Multicam editing workflow

The process for creating a multicam project is outlined below. The procedures are presented in rough chronological order, but you can rearrange the order to suit your workflow.

Shoot an event with multiple cameras and record appropriate sync information

A multicamera shoot uses multiple cameras to record the same subject or event from different angles and distances.

For multicam projects, it’s a good idea to set the date, the time, and the time zone on your camcorder or recording device before you shoot footage for your multicam project. This provides useful information to Final Cut Pro during the automatic multicam clip creation process.

In professional multicamera shoots, each camcorder or VTR receives the same timecode from a master timecode generator, or you can jam sync the timecode generator of each camera at the beginning of the shoot. If you’re using consumer camcorders, which cannot accept external timecode, you need to record a visible or audible cue, such as a clapboard closing or a camera flash, on all cameras. You can use this cue to synchronize the angles in your multicam clips.

Because you can use the sophisticated automatic audio sync feature in Final Cut Pro to help ensure multicam synchronization accuracy, it makes sense to record audio on every camcorder and recording device in your multicam production. (Clear audio recordings provide the best results.)

Import media for a multicam edit

Although importing media for multicam projects is the same as importing for any other project, there are steps you can take during importing to help streamline the multicam workflow.

Assign camera names and multicam angles

You can use the Camera Name and Camera Angle metadata tags to automate and organize your multicam workflow. It’s recommended (but not required) to apply these tags to your event clips before you create an actual multicam clip.

Create multicam clips

You create multicam clips from selected event clips (similar to the way you create auditions and compound clips in the Browser). Whether you do it manually or have Final Cut Pro do it for you automatically, creating a multicam clip involves three fundamental steps:

  • Create angles (containing one or more clips each).

  • Arrange the order of clips within each angle.

  • Synchronize the angles using a common sync point.

If you know what kind of metadata your source media has, you can create multicam clips using manual methods even faster than with the automatic methods. For more information, see Assign camera names and multicam angles and Create multicam clips in the Browser.

Cut and switch between angles in the Angle Viewer

After you create a multicam clip, you can watch all angles simultaneously in the Angle Viewer while switching or cutting to different angles in real time. You can cut and switch video and audio at the same time or independently. For example, you can use the audio from angle 1 while switching the video between angles 1 to 4.

Sync and adjust angles in the Angle Editor

At any time, you can open multicam clips in the Angle Editor to adjust the synchronization and the angle order, or to add or delete angles. You can also use the Angle Editor to make edits to the individual clips inside a multicam clip (such as trimming, making color corrections, adding transitions, and so on).

Edit multicam clips in the Timeline

You can switch multicam angles directly in the Timeline or the Inspector, without opening the Angle Viewer. Although multicam clips have some unique properties, you can edit them in the Timeline in the same way you edit any other clips.