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FCPX multicam question

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Andrew Kimery
FCPX multicam question
on Jan 25, 2013 at 9:17:35 am

I wish I could've been at LACPUG meeting to ask Bill this in person but #postdontstop so I'll give it a shot here.

What I'm curious about is how, using FCPX, could you attack the common unscripted scenario of multiple cameras following subjects around their daily lives. The cliffs notes version of how this is traditionally done (Avid and FCP have basically the same workflow) is to first make a sync map based on time of day and lay in all the tracks (below is an example with 2 cameras and a multi track audio recorder)



After the sync map you add edits at each start/stop place (so you end up with with uniform start/stops across all clips).



You then go track by track and create sub clips out of each segment of media created in the previous add edit step. Once every track has been subcliped you sort all the subclips by timecode, select all the clips with the same TC and create a multiclip out of them. Cut all the multiclips into a new timeline based on TOD and you get something like this.



There's a number of other steps but I didn't want to get bogged down in the exact process. Syncing via waveform is not reliable because the cameras won't always be in the same place at the same time and syncing via camera TC is not always reliable as it will drift if the crew doesn't sync often enough (or some times cameras are used that don't have TC). You can adjust for TC drift by setting an AUX TC to each clip, but there's no way to adjust for the waveform disparity if the camera crew splits up.

If I was to use FCP X would I basically approach it the same way? I feel like this process should be able to be more automated than it is yet, AFAIK, it still needs to be done manually (some people have used keyboard macro recording programs to semi-automate parts of the process but those can lead to problems of their own).




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX multicam question
on Jan 25, 2013 at 4:53:40 pm

Obviously, syncing by audio simply doesn't work in this scenario.

I'd label the camera angles, I'd try and gather rough scenes together and label them.

I would then sort by scene (or whatever common location device you'd like) and then sync those groups by angle and tc, and also set a starting tc. You can also choose to sync by "content created". If your cameras internal clocks are correct, this can be more accurate then unjammed tc. FCPX also has a mechanism to change the start date if you'd like.

Then you will probably have to adjust because, as you mention, this isn't a perfect lock down sync. What is nice about FCPX multicam is that you can open it up and adjust or add to a multiclip at any time. Sometimes, you have to adjust manually if audio and tc aren't quite matching, but it's really easy in FCPX.

Here's a picture: a_picture.png



Jeremy


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX multicam question
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:29:10 pm

I have some thoughts but I have a shoot in my studio at 3pm and another at 6pm - so I can't take the time right now. I have some thoughts that may of may not match Jeremy's - but listen to him anyway. He's earned a careful listen by virtue of his many, many hours exploring X as it relates to his working style - which might be closer to yours than mine is.

I'll check in later tonight or tomorrow.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: FCPX multicam question
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:56:59 pm

Thanks for chiming in Jeremy. If I get some down time soon I'd like to start poking around with FCP X's multicam feature as it sounds like the bees knees in many respects.

Bill, I look forward to getting your input as well.

Due to variables in the field I feel like there's no way to escape having to make a sync map (at least some of the time) but after that I wish there was a single button push to turn everything in that sequence into a single multicam clip. Sounds straight forward to me but I'm not a programmer. If someone did come up with a simple yet robust application or plugin that could do this it would save productions so much money it's not even funny.




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Trevor Asquerthian
Re: FCPX multicam question
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:25:33 am

In avid you can 'auto sequence' all the clips from one camera. This puts them at their 'time of day' position in a timeline. (Assuming that is the timecode recorded).

But you do then have to combine those on multiple VandA layers and ensure sync throughout (eye blinks are good once you are close) before grouping as it is a PITA in avid to fix that after the fact.

Best to get TC right during shoot to save post time. And/or get the shooters to stick a phone with an HH:MM:SS time in front of lens at head or tail.

I like the look of X multicam (find it clunky in 7). Not sure when I'm going to get to use it though...



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