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Hot Shots with Premiere Pro 2.0: Multicam Editing

Tutorial Series, Part 2 By Charlie White

The primary goal for Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0s new multicam routine was to make it a straightforward process. In this tutorial, well walk through the technique, and youll see how this new tool uses familiar conventions that are already in Premiere Pro 2.0. Youll be able to direct the sequence, calling the shots with real time playback, and then have the full power of Premiere Pros editing tools to get inside your cuts and make fine adjustments. To follow along, you wont necessarily need clips that were shot at the same time on multiple cameras.

First, capture four clips of about three minutes each, or find any clips on your hard drive of that length. Start a new project, name it and save it. To make sure were all on the same page, go up to the Window menu and click on Workspace. Selected the Editing workspace, and then were ready to go.

If you have four clips that were shot of the same scene, thats optimal, but if you dont, youll be able to use four long clips even if they were shot at different times. Lets use Adobe Bridge to locate these clips and bring them to the timeline. Go to File menu and select Browse, which is the fourth item from the top. That will launch Adobe Bridge and heres where you can navigate to the place where your clips reside.

Once you get there, you'll notice that Adobe Bridge lets you preview any of the video files by single-clicking on them. Experiment with dragging that preview window larger for a more expansive view. Also note while you're in Bridge the variety of file attributes you can enter to the fields at the bottom left. This metadata can be searched later, giving you an excellent method of file management.

Shift click or control-click to select the four clips youd like to use. For this next step you may need to reduce the size of Bridge so that you can see the Premiere Pro project panel.

Once you've done that, simply drag those four clips into the project panel.

Next, were going to create a sequence where well pace these four different clips.

At the bottom middle of the project panel you'll see a little page icon (it's the sixth icon from the left), and if you click that you'll see a drop-down menu. Select the first item in that menu, Sequence.

Give the sequence a name -- call it anything you'd like. Beneath the sequence name, you'll see tracks for video, click the up arrow and designate 4 tracks. For audio, it already has 3 stereo tracks, just increase that to 4 by clicking the up arrow. Once you have those selected, click OK and you'll see your new sequence appear in the timeline.

Now its time to put the four clips we chose earlier into our sequence. Go to the project panel and select the first clip you chose, and then drag it down from the project panel to the video 1 track on the timeline. As you slide the clip back and forth, if you slide it all the way to the left youll see that it will automatically snap to the beginning of the timeline. Once you have it there, release the mouse and youll have your first camera angle in its place on video 1 of the timeline.

Next, repeat this for the second, third and fourth clips, snapping each clip into place at the beginning of the timeline. Here's the end result.

Next, select all four of these clips by positioning the cursor above them and then clicking and dragging across them all to select all four tracks. Control-A on the keyboard does the same thing if youd like to use that.

Once all these clips are selected, right-click on any of the clips and you'll see a pop-up menu. Choose Synchronize from that menu and you'll see the dialog box that helps you slide the clips around until they are all properly synchronized.

Here's that dialog box. Now if you're lucky enough to have four shots that are all possessing the same time code, click the Timecode button underneath Synchronize Point and you're done. A handy feature here is the ability to ignore hours, in case, for organizational reasons you distributed timecode with a different hour to each camera but have them otherwise synchronized.

If you have clips from four cameras whose shots were all taken in the same place and at the same time but without timecode, find a spot where you can synchronize all of them?it might be hard to tell where theyre exactly synchronized unless there is an event such as a camera flash. For the future, keep this in mind if you do want to shoot multicam without benefit of having all the cameras ?jam-synched with the same time code: its a good idea to take a flash picture at the beginning of your production which will make it easier to sync up the clips later.  

Anyway, if youre using just random clips, note that this is where you will do your synchronization if youre actually doing an actual multicam edit. What you can do if youve given yourself such a cue, is put each clip individually into the source monitor, and place a mark on each of the clips at a particular audio or visual cue, and you can automatically synchronize them that way. Of course, you can also slip and slide the clips as you would anywhere else in Premiere Pro to manually synchronize them.

The next step is to nest this group of clips into a new sequence. Go to the project panel and again click that small page icon in the bottom middle of the project panel. When that drop down menu opens, select New Sequence. Lets name the sequence Multicam Target. Click the down arrow of the video tracks to reduce it to just one track, and do the same thing with the audio track. Next, click the OK button and youll see a new timeline with no tracks in it yet.  

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Related Keywords:Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, multicam, tutorial, technique, direct the sequence, calling the shots, real time playback, editing tools, adjustments, multi-camera


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