Final Cut Pro: Creating Multiclip Sequences

Creating multiclip sequences is one of the biggest challenges for new video editors. However, Final Cut Pro makes working with multiclip sequences fairly easy. The secret to creating good multiclip sequences begins with the shooting of the project. When you learn how to correctly shooting a multiclip sequence, importing it and working with it in Final Cut Pro is easy. Therefore, this how-to guide will walk you through the process of creating a multiclip sequence.

What You Will Need

  • Multiple DV camcorders or cameras
  • Computer with Final Cut Pro installed

Step 1: Shoot an Event with Multiple Cameras and Record Sync Information

To create a multiclip sequence, you'll have to perform a multi-camera shoot. This will require the use of multiple cameras recording the same subject or event from varying angles and distances. The tapes recorded in these types of events are referred to as isolated reels because the angle for each camera is recorded separately. If you don't have a professional timecode generator, you can jam sync the time code generator of each camera at the beginning of the shoot. You can do this by recording a few seconds of video with the lens cap on, and then adding a few seconds of video after the end of each shot. Doing this will make it easier to synchronize clips within Final Cut Pro.

Step 2: Log and Capture Multi-Camera Footage

In Final Cut Pro, you will use the Log and Capture screen to capture clips from each tape individually. Alternatively, you could use the Capture Now option to capture the entire length of each tape.

Step 3: Create Multiclips and Assign a Clip from Each Camera to a Different Angle

In the browser window, you'll need to select clips or bins of clips that you want to put together into a multiclip. Then, create the multiclips using Final Cut Pro's Make Multiclip or Make Multiclip Sequence commands. The Make Multiclip option creates one multiclip at a time and synchronizes the angles and the clips by In point, Out point or timecode. The Make Multiple Sequence option allows you to create many multiclips at once and creates each as a new sequence in chronological order. This command uses timecode to synchronize angles and clips.

Step 4: Edit Multiclips into a Sequence

With Final Cut Pro, you can cut and switch between video and audio clips at the same time or separately. For instance, you might want to use the audio from angle 1 and switch the video between angles 1 and 2. Once you edit a multiclip in your sequence, you can view all the angles at the same time in your viewer or by using the Multiclip Playback option.

Step 5: Collapse Multiclips to the Active Angle

Once you're done editing, you can then collapse multiclips in your timeline to the active angle. Once you do this, you can work with the collapsed multiclipas as if they were regular clips. This feature is very useful if you intend to transfer your project to an affects artist or audio engineer that only needs the active angles you chose during your editing. Collapsing a multiclip is not a permanent action, and if you need to make changes later, you can still expand the multiclip and have access to all of the angles.

Step 6: Output the Multiclip Sequence

You cannot put your Finnish multi-clip sequences to tape or even export them to a project interchange format. You will need to choose the correct export option for creating files that are compatible with other editing applications.

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