracks and work on your mix.

The easiest way to sync clips is to have Final Cut Pro X match the audio between all the clips. However, this can take time and requires the same audio on all clips. The fastest way to sync clips is using matching timecode (which is set during production) or to set a marker in each clip where the clapper slate “claps.” This marker needs to be the first marker in each clip.

MULTICAM STEPS

  1. If you are using clapper slates and markers, set the markers before you create the multicam clip. If you are matching clips using timecode or audio, skip this step.
  2. Select all the clips you want to combine into a multicam clip in the Browser. Clips can be video, audio, or stills.

NOTE: The speed of your storage will determine how many clips you can edit at once. If performance is an issue, transcode the clips into proxies. You can edit at least 3X the number of clips using proxies than camera native media.

  1. Choose File > New Multicam Clip.
  2. In the dialog, give the multicam clip a name and determine how you want to sync the elements. When setting video parameters, don’t make the project frame size larger than your largest clip and match frame rates with the clip you expect to use the most.

NOTE: If you are not using audio to sync, uncheck “Use Audio for Synchronization.” This speeds the syncing process.

  1. After the multicam clip is created, set an In and Out for it in the Browser.
  2. To modify, add, or change the order of angles, double-click the multicam clip in the Browser to open it into the Angle Editor. (Click the small left-pointing arrow in the top center of the Timeline to close the clip.)
  3. Open the project into the Timeline that you want to add the multicam clip.
  4. Edit the multicam clip into the Timeline (generally, press E)
  5. Select View > Show in Viewer > Angles (shortcut: Shift+Command+7) to display the Angle Viewer.
  6. In the Settings menu, in the top right corner of the Angle Viewer, select the number of angles you want to view at one time (from 2 – 16).
  7. If you want to edit audio and video together, click the clip-with-waveform icon in the top left corner of the Angle Viewer so it changes to yellow.
  8. If you want to select a single audio track to play under the edit, while changing video, there are two steps you need to take:
    • First, at the top left of the Angle Viewer, click the Waveform button to change it to green, then click the angle that contains the starting audio source.
    • Second, click the Clip button to change it to blue, then click the angle you want to use as the first shot. Make sure this icon stays blue as you start your edit and you will only affect the video.
  9. In the Timeline, position the playhead at the start of the multicam button (generally, press the Home key).
  10. Select the Timeline, play the clip, and begin editing:
    • To edit the angles with the mouse, click a clip image in the Angle Viewer.
    • To edit the angles with the keyboard, type 1 – 9.
  11. Trim edit points using the Roll tool.
  12. Replace one edited shot with another in the Timeline either by Option+clicking the new image, or type Option+ 1 through 9.

NOTE: Final Cut Pro X does not flatten multicam clips. This means you can change any shot at any time without having to rebuild the multicam clip first.

EXTRA CREDIT


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