FCP X: Multicam

Edit Smarter with Larry Jordan

Probably the most exciting new feature in the 10.0.3 release of Final Cut Pro X is multicam. This is designed to edit events that you are shooting simultaneously with more than one camera. Performances and sports come instantly to mind.

Apple set the standard for multicam editing with its initial release in Final Cut Pro 5. In FCP X, they just raised it. In a single multicam clip you can:

  • Synchronize and view up to 64 video streams (think “cameras”) at once
  • Combine different video formats
  • Combine different image sizes
  • Combine different frame rates
  • Combine video, audio, and still images in the same multicam clip

Multicam editing is not designed for switching live events. Instead, you record and capture all your video first, then edit it using the multicam feature.

NOTE: Optimizing media, even though it requires more hard disk space, is the preferred way to prep your media for multicam editing. H.264, MPEG-2, and AVCHD are very computer-intensive formats and for large multicam projects will cause your computer to work so hard decompressing the media that it may not be able to process your clips fast enough for real-time playback.


A multicam clip displays all your different camera angles running at the same time. However, in order for the action and audio to match between those shots, all your angles need to start at the same time. That point is called the “sync point;” a specific frame in every clip which is used to align all the clips so they all display the same action at the same time during playback. The sync point is almost never the first frame of each clip. read more...

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