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Old May 6th, 2014, 03:10 PM   #1
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Synchronizing clips 10.1 workflow


I have a question about synchronizing workflow in Final Cut Pro 10.1 (or is it spelled synchronising?)

I am editing a short film where we recorded on DSLR cameras and on an audio recorder and worked with slates.

I first edited a rough-cut of the film, only using the "raw" video footage, and I didn't synchronize anything at this point, because I figured I would save time by later only synchronizing the clips I would actually use.

So now I am done with the rough-cut and want to synchronize the clips I will actually use.

But I saw that when I try to synchronize a clip with its audio file, for some reason, since I have used only a part of the video file, the synchronized clips ends up having black on the part that wasn't used (beyond in and out points). This is kind of disturbing, I want to be able to use more, or less, of the clip if necessary. The best would actually be to have "handles" at the in and out points.

I figured that if I, before synchronizing the files, would just remove the in and out points, it would work, but for some reason still only a certain part if the synchronized clip is seen, the rest is black (even after re-importing).

So I guess my two questions are:

1. What workflow is best for synchronizing a short (or feature) film in FCP 10.1?
2. How do I avoid that the synchronized clip ends up having the part beyond the in and out points being black?

Thank you.
Urban Skargren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2014, 04:38 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Re: Synchronizing clips 10.1 workflow

Hi Urban,

Sorry to say you're a bit of a victim of the "trying to use X like I used to use my prior software" syndrome.

In X, it's always better to make "global" decisions as far upstream in the metadata flow as possible. Which means you should typically SYNC things - BEFORE you select, trim edit and/or move them onto downstream areas such as a storyline.

The preferred workflow is this.
Import your audio and video assets. Select a video and audio file to sync then use the X "Syncronize Clips" menu selection (or the keyboard shortcut) to compound the audio and video info into a single "synchronized clip" which will appear along side your original video and audio files in the Event Browser. Next, I recommend you go back and REJECT the original un-cynchronized video and audio files and filter your event by "Hide Rejected" which presents you a SINGLE synced clip to work with from that point on and avoids your mistakenly key wording or applying a filter to the wrong version of your asset!

Also, after you create your synchronized clip, it's useful to go into the Audio inspector and UNCHECK the low fidelity SYNC audio you used for the synchronization - leaving you with just your second system (good) audio.

A further miscellaneous note to make the whole process easier is that while X defaults to using the soundtracks of both files for the sync operations, X can use other attributes of the files for sync, so if you have a situation where you're not getting good sync on a first pass, you can tell X to use Timecode, time of day code, or my preference - set a loosely placed manual MARKER on matching points in the video and audio files you're seeking to sync - and X will START it's automatic syncing operations around those points. that helps X know, for example, which of a repetitive string of sounds to use for it's sync point.

Finally, if you did a whole lot of work that you don't want to lose. You can take a shot at exporting an XML file of your edit decisions - then drop your new Sync Clip on a fresh storyline and import that XML file to recover your work. It's a bit iffy since it's possible that the XML from one Storyline might not match up perfectly with the new project, but if it does it will save you effort.

You can also go back and REJECT any shots or footage that you now know you aren't using in your final edit, since you already took the time to determine that in your "pre-edit" to give you just "hero" shots to work with from this point on.

Just range select the new Synced clip and REJECT the parts you don't want to use.

Just some ideas.

As you're learning X has a metadata workflow that really rewards the editor who comes to understand what stage of metadata manipulation you're working at - so you can do work ONCE - and re-use the saved metadata over and over again in subsequent editing decisions.

Hope that helps.

Good luck.
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Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2014, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: Synchronizing clips 10.1 workflow

Thank you so much, Bill, that was a thorough answer and very helpful. Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge.

If more people have experience - or tips of resources online - of good workflows in FCP 10.1 for short films and features, please share. Especially where you have separate sound.

Regarding the synchronizing feature I discovered it depends which instance (range) of the clip you choose when synchronizing... since you apparently can assign a keyword to a range of a clip. I am still trying to understand this feature and if anybody knows of a tutorial of it I'd like to see it.

I also checked with the FCP manual, but it is not very thorough on the subject.
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