Final Cut feature idea: Use sequences as multiclips

In which I suggest a feature for Apple’s Final Cut – a way to create and edit multiclips (clips that can be switched as live between different camera angles).

Here’s another idea for a future version of Final Cut. To make multiclips a lot more flexible, imagine being able to use any (single codec) sequence as the source of the multiclip in any other sequence.

Shooting productions in order to prepare for multiclip editing is a little unforgiving. If sequences can be switched like multiclips, shows with timecode problems could be set up in sequences like this:

Footage from four cameras in a sequence

You can see here that cameras 1, 2 and 3 were started and stopped during the performance. Camera 4 had a sync problem, which was fixed by delaying the audio 9 frames.

Imagine if you could view this sequence as a multiclip. Instead of video layers, you would have video angles. Audio channels would move to be associated with their specific video angle:

A sequence in multiclip mode

All the angles would remain editable as tracks – you could change filter settings, clip positions and keyframes. The extra rows at the top of the display would give you the option to blade to cut between angles, choose which angle to switch to, roll to reposition cuts, add transitions to video and audio edits (but probably not ripple, slip and slide. You could make those kind of changes in the rows in the lower part of the window). You could treat the area as a preview of how the multiclip will appear if it was added to a ‘parent sequence.’

Once you are happy with the sequence, you could then add it as a multiclip to a parent sequence by holding down a modifier key as you drag to the canvas:

Dragging a sequence to the canvas as a multiclip

Once the multiclip is on the parent timeline, it would be editable in the same way as it is today.

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10 comments
  1. Not a bad idea. Of course you can still get clips like you Cam 1 and 2 and3 that were started and stopped into a multiclip with auxiliary timecode. But there could be usefulness in this approach too.

    • Alex said:

      It would be especially useful when you get footage shot by amateurs who start and stop their cameras so that you get multiple timecode breaks. A recent HDV tape I got had more than 20 clips starting with a timecode of “00:00:00:00” You could even use this to create a contiguous timecode version of a tape with many breaks.

  2. tvsoup said:

    It does make a lot of sense.

    BTW, how would one fix the desire to cut between all four cameras whilst nominating one particular sound track to be the master? Multicam should be a ‘nonlinear vision mixer’ as I can think of no case when I wanted to cut between camera recorded audio tracks, especially if limited to in-vision cameras.

  3. You just designate the switch to be video only and not audio via the menu in the Viewer. But the more common thing is to edit in master audio or a scratch or something from the sound board that is not part of one of the cameras.

  4. I think this is a fantastic idea, and can certainly think of a couple of times where I would have loved to have this feature. Let’s just hope that someone at Apple keeps an eye on your blog!

    • Alex said:

      Spread the word, Chris, maybe they’ll hear!

  5. Andy said:

    Hey Alex
    Heres a couple of my own take’s on the same kinda thing … what do you think?
    * Ability to collapse and convert a selection of tracks in the timeline to a Multiclip or Multiclip Sequence … this is just offering a method of graphically creating a Multiclip item
    (http://www.lafcpug.org/phorum/read.php?1,159763,page=9 …its about halfway down in my “worth the effort” category)
    * Quicktake: Invoking the QuickTake window would display a single window ( in a switchable 2/4/9/16 up etc display mode) showing all the clips at the current playhead position similar to a MultiClip view. Similar to the Multiclip functionality…
    (http://www.lafcpug.org/phorum/read.php?1,159763,page=14 … we live in hope eh?)
    best Regards as always
    Andy

  6. Thanks for this post. I was trying to figure out how to do this today in FC Pro, and now I know that in 7.x… you can’t. This changes my proposed workflow massively.

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