Switching and Cutting Between Angles

When you work with multiclips in Final Cut Pro, switching and cutting have distinct meanings:

Switching Angles

You can switch the active angle for a multiclip at any time, whether you are organizing multiclips in the Viewer or playing multiclips in the Timeline. Using the Multiclip Playback option, you can even switch angles while your multiclips play in real time.

To switch the active angle for a multiclip in the Viewer
  1. Double-click a multiclip in the Browser or Timeline to open it in the Viewer.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click an angle in the Viewer to make it active.

    • Choose a video or audio angle from the Playhead Sync pop-up menu in the Viewer.

    • Press the assigned shortcut key to switch to the angle you want to make the active angle.

      For more information about using keyboard shortcuts for multiclip editing, see Using Keyboard Shortcuts and Shortcut Buttons for Multiclip Editing.

To switch the active angle for a multiclip in the Timeline
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click a multiclip in the Timeline, choose Active Angle from the shortcut menu, then choose an angle from the submenu.

    Figure. Timeline window showing a shortcut menu and the Active Angle command and its submenu.
  • When the playhead is over the multiclip whose angle you want to switch, press a keyboard shortcut assigned to the Switch Video to Angle N command, where N is the angle number you want to switch to.

If the Multiclip Playback option is turned on in the RT pop-up menu in the Timeline, you can switch angles in real time while your sequence plays back. For more information, see Editing in Multiclip Playback Mode.

Cutting Between Angles

Instead of simply switching the active angle of a multiclip in the Timeline, you can create a cut in a multiclip whenever you change angles. You can even add edits to multiclips during playback, allowing you to do real-time editing.

To cut to a multiclip angle using shortcut buttons or keyboard shortcuts
  1. In the Browser, double-click a sequence containing multiclips to open it in the Timeline and Canvas.

  2. Before editing, assign keyboard shortcuts to the Cut Video to Angle N commands, or add the corresponding shortcut buttons to the button bar in the Timeline.

    Figure. Cut Video to Angle 1-4 butttons in the Timeline.

    For more information about assigning keyboard shortcuts to commands or adding shortcut buttons to the button bar, see Customizing the Interface.

  3. Press a shortcut key or click a button in the button bar that corresponds to the angle you want to cut to.

    An edit is made to the multiclip at the current playhead location, separating it into two multiclips. If you cut to the angle that was already active, a through edit is created.

    If the Multiclip Playback option is turned on in the RT pop-up menu in the Timeline, you can perform the same steps to cut in real time. For more information, see Editing in Multiclip Playback Mode.

To make multiclip cuts in real time using the Viewer
  1. In the Browser, double-click a sequence containing multiclips to open it in the Timeline and Canvas.

  2. Do the following:

    • Turn on the Multiclip Playback option in the RT pop-up menu in the Timeline.

    • In the Canvas or Viewer, choose the Open option from the Playhead Sync pop-up menu.

  3. Press the Space bar to play the sequence.

    The sequence begins playing back, with all the angles in the Viewer playing simultaneously and the active angle playing back in the Canvas.

  4. In the Viewer, click the angle that you want to cut to.

    The angle you click becomes the active angle. A temporary marker is placed in the Timeline at the cut point, and the new angle now plays in the Canvas.

  5. If you want, continue adding cuts by clicking different angles in the Viewer.

  6. Press the Space bar to stop playback.

    When playback stops, the cuts you made are added to the multiclip.

Switching and Cutting Video and Audio Items Separately

By default, when you switch or cut angles in a multiclip, both video and audio items of a multiclip change together. Final Cut Pro allows you to change the active video and audio items of a multiclip independently. This is helpful when you want to switch or cut to a different video angle without changing the audio, or vice versa. For example: You may need to cut video between four different camera angles, but keep dialogue audio from angle 4 playing throughout. In this case, you need to tell Final Cut Pro to switch only the video item, not the video and audio items together.

Note: A multiclip can have one active video item and up to 24 active audio items at a time.

Figure. Viewer window showing video item tab and individual audio item tabs.

When you switch video or audio independently, the results differ depending on whether the multiclip in the Viewer is opened from the Browser or from a sequence. This is because switching video and audio independently affects the linking relationships between video and audio items.

  • In a Browser clip: All items are always linked. Therefore, when you open a Browser multiclip in the Viewer, all of the active audio items of the multiclip must come from the same angle. Although you can switch video and audio items separately in a Browser multiclip, you can’t switch individual audio items. For example, you have a 16-angle multiclip with four audio items and you try to switch only audio item 4 to the audio in angle 2, all four audio items switch to the audio items in angle 2.
  • In a sequence multiclip: You can change each audio item independently. For example, if you have a sequence multiclip with four audio items open in the Viewer, you can independently cut to a new angle for audio item 4 without changing the angles for audio items 1–3.

    However, independently switching video or audio angles breaks linking relationships between a multiclip’s clip items in the Timeline. After you perform the switch, only the audio item whose angle you switched remains linked to the video item.

    Figure. Timeline window showing that after switching the active angle for audio item 4, only audio item 4 remains linked to the video item.
To choose whether you switch or cut video, audio, or both at the same time
  • Choose View > Multiclip Active Tracks, then select one of the following options:

    • Video + Audio: Both video and audio change at the same time.
    • Video: Only video changes.
    • Audio: The specified audio items change:
      • All: All audio items change at once.
      • A1+A2: Audio items 1 and 2 change simultaneously.
      • A3+A4: Audio items 3 and 4 change simultaneously.
      • A1: Only audio item 1 changes.
      • A2: Only audio item 2 changes.
      • AN: Only audio item N changes.

    Note: The same menu items are available in the Playhead Sync pop-up menu in the Viewer.

To switch only the video of the active multiclip angle in the Viewer
  1. Double-click a multiclip in the Browser or Timeline to open it in the Viewer.

  2. Choose View > Multiclip Active Tracks > Video.

    You can also choose this option from the Playhead Sync pop-up menu in the Viewer.

  3. Click an angle to make it active.

    A blue outline highlights the active video angle.

To switch only the audio of the active multiclip angle in the Viewer
  1. Double-click a multiclip in the Browser or Timeline to open it in the Viewer.

  2. Choose View > Multiclip Active Tracks > Audio.

    You can also choose this option from the Playhead Sync pop-up menu in the Viewer.

  3. Click an angle to make it active.

    A green outline highlights the active audio angle.

Important: Final Cut Pro always remembers the last track switching mode you used, so make sure you check this before you begin editing your multiclips.

Switching Angles on Locked Tracks

You cannot switch or cut a multiclip item in the Timeline if it is on a locked track. For example, if you have a multiclip whose video clip item is placed on track V1 and you choose View > Multiclip Active Tracks > Video and then lock track V1, you cannot switch or cut to other video angles of that multiclip.

Furthermore, if you choose View > Multiclip Active Tracks > Video + Audio and then lock any video or audio track in the Timeline that contains a multiclip item, you cannot switch or cut that multiclip item.