How to Do Picture in Picture Final Cut Pro

Hi! This is Dylan from Stupid Raisins. In this video I’m going to show you how to do the picture in picture effect in Final Cut Pro. This is a really cool way to show two or more videos at the same time and will make your videos look more professional and polished.

In this video I’m going to show you two picture-in-picture techniques that take less than 60 seconds each. Next, I’ll show you how to make a picture-in-picture effect with different shapes including your own custom shape. After that I’ll show you how to draw a unique picture-in-picture with a cool glow effect for a high tech look. Then I’ll show you how to do a one-click picture-in-picture and I’ll show you an easy trick to keep your audio synchronized when doing picture in picture effects. 

Let’s check it out

Transform and Crop

Basic rectangle – Stack your picture-in-picture clips in your timeline. Select your top clip and go to the Video Inspector. Adjust Scale under the Transform section. Drag the number down to make it smaller. You can also right click the viewer and select Transform. Just drag these corner handles to adjust. The corner handles will not change your aspect ratio but the middle handles will squish your clip and change your aspect ratio unless you hold Shift then drag a middle handle. Use the middle circle to adjust the position. 

Let’s make it look better by adding an outline. First, go to your Effects Browser, then Search for “Simple Border”. Drag and drop it on your top clip. Boom baby! Now you have an outline. You can change the color. Go to the effects under the Video Inspector. Then click the color box and select your color. You can also adjust the width of the border but be careful. This is an inside border so it will cover your clip – so don’t add too much.

Basic square – You can also use Crop to make a square picture in picture. First, go to the video inspector. Then go to Crop and enter 450 for both Left and Right and 30 for both Top and Bottom. After that, right click your viewer and select Transform. Resize by dragging the corner handles or the middle handles while holding down the Shift. Then drag the circle in the middle to move your clip. 

You can’t add a Simple Border with this method because itt only works with rectangular shaped clips. If you Simple Border to your square clip, you get top and bottom bars. But don’t worry, there’s a workaround and I’ll show it later.

Shape Mask

You can also make a picture in picture effect using a shape mask. Go to your Effects Browser and search for “Shape Mask”. Then drag and drop it onto your top clip. You can make a square, rectangle, circle or oval. Adjust your picture in picture effect in your Viewer. The top and bottom green handles adjust the height and the left and right green handles adjust the width. The inner red line adjusts the overall size and the outer red line adjusts the feathering. The upper left white circle adjusts the curvature while the middle circle adjusts the mask position and the small green circle adjusts the rotation. 

The default shape is a rectangle but if you want an oval go to the Video Inspector and change the curvature 100%.

To make a circle, go to the video inspector and set Radius X and Y to the same value. For example, 200. Make sure scale X and Y under Transforms are set to 100%.

Let’s turn this into a square. Set Curvature to 0. Adjust the mask to reveal the part of your clip you have in mind and then right click in the viewer and select Transform to move your picture-in-picture effect. 

You can make it look super pro by animating the picture in picture. You’ll need to use keyframes but don’t worry I’ll show you step by step. Move the playhead to the beginning of your top clip. In the video inspector under Transforms, click the add keyframe icon next to Scale. Set scale to 0. Move your playhead forward 10 frames and set scale to 100. Move your playhead to 10 frames before the clip ends and add a keyframe. Now move your playhead to the end of the clip and set scale to 0. Now your picture-in-picture grows and shrinks!

Shapes Generator and Image Mask

You can make different shaped picture-in-picture effects like diamond, hexagon, or a heart. First, go to the Titles and Generators Browser. Scroll down to Generators and click Elements. Drag and drop the Shapes generator in between your top and bottom clip. Then go to the Generator Inspector and select your Shape. Uncheck Outline and set Drop Shadow Opacity to 0. Go to the Effects Browser and search for Image Mask. Drag and drop it onto your top clip. In the video inspector click the Mask Source image well and then click your shape clip you just made and then hit Apply Clip.

Let’s add an outline. Click your Shape clip then go to the Generator Inspector and use Fill Color to select your border color. Go to the video inspector and adjust the Scale to make your outline visible. Select your top and shape clips then press Alt plus “G”. Name your compound clip and click OK. Looking good!

Draw mask

You can make a unique shape for your picture in picture effect with the Draw mask. First, go to your Effects Browser and search for Draw mask. Drag and drop it onto your top clip. In the Viewer, add control points by clicking and moving the pencil icon. By default it will be straight lines but if click and drag you’ll get a curved line. Complete your custom shape by clicking on the first control point. To change the position of the mask, just click and drag any inner part of the mask. To move your picture in picture just right click, select transform and drag the middle circle.

Let’s add some glow effect to make this pop. First, duplicate the masked clip. Just hold Option and then click and drag the masked clip upwards. Then go to the Effects Browser and search for Focus. Drag it to your bottom masked clip and go to the video inspector and change the Width to zero. Go to the Color Inspector, click the drop down arrow and select Color Wheels. Drag the circle at the middle of the Global wheel to select the color you want. Adjust the saturation with the left slider and adjust the brightness with the right slider. Once you’ve tweaked your colors, select your 2 top clips and make them a compound clip with Alt plus G, name it and click OK.

Are you enjoying this video and finding it helpful? Go ahead and hit that LIKE button! I’d really appreciate it!

Using Frame Pop

Maybe you don’t want to do all this work and just want a one-click picture-in-picture effect. Don’t worry. I got you! I made a plugin called Frame Pop and it comes with 25 professionally designed and animated Picture-in-Picture Effects. It’s pretty easy to use. Just drag and drop a frame onto your top clip. The top controls change the overall position, size and rotation. The bottom controls change the clip’s position, size and rotation inside the picture in picture effect. In the video inspector you can change a ton from animation styles to how the frame looks. Use the top controls to make the frame smaller and move it to the bottom right corner. Enable Grow and Shrink under animations. Scroll down and change your frame color. Check out your sweet animated Picture-in-Picture effect you made in seconds!

Syncing audio

Before jumping in feet first with picture in picture effects, you should know this important audio tip. Many times your clips will have audio and need to be in sync. For example: interviews, podcasts, speaking and event videos. If this is the case, be sure to synchronize your clips first. Go to the Browser and select your clips with audio and right click. Click Synchronize Clips and enter a name. Under Custom settings make sure Rate is the same as your project. Then click OK and wait for it. You now have this synchronized clip in your Browser. Double click it to view. Then trim your clips so they are aligned. Select all with Command plus “A” and then Command plus “C” to copy. Then paste this in your project by hitting Command plus “V”. Now you have synchronized clips ready for a picture in picture effect.

Now that you’ve learned how to make a picture in picture effect in Final Cut Pro, I’ve made another video about how to export your video to mp4. Click here to check it out.

About Dylan Higginbotham

Hey there. I'm Dylan Higginbotham, and I'm pretty dang obsessed with Final Cut Pro X plugins. Subscribe below because I love giving away free plugins and contributing great content.

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