Learn pancake editing in three simple stages

Aug 17, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Learn pancake editing in three simple stages

Aug 17, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Pancake editing is a term I’ve heard a few times lately, but not something I’ve really started to look into until recently. It’s essentially an editing workflow designed to help speed up your editing process while keeping things more organised.

In this video, video editor Piotr Toczyński walks us through his pancake editing process. And, no, it has nothing to do with maple syrup.

It’s a fairly simple process, that comes together in three stages.

Stacking the timelines

It might seem odd to work with multiple timeliness simultaneously, especially when it’s all ultimately going to go into a single sequence anyway. But this is the basic principle of how pancake editing works. You have several timelines on top of each other in your view, stacked like pancakes (hence the name).

To hear Piotr describe it, it’s a fairly intuitive way of working. You need at least two timelines, and a reason for working with them together. For example, you might have your main edit, and then a separate sequence to store all of your favourite b-roll clips for easy browsing when you want to slip them into the main sequence.

This makes it really easy to be able to drag clips between sequences. It’s a nice way of keeping everything organised without having to have things one big huge sequence. And you won’t have to go hunting through a whole bunch of bins in your project browser.

Opening sequences in the source monitor

This is something I didn’t know Premiere could even do until I stumbled across it by accident one day while not watching what I was doing. It’s not something I use all that often, but it can help to speed things up. In the case of pancake editing, it means that you can have your main timeline in in the program window, and your second timeline easily accessible in the source monitor while you scrub through.

As well as allowing you to easily scrub through the b-roll and other secondary sequences, you can very quickly insert clips using the standard in/out/overwrite/insert shortcuts on your keyboard, which is a massive timesaver.

Dynamic Sequences

Dynamic sequences are a little like embedded smart objects in Photoshop. They allow you to pull sequences and other content from linked project files, to include in your current one. Essentially you’re able to import sequences from other projects in a read-only state into your project. While you can’t change those locked sequences, you can bring them up in the source monitor and use your usual editing tools just as with any other piece of footage.

Piotr covers the topic well without it getting too detailed. It’s an overview of a process that looks quite simple to do, but is probably quite a quick and powerful workflow once you master it. I can already see how I want to incorporate a couple of the tips from the video into my own workflow.

[via No Film School]

 

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Learn pancake editing in three simple stages”

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    Callan Strickland

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