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Tutorial: Multicam Editing in Apple FCP X, Part 1

Our Final Cut Pro X tutorial series continues with the first installment of a 3-part series on multicam editing in FCP X, addressing the basics like creating a multicam clip and cutting and switching audio and video using the Angle Editor.

In this tutorial, we’re going to begin our three-part look at multicam by going over basic multicam editing in Final Cut Pro X. Final Cut Pro X has an excellent implementation of multicam, and they’ve even added a tool that allows you to natively sync your footage based on waveform.

In Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier, you had to use third-party software to sync your footage, so I think it’s pretty cool that they’ve added the native ability to do this.

Creating a Multicam Clip

We’re going to start by creating a multicamera clip by combining the three clips highlighted in Figure 1 (below). The project we’re going to use as an example in this tutorial is just a basic talking head intro to a recent corporate project we completed at Cord3Films, and there are three clips here: Boom Mic, Camera 01, and Camera 02. We need to combine these--to start the multicamera clip, we just need to click and drag a lasso over them (Figure 1, below).

Figure 1. Lasso’ing the clips we’ll use in our multicam edit.

Next, right-click and choose New Multicamera Clip (Figure 2, below), or go to File > New > Multicamera Clip.

Figure 2. Choosing New Multicamera Clip

As soon as you do that, you’ll see the dialog box shown in Figure 3 (below), in which you can name your clip and set other parameters. The default name is fine for now. You’ll see a checkbox under Use Audio for Synchronization, and if you leave that checked, FCP X will utilize the audio waveform to determine how to sync the footage. This is how we always do it in our projects, only because we shoot with DSLRs, so we’re not dealing with timecode or jam sync or anything like that.

Figure 3. Be sure you leave this checkbox selected to benefit from the waveform-matching feature.

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