Edit multi-camera video in Final Cut Pro and Davinci Resolve

fcpx final cut pro resolve Apr 12, 2021

Multi-cam Video Editing (FCPX / Resolve) 

We have a new feature to support multi-cam editing for advanced-level creators in Premiere, FCXP, and Resolve. With TimeBolt’s shift feature, you sync cameras on a timeline in Premiere or FCXP, calculate shift distances, cut a master file in TimeBolt, apply those cuts to the other cameras, and export XML back into your NLE. 
The basic steps are:
  1. Drop multi-camera footage into an NLE,
  2. identify the time delay between cams where audio syncs,
  3. create then apply a master json cut file and export XML back into the NLE with every cut now synced. 
So no need to render or edit any footage in the NLE first!

This tutorial shows how to sync and cut footage on 3 different camera sources. Cam1, cam2, cam3 and the main audio source on cam2. 

Step 1: Set the clips up in your preferred video editor.

I'm going to use Final Cut Pro in the tutorial, but you can just as easily replicate the process in DaVinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere.

Create a new project. Note the frame rate of the new project as this will play a critical role in calculating the shifts. In our case, we're going to set the project to '60p' or 60 frames per second.


Next, we pull the clips from the explorer and place them on the Timeline while syncing them according to the audio. Something like a loud clap is helpful to find a sync point. 

Don't forget to turn on the 'Snapping Feature' which is in the top-right corner of the Final Cut Pro Timeline (next to the Headphones icon). This will help you snap the head exactly to where the clip starts.

At the moment, the head is placed at the start of the clip cam3. Cam2 has the main audio and used as the Reference Clip. 

The timecode indicator is set to 00:00:26:35.

This means that the start of the clip is delayed by 26 seconds and 35 frames.

We will be using this information to delay our cuts.

Step 2: Calculate the shifts for each clip.

We created a tool to calculate shift amounts. Open Shift Calculator tool. This is how to calculate shifts. 

  1. Enter sequence / project frame rate.
  2. Enter start minutes:seconds:frames
  3. Select the reference clip and hit 'Calculate Shifts'.

Voila—the number of seconds to shift the cuts by for each clip in TimeBolt is automatically generated for you.

Hit calculate shifts for these results

Step 3: Filter the Reference Clip in TimeBolt 

Open cam2 inside TimeBolt. Adjust settings on this mater file. Manually fine-tune all cuts on the timeline. Then click 'Save Timeline Cuts' button (located at the bottom-right corner of the TimeBolt Timeline).

We will be applying these cuts to the other clips and shifting them appropriately.

Step 4: Apply and shift cuts CAM1

Open cam1 in TimeBolt, click 'Apply Timeline Cuts', select cam1 json file and apply. 

Once the cuts have been applied, use the 'Shift Cuts' button (indicated below in orange) to open up the dialog box.

The shift value to enter in the dialogue box is already calculated by the Sift Calculator tool. Enter the value. 

The results will show the cuts synced to cam1 audio.


Step 5: Export FCPXML - save the file as XML to import back into your NLE of choice with clips all cut and synced. Then repeat process for cam3.

This is a slightly tedious process but it is also surprisingly effective. We will no doubt be improving as we continue to evolve TimeBolt! 

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