Multicamera Editing - Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2016) 

Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2016)

10. Multicamera Editing

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn about the following:

• Synchronizing clips based on audio

• Adding clips to a sequence

• Creating a multicamera target sequence

• Switching between multiple cameras

• Recording a multicamera edit

• Finalizing a multicamera editing project

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This lesson will take approximately 45 minutes.

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The process of multicamera editing begins with synchronizing multiple camera angles. You can do this using timecode or a common sync point (such as the closing of a clapboard or a common audio track). Once your clips are synced, you can seamlessly cut between multiple angles in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Getting started

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to quickly edit multiple angles of footage that were shot simultaneously. Because the clips were shot at the same time, Adobe Premiere Pro CC makes it possible to cut seamlessly from one angle to another.

The Premiere Pro multicamera editing feature is a tremendous time-saver when you’re editing footage from a shoot or event captured with multiple cameras.

1. Open the project Lesson 10.prproj.

This project has five camera angles of a musical performance and a synchronized audio track.

2. In the Workspaces panel, click Editing. Then click the menu adjacent to the Editing option and choose Reset to Saved Layout.


Who uses multicamera editing?

The use of multicamera editing has grown immensely in popularity as prices for high-quality cameras have fallen. There are many potential uses for a multicamera shoot and edit, ranging from simple fiction dialogue to large-scale reality TV series.

• Visual and special effects: Because of the expense associated with many special-effects shots, it’s common practice to cover the shot with multiple angles. This means less cost associated with the staging of the shot and allows for greater flexibility during editing.

• Action scenes: For scenes that involve a lot of action, producers often use multiple cameras. Doing so can reduce the number of times that stunts or dangerous action needs to be performed.

• Once-in-a-lifetime events: Events such as weddings and sporting competitions rely heavily on multiple angles of coverage to ensure that the shooters capture all the critical elements of the event.

• Musical and theatrical performances: If you’ve watched a concert film, you’re used to multiple camera angles being used to show the performance. Multicamera editing can improve the pacing of theatrical performances as well.

• Talk-show formats: Interview-driven segments often cut between the interviewer and subject, as well as to a wide shot to show both subjects at the same time. Not only does this maintain visual interest, but it makes it easier to edit an interview to a shorter run time.


Following the multicamera process

The multicamera editing process has a standardized workflow. Once you know how to do it, it’s straightforward.

There are six stages.

1. Import your footage. Ideally, the cameras will be closely matched in frame rate and frame size, but you can mix and match if needed.

2. Determine your sync points. The goal is to keep the multiple angles running in sync with each other so you can seamlessly switch between them. You’ll need to identify a point in time that exists in all angles to synchronize or use matching timecode. Alternatively, you can automatically sync if all the tracks have the same audio present.

3. Create a multicamera source sequence. The angles must be added to a specialized sequence type called a multicamera source sequence. This is essentially a nested sequence clip that contains multiple video angles.

4. Add the multicamera sequence to a new sequence for editing. This new sequence is the multicamera target master sequence.

5. Record the multicamera edits. A special view in the Program Monitor (the Multi-Camera view) lets you switch between camera angles during playback.

6. Adjust and refine edits. Once the edit is roughed out, you can refine the sequence with standard editing and trimming commands.

Creating a multicamera sequence

You can use multiple angles in your edit; the only limiting factor is the computing power required to play back your clips. If your computer and hard drives are fast enough, you should be able to play back several streams in real time.

Determining the sync points

To synchronize multiple angles of footage, you’ll need to determine how you want to create the multicamera sequence. You can select from five methods to use for the sync references. The method you choose will be partly a matter of personal choice and partly how the footage was shot.

• In points: If you have a common starting point, you can set an In point on all clips you want to use. This method is effective as long as all cameras are rolling before the critical action starts.

• Out points: This method is similar to syncing with an In point but instead uses a common Out point. Out-point syncing is ideal when all cameras capture the ending of critical action (such as crossing the finish line) but were started at different times.

• Timecode: Many professional cameras allow the timecode to be synchronized across multiple cameras. You can sync multiple cameras by connecting them to a common sync source or by carefully configuring the cameras and syncing the recording process. In many cases, the Hours number is offset to identify the camera number. For example, camera 1 would start at 1:00:00:00, and camera 2 would start at 2:00:00:00. You can choose to ignore the Hours number when syncing with timecode.

• Clip marker: In and Out points can be accidentally removed from a clip. If you’d like to mark a clip in a more robust fashion, you can use a marker to identify a common sync point. Markers are more difficult to accidentally remove from a clip. They can also be based on any part of the action, perhaps an event partway through the recording that all cameras captured.

• Audio: If every camera recorded audio (even if it’s just poor-quality reference audio from a shotgun or from an integrated microphone), Premiere Pro can synchronize the clips automatically. The results with this method depend upon your audio being reasonably clean.


Image Tip

If you don’t have a good visual clue in the video to sync multiple clips to, look for a clap or loud noise in the audio track. It’s often easier to sync clips by looking for a common spike in the audio waveform. Add a marker at each point and then use the markers to sync.



Syncing with markers

Say you have four clips that recorded the same bike race from four different camera angles but the four cameras started recording at different times. Your first task is to find the same point in time for all four clips so they will be in sync.

This could be accomplished by using a common event (such as the firing of a starter’s pistol or a camera flash). Simply load each clip into the Source Monitor and add a marker (M) for each instance of the event. You can then use these markers to synchronize the clips.


Adding clips to a multicamera source sequence

Once you’ve identified the clips you want to use (as well as a common sync point), you can create a multicamera source sequence. This is a specialized type of sequence that is designed for multicamera editing.

1. Select all the clips in the Multicam Media bin.

The order in which you select the clips is the order in which they will be added to the sequence. By holding Control (Windows) or Command (Mac OS), you can select one clip after another to define them as specific camera angles. For example, if you click to select clips 1, then 2, then 3, they’ll become Camera Angle 1, then 2, then 3.

If you select clips 1, then 3, then 2, they’ll become Camera Angle 1, then 2, then 3. You can easily change this later.

For this example, click the clips in their number order, selecting the audio-only clip last.

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2. Right-click one of the clips and choose Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence. You can also choose Clip > Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence.

A new dialog box opens, asking how you want to create the multicamera source sequence.

3. Under Synchronize Point, choose the Audio method.

4. In the Audio > Sequence Settings menu, choose Camera 1. In fact, because one of the clips is audio-only, it will automatically be used as the audio for the newly created multicamera sequence. If you didn’t have that audio-only clip, Premiere Pro would use the first selected shot.

5. The clips have useful names that you can use as Camera Angle names. Under Camera Names, choose Use Clip Names and click OK.

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Image Tip

The clip you click first in the bin when selecting angles will become the audio track that is used for the multicamera source sequence (even when changing angles), unless you include an audio-only clip (which Premiere Pro will presume you want to use).

Another approach is to place a dedicated audio recording on another track and sync it. A third option, Audio Follows Video, can be chosen from the Multi-Camera Monitor view (upper-right corner of the panel) to sync the audio changes to the video.


Premiere Pro analyzes the clips and adds a new multicamera source sequence to the bin.

6. Double-click the new multicamera source sequence to view it in the Source Monitor.

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Image Note

Premiere Pro automatically adjusts the multicamera grid to accommodate the number of angles in use. For example, if you have up to four clips, you would see a 2×2 grid. If you used between five and nine clips, you’d see a 3×3 grid; if you used 16 angles, the grid would be 4×4; and so on.


7. Drag the playhead through the clip to view the multiple angles.

The clips are displayed in a grid to show you all the angles at once. Some angles start in black because the cameras began recording at different times.

In this case, you’re using the automated Project panel workflow to create a multicamera sequence. You can also manually create a multicamera sequence, giving you more control but taking more time. Explore the Adobe Online Help for more information about multicamera editing.

Creating the multicamera target sequence

Once you’ve made the multicamera source sequence, you need to place it into another sequence. Essentially, it will behave like a clip in your sequence. However, this clip has multiple angles of footage to choose from as you edit.

1. Locate the multicamera source sequence you just created. It should be named something like C1_Master.mp4Multicam.

2. Right-click the multicamera source sequence and choose New Sequence From Clip, or drag the clip onto the New Item button menu at the bottom of the Project panel.

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You now have a ready-to-use multicamera target sequence.

3. Right-click the nested multicamera sequence and look at the options.

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For a multicamera sequence clip to work, the Multi-Camera option must be enabled.

Multi-Camera mode is automatically enabled for this clip because of the way you created it. You can turn this option off or on at any time.

4. A camera angle is already selected. Try choosing another angle and see the Program Monitor update. The clip name updates in the sequence too.

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When you choose a different angle, the clip name updates in the sequence.


Image Tip

To view the contents of a multicamera sequence, hold Control (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) and double-click it. You can edit the contents of the sequence as you would any other. Changes you make will update in the target sequence.


Switching multiple cameras

Once you’ve built the multicamera source sequence and added it to a multicamera target sequence, you’re ready to edit. You’ll do this in real time using the Multi-Camera view in the Program Monitor. You can switch between the different angles by clicking in the Program Monitor or using a keyboard shortcut.

Performing a multicamera edit

Multicamera editing works by selecting a camera angle for the current clip on the Timeline.

If playback is stopped, you can click an angle on the left of the Program Monitor and the current clip in the sequence will update to match.

If your sequence is playing, when you click an angle in the Program Monitor, the sequence clip will update accordingly. However, this time an edit is also applied to the clip, separating the angle selected just before you clicked from the new angle. You won’t see edits until after you stop playback.

Now you’ll perform a multicamera edit.

1. Click the Settings button menu on the Program Monitor and choose Multi-Camera.

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2. Play the sequence to get familiar with it.

3. Hover your mouse over the Program Monitor and press the ` (grave) key to maximize the panel. If your keyboard doesn’t have a ` key, click the panel menu and choose Panel Group Settings > Maximize Panel Group.


Image Note

On an English-language keyboard, the first nine camera angles are assigned to keys 1–9 along the top of your keyboard (not the numerical keypad) by default. For example, press the 1 key to select Camera 1, press the 2 key to select Camera 2, and so on.


4. Set the playhead at the start of the sequence and press the spacebar to start playback.

The first few seconds are silent until the click track begins. You will hear a series of short beeps followed by the professionally recorded track.

5. Click the images to switch between the multiple camera angles during playback. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts, 1–5, that correspond to the camera angle you want to switch to while recording.

When the sequence finishes playback, it will have multiple edits. Each separated clip’s label starts with a number that represents the camera angle used for that clip.


Image Note

If you have effects applied to your clips, these are displayed as usual in the Program Monitor. This is helpful if you have applied color adjustments to match different angles.


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Featured track, used with permission: “That Summer,” by Jason Masi (www.jasonmasi.com)

6. Press the ` (grave) key, or click the panel menu and choose Panel Group Settings > Maximize Panel Group, to restore the Program Monitor panel to normal size.

7. Play the sequence and review your edit.

Imagine the director on this production decides the audio is too loud for the planned distribution medium.

8. Right-click the audio track and choose Audio Gain.

A new dialog box opens.

9. In the Adjust Gain By field, enter –8 and click OK to lower the audio.


Image Note

After making your edits, you can always change them in the Multi-Camera view of the Program Monitor or on the Timeline. You can even trim parts of the multicamera sequence as you would any other clip.


Re-recording multicamera edits

The first time you record a multicamera edit, it’s possible you will miss a few edits. Perhaps you cut too late (or too early) to an angle. You also may decide that you like one angle better than another. This is easy to correct.

1. Move the playhead to the start of the Timeline panel.

2. Press the Play button in the Multi-Camera view to start playback.

The angles in the Multi-Camera view switch to match the existing edits in your Timeline.

3. When the playhead reaches the spot you want to change, switch the active camera.

If your keyboard has the keys, you can press one of the shortcuts (in this case, 1–5), or you can click your preferred angle in the Multi-Camera view of the Program Monitor.

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Featured track, used with permission: “That Summer,” by Jason Masi (www.jasonmasi.com)

4. When you finish editing, stop playback by pressing the spacebar.

5. Click the Program Monitor Settings button menu and choose Composite Video to return to a regular viewing mode.

Finalizing multicamera editing

Once you’ve performed a multicamera edit in the Multi-Camera view, you can refine and then finalize it. The resulting sequence is like any other sequence you’ve built, so you can use any of the editing or trimming techniques you’ve learned so far. There are a few other specialized options available, however.

Switching an angle

If you’re happy with the timing of an edit but not the angle you chose, you can always swap the angle for another. There are a few ways to do this.

• Right-click a clip, choose Multi-Camera, and specify an angle.

• Use the Multi-Camera view of the Program Monitor (as you did earlier in the lesson).

• If the correct track is enabled or a nested multicamera sequence clip is selected and your keyboard has the keys, use the keyboard shortcuts 1–9.

Flattening a multicamera edit

You can flatten a multicamera edit to reduce the amount of processing power needed for playback and simplify the sequence. When you flatten the edit, the nested multicamera sequence clips are replaced with the original selected camera angle clips.

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Image Note

If you flatten your multicamera sequence, audio adjustments are lost. Leave audio work until later.


The process is simple.

1. Select all the multicamera clips you’d like to flatten.

2. Right-click any clip and choose Multi-Camera > Flatten.

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Once the clips are flattened, the process cannot be reversed, other than by choosing Edit > Undo.

Review questions

1. Describe five kinds of sync point for multicamera clips.

2. Identify two ways to have the multicamera source and multicamera target sequences match settings.

3. Name two ways to switch between angles in the Multi-Camera view.

4. How can you modify an angle after closing the Multi-Camera view?

Review answers

1. The five ways are In points, Out points, timecode, audio, and markers.

2. You can either right-click the multicamera source sequence and choose New Sequence From Clip or drag the multicamera source sequence into an empty sequence and let it auto-conform the settings.

3. To switch angles, you can either click the preview angle in the monitor or, if your keyboard has the keys, use the corresponding shortcut key (1–9) for each angle.

4. You can use any of the standard trimming tools in the Timeline to adjust the edit points for an angle. If you want to swap the angle, right-click it in the Timeline, choose Multi-Camera from the context menu, and choose the camera angle you want to use or press the corresponding keyboard shortcut, 1–9.