Easy Multicam Editing Using Final Cut Pro

Editing video in Final Cut Pro is super powerful yet somehow they still managed to keep it relatively easy-to-use. Case in point… adding a filter to a clip. Find the filter you want to use, then drag-and-drop on clip you want to apply it to. It’s that easy! Want to know another activity that’s super easy to do in Final Cut that can make you look like a pro? Multicam editing.

Picture this… you have kids playing at the park and happen to have 3 iPhones recording the same video at the same time, from 3 different angles (yes, it could happen). Using those 3 video clips and manually switching between the 3 is a major pain, but with Final Cut Pro, it’s simple. Here’s how.

The first thing we want to do is bring our 3 video files into our project. Once they’re part of the project, we highlight all 3 video clips, then right-click and choose “New Multicam Clip…”

The next window will ask you for a file name and whether you want to use audio to match the clips’ timing.

At this point, I would recommend keeping the default settings (that is, until you are comfortable with the basics). When we click “OK”, Final Cut Pro will perform some serious magic in the background. It analyzes all 3 video clips, and matches the audio from all 3 so that they are automatically aligned with each other. This process, by the way, happens very quickly.

After the multicam creation process has completed, we will have a 4th video clip in our library… this is ur new multicam clip. On the surface, it may look like the others, but if you look closely, you will see a 4-square icon in the top left corner of the clip. This indicates that it’s a multicam clip. To work with the clip, let’s bring it down into our timeline.

Again, at this point, the clip looks like the other clips. To see the difference, let’s double-click the clip to expand its contents.

As you can see, this clip actually contains the 3 other clips. You will notice that they each start at a slightly different time. This is part of the magic that happened when Final Cut Pro analyzed the 3 clips and matched their timing with their audio tracks. Let’s go back to our multicam clip so that we can edit it (we do this by pressing the back arrow button just above the timeline editor).

Next, we need to turn on the “Angle Viewer”. This is what allows us to not only see the 3 angles, but choose which one is in view as we are editing our video.

With our Angle Viewer enabled, our screen will now look like this.

This is where the fun really begins. To switch between angles, we simple move the playhead to the beginning of the sequence (if it’s not already there) and hit play. As the video is playing, we can choose which angle we want to be viewed at that particular time by clicking on it. As we do this, you will see the timeline changing with the edits.

Ok, I realize that this is a lot to take in, and if you’ve made it this far, congratulations!! To summarize all of this in a way that will help you to really visualize how this works, I prepared a short video for you walking through the entire process, from importing the 3 original video clips to the final product.

Here we go!

Posted on January 11, 2016 and filed under How To, Design, Mac.