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Old March 18th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #1
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Can Final Cut Express Do Multi Camera?

.....might want to use two cameras instead of one to do a project when I get my Mac and FCE HD. Can the program do multi camera editing (i.e. can it display footage simultaneously from more than one camera).

Also, would I want to edit on to two or three hard drives in this context or are there any other considerations with editing (not shooting) multi camera?

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Old March 18th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #2
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Doubtful. I think multi-cam is a strictly "pro" feature.
Tim Dashwood
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Old March 18th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #3
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If you're trying to do what I think you are... here's the workflow I use:

Create a new sequence with a video track for each camera - I'm just going to talk about video and assume that you would follow the same process for audio or be using one main audio feed for all cameras.

Decide which camera is going to be the main cam - call it Camera 1 (obvious, but we need to call it something) and place that camera on the top video track (if you have 3 tracks, put Camera 1 on V3)

Find something unique to line up your video tracks. I often use a camera flash. Put the video from Camera 2 and Camera 3 on V2 and V1 respectively. Fill in any gaps with slugs and hope that there isn't a place where you've got slugs on all three tracks.

Now your video on V3 will play along just fine, and when you want to cut to one of the other cameras just use the little pen tool and drag the opacity to 0. If you want to cut to camera 3, then cut camera 1 and 2 to 0.

Here's the major advantage to FCP v FCE - anytime you cut from camera 1 you are going to have to render the track, and that'll eat time and disk space. But as I'm typing this I think you could, if you're sure of your cuts, just use the razor tool to cut out the section of Camera 1 and Camera 2 when you want Camera 3... or whatever camera you want.

It really isn't all that time consuming once you get the different cameras lined up. I'm not sure about using multiple hard drives, I've never had the pleasure. Hope this helps, and I hope it was what you were asking about...

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Old March 19th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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Kevin's workflow can be used to produce the same result as with FCP's "multicam" editing, but you won't be able to see all the different video angles in parallel while you edit (like in FCP). I don't know why any time-consuming rendering of video would be required; as long as the opacity of clips is either 0% or 100%, there is really nothing to render. And yes, the razor tool can be used, but if you change your mind later and want to go back to the "top" track, it would be easier to just set its opacity back to 100% than to edit the clip back to where it was originally.

As far as multiple harddisks are concerned, for what Kevin suggested, it shouldn't make any difference, because during playback you are seeing only one angle/track at a time. I have not used multicam editing on FCP myself, so I don't know if there'd be an advantage (other than with certain RAID configurations, obviously).

- Martin
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Old March 19th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #5
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Martin, Sorry I forgot to mention that I do most all of my monitoring on an external monitor, so it needs to be rendered to play there. I totally forgot that this is the reason for all the rendering until I saw your post...
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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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Before I moved to FCP, and even for a while after I moved to FCP, here is what I did:
1. Load all video.
2. In the canvas, resize each video track to 1/4 screen. Cam 1 - upper right. Cam 2 - upper left. Cam 3 - lower left. Cam 1 is the "base video track, i.e., video track 1... usually the wide angle, but whatever makes sense to your project.
3. Sync, or position, the three video tracks. I usually do this via audio tracks, but video works as well. Just remember that the process is tedious, and accuracy is limited to the frame rate of the video. That is not necessarily the same timerframe of the audio, but close enough, ... most of the time.
4. You can now see all of your video in the canvas. Mute the audio you do not want to listen to while editing, but do not delete yet! With the razor tool you can cut and trim, from the top clip down, to your heart's desire.
5. When editing the sequence is done you should revisit and do two things. First, resize each camera angle to full screen. A tedious process. Second, begin to trim any video on lower numbered tracks that will not be part of the full screen display. I believe this will reduce the file size of your final export.
6. Review video. If you are satisfied with the look, it is time to address audio.
7. Eliminate the audio you do not need.
8. Save your project frequently throughout the entire process.
9. Review, review, review, until you are either satisfied or sick of the whole project. Refine, refine, refine, until you are sick of the project.
10. Once you are satisfied. Export, burn, and archive.

FCP 5 multi-clip makes this process a whole lot easier.
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