Are you working on a film or an interview spot that has multiple camera angles for the same scene? Premiere Pro’s multi-camera editing feature lets you sync multiple camera angles in one sequence, then seamlessly switch between those angles by pressing the number keys on your keyboard. It’s easy and time saving — two things I love!
So, let’s get to it. If you want to follow along by using the video clips I filmed and used in this tutorial, you can grab them on my website here.I filmed all three video clips in 1080p HD at 30 frames per second (fps) on three different cameras: the Canon EOS M3, Canon XF100, and iPhone 6. (See if you can tell which camera is which!) I edit with a Mac OS system and use the latest version of Premiere Pro CC 2017 (11.0.2 Build).
Step 1: Create a Multi-Camera Source Sequence
In your Project Panel, create a bin (Premiere Pro’s name for a folder) called “Multi-Cam” and place all of your camera-angle video clips in that bin. I have three camera angles and I’ve labeled each accordingly:
- Cam 1 (this one contains the high-quality audio track)
- Cam 2
- Cam 3
Audio Tip: For multi-camera editing, I recommend that you record all of your angles with audio, and that one camera angle contain the high-quality audio track. The other angles can have poor quality, such as on-camera sound, but you need at least one camera angle with high-quality audio to successfully edit a multi-camera source sequence.
Next, right-click on the bin (ctrl+click for Mac OS) and choose “Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence” from the context menu. This will open up the Multi-Camera Source Sequence dialogue box.
This is where you choose how you want to combine the multi-cam video clips. You can combine clips by in/out points, overlapping timecodes, or audio waveforms. In this tutorial, I’m going to combine the clips using Premiere Pro’s advanced audio-sync waveform feature. After you select “Audio,” you need to choose the Audio Sequence Settings. You have three options:
Camera 1: This setting will sync all video clips with the audio track from camera 1 only — the audio tracks from the other camera angles are muted. This means that the audio from camera 1 will be dominant and constant throughout your multi-camera source sequence.
All Cameras: This setting will mix all the audio tracks from the video clips together.
Switch Audio: This setting is great if you want each camera angle to use its own source audio. For example, once you start editing (see Step 4), when you select Camera Angle 2, the audio from Camera Angle 2 will be heard, and if you switch back to Camera Angle 3, the audio from Camera Angle 3 will be heard, and so on.
In this case, I don’t want to select the “Switch Audio” option, as only Camera Angle 1 contains the high-quality audio track I want in my final video. And since I don’t want the audio tracks from other angles to be heard, I definitely don’t want to select “All Cameras.” I’m selecting the “Camera 1” option, so that all camera angles will sync with the audio from Camera Angle 1.
Step 2: Create a Multi-Camera Target Sequence
The target sequence enables you to edit and switch between multiple camera angles. To create a target sequence from your multi-camera source sequence, right-click on the new multi-camera source sequence from your Project Panel and choose “New Sequence From Clip” from the context menu. Double click on this sequence to open it and begin editing.
3. Enable Multi-Camera Editing in the Program Monitor
To begin editing, first enable multi-cam editing mode by clicking on the “+” icon from the Program Monitor and dragging the “Toggle Multi-Camera View” icon into your toolbar. Click on it to activate.
Quick Tip: You can also enable the multi-camera editing mode using the keyboard shortcut Shift+0.
Once you’re in multi-camera editing mode, you’ll see two windows within the Program Monitor. In the left window, you’ll find all the camera angles that exist within the multi-camera source sequence (in this case, you should see three camera angles). You can also re-order the camera angles to change the sequence order or disable them by selecting “Edit Cameras” from the Source Monitor’s pop-up menu. In the right window, you’ll see the composite target sequence (what you’ll see in the final video product).
If you scrub through the sequence now, you’ll only see Camera Angle 1, because we haven’t told the sequence to switch to another angle yet.
Step 4: Editing and Switching Camera Angles
To begin, play the sequence by hitting the spacebar, then, according to your desired time code, click on the camera angle you want viewed in real time.
Editing Tip: Use your keyboard’s number keys to switch between angles: 1 for Camera Angle 1, 2 for Camera Angle 2, 3 for Camera Angle 3, and son on.
Switch back and forth between the angles until you achieve your desired sequence. Once you’re finished, hit the spacebar to stop. When you zoom in to the sequence, you’ll see that Premiere Pro has automatically cut and replaced the new angle for each timecode you selected. Multi-camera magic!
5. Adjusting and Refining Your Multi-Camera Target Sequence
To adjust and refine cuts, use the Rolling Edit tool. Select the tool from the toolbar (or press “N” to activate the rolling edit), then grab the cut and roll it to the desired timecode in the sequence.
Or, let’s say you want to change from Camera Angle 2 to Camera Angle 3. You can do this by clicking on the clip in the sequence and pressing the number of the angle you want to change it to. It’s really that easy!
Finally, go in and add any effects, such as color correction, music, or transitions to the sequence, as you would with any standard sequence in Premiere Pro.
If you have any questions about this process, or multi-camera editing in general, please leave a comment below or drop me a line on my website!