Friday, August 20, 2010

Multi Camera Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

The recent upgrade to version CS5 of Adobe Premiere Pro has really opened up the process of multi camera PC editing with Canon dslr's using the h.264 codec. These video formats do not lend themselves well to smooth scrubbing nor playback on any PC, no matter how powerful a CPU core. Enter CS5's Mercury Playback Engine, which in conjunction with choice Nvidia graphics cards, suddenly all has become smooth with rapid rendering times to match.

My wife, Karen, has started a digital embroidery business, Karil Custom Designs (, and acquired a new Babylock BMP9 machine to handle some of the more challenging designs she will likely encounter. To this end, Karen is producing a series of tutorial videos in running this machine, including the process of setting up the digital aspects of this machine along with the actual embroidering action. To best capture and explain this process, several video cameras are needed to provide different perpectives simultaneously on this rather complex operation.

Here's a short video on a typical setup of the movie set, in this case using a total of four video cameras: a Canon 5D Mark 2, 2 x Canon 7D's, and an ultra-wide angle 1080p GoPro Hero HD.

Multi Camera Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 from David Rilstone on Vimeo.

Music is "Welcome to the Show" by Kevin MacLeod.

As the clip explains, each camera has a specific function; all of which are brought in together for editing in Premiere Pro CS5. This Non-Linear Editing (NLE) program quickly enables, among many techniques, to:

1. synchronize each video & audio track to each other
2. use split-screen to highlight detail from one camera against that of a second camera
3. the use of titling to provide: a) titles (obviously), and b) labels
4. transition effects to visually soften the switching from one camera to the next camera onscreen
5. video & audio effects; not noticeable to the viewer, but such video/audio effects as highlight control, balance, levels, etc. are used to better blend each camera's output with the other
6. multi camera editing control - a very powerful feature in which each camera's output is displayed next to each other to enable the editor to pick and choose which camera display will be placed and actually show on the timeline. Very similar to how a TV producer in the control room can pick and choose which TV camera will be broadcast at any given moment.
7. Voice over audio - rather than use use the soundtrack recorded during the actual video shooting, CS5 enables the editor to record a voice over later. The same applies to placing a music track along the timeline well after the video shooting itself is finished.
8. Key framing: a quick & easy method to apply a multitude of video and audio effects over a specified time frame.

Stay tuned for the resulting embroidery project using all the above equipment and editing techniques above. It will be a colourful experience!!!

Questions? Suggestions?


  1. Wow! that's all I can say. Actually, I am so very impressed with the two of you and how your follow your passions. It's wonderful that you are willing to share your interests with the rest of the world so that we can learn as well. Keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Kathy! It's great that Karen's passion for digital embroidery "converges" with mine for video-making. :)