Mounting a camera to a camera

Why did I post about doing heavy multicam work in Final Cut last night?
Because this is what I did:

With the upper camera on full-auto with a 14mm (x1.86 crop at 16:9) I operated the lower camera on full manual to get some great closeups and medium shots.The upper camera gave me a wide shot of the same scene. The slight movement of the lower camera to frame the detail I want to show isn't noticable in the far wider shot of the upper camera.

This way in editing the video I can now show the closeup of insecure, shaky feet on a tightrope. Then cut to the wide shot to show that this is happening at the equivalent of a third floor between 2 tall trees. Then cut to the concentrated and freightened face of the person because in between I turned the rig ever so slightly.


Multicam in Final Cut Pro X - lessons learned

Lessons learned regarding multicam editing in FCPX so far (regarding an efficient workflow):

  • Sync your camera+sound recorder clocks to the second before shooting. FC will do the syncing for you but this helps to identify clips that belong together.
  • If possible, also record the same clock simultanously. e.g. have a clock visible on a slate.  This way you can adjust any remaining timecode differences later.
  • For short, overlaping clips having one continous master recording is not needed but could help. A long sound recording to get some ambience is helpful anyway.
  • Too many compound clips and multicam clips make FCPX crash. ...very often and repeatable
  • Do color correction after all the edits especially with multicam clips. It slows down FCPX a great deal.
Importing SD cards:
  • Keep the SD cards in the cameras/sound recorders until that one card gets imported maintain the relationship between camera and clips on the card
  • Right after importing one card, tag all these clips with the name of the camera (and possibly also an "untagged" to find clips that need further tagging later)
  • Also set the camera-name (in the inspector) for these clips. These will become our track-names within the multicam clips.FCPX will use the volume name of the SD-card as default.
  • Tag clips that belong to multicam recordings as "multicam_input". This way you can find them between all the singlecam recordings
  •  Start from the top of the "multicam_input" collection and mark the clips for the first multicam clip.
  • For "camera assignment" (DE: "Kamera zuweisen") select "camera name". "auto" doesn't work and  "clip" creates a mess of tracks if you have multiple clips from one of the cameras.
  • FCPX will jump to the new multicam-clip. You'll loose your position in the Event Browser and the new clip will have no tags. Click that clip to quickly check. Unmatched clips are put at the beginning of the multicam clip.
  • Go back to "multicam_input", mark the clips you used, tag them "multicam_done" and then remove "multicam_input" from these clips. You can still see the clip-names in the timeline.

Final Cut Pro X "Camera Clips Selected" / "Kamera-Clips ausgewählt"

Final Cut Pro X did crash a few times during importing a large number of SD cards and moving the event to an external drive.
Now there are 8 clips in my Event Browser showing a little camera symbol.
I can't analyse them because of a message:

"Kamera-Clips ausgewählt" (I have the German version of FCPX.)
"Kamera-Clips können nicht verarbeitet werden. Sie müssen zuerst diese Dateien importieren/erneut importieren, um sie zu verarbeiten."

I found the proper original term by guessing:
"Camera Clips Selected"
"Camera clips cannot be processed. You must import/reimport these first in order to process."

These clips are only shown if the SD-card with these clips is inserted while FCPX starts up and stays mounted.

Problem is: FCPX doesn't do anything when I select these clips and import them because they are already imported.
The help-system doesn't even know the term "Kamera-Clip", so it is either inconsistently translated or there simply is no documentation what this is and how to deal with it.


LogicKeyboard LKB-FCPX-AM89-GR is NOT for FCPX

I got myself the "LKB-FCPX-AM89-GR" model keyboard fron LogicKeyboard to make it easier to learn the keyboard-bindings of Final Cut Pro X (without having to put up with the rubbery feeling of a silicone keyboard cover).

Just as a warning to everyone else out there.
Do not be fooled by the "FCPX" in the name.
The keyboard-bindings it contains are not for FCP X but for FCP 7.

For example:
  • P is labeled as "pen tool". While it is "Position".
  • Z is not labeled at all while it is "Zoom". One of the 7 major tools in the timeline.
  • K is only labeled as pause for J,K,L while CMD+K is the all-important keyword-tool.
  • S is labeled "Slip/Slide" while it enables/disables "Skimming" instead.
  • F is labeled "MatchFrame" instead of "Favorites"
  • ...

I'm currently working through a tutorial that finaly explains the intended workflow instead of just hyping about how great some new features are. What I'm still looking for is
  1. a way to read the help-file while offline in a train to lean and understand this tool and
  2. some documentation or tutorial explaining the UI- and workflow- concepts. (Why some things apply to a whole clip and others only to segments of a clip. When clip A is selected, where in the UI to look for what kind of operation or information. What the concept of multicam vs. synchronised clips vs. compound clips are. ...)


Modding my shoulder rig

I just modded my foldable shoulder rig some more.
I already rebuild it to fold asymatrically like the original dv_tec MultiRigPro it tries to immitate.
(It sits on one shoulder. It has no right to be symmetrical and is much more comfortable this way.)
This allowed me to add a front support in the past.
Another thing I already did was to add a holder for the remote control to the Zoom H4n audio recorder to my left and buttons for start/stop recording and to force autofocus to the right handle.

What I did now was to add a monitor with peaking and 1:1 crop and to add holes for mounting a 15mm rod system and thus a follow focus in a very, very compact way.