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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #28Nudging ? or How I Stopped Worrying and Started Editing Multi-Camera Shoots with FCP
One of the big failings with the release of Final Cut Pro 4.0 was the lack of multi-camera views while editing a multi-camera production. In my case I was asked by a few of my students how they could easily edit a three camera shoot where the host audio was isolated on one camera and the guest audio on another. The third camera didnt use any on talent mic, but instead used the on camera mic. So audio was all over the place and needed to be brought together into a single show.
The first thing I did was to open up all of the clips, switch over to the audio tracks, and look for the audio of the director counting down 5...4?3?2? I then set an In point right after the final number on all of the clips.
Each clip was then placed on its own track in the Timeline. Even though the In points were set after the audible countdown, there is still the risk that the tracks could be slightly out of sync with one another causing visible lip-flap on the camera referencing room sound and a very audible echo between the audio tracks of the other two cameras.
To solve this problem, I played the Sequence and listened to the talent speaking, and then nudged the offending track left or right in the Timeline until everything lined up.
If you havent heard or used track nudging before then you are in luck with this Quick Tip. Nudging a track allows you to move it left or right in the Timeline one frame at a time until you get it in the proper location. You may want to nudge tracks to get precise alignment for an edit, a layered composition, or in my case, to make sure the audio is synced with the video.
To nudge a track, select the track that needs to be altered in the Timeline. Press and hold the Option key. You will notice that the cursor changes to the Move Tool with a little Plus Sign next to it.
When you see the added symbol, use the Left or Right arrows to move the track left or right in the Timeline.
By using the Nudge Tool, I was able to listen to the tracks playing and when the audio was lined up correctly, the delay disappeared, thus ensuring all of the tracks were in sync.
As far as editing the multi-camera program, there are different methods depending on how you like to work best. Some editors will suggest resizing each of the tracks in the Program Window so you can see all the clips at once, while others will suggest loading all of the clips sequentially in the Preview Window and then using the option to quickly jump between the clips. Because of the nature of this simple talk show, I knew the host shot would only be used on occasion (questions and reaction shots), while the guest clip would be used most often, followed by wide shot cutaways and close ups captured by the third camera. To quickly jump back and forth between the guest and third cameras, I selected the uppermost track in the Timeline (the guest camera) and toggled visibility on and off with the Command+B key.
To quickly make the edits, I used the Blade Tool to slice all three tracks in the Timeline at points I thought a cut should be made, then I went and deleted all offending clips, turned visibility for all tracks back on and played the sequence. If I needed to alter a cut, it was a simple matter of trimming the clip on the track in question.
While it may seem like the long way to do this type of editing, it is actually quite fast once you get the feel and pace of the program. With this method I was able to edit the complete show in about two hours (complete with color correction, graphics, and additional audio tweaks). With the understanding of how nudging works, you will be well prepared the next time you need to line up tracks in your Final Cut Pro Timeline.
Looking for past Final Cut Pro Quick Tips? Click Here.
When not working deep in the labs of the DMN Central Division testing the latest and greatest software/hardware products Stephen Schleicher can be found at the local university teaching a few courses on video and web production. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit him on the web at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher
Stephen Schleicher is a well known writer, visual effects artist and media guru! You can see more of Stephen at
www.majorspoilers.com and www.stephenschleicher.com
Related Keywords:nudge tool, final cut pro, editing, timeline, schleicher
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