DSLR Multi-Cam Workflow in Final Cut Pro

Thank you to Eric Kmetz the winner of the Canon Filmmakers Live contest for Chicago and a great friend of ours for putting together this amazing tutorial. His winning entry can be seen below. This is very helpful for anyone who does multi-cam shoots not just weddings.

This tutorial was originally done for [IN]FOCUS a multiple day workshop/seminar/networking/educational/party/all around good time that Cristina and myself will be attending in New Orleans later this month. If you have not signed up for it yet, definitely check it out. Special thanks to Chris Jones for letting us post this tutorial video and again Eric Kmetz from Epic Motion who is the embodiment of kmawesome.


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14 replies
  1. Seth
    Seth says:

    many thanks. Makes so much sense. Sometimes ive found working with multiclip to be like handling a fart in a pan in some edits. This will def come in handy in future edits. Thanks for posting and I shall now make my way to respective websites.

  2. Jason
    Jason says:

    I’m having trouble rendering reference files. They are not rendering any faster for me than a self contained file does…Any thoughts on what the problem is?

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      Hey Jason,

      I’d check your sequence settings. Be sure that the settings match the clips you are bringing into the timeline. If anything is different, fcp will render all the footage to match the seq settings. Also, if you are using mixed footage (prores & HDV, etc), FCP will need to render the footage to match whatever the seq settings are.

      Let me know if you continue to have troubles.

  3. Curtis Stiles
    Curtis Stiles says:

    Tried this workflow for a 1 hr event, 3 5Ds & 1 1D that had been transcoded to prores 422 (HQ) on a brand new iMac (jan. 11) editing off a GRAID connected by firewire 800. Maybe this should have been obvious, but it couldn’t handle the multi-clip. Dropped frames, jammed up so bad couldn’t work. thoughts?

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      hmm…will the files playback normally without being in a multiclip? If not…it is most likely a drive issue.

      If so, I would switch to unlimited RT and see if that helps. I’m always editing from ProRes LT…so I’m not sure if the increased file size/data rate would play a role in the dropped frames. Try a sample clip in LT and see if it continues to happen.

  4. Curtis
    Curtis says:

    I forgot I posted on this, sorry. The files did play fine synced up as separate tracks in the timeline. That’s how I had to go through it in the end – which kind of sucked but it went faster than I thought it would. I’ve since read that yes, drive speed/proress422hq was very likely the issue here. Apparently proxies are the way to go for a project like I had.

    • Justin
      Justin says:

      I’m having the same problem as Curtis. I’m using ProRes 422 (not HQ), editing off a MyBook USB (apparently iMacs do not support USB 3.0, I just found out).

      Chugging too hard, can’t cut the project like this. I’m not sure if it’s my older computer (2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4gb ram) or the drive/codec.. But would definitely be a shame to have to transcode all of this footage again.

  5. Matthew
    Matthew says:

    Great ‘how to’ video. One thing, you should kill the music track that’s playing while you are talking. I don’t think it adds anything and it’s a little annoying.

    • Melyssa
      Melyssa says:

      This video is awesome, super useful but, I agree with Mathew on this one. It sounds like Beyonce’s Single Ladies, which has become kind of annoying after being played constantly everywhere since 2009.

  6. Maren
    Maren says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial!!

    I’m wondering why fcp has to render the whole multiclip video track? any idea ? It looks like you didn’t had to render the video (it shows me 12 hours of rendering??)

    Thanks for your feedback

    • AMAL
      AMAL says:

      Man, doing it one file at a time just sounds puanfil. You’d do that for 100 clips? MPEG Streamclip (I’m a huge fan) can indeed use multiple cores, or at least, process multiple files simultaneously. It’s in the batch window.Compressor can also use multiple cores, technically you’re running multiple instances of the engine. Google that though, it’s techy and I don’t have a link in front of me. I’m looking at Adobe Media Encoder, which is very efficient. I’ve got FCP 7 and X, we’ll need 7 for a while yet. All the solutions listed here will also strip any timecode or other metadata during conversion. CatDV is another tool that we use that can stamp timecode data into files, does batch renaming, etc. Very powerful and handy.


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