How to Create Picture-in-Picture- Advanced iMovie Tutorial

Creating Picture-in-Picture is a really cool effect that can be done using some advanced iMovie techniques.

Check out the tutorial below to learn how.

(video source: NOandRofilms)


We highly encourage you to download the “How to Use iMovie- Tutorial Guide” 4-Step Checklist.
It will help you speed up the editing process for every one of your videos.

Got your 4-step checklist?

Great. Now, let’s move on…

Adjusting the Audio

Open up iMovie and grab the clips you want to use. Note that you can turn the audio down individually here:

01 Turn down audio in iMovie by dragging elastic band icon from clip in timeline

You can also adjust the fade out and fade in of the audio here. 

02 Fade audio in and out by dragging little ball icon inside of timeline clips

If it’s all the way down here like this, it will begin to fade lower. 

03 Dragging elastic band in movie clip will completely mute video clip inside of iMovie timleine

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Adding Video

Import the video you’d like to overlay into iMovie, then select and drag the part you want.

05 Drag selected clip from video files into the imovie project timeline

You can put it down here if you only want the audio of that video

06 Place video file underneath video clips to only take AUDIO portion

Or you can put it up here which is where we want it.

07 Place clip above videos to take the VIDEO portion, which creates a cutaway

Different Advanced iMovie Options

You can choose a couple different video options at this point. Green and blue is if you have a green screen on the imported video. In that case, only your body will show up. 

We could also choose side by side, it’s fairly popular as well. 

08 Select clip on top, go to Adjust and click on Cutaway dropdown to reveal Side By Side and Picture in Picture optoins

You can change the order of which one you want to be first over here. 

09 Example of %22Side by side%22 video effect

Select the top clip and choose picture-in-picture from the options.

10 In iMovie, click on dropdown in Adjustments panel and select %22picture in picture%22

It will put the selected video on top of the main project video.

11 Click on small clip in the iMovie preview window and drag it where you want it on screen

Adding picture-in-picture effects

There’s a variety of picture-in-picture effects like zoom, dissolve and swap.

12 click on %22Zoom%22 dropdown in iMovie Adjustment settings to set the movement animation for PIP screen

Choosing “Swap” in the drop down menu will make the video clips switch places on a timer. 

13 Click on seconds box to adjust the animation timing for iMovie PIP

The timing of the effect can be changed with the seconds box next to the drop down.

Adding a Border

You can add a border to the picture-in-picture video, we’ll go with the widest one. 

14 Choose border option in iMovie adjustments to add a border and change color to PIP video screen

You can change the color of the border as well.

15 change color to PIP video screen

Finally, you can add a shadow by clicking the check box in the corner.

16 Check shadow box to add a shadow to your iMovie PIP video screen

Once you’re done, play the video to see how it looks.


How did your video turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

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