A Worthwhile Concept To Consider For The Eventual Multi-Cam Feature

While I don’t expect a multi-cam feature in Shotcut to be integrated anytime soon, seeing as how the Align To Reference Audio feature was added which is a key component in multi-cam I thought I’d make this suggestion of what approach to take when designing it.

Most video editors that do multi-cam do so in pretty much the same way by using two different timelines. One houses the different angles and the second is the main timeline where the actual editing takes place. A multi-cam clip is placed in the main timeline that keeps switching the source clip as you switch angles in the player that displays the different angles.

The way that Kdenlive and Blender currently do it is to put all of the angles on separate tracks in the timeline which is pretty crude.

But there is another video editor that offers a different way of doing multi-cam that I think should really be taken into consideration. Here is a video explaining and demonstrating it.

Admittedly, the guy in the video oversells it a bit but he does give a good overview of how it works.

Basically, it does away with the whole business of using a second timeline. Instead of that, it uses the media bin as the location for storage of the synced clips. So you load up the angles in the same bin as all your other video and audio clips but you create a folder to place those angles inside. In that folder is where you sync the clips. Once that happens, that folder becomes its own item where you call on the different angles for editing. Then the actual editing happens in the one and only timeline.

First you drop one of the angles from the folder to use as a base clip into the timeline. That base clip is what keeps everything in sync between the timeline and the folder in the media bin with all the angles. So when you look at the different angles and see one that you want to use then by pressing the multi-cam buttons they will automatically drop on top of the base clip exactly when they correspond which is how the angles get switched in the edit.

Since there is no need for a separate timeline a feature like this can be integrated before there is ever any development in Shotcut to include more than one timeline whether that happens or not. Furthermore because the clips of the different angles are simply being dropped onto the base clip when they correspond, it makes it much easier to swap angles instead of doing the usual method which is that at the same time when the multi-cam clip in the main timeline is being cut, it switches the source footage of that whole clip as you are changing angles.

Like I said though, I don’t expect multi-cam to be worked anytime soon as of course there are other components that need to be introduced in Shotcut as well as achieving more performance improvements. But when thoughts about multi-cam do come to mind, I highly recommend to use this method here as the basis instead of the traditional method. I believe an approach like this would fit nicely in Shotcut’s overall way of doing things as it’s streamlined and much more straightforward. :slightly_smiling_face: