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Re: Kind of noob, project now too sophisticated for me to understand!

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Joe Marler
Re: Kind of noob, project now too sophisticated for me to understand!
on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:49:12 am

[Paul Shoe] "new project that's more sophisticated - multicam footage, secondary audio...I'm at a loss about how to work with some of this stuff...confused about how to edit multicam footage... for synced audio files, should I be generating new compound clips so I can lock the audio in place and edit it?"

It's often best to use multicam (MC) clips even for one camera plus external audio. Before sync, the parent clips must be prepped properly by labeling each camera or angle in the Inspector.

Sam Mestman mentioned the advantages of using multicam over sync clips here:

His procedure for prepping the clips for sync is here:

When rating or keywording multi-cam clips it's best to do this only on the MC clip itself, not the parent clips. Ratings and keywords are not inherited by the MC clip. In our workflow we always reject the parent clips and use "the Hide Rejected" filter after making the MC, so nobody will accidentally keyword/rate those or edit them into a timeline.

Sync can be manual, via audio waveform or via timecode. My documentary team uses Tentacle devices on each camera and recorder which greatly expedites sync in post:

If FCPX audio sync doesn't work there is Plural Eyes:

With FCPX it's best to spends lots of time rating and keywording material before you touch a timeline. This also applies to MC material. MC clips can be rated/keyworded in the Event Browser using the Angle Editor (SHFT+CMD+7).

Despite the advantages, multicam in FCPX has several limitations and quirks. E.g, you can't apply stabilization or some other effects to a MC clip. Instead you must open the MC clip, blade the parent clip and apply the effect there. FCPX audition doesn't work on MC, you can't export a MC clip from the Event Browser, audio waveform height is not properly sized in the Angle Viewer, etc.

For more info on rating, keywording and workflow, see Ripple Training:
For short brief free tutorials see MacBreak Studio:

[Paul Shoe] ...a lot of the footage was imported at different times, in different ways (with various external storage locations, etc...), and I'm confused about how to best gather it all in one place. So now I have a bunch of drives plugged in, and am getting lots of beachballs as I work, despite an older (iMac 27", 3.5ghz, iz, 24gb ram) but still pretty decent machine. Should I somehow move it all to one new clean drive and just retain the others as the original backups? Should I be working with some sort of optimized footage, or... ? "

As media comes trickling in from various sources, you can end up with a bunch of little drives each having pieces of your library media. Backup is more difficult plus it's easy to forget what media is on what drive. If you must temporarily shelve the project then later reconstitute it, remembering all those drives is hard. IMO it's best to have all media in a single folder tree on a RAID. For NAS-based storage, LumaForge makes good products:

If you've already imported media from those drives, within FCPX you can define a new unified storage location then consolidate to that. See Ripple Training's media management tutorial:

External directly-attached drives should be HFS+ only, not exFAT or NTFS. APFS is OK on the Mac's internal SSD. For external SSD in theory you can use APFS but I'm not sure how well tested that is for FCPX.

For 4k H264 media, proxies are generally needed to obtain good editing performance, and especially if multicam. However FCPX proxies cannot be relinked and the drive containing them must retain the original volume name when they were generated. Proxies are 1/2 the linear and 1/4 the pixel resolution of the originals (IOW 1080p for UHD 4k originals) and are ProRes 422, so editing performance is good. Typically they are about 60% the size of H264 originals, so I/O load is low.

An alternate to proxies is optimized media, which is about 4x or 6x the size of H264 originals. CPU load is low but I/O load can be quite high.

FCPX only has a global proxy/original mode, so you can't have proxies for only certain files without seeing red clips for the others. With mixed 1080p/4k it's not usually practical to have proxies just for 4k. You must create proxies for it all (in which case the 1080p proxy resolution is 960x540) or create optimized media which preserves original resolution but takes lots of space.

Many cameras do not generate guaranteed unique filenames, and in a large media tree you can have duplicate names in separate folders. FCPX internally appends a "uniquifier" suffix upon ingest but this is not always handled properly. Also with a collaborative workflow it can be confusing to have duplicate filenames. Ideally I recommend renaming all files before ingest to add a unique incrementing serial number. We use the 3rd party tool A Better Finder Rename for this:

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