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Removing multicam gaps

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Justin Crowell
Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 2:51:33 pm

Hi everybody,
I have a 2 camera shoot. I right click all my clips and make into an audio-synced multicam clip. But...there are gaps between clips, leaving large areas of dead space. I'm trying to upload a simple review cut for a client, but it's making it really difficult. Since the timeline is apparently not magnetic within the multiclip editor, and moving clips results in loss of sync, is the only way to deal with this to drop the multiclip into a timeline, find all of the cuts (like, 20 of them), and pull them out like that?

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 4:16:54 pm

Not sure what you mean.

Syncing in the angle editor takes multiple camera takes and, attempts to find common points of reference (typically audio tracks) to align them in time.

It sounds like you have one overall track (audio perhaps?) that forms your projects base timing unit, and X is syncing discontinuous video clips to it?

If so, the gaps are there to keep everything synchronized.

It's hard to say without seeing what's happening. If you want to post a screen cap of where you're having trouble, maybe those of us with more X experience can help you sort it out.

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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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 4:35:36 pm

Gotcha...the multiclip editor is adding in pauses with NO content. It's just two cameras--they aren't synced to external audio, only internal. Screenshot below:


Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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James Cude
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 4:52:55 pm

Are you positive you synced only by audio- those look like they are synced by timecode.


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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 5:07:49 pm

That's what I figured.
I selected all my clips, right clicked, went to "New multicam clip" ...
I've tried different options in the drop-downs:
Angle assembly: Auto and Camera Angle
Angle Clip Ordering: Auto and Content created
Angle Synchronization: Auto and Content created

"Use audio for synchronization" is checked. I'm really stumped!

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 6:29:15 pm

If it helps any, when I try to do "synchronize clips" instead of making a new multiclip, it doesn't work right--clips that were shot linearly are laid above each other. This is really frustrating--there's just way too much footage for me to sort through and edit out the time gaps. I'm just trying to give the client some quick review footage.

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:41:37 pm

Honestly, Justin, I think the problem is that you came into the X multicam suite thinking that it was going to be "I'll just click a few buttons and everything will instantly work."

Syncing multi-cam from potentially many different cameras with different frame rates and potentially different codecs is NOT a trivial thing. So Apple built a good deal of sophistication into this tool. It allows you to sync by various elements in various ways - BUT it's not a "just toss everything in it and hit "auto" process. You have to use it with some preparation and intent unless you have very clean and properly prepared original media. (which is to say footage which is recorded with clear sync info in place and/or properly marked in post with the correct Angles and Camera IDs available)

The program kinda has to know just what the BASE syncronization track should be. Is it a master shot? A sound track? A master timecode file? In short, what is the "drummer" that everything needs to march to?

YOU kinda have to tell X what that is.

If the majority of your clips are real-time multi-cam clips with either timecode or consistent audio scratch tracks - you might START using the auto sync tools in X to make a multi-cam clip out of those.

Then you can ADD tracks in either batches (or one by one as needed) - setting the sync process to whatever that particular clip or group needs.

In other words - work "cumulatively" rather than just tossing everything at it and thinking that X will sort it all out perfectly - cuz, sometimes that works. But often, it just doesn't.

It would also be helpful if you watched through some of the multi-cam training on-line so that you can get a solid foundation on the preferred order and options for the various FCP-X sync modes.

My best 2 cents, anyway.

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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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:31:46 pm

I'm honestly a bit confused about what you're telling me, here. I'm not asking FCPX to do some crazy thing--I'm actually asking for it to do less automation. I've used the multicam before. Only for continuous stuff, so this wasn't an issue.

I'm syncing from TWO cameras. Same frame-rate, same codec. Audio is clear, easily synced. I labeled my angles in the info inspector. Is there a way I don't know about to tell it which camera will provide my base?

I'm not expecting some perfect solution. I'm fine with the need for more configuration. I'm just trying to do something that FCP7 or Premiere + PluralEyes would make pretty simple. I can't, for the life of me, figure out why that would be unreasonable....

Then you can ADD tracks in either batches (or one by one as needed) - setting the sync process to whatever that particular clip or group needs.

Not sure I understand...are you saying I can add tracks to multiclips?? Or maybe I'm supposed to sync up my clips in pairs, and then pull those in as multiclips? Or can I sync on the timeline or something?

I'm trying to speed up my workflow, which is why I came to X. I have loads of shoots like this, and scanning through and finding cuts when there are 20 per interview and I've done 15 interviews in a day gets really time consuming and tedious.

I should add that I DO find this timecode approach potentially useful. I just want the option to not have it there if the situation calls for that...

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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David Eaks
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:41:24 pm

Looks right to me, that's exactly how my multicam clips turn out. The gaps are the real time lengths between hitting stop and hitting record again. It would be nice if the angle editor had a magnetic option, so there would not be any empty gaps and at least one angle would occupy every frame of the Multicam Clip. I'll be submitting that as feedback after posting this, please do use the feedback form for your requests as well.

Assuming the 5D clips were recorded more "precisely" and the extra handles of the 250 will be cut completely, I'd say it looks like a quick and easy job to drop the multiclip in a project, skim through and cut the garbage. I'd find the duraion of that first 5D clip and zoom the timeline so it fills the timeline window. With the angle monitor showing (command-shift-7), skim through watching for black on angle 2, blade at the in point of an empty gap then option-[ to trim it out. Repeat 10-15 times. Share. If you're keeping the handles from the 250, just look for black on both angles.

If you insist on doing it in the angle editor it's going to take much longer. In the past I've not been able to select two synced clips and move them in the angle editor without them losing sync. Manually moving one clip at a time then using "sync to monitoring angle" for the corresponding clip is a nightmare of unnecessary work and potential clip collisions depending on the varying start/stop times of each camera. IMO, just let the gaps be and edit in the timeline.


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Bill Davis
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:49:33 pm

Interesting, David.

I've NEVER worked that way and it's fascinating to see your response.
(I mostly shoot synced mult-cam of music events so there's little or no starting and stopping for cameras when the performance is unfolding!)

It's pretty cool that X can do what you've done, actually, adding in gaps of nothing to keep things in sync across disconnected cameras.

I keep learning every day about this tool.

Thanks for the info.

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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David Eaks
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 9:06:50 pm

I mostly shoot events similar to you, Bill. Multicam events with no stopping during the performance. I do a live multicam edit on the fly recording to my KiPro, with camera cards to fix any poor/missed switches. I just got confirmation from Digital Rebellion that Cut Notes has LTC input on the roadmap. So I could plug my Ki Pro into my iPad and take notes on the fly and import them as to do markers in FCPX, sweet.

But yeah, it's really great when there are multiple roving cameras covering a live event. I backup the cards to a folder with the camera name, inside a folder for the job. Import them as keywords so the cameras are automatically named in FCPX. Then select all and click new multicam clip, it lines everything right up.

Shooters with disconnected cameras can start/stop freely, it won't bother me at all (well, to an extent).

I'm curious which part was the most fascinating about my post. When you make a multicam clip, does it not leave the real time gaps? Or do you make new multicam clips for each piece? Like Justin I would also like to not have black gaps in my multicam clips. For reference, my suggestion was intended to just quickly get the garbage cut out for client review, not knowing there was many interviews that need this done at the moment.


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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:34:32 pm

Yeah, that's kind of what I figured. I've been editing it in the timeline, just skimming through and dropping cuts. It unfortunately makes this work take a long enough amount of time given how much footage I have that I'll probably have to switch back to 7 to do it "efficiently." Seems odd to me that I can't tell it to ignore timecode (seems like "angle clip ordering" should do that).

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:00:14 pm

Just a thought if I get what you're trying to achieve, but have you tried adding one of the angles to a timeline and creating a compound clip with no gaps, then using that compound clip as the master angle and letting the other cam's clips sync to that?

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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David Eaks
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:07:54 pm

So long as all of the Clips that were compounded are longer than the individual clips to be synced. Otherwise there might be problems with clip collisions I'm not sure how FCPX would deal with it.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:20:34 pm

You're right of course, didn't think of that...

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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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 10, 2013 at 7:31:28 pm

That's a really interesting thought...Something similar I had considered was taking the audio from the camera getting the lav and exporting that as one long AIFF. THEN, I'll sync to that. Again, not sure how FCP would deal with any length differences between cameras--probably would make an extra track in the multiclip, or maybe trim?

That is along the lines of what you are suggesting, right? I guess I add an extra step for myself the way I'm thinking.

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Don Smith
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:33:16 pm

I stopped reading halfway through all the posts on this subject and thought I might just give some tips that will help. Pardon me if something I say here is a duplicate.

I found that if I put a marker at the beginning of the first clip of every angle the sync goes MUCH faster. You select 'Sync on first marker' but still leave the 'Sync using sound' checked. You put a marker at the first thing you can recognize as happening in all angles such as a clapper or a motion. Leaving the sound sync checked will allows FCPX to ballpark using the markers and then fine-tune using sound. You might find that the markers don't exactly align in the multicam clip because the audio takes precedence for fine-tuning. I found the 'first marker' strategy works by just marking the first clip of many from the same camera. You don't have to mark each clip. Amazing.

If you had a camera that start/stops all the way through you can avoid getting separate angle for every clip by group selecting the clips and giving them all the same camera name. Then use one of the drop downs to organize by camera name.

Don Smith - Dallas

NewsVideo.com


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Justin Crowell
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:37:12 pm

Don, that's very useful advice...but I'm not sure it solves the problem at hand, which is that the clips in a multicam clip synced by audio are placed according to timecode, resulting in gaps if the shoot wasn't continuous. Am I misreading you?

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Don Smith
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:38:09 pm

If an angle was not shot continuously then you're going to have gaps. If you didn't want the clips to sync then don't include them in the multicam and just lay them over the multicam as you wish. If there are gaps in your MC you want out then edit the clip in a timeline normally and edit out the gaps but you'll be editing out the same parts from the continuous clip.

It could be that you are really talking about the non-continuous clips ON TOP and its cutting back and forth against your will as you play the MC clip. Double-click on the MC clip to open it and then drag the thumb on the right side for the clip layer you want to be on top. In shorter words, rearrange the clips so that the continuous clip you want on top will be on top.

Don Smith

NewsVideo.com


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Slavik Boyechko
Re: Removing multicam gaps
on Jun 27, 2013 at 9:42:02 pm

I dislike the gaps too, and sometimes multicam syncs (even with pluraleyes) get 95% of the way there but you still need to move things around to fine tune the multicam file in the angle editor. There is an easy solution!

In the angle editor, place your playhead on a random part over two synced clips, and add a marker on each clip. Now you can drag each of them around and minimize the gaps, but still use the marker to sync them back together. Sometimes FCPX will make you use the "position" tool rather then the cursor inside the angle editor, but it works just as well.


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