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Multiple Track Example from FCP

COW Blogs : walter biscardi's Blog : Multiple Track Example from FCP

In response to a query in the Final Cut Pro Basics forum, here's an example of why we would use more than one video track in FCP. This is an older project from 2003 hence all the video is offline, but it shows 17 track of video in use. Why? Because there is a lot of compositing and overlays going on to create an urban / gritty look requested by the Producer. When I get a chance, I'll pull a screen grab of this scene, but for the moment, as best as I can remember, here's what is going on in the area highlighted in yellow.

Track 17 is a Film Leader type of element overlayed on the video

Track 16 through 5 are all graphical elements created in Photoshop

Track 4 is a still image overlayed on top of the logo and hands element below

Track 3 is a film flash

Track 2 is a logo element provided by the Producer

Track 1 is a video element shot by the Producer slowed to 50%

The reason for all the photoshop elements is we like to very often have the main graphic full opacity so you can read it, but also subtly mixed in around the rest of the video frame.

Now if you look at the very head of that timeline you can see how Video Tracks 5 - 2 are Nested items "Donner B-Roll with Frame and Way Donner SOT with frame" Each of those nests are actually 6 video tracks so if I didn't nest them, I would have used 24 tracks of video to create that effect. Nesting allows me to easily place those video frames around the screen without having to drag 6 tracks at a time.

As soon as I have time, I'll pull a screen grab so you can visually see what's going on.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Jan 3, 2008 at 6:28:17 amComments (7) editing, apple, final cut pro


Re: Multiple Track Example from FCP
by Andrew Gorman
First off, let me just say I have absolutely no clue about Final Cut Pro, I got it about 20 minutes ago :P but I want to make videos with several audio tracks from different films at the same time, for music reasons. There is a YouTuber called MysteryGuitarMan who has some of the finest editing of footage I have seen. He is similar to what I want to do. What he does is he plays every note on his instruments, then edits them together perfectly to make a song, including several instruments over the top of each other. That is what I want to do, and have no idea of how to go about it. I'm assuming, probably wrong haha, that something similar with the amount of video tracks is used? Please help a Final Cut Pro, and Apple nub in general :P

Regards, Andrew
Nesting just depends on what you're doing
by walter biscardi

For myself Nesting come into play when it's necessary.  In the project I show above, I'm using Nests to overlay video onto frames and moton Fx.  I also use Nests to overlay multiple text  elements over the videos.  So while you see about 17 video tracks in this timeline, overall there are approx. 30 to 40 video tracks in play for this timeline.  This is second nature for me as I regularly create comps in After Effects over 100 layers, usually in the 300 layer realm.

Most often I use Nests for moving multiple elements across the screen easily, such as all the lower thirds in Good Eats.  They're all a text and background element so I just nest them and apply a saved movement to them.

But more often than not, I prefer to work with all the video tracks spaced out and not nested.  With my 24" computer displays I can easily display about 30 video tracks by setting FCP to display the tracks in Small.  I like using Nests only where I absolutely need to use them. 

But Walter Biscardi, Jr.

nesting effects
by Mike Cohen

Just today i used a nested within nested effect. I had a Calcium molecule jiggling about. I wanted about a dozen of these molecules in different parts of the screen all at the same time. This would have added 12 tracks to my main timeline, so I did the layering in a new sequence, then brought this into the main sequence as a nested sequence. The initial jiggling molecule was on its own sequence, so the original sequence populated the 12 track sequence, which then occupied a single layer on the main timeline.


like it
by Rick Dolishny
I'm a huge fan of keeping all your layers editable.

Nothing is more frustrating coming back to an old timeline I created, or worse one someone else created, only to find an AE comp or external piece of video. If at all possible I try to nail it in the NLE.
multi-track & nesting ...
by Michael Duff

hi there ... we too have recently been using multi-tracks in FCP ... around 20-30 tracks ... this is so we can edit what is to be a LCD TV wall (each TV with a seperate input).... each track contains a 1920x1080i source scaled down and arranged to represent how the screens will look on the wall ... it is slow going, but does the job ....

 I find nesting most useful for applying a single effect/deformer to a bunch of clips .... for example, we often crop a couple pixels top and bottom before outputing for 16x9 letterbox (just to ensure crisp edges) .... nest your edit, then just apply the crop effect to the nest once ... 

NESTING! I get it, sometimes....
by Steve Putnicki

I've been using FCP for a few years now, but still haven't mastered 'nesting'. I use it, but I don't know why. I know that I can make timelines more manageable, but sometimes, the whole nesting thing gets in the way. Maybe you can do one of your tutorials on the 'whys & wherefores' of nesting. Is there a "Guide" for nesting?


by Paul Escandon

you are a colorists worst nightmare!

I'm only playing... I get timelines like this ALL THE TIME!

Professional Video Editor, Producer, Creative Director, Director since 1990.

Credits include multiple Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and CableAce Awards.

Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific and GP Studios, Atlanta. Former Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media. The show you knew us best for was "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I developed the HD Post workflow and we also created all the animations for the series.

Favorite pastime is cooking with pizza on the grill one of my specialties. Each Christmas Eve we serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian seafood meal with approx. 30 items on the menu.

If I wasn't in video production I would either own a restaurant or a movie theater.



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