Arranging and editing multicam footage

Descript allows you to work with multicam footage without sacrificing the simplicity of text-based editing. We do this by grouping files into sequences. Think of a sequence as a virtual container that keeps grouped tracks in sync while you edit. You can adjust a sequence's visual arrangement to show different speakers in each scene and create multicam layouts across your composition.

Create a sequence

Creating a sequence from imported files

  1. Open or create a new project.
  2. Add the media files into your composition at the same time. When prompted, make sure to add your speaker labels, set the transcription language, and select Combine files into a multitrack sequence.

Adding multiple video files to blank Project; transcribing the files; creating a multi-track sequence

Please see our importing and transcribing media files guide for more details on importing media.

You can adjust the position of tracks in your sequence from the Sequence Editor. This is helpful if you need to sync files to have the same start or end times.

Creating a sequence from the Media Library

If you have already imported project files, you can create a sequence from the Media Library:

  1. Open the Media Library at the top of your editor screen and view the Files tab.
  2. Select the files you want to include in your sequence.
  3. Create the sequence:
      • If you haven’t transcribed the files, right-click with the selected files and choose Transcribe files. Next, select Create multi-track sequence and then select Done. Transcribe files, then create sequence.
      • If your files are already transcribed, open the Media menu and highlight the files (you can hold Shift + Click to select a range, or Command/Control + Click to select each file) and click Create sequence at the bottom-right.

        Creating a sequence with transcribed project files.

  4. Now you’ll see the Sequence Editor. Make any necessary edits in the sequence editor and select Done in the top right corner.
  5. Re-open the Media Library and view the Files tab.
  6. Open the sequence folder, select your sequence, and click Insert into script.

    Media menu window with selected media; inserting the sequence into the Script.

Arrange your footage

Once you’ve added your sequence to a composition, you should see the transcription of all the files in your Script Editor and the video layers on the Canvas. Now you can adjust the layout of the videos of your sequence.

Project view with videos layed out in the canvas.

Add scenes by active speaker

If you want to quickly add scenes based on who is speaking, select stars_icon_V51.png and choose to Add scenes by active speaker. This will create scenes every time a speaker starts talking and will display that person’s video layer.

Using Action bar menu to add scenes by active speaker.

Displaying videos from your sequence

You can choose which video layers to display from your sequence and arrange them in a variety of layouts. To remove a video layer:

  1. Select the video in the Canvas.
  2. Press delete (macOS) or backspace (Windows).

    Removing a video layer from the canvas.

To display an additional video layer from your sequence:

  1. Click the section of the script you want to view layers for. You will see the properties panel change to show the Layers section which lists all visible and hidden layers in the composition.
    • If you have a clip in the Timeline selected, click in an empty area in the layer lane to de-select the clip.
    • If you have a layer in the canvas selected, make sure to click outside of the canvas to deselect the layer.
  2. Click the Show layer button next to the Sequence file you would like to see appear in the Canvas. You may also right-click on the file name to adjust the layer order if it is hidden behind another layer, though this isn't required to adjust the layer boundaries and position.
  3. Position and resize the videos in your scene from the Canvas.

Showing hidden layers on the canvas.

Add scenes to your composition

Anytime you would like your visuals to change — for example, if you want to cut to a different speaker or change the visual layout, you’ll need to add a scene break.

The quickest way to add scenes when working with multicam footage is to use the add scenes by active speaker feature. However, if you want to manually add scenes:

  1. Place your cursor in your Script where you want to add a scene.
  2. Type / or select the slash icon on the left side of the Script Editor.

    Adding scenes to a composition.

  3. Adjust the visual layout of your sequence in the new scene from the Canvas.

Set up your main layout first

we recommend that you set up your main visual layout for the sequence in the Canvas first before adding scene breaks. For example, if you know 75% of your video has two speakers side-by-side, set up that layout in the Canvas before adding additional scenes. It will speed up your editing process.

Bonus tip: copy and paste scene layouts

Once you’ve created the visual layout of your sequence for a scene, you can copy and paste the visual properties of that scene onto other scenes in your composition. Copying and pasting layouts is a great way to speed up your workflow. To copy and paste a scene:

  1. Select a scene thumbnail.
  2. Right-click and select Copy.
  3. Select another scene
  4. Right-click and select Paste.

Copy then paste scene layout.

3. Edit your sequence’s audio

You may want to edit the audio in individual files contained in your sequence. For example:

  • Two speakers were talking at the same time, and you want to edit out one of them.
  • Your video-audio sync is out of alignment and needs to be adjusted.
  • You need to change the position of the tracks in your sequence.
  • You want to add audio effects or Studio Sound to individual tracks.
  • You need to change the panning or volume of individual tracks

You can make the edits listed above from the Sequence Editor. There are a few ways you can open a sequence in the sequence editor:

  • Double-click the sequence in your Timeline
  • Right-click in the timeline and choose Edit sequence.
  • Right-click the sequence in your media library and select Edit sequence.

Detaching audio

Depending on your task, you may need to first detach audio from a video track in your Sequence Editor.

Detach audio from video in Sequence editor.

Was this page helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful