Premiere Pro CC: Multicam Cookbook

[Click here for an updated version (April, 2020). For a step-by-step written multicam tutorial, click here, and for a video tutorial, click here.]

Premiere Pro calls them “multi-camera sequences,” because each “clip” contains more than one clip. (I call them “multicam clips,” because the term is shorter.) A single multicam clip can contain video, audio, and/or stills. While you can mix and match codecs, frame size, frame rate and scanning, you will get the best performance if all these match. With the release of the 7.1 update for Premiere Pro CC, editing and modifying multicam clips changed a bit, which is outlined below.

GET IN SYNC

Before creating the multicam clip, all elements need to have a sync point. You can sync using a common:

Syncing using Timecode is the fastest. If you use clapper slates, it is easiest to mark the clap with an In. If you use markers, all markers used to indicate a sync point must have the same name. Syncing on audio requires all cameras to have audio recorded on them, which rules out syncing still images.

BUILD AND EDIT A MULTICAM CLIP

  1. Create a sync point for each clip, unless you are syncing using audio.
  2. Select all elements to combine into the clip in the Project panel.
  3. Create a multi-camera source sequence. Choose Clip > Create Multi-camera Source Sequence. (You can also select this option by right-clicking one of the selected clips in the Project panel.)
  4. In the dialog, select the sync method and click OK. (As a note, you can also add clips to a multi-camera sequence once it’s been created.)
  5. Because, by default, Premiere only enables audio channel A1 in a multicam clip, enable other audio tracks manually before editing. To open a multicam clip for editing, right-click the clip in the Project panel and select: Open in Timeline. When the multicam clip is displayed in the Timeline, click the Mute button for each audio track to turn it on or off, as necessary.
  6. Double-click to load the Multicam Clip into the Source monitor.
  7. If necessary, click the Wrench icon in the lower-right of the Source monitor and select Edit Cameras. This allows changing the display order of clips by dragging the clip names up or down, as well as the ability to make angles inactive, or active, by checking or unchecking the boxes to the right.
  8. If necessary, set an In and/or Out for the multicam clip in the Source monitor, the same as with any other clip.
  9. Open the sequence in the Timeline into which you want to edit the multicam clip.
  10. Edit the multicam clip into the Timeline.
  11. In the Program monitor, click the Wrench and choose Window > Multi-camera to edit the sequence. (The image grid automatically includes all current angles in the sequence, up to 16 images.)
  12. Click the Playback button to begin playback.
  13. To change angles, either click the camera image in the Multi-camera Monitor, or type Control+1 – 9 on the main keyboard (not the keypad).
  14. Stop playback.
  15. To replace one shot with another, put the Timeline playhead in the shot you want to change and click the image of the new shot in the Multi-camera Monitor.
  16. To cut and change angles, place the playhead where you want the cut to occur and Command-click the new image in the Multi-camera Monitor.
  17. Adjust and refine edit points using the roll trim, and other standard trimming techniques. (You can do a Ripple trim, but it will cause a jump in the action or audio.)
  18. Add transitions, or effects, and polish as necessary.
  19. When editing is complete, select the entire multicam clip in the Timeline and choose Clip > Multicam > Flatten. This reduces the stress on your hard disk by only playing the angles that are active in the Timeline. (Note: Once flattened, you can not “unflatten” a multicam clip for additional editing.)

Done.


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28 Responses to Premiere Pro CC: Multicam Cookbook

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  1. Flatten is also usefull when you send your project for grading in Davinci Resolve. It won’t work correctly if you don’t do that.

  2. Allynn Wilkinson says:

    Flattening is also great if you want to color correct the clips in the actual sequence (rather than cc-ing the nest). This is really helpful when an individual angle changes a lot (like in a theatrical production). While you *can* make several cahnges to an angle in the nest, it is much, much easier to just change the parts you used in the sequence

  3. RJ898 says:

    Is it possible to color correct an angle of a multicam after editing without going cut by cut?

    • Allynn Wilkinson says:

      Yes. You just have to open the multicam clip (nest) in the timeline and correct that.

      If you try to double click the clip in the multicam sequence (unevenly stacked bars icon) it will just load the multiclip into the source. But if you right click on the nested multicam clip itself (evenly stacked bars icon) in the project pane, you can open it in the timelline. It will appear as a number of stacked video and audio tracks (however many angles you have). Double click the angle you want to correct to load it into the source and apply the color corrector (or what ever filter) to that clip. It helps if you turn off the visibility of the higher clipc so you can see what you’re doing.

      The tricky bit with this is if you only want to correct a certain part of the angle. You can animate the correction over time so it just affects the portioin you want to change. But it is a LOT easier to flatten the multicam sequence!

  4. dom says:

    Hi
    How come, when i’m up to step 11, multi-camera just won’t show in the program monitor wrench menu so i can’t clic it to have a multi cam display in the program monitor ?

    Also, not all the clips appear in the source monitor (eg. 3 out of 4)…

    • LarryJ says:

      Dom:

      I don’t know. I’m running the CC version of Premiere, and it shows up in my Wrench menu.

      Are you sure you’re editing the multicam clip into the Timeline, and not one of the source clips?

      Larry

      • Allynn Wilkinson says:

        Dom… If you’re using Premiere 6 there are a couple of more steps.

        Step 3b – Premiere 6 won’t sync automatically on audio so if you don’t have don’t have accurate timecode or haven’t made in or out point it is just as easy to sync it up manually in the sequence. I sync the audio this way by looking at the wave forms and nudging them.

        4b – Name this stacked sequence “NEST” so you can identify it easily. Right click and choose “New sequence from clip” or drag it onto the “new item” button (right next to the trash can).

        5b – re-name this sequence “multicam”. It should only have one audio and one video track and they will be green. IMPORTANT! Right click on the clip in the sequence window and choose “Multi-camera” and then select “enable”. Now you have a working multicam sequence.

        6b – to *see* the angle in the program monitor you need to go to “Window” and select “Multi-camera Monitor” (this is in a different place from the wrench tool in CC). This will open a new window (hope you have two monitors 😉 and you should see the individual angles on the left and the preview monitor on the right (you can choose to close that form the top right drop down). If you see the same clip twice it means you do not have the multi-camera set to “enable”.

        That should be all you need (assuming you’re using Premiere 6). If you don’t see all of your angles there are a couple of reasons. The most common one is that you simply aren’t looking at a time when all the cameras were running. Move your playhead to the middle of the sequence and see if everything is there. The other common reason for not seeing a camera is that that video track is turned off in the NEST. This happens a lot if you are color correcting or otherwise moving things in the nest. Just go into the nest and turn on the track and the video should appear in the multiclip sequence.

        The NEST and multiclip sequence are inextricably linked! Hope this helps.

        • dom says:

          Thanks a lot
          everything worked properly
          it was indeed a change in the different menus display, so one can’t find what is just not appearing !
          tought something was wrong

  5. Nathan says:

    Hello, I’m working with the brand new release of Premiere (CC 2014), And I’m needing to add clips to a heavily edited multicam sequence. Basically it’s a music video and I discovered some additional very useful shots, and it is a nightmare just positioning them above the sequence and turning visibility on and off. So my question is can these additional shots be added into the multicam sequence so that I can see simultaneous playback with all the other ones? This is very time-sensitive, an answer would be greatly, greatly appreciated!!

    • LarryJ says:

      Nathan:

      Maybe. Are you able to sync the new shots to the old shots using, say, a marker?

      The trick is keeping your old edit, while adding the new clips. Here’s one approach you can try.

      If so, you could create a new multicam clip containing both the old and new shots, add it to a track above your existing multicam clip and edit JUST the new shots where you want them in the Timeline. Then, remove portions of the new multicam clip where you want the old shots to show through.

      Larry

      • Allynn says:

        Can’t Nathan just add the new clips to the original nest as a different camera angle? Then they would appear in the same multicam sequence. The trick, of course, is syncing them up but if you already have them on the time line (in sync) you can just make note of that timecode and use it when you drop them in the old nest. And, of course, audio helps especially with a music video. Open the audio channels and look for the beat.

        • Allynn says:

          Silly me! I guess the morning coffee hadn’t kicked in yet! If you already have the clips in the right place on the timeline all you have to do is copy that whole track and paste it into a new track in the nest. It will appear as a separate camera angle in the multicam.

          Now this pre-supposes that you haven’t flattened the original multicam. I’ve been burned by this in the past (it’s a one-way trip in Premiere). What I do now is make a duplicate of the sequence **before** I flatten the multicam. That way, I always have a multicam version to go back to. If you have already flattened it you can still take the whole sequence with the old shots on one track and the new shots on a different track and drag that to the “new item” button to make a *new* multicam out of that. You will have to manually enable multicam by right clicking on the single track in the new sequence and selecting “Multi-Camera” and checking “enable”

          • Nathan says:

            Thank you so much for your responses, I really appreciate it. Please bear with me as I try to understand, as I am not all that experienced with nesting and multicam editing, though I like to think I have the basic mechanics down.

            I think what you’re saying makes sense, Allynn, (and no, I haven’t flattened anything yet, because I of course need to retain the ability to make changes in each and every clip used in the timeline.

            So this is where I am at now. I have a multicam sequence edited with the existing original clips. So how would I in essence open up that nest to a point where new clips could be integrated in? Because I know if I just throw the new clips in video track above the edited nest, and nest again, that pre-edited nest that I already have will basically be a “baked in” track where no changes to the original contents can really be made.

            So how do I get the sequence to a point where it would pretty much looks like i had included them when the nest was originally made? Please don’t be afraid to get extremely specific, you won’t offend me by oversimplifying the step by step process.

            AND AGAIN: Thank you so much for taking the time to help a fellow editor out!

  6. Allynn says:

    Hi Nathan! Always happy to help out when I can. I do a *lot* of multicam editing!

    Have a look at these images:
    http://s103.photobucket.com/user/AllynnW/embed/slideshow/

    The “Nest and Multicam Sequence” shows the icons for a nest (which contains multiple tracks) and a multicam sequence (which has only one track). Somewhere in your project you have a nest that links directly to your multicam sequence. Depending how you synced up the clips in the first place it might be named after one of the clips. Just look for the evenly stacked icon. That’s the nest. I usually rename it and add the word “nest” so it’s easy to spot.

    Once you’ve found it, all you need to do is right click on it and choose “open in timeline. I usually lock tracks in a nest if I’m adding new stuff so nothing gets out of whack. If all of your new footage is already in the timeline in the right place, just copy that entire track (including the audio), create a new video and audio track in the nest sequence, and paste it in. I’m guessing you’d get something like the image “nest with added clips”

    Now when you look at the multicam monitor you should see the added shots. See the image “original and edited multicam”. If you don’t, it might be because the new track was turned off.

    Nests are really powerful things (for good as well as evil 😉 In general it’s best to stay out of them because they *directly* affect your multicam sequence. But, of course, sometimes directly affecting your multicam sequence is exactly what you need to do.

    Hope this helps. Post again if you have any questions

    • Nathan says:

      Allynn, thank you again, you’re unbelievably thorough and that is awesome. What you’re explaining totally makes sense, but for the life of me I can not find the actual, “root” nest. The multicam that I’ve been editing was named “Nested Sequence 01” by default, but nowhere in my project can I find that neatly stacked icon nest. Is it possible that CC 2014 made it harder to access the nest to help users avoid destroying their project on accident?

      • Allynn says:

        Hmmm… odd. Try this. Open your multicam sequence in the timeline, right click on it and choose “reveal in project”. That *should* open up whatever bin the nest is hiding in.

        If it doesn’t…. I’m not sure… if you originally selected a bunch of video files and told Premiere to “Create a Multi-Camera Source Sequence” then you definitely should have a nest hanging around somewhere. There are other ways to create multicams (more manual) but I doubt you did that.

        • Nathan says:

          SUCCESS! Allynn, thank you again. Your strategy worked, but the only anomaly was that the “Nest” sybol, the neat stack, seems to be completely absent. Basically, the multicam and the nest have identical “Nested Sequence 01” with just the normal sequence icon. So, the only way to tell what’s what, is to open the sequence to see if it is the original nest or multicam. Very confusing, and I’m not sure why the nest emblem is gone. But hey, problem solved, and adding shots to the nest DOES directly effect my multicam, so mission accomplished. Thanks Allynn. You are surely some type of angel.

  7. Allynn says:

    Hey… So.Glad.It.Worked!
    As for no nest symbol…. well.. if you make a multicam in a different way (the “old” way) by syncing up your clips on a regular timeline and then dragging that sequence to the “new item” button you won’t have a nested sequence icon. I doubt that that is what you did but… anyway… doesn’t really matter as long as it works!

    Happy editing!

  8. Pailin says:

    Hey there, I just have a question about editing in multicam mode. I just switched to Premier from FCPX so still a bit rusty.

    When I switch camera angles in the multicam mode, the video track gets cut up, but the audio stays intact. Then the problem is, starting from that first multicam edit point, my video track becomes unlinked from audio, and now I easily lose sync if I start refining and removing materials from the sequence. In FCPX, when you do a multicam edit, it cuts both audio and video, and so I can go back and refine both the audio and video edits, and it’ll keeping the sync no matter how you move it around. Is there a way to do this in Premier? I.e. to cut both audio and video when you perform a multicam edit so that the audio remain linked to the video? So what I’m trying to do is perform a rough cut through the multicam mode, and then go back and trim down the video and move materials around after.

    Thanks very much for anyone who can help!

    • Larry says:

      Pailin:

      Actually, there’s an option in Premiere which allows you to edit only video, only audio, or both audio and video. The default – and the most common option – is to edit video only.

      To change this setting, right-click one of the images in the multicam edit window and turn ON “Multicamera audio follows video.” When this is checked, you are editing both audio and video. When this is NOT checked, you are editing video only.

      Larry

  9. Jason says:

    Hi there,
    I’m wondering if there’s anything like a sub-clipping option for multicam, or is that just not what it’s intended for? Is there some kind of workaround at least? thanks!

  10. Benji says:

    HI there!

    I’m cutting multiple interviews in the same sequences for a few projects. Documentaries and Reality Shows. I’ve done this for years in Avid (and I believe even Final Cut classic). However in Premiere Pro CC, I can make a timeline out of one multi-clip “sequence/clip” for one of the interviews and it works as it should, but when I try to add additional “multi-clip sequences/clips” to the timeline it just has the video angles stacked on top of each other. Like only one multi clip sequence allowed per timeline. This is quite troublesome. Any way to fix this or is just not something Premiere has gotten up to speed with? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
    BG

    • Larry says:

      Benji:

      I don’t see this behavior. I just created a multicam clip, opened it in the Source Monitor. Set Ins and Outs and edited three different segments from the same multicam clip into the Timeline.

      Each behaves as a multicam clip, yet with different content because the Ins and Outs are in different portions of the clip.

      If what you are seeing persists, please contact Adobe Support.

      Larry

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