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Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?

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Tangier Clarke
Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:45:45 pm

I've found the syncing and Multicam featues in FCP X very useful. before this was available I'd use PluralEyes with FCP 7 though in a different way.

Using PluralEyes I could throw a lot of clips on an FCP 7 timeline (in their shoot order) and the appropriate audio from an H4N zoom recorder on on the video track. Then essentially hand that project sequence off to PluralEyes and have it "figure it out" - the syncing that is.

With FCP X, it's more manual; select audio and video clips I know have a relationship and tell it to sync or make multi cam.

Is there any way in FCP X to hand off multiple clips and audio and it'll "figure it out" in the way I described above?

I haven't used PluralEyes since before it was upgraded to version 2 simply because I didn't have to any more, but I see some situations coming where I'd like to have a more automated batch syncing like it does that perhaps FCP X isn't capable of doing (at least that I am aware of).

Thanks folks.

Tangier


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James Culbertson
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:51:59 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "Is there any way in FCP X to hand off multiple clips and audio and it'll "figure it out" in the way I described above?"

Yes, it works amazingly well. The key is to make sure all clips from the same camera or audio device have the same ReelID. Then you can just select everything and do a "make multicam clip" using the default settings and it will sync up just about anything.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:56:21 pm

Hmmm. could you elaborate on that process a bit more please. I somewhat understand what you're saying, but if you could explain that workflow. Are you stringing it out on a storyline first or doing selecting in the event? Are you saying that FCP X will (based on a selection of a lot of audio and video clips) will figure out which ones go together and therefore will make multiple multicam clips?

Thanks for the response.

Tangier


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James Culbertson
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:02:01 pm

I'm rendering something in FCP7 at the moment so I can't remember the precise terminology. But in the FCPX event you need to make sure all clips ReelID or CameraID (can't remember the precise event column names) are labeled uniquely, like "zoom audio," cam1, cam2, etc. Then just select all the multicam clips in the event and do a make multicam.


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Michael Garber
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:43:08 pm

Here's a good video for creating multiclips.





Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 6:21:26 pm

That's a nice solution. However it only give me one multicam clip. I'm wondering if FCP X can look at clips and generate multiple multicam clips. Thanks for that video!

Tangier


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James Culbertson
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:58:43 pm

As one example, I received a two camera shoot of an hour long presentation shot with DSLRs. The main camera operator screwed up the zoom recording so we had no continuous master audio. There were 7 camera A shots and 16 camera B shots. I labeled the two cameras ReelIDs uniquely, then did a default make multicam, and the clips all synced up perfectly after about a minute using audio waveforms, and leaving temporally accurate gaps where the Camera A operator had to pause the camera (assuming no camera b overlap).


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:14:49 pm

There's something that sounds a little dangerous here. What I'm hearing is that you have to manually make sure the "reel" field is the same for all clips. Changing reel names is not something I'm sure I want to do.

If I have an AF100 (hold two SD cards) and a GH1 as a B cam. My reels will be as such:

shoot-camA-01
shoot-camA-02
Shoot-camB-01
zoom-audio

So if I want the clips created from these cameras (considering potential start/stops), in FCP X, I have to change the reel names before selecting all of the clips and zoom audio and choosing make multicam or sync for this to work?

Like timecode, I treat the reel as sacred unless forced into a situation where I have to change it or for some reason it was missing on import.

Tangier


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Kevin Rease
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 6:26:50 pm

If your reels are named as you have them listed you don't have to change anything. I generally use camera angles to sync my media, but that is just how I work. You should be able to leave everything else at defaul and it should all sync nicely.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 6:34:14 pm

I've been selecting clips based on the reel, duration, angle and creating multicams from there, but I like this method.

I was just trying to see if FCP X could generate multiple multicam clips without a lot of setup in the way that PluralEyes can organize on a timeline several isolated synced clips. Granted, I'd then have to take those from the timeline and drag them into the browser window (making sure they stay linked) to actually work with them as clips, but just wondered how far FCP X could take it's syncing ability before I have to tell it (by selection and adding angle names) which clips should go together; perhaps for example strictly be evaluating audio.

It'd be nice if I said effectively (making up numbers)- OK here's 100 video clips and the zoom audio clips that go with it, and FCP X returned 12 multicam clips in sync or even just 12 synced clips.

Thanks everyone for all of your insight.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 6:35:52 pm

What do you mean when you say you want a bunch of multicam clips?

Meaning, you want each multicam clip to be discrete?


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Bret Williams
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 6:40:37 pm

The point here folks is he's not looking to make a multicam clip. He's looking to take all the individual audio clips, and all the video clips, and marry them to their retrospective clips. It's not neccessarily about a multicam shoot. Think like a drama. One camera shoot with one audio guy. Yes, perhaps multicam will sync them all up, but now all your footage is one multicam clip. I think Plural Eyes would be the way to go here. There's a reason people are still using it.

I did once had a whole day 2 camera shoot that consisted of 6 different interviews or so. Lots of stops and starts. We made sure the shot number on the slate syncs up with the file number on the zoom. If a camera false starts, we false start the zoom, etc. Then it's easy to marry up groups of clips for a multicam for each interviewee. So not one long multicam, but 6 different multicam clips. If the audio guy is also the slate op, life becomes easy because he can marry scene and take numbers to the file names of the audio clips. And video clips are easier to identify usually just by a thumbnail.

I suppose if you were marrying zoom audio to hundreds of broll shots, or drama takes, then Plural Eyes would be the ticket.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 21, 2013 at 6:46:48 pm

That's it!. Perhaps I just wasn't articulating it well enough. We're working on a production using FCP X in post, but one of our editors used PluralEyes to do the sync work first. I used it in the same way a few years ago - lots of clips thrown on a sequence along with the zoom audio and let PluralEyes do the work.

Never having had to do deal with that scenario in FCP X, I wanted to find out if it could do this rather than go to a third party app; an office test if you will.

I prefer selecting my clips, adding the appropriate metadata, creating my syncs, and setting up my keyword collections appropriately in FCP X. Though I can see how valuable the PluralEyes way toward a more "set it and forget it" means could be valuable.

Thanks Bret.

Tangier


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 22, 2013 at 7:24:04 am

No, at this point it is not possible to select multiple clips and let FCPX sync them all at once.
You can make multicamclips with multiple clips at once, but that's not the same. The *syncing* feature is one-by-one.

You could send feedback to Apple about this, like I did and have a feature request. At the same time, tell them to have it work reliable with timecode too ;-) According to the manual, the syncing feature also works with timecode, but in my experience it doesn't. If a video and audio clip have the same timecode, but the video does not have waveforms, FCPX has trouble syncing them. I don't know if it's just not implemented well or a bug, but I sent feedback about it.

3rd party products would be
Plural Eyes (Red Giant bought it, I guess the newest version is compatible with FCPX, no?)
and Sync'N Link X by Assisted Editing, but it's rather expensive, depending on how much you need the feature.


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Jacob Brown
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 23, 2013 at 12:14:45 am

you really do not want to use a multicam clip unless you need to, unless you are doing multicam editing. multicam does not play well with exporting through XML, use up memory, etc.

the best work flow i have found on this is to just sort the clips such that the audio files is next to the video file. you can then highlight the two adjacent clips and hit synch. then go on to the next one and do the same. if you are on a fast machine it will synch them pretty fast so that no more than 2-3 are running at a time.

i don't know how that compares to pluraleyes time wise. i would imagine that it takes a little longer at the start, but at the end all you synched clips are already in the event library exactly where you want them so it might even out.


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James Culbertson
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 23, 2013 at 5:26:26 am

[Mathieu Ghekiere] "No, at this point it is not possible to select multiple clips and let FCPX sync them all at once."

Not true. I just did a test of two different (two camera) multicam shoots on the same day. It synced them up perfectly in about a minute. And there was no continuous audio. It used the clips time stamp to make temporally accurate spaces between gaps and between the two presentations.

Seems like you could then just dupe the resulting multicam and delete footage to get separate/independent multicam clips from the master multicam.

In any case, make sure the Camera Angle is properly labeled and give it a test.

I just did a second kitchen sink test where I selected everything shot by the two cameras that day including product, crowd, and scenic shots from earlier and later than the two presentations. And not only was everything synced up perfectly where relevant, the other shots were placed accurately in time creating a timeline for the day. Not sure why you would want to do this but an interesting experiment never the less.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 23, 2013 at 3:50:29 pm

I, actually, would use a multicam clip, and then just break it up as I need it.

The problem with "synchronized clips" in FCPX is that the timecode is lost on the synchronized clip so all syncho'd clips start at 00:00:00:00.

Huge bummer.

But in muliticam clips, the tc is kept and you have a sync map of the entire shoot.

You could also separate in to multiple multiclips if that is a more desirable outcome. If the internal date/time is correct on all of your acquisition elements, it shouldn't take but a few minutes to group all the near ones together easily and quickly in the browser.

Jeremy


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on May 23, 2013 at 4:07:39 pm

So was the result multiple multicam clips? Just to be clear, you essentially selected a group of unrelated clips and FCP X figured it out?

T

Tangier


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Michael Williams
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 6:59:00 am

Thanks for this thread! Now were on FCPX 10.1.4 and PE 3.5.5. Apple pro apps support is pushing multicam over the Synchronize Clips function. In our projects we have hundreds of clips to sync, and FCPX can't do them all at once via synchronize clips. Since a multicam clip can't be the source for another multicam clip or for the synchronize clips function, we have to build up clips then sync them together We are using PE to do the syncing function and exporting directly into FCPX as a new event and project within the event. We have nine tracks of audio for most of the clips in addition to the audio in the video


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on Nov 4, 2015 at 7:21:24 pm

I recently revisited PluralEyes and here's the problem I have with using it even though it's a great product for it's specific purpose(s):

Plural Eyes replaces audio from the camera and will replace it with the separately recorded audio.
I don’t want this. I want it to add the audio to the video file (with original audio) in case I need to use the original audio. I like how you always have your original audio when syncing in FCP X.

PluralEyes assumes that your separate recorded audio is always the best, generates new files with new timestamps different than the original shoot footage. This could present problems in finding content in a DAM software. Additionally you have new masters which, if you backup your original shoot content, means you have to spend more money on drives space because your edit references the content PluralEyes generated.

Can’t sync from different cameras. Another limitation is that you can’t sync clips from one camera with clips from other cameras. This is because Export Media Files can’t handle overlapping files in the timeline, and goes back to our discussion of "standard" projects.

If there are two or more audio-only tracks in your PluralEyes project, only the uppermost audio clip that overlaps with a video clip is included.

PluralEyes will trim original audio to match the corresponding video.

Dilemma: FCP X really requires all gear timestamps to be the same and it helps that devices are started and stopped at about the same time for duration sorting. If you don’t have FCP X syncing is a much more manual process. PluralEyes on the other hand you can just throw content at it and it figures it out. But if replaces audio which isn’t always a good thing and it creates new timestamps on the files which aren’t true to the shoot and may be relevant at some later point.

I would prefer PluralEyes just generate an XML describing what needs to be synced/multicamed and let FCP X process it.

I am sure I am missing something her. I know that FCP X also creates new files. I do like that it can also adjust the content creation time. Just trying to find a better (less manual) solution to organize my content into synced and multicamed clips that maintains all of the pertinent info and metadata, while allowing me point back to my originally shot content during the project archiving process. Perhaps it's not really necessary.

Tangier


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on Nov 4, 2015 at 9:01:36 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "FCP X really requires all gear timestamps to be the same and it helps that devices are started and stopped at about the same time for duration sorting."

It helps but in my experience FCPX's multicam syncs just fine anyway. Yesterday I had two cameras and some audio clip to sync. Camera A was date time stamped correctly but the audio clips were timestamped Jan 1, 2012 and the second cam had the correct date but the time was about three hours behind. With the angles set, I just selected all and created the multicam clip. It took maybe two minutes to assemble about 90 minutes of footage into the right order.

Very glad it did because I was showing a doubting friend how well FCPX could handle syncing multiple camera angles :-)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Automatically syncing multiple clips and lots of audio like PluralEyes possible?
on Nov 4, 2015 at 10:31:13 pm

You're right. I should have been more clear about what I meant. It doesn't absolutely require the timestamps for syncing, but rather it tremendously helps for organizing the content in list view to prepare for syncing.

I could use the slates from the picture and listen to various audio, and try other sifting methods to label the shot/take etc just to be able to sort the clips in a way that I can identify which to sync or multicam.

-how's that for a run on sentence

Not ideal, but yes it'd doable. If FCP X had the batch capabilities of PluralEyes, we'd be golden.

Tangier


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