I’ve run into a stumbling block with PluralEyes 3 Ver. 3.3.7 and Final Cut Pro X 10.2.3. The synchronisation works fine and I can send the xml file to FCPX. But I can’t work out a way to use the resulting synced file in my editing project. PE3 sends a synced ‘Project’ to FCPX. I can’t find a way to view, skim, and mark keywords and favourites in this ‘Project’ for use in my final edit.
I’m only an occasional user of Final Cut and of Pluraleyes, so please forgive my ignorance in this area. The project I’m currently working on is just a single camera mini documentary. Some imported clips are camera video and audio only. But I have four long segments where I’ve used PluralEyes to sync external Zoom H4N audio to the camera material. These sections range between about 25 minutes long, and 75 minutes long, so they are not short clips of footage. I’m dragging and dropping the source camera and Zoom material into PE3 and, as I said, PluralEyes deals with the sync issues well. The problems for me begin when I ‘send’ the xml file to FCPX. It’s available in FCPX as a ‘Project’ file.
In FCPX I can, of course, open the PE3 synced ‘Project’ on the timeline. I could make a ‘Compound Clip’ of this but that seems to produce serious limitations when I break it down into Keyworded and Favourited clips. I can drag those chosen sections to the timeline for an assembly but can’t trim the compound clip sections.
I would like to get the PE3 synced ‘Project’ file to behave like (or convert to) an imported clip. That way I could mark sections of it with Keyword and Favourites and then use those normally in a project with options like trimming available to me. I’ll be intercutting sections of the PE3 synced material with other imported camera material in the final edit. I’ve already done a rough ‘paper edit’ based on the interviews (PE3 synced) so I mostly know the clips I want to start with on my project timeline. I just need to find a way to mark and use those long PE3 synced ‘project’ files.
There is an option in PE3 to just export the synced files as a new stand-alone file but that doesn’t work for my .MP4 files. And, anyway, I’m trying to manage my disk space and avoid generating unnecessary duplicate files.
I’m probably missing something obvious in the PE3/FCPX workflow. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s using PluralEyes this way, so I hope someone can shed some light on my predicament. Thanks!
I use external audio all the time, and since I usually have only one external audio file at a time, I unashamedly use synchronize clips (alt cmd g).
I do not touch the original video and audio clips anymore, I just favor and tag the synched clips. Works best with optimized media, in my experience. Afterwards "show favorites", and from then on you don't need to waste a thought about it.
That's the FCP X way. Never tried PE there. In premiere, for instance, it's quite common to organize footage in the timeline or in a separate "rough cuts" timeline. Therefore, you can have two parallel timelines on top of each other and playfully shove clips up and down (called "pancake editing").
Imo it's wiser to prepare the clips as much as possible prior to editing in the timeline in FCP X. But to each his own.
pipkato wrote: ...The project I’m currently working on is just a single camera mini documentary. Some imported clips are camera video and audio only....I have four long segments where I’ve used PluralEyes to sync external Zoom H4N audio to the camera material. These sections range between about 25 minutes long, and 75 minutes long,...The problems for me begin when I ‘send’ the xml file to FCPX. It’s available in FCPX as a ‘Project’ file....
In FCPX I can, of course, open the PE3 synced ‘Project’ on the timeline. I could make a ‘Compound Clip’ of this but that seems to produce serious limitations when I break it down into Keyworded and Favourited clips. I can drag those chosen sections to the timeline for an assembly but can’t trim the compound clip sections....
I use PE 4 and FCPX 10.3.x but I formerly used the older versions. I don't recollect a problem like this. The PE XML creates a multicam clip in FCPX which you then treat as a regular multicam clip. You can mark ranges in the Event Browser, drag those to a timeline, etc.
However in many cases FCPX itself can sync audio and video OK. It cannot do audio drift correction on long takes but it can do sync fairly well. If FCPX can sync the multicam clip it simplifies things and avoids a trip to PE . The main tricks are (1) Use a multicam clip not a sync clip, and (2) Name each camera or angle in the Inspector before creating the MC clip.
Procedure in FCPX for best sync results via audio:
1. Import all clips
2. In Event Browser at top left select List View (it's the button above the red X at left)
3. In Event Browser, click on clip name to sort by name. All the clips from each camera should be grouped together.
4. Select a group of clips from one camera/recorder (Click on 1st, go to last and Shift-click).
5. In Inspector at upper right, click on Info button. If Inspector pane is not on, turn it on with Window>Show Inspector
6. At bottom of Inspector Pane, click the drop-down box and select "General". This shows more details.
7. In the Inspector Pane, enter a camera name. When you press Enter it will add that camera name to all the clips you have selected in a single step.
8. Repeat step 4 and 7 for each camera/recorder.
9. In Event Browser, select all clips from all the cameras you added camera name info to.
10. Right-click on the selected group and select "New Multicam Clip", then set checkbox "use audio for synchronization"
Hello Axel. Thanks very much for replying so quickly. I thought of using the FCPX sync option too. But my double-system material was full of stop starts by the camera and with lots of audio run-on. So I don't think it lent itself to FCPX sync as much as to PE3. And, as I said, I had no problem with syncing. PE3 managed all the material well.
My problems (apart from my lack of experience with FCPX) begin with the fact that PE3 sends a 'Project' file back to FCPX. If I was just interested in editing that project, everything would be fine. But, as I said, I have multiple long PE3 synced 'Project' files, together with lots of other standard camera footage in my doc Library. I want to be able to mark up the sections of those PE3 synced 'Projects' as Favourites and with Keywords. To do that (unless I'm missing some aspect of FCPX) the material needs to be in Clip form. I know what I want to select, just don't seem to be able to find a way to make those selections for use in the final timeline.
Thanks joema. I've explained in an earlier answer why I chose the PE3 route instead of trying FCPX's own syncing method. Also I'm not doing Multicam - just a single camera. And, as I said, my material that's to be synced is all over the place, with stop/start camera and Zoom H4N run-on. And, syncing with PE3 is not a problem. It's the fact that it sends a 'Project' file back to FCPX. It's likely my inexperience that prevents me from seeing how to work with these PE3 synced 'Projects'. I can' t believe Red Giant's PE3 would generate synced files that cause such obvious problems in a much bigger project. I've been in touch with Red Giant Support and they were very helpful. But information about 'Compound Clips' and creating PE3 stand-alone media files didn't work. The Compound Clip route produces files that I can't 'Trim' in the timeline, and my .MP4 original footage can't be exported as a stand-alone synced file from PE3. And even if it could export such a file I'm not sure whether I'd still have independent control on the multiple audio tracks. I wan't to leave any work on audio until the end of the edit.
Hello FCPX.guru and thanks for your reply. I actually replied to your reply earlier but didn't see it on the board so I'm replying again. As I mentioned in my original email, I tried the Compound Clip option. I have to preface what I say by repeating my ignorance about FCPX. When I created the Compound Clip from the PE3 synced project file I WAS able to mark sections of that Compound Clip as Favourites and with Keywords. I even did a test by creating a timeline sequence from some of those Favourite sections. But when I attempted to do basic 'Trimming' on those clips, I could not 'Trim' them. So I abandoned the Compound Clip route.
pipkato wrote: ....I could make a ‘Compound Clip’ of this but that seems to produce serious limitations when I break it down into Keyworded and Favourited clips. I can drag those chosen sections to the timeline for an assembly but can’t trim the compound clip sections....
This works fine when I use PE 4.1.3 and FCPX 10.3.4. Maybe there's some issue with the older versions you are running.
pipkato wrote: ...I thought of using the FCPX sync option too. But my double-system material was full of stop starts by the camera and with lots of audio run-on. So I don't think it lent itself to FCPX sync as much as to PE3...
I recommended using a multicam clip within FCPX for a specific reason -- this is normally the best way when dealing with a single audio and video file. Sam Mestman discusses this here:
Unfortunately PE has a limitation where it will not produce a multicam clip if you're using only a single audio and video file. IMO this is a mistake and should be corrected. However in the current versions of PE and FCPX you can take the sync'd project that PE makes, create a compound clip, then trimming, rating and keywording work OK. If this compound clip method doesn't work for you, it may be the older versions.
Your options are to either upgrade your versions of PE and FCPX or use the procedure I outlined above and sync it as a multicam clip within FCPX. Remember each camera or camera angle or audio recorder should be named in the Inspector before creating a multicam clip.
Karsten described a method to sync audio with many separate short clips. I have not tried this, but it's using FCPX only, not Plural Eyes. This may not be necessary in your situation but it's something else to try if the procedure I listed using multicam within FCPX does not work.
Thanks to FCPX.guru and joema for identifying my ignorance about FCPX and compound clips. I've just tried again and I CAN trim within a compound clip. I think I had chosen the wrong selection tool when I last tried it, but tried again in the light of the various contributors puzzlement. It worked fine. So that might be the solution to all my problems, unless there are some as yet unknown limitations to using compound clips that will trip me up down the road. But looking at the Audio tab they seem to maintain all the audio tracks separately, so that should not be an issue.
Thanks too joema for those links to Sam Mestman and Karsten. Looks like there may be more than one way to skin this particular cat. I'll also consider upgrading to PE4, since it seems to have some significant advantages.
Thanks to all again for being so generous with your help. Much appreciated!