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Applying Specialized Editing Tools in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Multicamera editing

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

Creating the initial multicamera sequence

The first step is to create a multicamera sequence from your captured footage:

  1. Open Lesson 08-06.prproj.
  2. Double-click multicam_01.mov to open it in the Source Monitor.
  3. Move the Source Monitor current-time indicator to where the bikers high-five after the race, which is at 00;00;16;16.

    You will use the high five as a clapper slate to set the sync point on all four clips.

  4. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) in the Source Monitor time ruler, and choose Set Clip Marker > Next Available Numbered.

    This adds a little marker triangle behind the Source Monitor current-time indicator (you’ll need to drag the current-time indicator out of the way to see that marker).

  5. Check that the Video 1 track header is targeted (highlighted). If not, click it as needed to target the track, and move the current-time indicator to the beginning of the sequence.
  6. Click the Overlay button (Insert will work in this case too) in the Source Monitor to drop multicam_01.mov on the Video 1 track in the sequence.
  7. Repeat the sync point location process, including adding the clip marker, for multicam_02.mov. I selected 00;00;16;29 as the sync point. Add the marker to this clip as you did on the first clip.
  8. Click the Video 2 header to target that track, move the current-time indicator to the beginning of the sequence, and click the Overlay button in the Source Monitor.

    Your sequence should look like the one shown here. Note the marker icons in the clips. You will line up those markers in a few steps.

  9. Repeat this process for multicam_03.mov, marking it at 00;00;15;27, targeting the Video 3 track, and moving the Timeline current-time indicator to the beginning before clicking the Overlay button.
  10. Repeat this process for multicam_04.mov, marking it at 00;00;17;06; however, there is no Video 4 track on the Timeline, so you can’t target a track to overlay it to. Instead of moving the clip with the Overlay button, you can drag it to the Timeline. Click in the Source Monitor, drag to the gray blank space above the Video 3 track, and drop it. Adobe Premiere Pro creates the Video 4 track.

    Your sequence should look like the one shown here. Notice that the markers do not line up. That is OK; you’ll take care of that next. If you had trouble marking your clips, open Lesson 08-07.prproj to start at this point.

  11. Marquee-select the four clips.
  12. Check whether the Video 1 track is targeted (highlighted). If not, click its header to target it (it’s not necessary, in this case, to target an audio track).
  13. Choose Clip > Synchronize, select Numbered Clip Marker (Marker 0 is the only choice), and then click OK. The clips align to the marker on the clip in the Video 1 track.

    All the markers are lined up vertically. The beginning of the clips above the Video 1 track were trimmed because they all had more video before the sync point than the clip in the Video 1 track. Now that all four clips are in sync, you can start switching camera angles.

Switching multiple cameras

Now you will nest that synced and trimmed sequence in another sequence, switch on the multicamera function, and edit this four-camera shoot:

  1. Choose File > New > Sequence, and name it Multi-cam. Choose the preset DV – NTSC Standard 48kHz to match your source media for this project.
  2. Drag Sequence 01 from the Project panel to the beginning of the Video 1 track on the Multi-cam sequence. This is called nesting a sequence in a sequence.
  3. Click the Video 1 track header to target it, click the nested sequence video clip to select it, and then choose Clip > Multi-Camera > Enable.
  4. Choose Window > Multi-Camera Monitor.

    The five-pane Multi-Camera Monitor opens.

  5. Click the Play button in the Multi-Camera Monitor, and watch this video to get a feel for when to make your edits.
  6. Move the current-time indicator to the beginning of the Timeline, click Play, and start clicking any of the four screens on the left side to switch among those cameras.

    A red box appears around the selected camera each time you make an edit.

  7. Use the playback controls to review your edited sequence.

    Note that at each edit point a yellow box appears on that camera shot.

  8. Close the Multi-Camera Monitor. You can always return to it by selecting it from the Program Monitor menu.
  9. Take a look at the sequence in the Timeline.

As shown here, the sequence now has multiple cut edits. Each clip’s label starts with [MC#]. The number represents the video track used for that edit.

Finalizing multicamera editing

To change an edit in the Multi-Camera Monitor, do the following:

  1. Open the Multi-Camera Monitor by choosing Window > Multi-Camera Monitor.
  2. Click the Go To Previous (or Next) Edit Point button, or use the Page Up and Page Down key to move to an edit.
  3. Click a different camera to change that edit.

Changing an edit in the Timeline

To change a multicamera edit in the Timeline, do the following:

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the clip you want to change.
  2. Choose Multi-Camera from the context menu, and click the camera number.

Multicam tips

Here are a few helpful tips on multicam editing in Adobe Premiere Pro:

  • You can use any of the Timeline editing tools to change the edit points of a multicam sequence.
  • You can replay the multicam sequence with the Multi-Camera Monitor from any point to reedit the project.
  • You can switch back to the sequence where the original clip is and apply effects or color correction (you’ll learn about color correction in Lesson 16), and the effect will ripple to the nested multicam sequence.
  • If you don’t have a good visual clue in the video to sync multiple clips, look for a clap or loud noise in the audio track. It is often easier to sync video by looking for a common spike in the audio waveform.