Multi-cam editing in Adobe Premiere CS5.5

When shooting a scene with only one camera available, generally many takes need to be filmed in order to ensure you have all the shots required in the editing phase of a project. While this is great for one camera shoots, it is a slow process and leads to issues like continuity problems.

Multi-cam screenshot

With video cameras, and still cameras that can shoot video becoming so cheap these days, it’s common to have more than one camera available. The obvious answer is to shoot a scene from multiple angles so you have more choices in the editing phase.

While you can simply layer the different cameras up in the timeline and “a/b” cut between the two, this process becomes increasingly complex as more cameras are used.

This is where a feature known as “multi-cam” comes into play. Using multi-cam, you can sync up to 4 cameras simultaneously, then switch between shots in a much easier and more intuitive interface. It makes your post production more akin to live switching.

Below is an example of a final edit using multi-cam.

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While this is generally considered an “advanced” technique, the process itself is relatively easy. As long as all videos have a sync point (which can be something visual like a camera flash, or something audible like a clap), you can synchronise everything in post and then have an editing process that is far quicker and more effective.

Below is the short screen cast giving an overview of the main steps. I know that when trying to learn more advanced tools, it can be a pain to acquire all the required material first, so I have posted the source footage here for people to have a play with. (WARNING: Large download – 1.4GB).

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