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Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing

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Trevor Coats
Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Feb 28, 2013 at 2:02:46 pm

I really need some help as I am running out of time to finnish this video. What happened is, I am an 8th grader at my school and for my EAST Initiative class I was chosen to film my schools play. On the first day, due to technical difficulties I was only able to film from one angle the next day I filmed from 3 angles but then one camera ended up malfunctioning and so now I have one angle from the first day and 2 angles from the second day. However everything seems to go faster on the second day i filmed to everything is off by about 3 seconds is some areas and off by 8 seconds in others and sometimes it is perfectly in sync . What should I do to fix this. I know that there must be a way because I have noticed that when I watch let's say comedy shows with multi angles I can see that when they switch angles the person is wearing different clothes because they filmed on two separate occasions. How do they do this because i dont think that the comedian is talking at the exact same speed every time. Please someone take the time to help me I would appreciate it so much!!! Whoever helps I will give credit to in the video if you want me to

Thanks, Trevor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 1, 2013 at 4:55:16 pm

Okay, Trevor, we've all been there. Chill out and we'll figure it out together.

To be the most help, we need specifics. What are your sequence settings? Click on the sequence icon, then top menu>sequence>Settings. Write that info down and post it here.

Next, what format or "codec" did you shoot with on all the cameras, and are they all the same? Like, did you shoot them all in HDV, or XDcam, or some other format? List those.


As far as working in multi-cam, there's different methods. The FCP multicam plug-in can sync-up tracks based on different criteria. Since your footage is from two different performances, and they were live, you're only going to get the tracks *close* to synch, then you'll have to go in and tweak them manually with the slip/slide controls on the timeline. At any point if I use a word you don't know, either look it up or tell us here, and someone will explain it to you. We're all pulling for you to succeed.

If this was my project, I would use audio to synch up the tracks, finding the first word in common in each tack and marking that as the start point. When the multicam starts playing all the tracks together, you will hear awful echo and reverb from the performances having slightly different speeds (this assumes all the audio files are in the same format, if you're mixing aiff and wav or MP3 files or two different audio capture rates, that's going to make this much more tough).

Kill the echo by muting all audio tracks except one, the one from the track where the MOST footage will come from, the master shot.

Now, watch the lip-synch on the shots you pick out, and manually re-align each one that is off, usually with the plus and minus keys on your keyboard, which move things a frame at a time, need a few bumps in one direction or the other. This is trial and error stuff.

You may find out that the performances are so badly inconsistent between the two days, that the only thing to do is, skip using the track from the first day, and just cut using the tracks that were shot at the same time. Render that out ( Export> Quicktime movie, don't change anything, just rename it submaster). Import that submaster footage back into your project. Now make only a 2-track edit, using the submaster and the footage from day one.

Put the day one stuff on the upper track, the submaster on the bottom. Line them up roughly. Next, go thru the day one track with the razor blade tool and just cut away all the sections you know you won't need. The separate little sections left behind, with their audio, you can now slip and slide into the flow of the submaster. You're folding two video tracks down into one, the bottom one.

Each time you drop in a plug from that day-one footage and it fits, hit save and move on. Don't worry if the sound MIX is off, as long as the lip synch is working, keep going, we'll go back and try to make the audio all sound the same as the last step.


Do not Panic. Fear is the Mind Killer. You can do this, just be systematical and logical. Keep your expectations realistic. Work with the good elements first, take that as far as you can. Then add in the day one elements as pieces you cut a hole for and drop-in. Then go back and play with audio filters and EQ settings to match up the sound as best as you can, or just use the master track's audio for everything and work to make the lipsynch as close as possible.


Now, "cowboy-up" and get to cutting! :-)


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Trevor Coats
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 4, 2013 at 2:40:36 pm

Thank you!!! The frame size is 720x576, the aspect ratio is CCIR 601 / DV PAL 5:4) The pixel aspect ratio is PAL-CCIR 601 (720x576) The field dominance is lower (even) the editing timebase is 29.97. The quick time video settings are compressor DV-PAL and the quality is 100%. The audio settings are, rate 48kHz the depth is 16-bit and the config is channel grouped. THe video codec was DVC - PAL, Linear PCM, Timecode for all three videos.I have a master audio track that was recorded from the microphone packs directly to a cd that I plan on using. Because is sounds som much better.

PS: I will try your suggestions and try to get back to you for a followup ASAP.

Again thank you so much I really appreciate it! :-)

Thanks, Trevor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 4, 2013 at 4:07:05 pm

Are you in England? Why are you doing this in PAL?


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Trevor Coats
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:04:54 pm

lol no. That is what was recommended to me by my EAST teacher and and in the training session I took. I thought that was common. After all I am a nube to this stuff.

Thanks, Trevor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:11:41 pm

I imagine he said go PAL because it makes shooting 24 frames easier. But really, you should have stayed in NTSC land: PAL conversions are just going to make more work for you in the end, with no real benefit visually. Too late now, but for the next project, do it in NTSC.


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Trevor Coats
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:40:00 pm

Okay thanks for the advice. I now have another question. When I do use the slide tool it seems to not make any difference except to the audio. And what are the differences between slip and slide? I clearly need more training and more experience and hopefully I will get just that out of this project.

Thanks, Trevor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:58:06 pm

Go to the top menu and click "help" .

Type "slip" into the blank and read what comes up. Faster and more accurate than me telling you.


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Trevor Coats
Re: Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Multi Cam Editing
on Mar 25, 2013 at 1:28:49 pm

Hey Mark, sorry it took me so long to reply I kind of had a 2 week spring break so I havent been able to edit much. I took your advice about using the slip and slide tools to adjust the video but it for some reason it does the opposite and will only let me move to the right. Can this be fixed and if so would you please tell me how I would greatly appreciate it. :-D

Thanks, Trevor


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