Final Cut Pro X tip: Modify all instances of clip everywhere at once

Short version

If you make a clip into a single angle multicam clip, you can use the clip as normal. If you then open the clip in the angle editor and modify it there (use the transform tools, colour correct, modify effects), you’ll see the changes you make everywhere the multicam version of the clip is used – even in multiple timelines at once.

Long version

This tip uses the new multicam clip feature of Final Cut Pro X that was introduced in the 10.0.3 update.

Multicam clips are designed to synchronize multiple camera angles of the same physical actions. You can then use these clips in projects – switching between angles in the same clip on the timeline.

One of the interesting features of multicam clips is that you can edit the angles – changing the sync between clips, add angles, edit audio tracks and add effects to individual angles. Once you make these changes, the modifications are available to each instance of the multicam clip on the timeline.

This is would be a useful feature for single clips too.

The tip is to make a multicam clip using the clip you would like to work with.

1. In an event, select the clip you want to work with. Right- or Control-click them and choose New Multicam Clip… from the contextual menu.

2. In the sheet that appears, click the ‘Use Custom Settings’ button – because Final Cut Pro X can choose the wrong multicam clip settings by default (In this case, the frame rate for the multicam clip would be incorrect if you clicked ‘OK’ here).

3. Enter a name for the multicam clip and make sure the video properties for the multicam clip match the clip.

Multicam clips usually use audio or timecode to sync angles. As there is no audio or timecode built into stills, the new multicam clip is made with the clip in its own angle.

4. Use your new multicam clip as normal, adding it to your timeline where you please.

5. Click an instance of the multicam clip on the timeline and choose ‘Open in Angle Editor’ from the contextual menu.

6. Click the clip within the multicam clip to select it.

7. You can then add effects, transform the clip and change audio settings as normal.

8. Once you click the ‘Go Back in Timeline History’ button (in the top-left corner of the angle viewer)…

…you’ll find every instance of the clip within the multicam clip has changed to reflect your changes.

The main caveat for this method is that you cannot break multicam clips apart to get access to video and audio layers on their own.

For more tips and many free effects for Final Cut Pro X, visit my Final Cut Pro X home page.

4 comments
  1. why cant you just open clip in timeline from the events browser

    it does the same thing.
    you would thing but it doesnt
    it makes compound clip which can effected the same way

    if you need duplicates of the clip the technique you are suggesting is the only way I can see to branch off without the need for a new compound clip

  2. Lee Faulkner said:

    In FCP X you can right click on a single clip in an Event and “Make Multiclip” … no need for a second angle at all. The resultant Multicam clip works just fine.

    • Alex said:

      Thanks! I’ll modify the post to reflect this fact.

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