Friday, November 8, 2013

Using Picture in Picture in iMovie

Press the 3 dots to see the overlay options
Oh, yes they did. Amongst a lot of great upgrades to the already awesome app, including slow motion and shared theaters, there is also the addition of an overlay feature. You have several options for overlays: cut-aways, picture in picture, and split screen. Here's the play by play to include them in your next movie.

Inserting an overlay
Go ahead and open up a new movie project. Insert the video you'd like to use as the main video by selecting it in the content area in the upper right. Hit the down arrow to drop it in your timeline. Next, move your scrubber (the white line) to the location where you'd like to insert your overlay. Again, find the clip in your video content area. Select it, but this time, choose the "more" option by pressing the three dots. 

The overlay options, described below.

You'll see four options, described from left to right:

  1. The squiggly line (that's a technical term) will move just the audio from the video to your project. Great if you want to use the audio with a different clip.
  2. The next option is the cut-away option. That means that when you insert the overlay clip, the main video will cut away to show that clip, then come back to the main video.
  3. Next up is the picture-in-picture. Using this overlay will add your clip to the main video. Then you can adjust where you'd like to have the overlay in the frame and even mask it (more to follow). 
  4. Split screen is last. This will let you view both videos at the same time. 
For any of the four options, the video clip will be inserted wherever you left the white line. If the overlay didn't end up where you want it, don't worry. Just move it by pressing and holding the overlay. You'll be able to pick it up and drop it in the correct position. 

Editing your overlay

The picture above is a look at what your timeline will show after you have inserted an overlay. You'll see the overlay sitting on top of the main video. Select it, and you'll see it highlighted in yellow. On the preview screen, you'll see some options open up for you. Press the "move arrows" and you'll be able to resize and reposition the picture-in-picture anywhere on the screen. Choose the magnifier to mask the video by a simple pinch and zoom. 
Reposition and mask options

That's all there is to it. Like anything related to iMovie, you really have to play with it to get good. But think of the possibilities that we now have to augment our students' videos. They can now add news broadcast features, easily combine a voiceover from a different video clip, or compare videos playing side by side. I'm looking forward to seeing what our teachers and students come up with. 

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