Learn How To Use The Pancake Timeline | A Basic Overview


Pancakes! They’re delicious, they’re light and fluffy, and they’re really good for video editing in Premiere Pro!

Wait, what?  

That’s right! The pancake timeline is a great way to save time as a video editor!  But what is it and how do you use it?  Well let’s dive into Premiere Pro and find out together!

What Is A Pancake Timeline

So what is the pancake timeline?  It’s basically when you stack two or more timelines on top of each other.  Think about these two timelines being stacked as two delicious pancakes.   The benefit of this method is that you move around clips between them, and even copy clips between them.

So let’s start with: how do you set up your timelines to work like this?

Start by grabbing your timeline tab at the top here.  From here you can move it all around and see where it will end up by these highlighted sections.  Drag one of these timelines onto either the top or bottom section and then release with your mouse.  Now what you see is that your timelines are stacked on top of one another.  

From here you can work with each of these timelines individually.  When you do so the video playback will respond to which timeline you are working with at that moment.

Essentially here, you’ve already created the pancake timeline.  But now the question is ‘how do you use it effectively?’

Using The Pancake Timeline

This can come down to a matter of preference.  But what most people go for is this idea that you have a selection of clips.  Normally, you would go through your clips in essentially two parts.  The first part is in the project manager where you make selections and then bring them onto the timeline.  On the timeline is step 2 and from here you simply work with them and try to edit and organize to your final product.  

But with the pancake timeline you can work in three steps.  Bring your clips that have been whittled down to their usable parts in your project manager.  Some people call this process selection, and others even go as far as to call this timeline, selects.  For us, I’m simply going to call it Good Shots.  From here, you can duplicate your timeline, and I’m going to name this new timeline Full Edit 1.  Then I’ll delete everything inside of New Edit 1 and bring it into it’s pancake formation.  

From here you can now start with our new third step.  We’ve made selections from our rough clips, 1.  Brought them onto a timeline of all our selections of good shots, 2. And now we can select from a smaller selection of only good shots to comprise our final edit. 3.

This can dramatically help you save time as you have a much smaller range of footage that you’re searching through and it’s always in clear view!  Instead of having a bunch of excess footage at the end of your timeline sectioned off and just using in and out markers to not include them in the export, you can actually just use an entirely unique timeline, and all your rough unused clips are still right there, but have no chance of interfering with your main edit.  

This also gives you the advantage of either moving clips over during the editing process or choosing to duplicated them to the new timeline, either by copying and pasting or by holding alt or option and clicking and dragging. The reason you may want to just move them over is so that when you choose to use a clip, you don’t include that in the list of other clips you may also want to take from later. In essence, it makes it easier to find a new clip to use in the final sequence because there’s less selected clips to choose from.

On the other hand you may want to duplicate them so that you have a full view of all the clips that you have to work with, or maybe there’s the possibility of using the same clip twice in your final edit. Or maybe you just don’t like deleting things.  Either way, the freedom is yours to use this method however it best improves your workflow.  That’s the great part of editing, you get to do it how you want.

We hope you found this video helpful.  If you did, we’ve got lots of other tutorials for Premiere Pro, After Effects, and filmmaking in general! If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.  

Thank you so much for watching and we hope to see you in the next video!

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