6 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2009 12:20 AM by Paul_LS

    Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?

    Wes Cox

      In PE3, is there a way to synchronize two digital video files (AVI) to create a AB roll type post edit.  My two captured video files seem to have different frame speeds or frame durations.  How do I align and frame match 2 video sources?  The situation is a 2 camera shoot.  How to best create an AB roll edit of the 2 videos sources with audio from one video file as the common element?

        • 1. Re: Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?
          Paul_LS Level 4

          Here ya go. An article written by the forum moderator Steve Grisetti on AB roll editing with two sources.



          The different frame speeds/durations will give some problems, not sure how this has occured, are both cameras 29.97 frames per second (assuming NTSC) or is one 30fps?? Anyway you will need to align the clips at several points to overcome this, by shifting one track along the timeline with respect to the other. When the focus is on the A clip (upper track say), cut the B clip (lower track) and shift it to align with clip A before cutting to clip B.


          Alternatively you could try to adjust the clips to be the same length before you start. You could put clip A on one track and B on another track, then take two points that you know are the same instant in clip A and B (ideally at each end of the video) and then time stretch (time stretch tool icon is above the timeline)  to adjust the length of one clip so that it aligns with the other clip. Then delete the untouched clip from the timeline and export your time lengthened/shortened clip as a DV-AVI (File>Export>Movie) and use this clip in your AB roll editing.


          Regarding your audio question, simply right click on one clip, select "Unlink Audio and Video" and then simply delete the audio.

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          • 2. Re: Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            Thanks for referencing that article, Paul.


            In Premiere Elements, as you can see, it takes a bit of a workaround.It's possible, but not terribly intuitive.


            This is a process that's infinitely easier in Premiere CS4, which allows you to view all of your video layers at once and then easily select which displays when.

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            • 3. Re: Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              Armed with Steve's article, you should be able to do what you want.


              I've got a question, and maybe a suggestion to address the frame-rate problem early on, to help solve that problem without a lot of fiddeling. What are the two frame-rates? G-Spot will tell you exactly, if you can not find this in Properties. If the source files are DV-AVI, they should be of the exact same frame-rate to begin with, but if one is off a bit, I'd convert the non-DVD spec one to match. First place I'd try this would be to simply Interpret Footage in the Project Panel. If that does not work, then Windows Movie Maker can do this for you, or you can use other conversion tools to get them to match. I use DigitalMedia Converter, but it's not freeware. Getting the two sources into perfect sync in the beginning will go a very long way to achieving success.


              Good luck,




              [Caveat] I do not have PE3, only PE4, but I think that this will apply to your version.


              [Edit] After reading Steve's article, the one thing that I would do (after establishing sync) to assist me in editing multi-camera would be to set the Video Track Display to show all "frames" and the expand the height of each of the two Video Tracks (VT's), so that they occupy most of the vertical real estate in the Timeline. Then, I'd zoom in on the horizontal display of the Timeline, so that I could see fairly clearly, each frame. This basically makes the Timeline like a detailed Sceneline, but keeps you in Timeline Mode. Because you do not have the Multi-camera Mode that PrPro does, you will not be getting anything but your upper Video Track footage in the Program Monitor. You will be viewing the footage ON the Timeline. This WILL necessitate a lot of horizontal scrolling on the Timeline, but is doable. Then, when you wish to be using the footage from VT1, you will cut out (Sissors Tool) the overlaying footage from VT2. I'd personally arrange my main footage (like the main Audio Track in Steve's article) on VT1, and my "cutaway" camera's footage on VT2. As VT2 takes prescedence over VT1, you can leave VT1's footage pretty much alone, and just cut the footage on VT2. I would use Cross-dissolves on the Head and Tail of the the "cut" Clips on VT2. Remember that if you use these, you will want to make sure that the cut has come where you want the scene on VT2 to absolutely start, or end. The Duration of the Cross-dissolves will determine when the scene either becomes 100% visible (Head), or 100% invisible (Tail). Also, remember that Dip-to-Black on VT2 takes the image on VT1 to black, hence my use of Cross-dissolves.


              Using this method, also allows one to do a bit of nudging of the Clips (cut from the original) on VT2, to compensate from any loss of sync. Though you could possibly use this to adjust for the differences in framerate, I'd still try to get the footage as exact, as is possible, to start - a lot less work that way. Also, once the "holes" have been cut into the footage on VT2, you can start to use the Program Monitor much more.


              As Steve points out, PrPro makes it easier by locking Tracks and a Multi-camera dual monitor, when in Multi-camera Mode.


              This was exactly how we did it with film, except that we had to splice in black leader, where the cuts were made, and could not keep our VT1 footage intact, as we can with an NLE and video. Since we were dealing with sprocket holes, we had spiked gears (sprockets)  on a "sync block" and once we'd get the alignment right, would physically flip down a guide, that would "lock" the film to those two rolls of film to the sync block. Even though it sounds tough, when you read it, it's really not, and so very much easier, than it was with film.

              • 4. Re: Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?
                Wes Cox Level 1

                Good article. I have not digested the full text but reading the first 2 paragraphs gives me hope.  Thanks  for the quick response

                • 5. Re: Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?
                  Wes Cox Level 1

                  You wrote a nice article in 2006. Thanks.  I have moved from SONY U-MATIC linear editor to Premier 6,2 and now a little step to PE3 before I consider CS4. I am accustom to transition from track1 to track2 and back to track1 which I can't find that capability in PE3.  So does CS4 allow transitions between tracks as in Premier 6.x?

                  • 6. Re: Can PE3 synchronize two video sources for post edit AB roll?
                    Paul_LS Level 4

                    The basic PE3 track "workflow" is really the same as CS4 with respect to track stacking and transitioning.