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Can I overlay one video clip over another?


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I'm sure this has been answered many times before, but I've done a lot of searching and failed to find it.


What I need to do is to overlay one video clip over another. Basically, I have a video of people talking about stuff, and I want to cut to video clips of the events they are describing but to keep the audio of the original video running during the cut-away clip. I thought this should be straightforward, but I am struggling with it.


Can anyone help?



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There are several ways of doing this. Here is one that works relatively easily. It would be a good idea to copy this so you can follow it.


Get your main clip and cut-away clips onto the Media list.

First step is now to drag and drop your main clip onto the sequence line.

Set the sequence to display in timeline mode.

Now right click the soundtrack and select to "Unlink the sound clip/s".The sound track will now move down to the next free soundtrack but will remain in synch.

Play your clip in the RH preview pane to the point where you want to insert your cut-away and then stop. You can adjust the cursor bar more precisely if required by dragging the heart shape at the top or using the <> buttons on either side of the Play triangle.

Now left click the "Split" button to cut the main track.


The next step is to get the cutaway clip (the insert) onto the sequence line.

Right click your cut-away on the media list and select to "Add the item to the Sequence" and then select "Slider's position".


At this point the sequence may look a little odd as it may resize and soundtracks might seem totally wrong but all is well.

As you don't want the cut-away soundtrack to play you will need to remove it. I prefer to delete it rather than simply mute it. (I feel it gets in the way) So...


Right click the cut-away clip and select to "Unlink the sound clip". The track will again drop down to a free space.

Remove it by first a left click (which will select and nudge it to the right a bit ** ) and then right click it in order to select "Remove selected audio". This will clear the audio from the cut-away clip.


** Even though you have unlinked the sound from the clip, if it is not physically moved along the track then deleting it will also delete the clip.


Now replay the sequence and again stop where you want the main clip to re-enter. Adjust the cursor line to the exact point and once again "Split" the sequence line which will now split the cut-away clip. Remove the unwanted right hand bit of the cut-away by a right click and "Remove selected clip" You can refine the length of the cut-away section by dragging the ends if needed.


Now you need to remove some of your main clip.

Although you can use the preview counters to determine how much to cut off, I prefer to use Storyboard mode. So switch into Storyboard mode.


You will now see the precise length of your insert in seconds displayed beneath the thumbnail. You need to remove this amount from the left hand end of your remaining main clip.


Now. Right click the thumbnail of the remaining main clip to the right of the insert. The cursor will jump to the start of the clip which will display in RH preview pane. Beneath this it will show the cursor position. You need to move the cursor along the clip exactly the same amount of time as shown under the cut-away thumbnail.

So add the cut-away time duration to the time position of the cursor shown under the preview. This will be the position where the next split should be made.


As an example.. your insert clip shows 2.7 seconds and the cursor position (at the end of the insert) shows 0:1:05.5 seconds. Add these together to give 0:1:08.2


Now grab the cursor and drag it along the sequence noting the counter below the preview window. Stop when the figures match you addition. Note you can move frame by frame using the <> buttons on either side of the Play button.


When the figures match, "Split" the sequence line one more. This should cut off a bit of the main clip exactly matching the length of the insert (The duration values shown beneath the thumbnails will be the same).You can undo the split if they aren't identical and try again.


To finish of the procedure right click the unwanted left hand bit of main clip and select "Remove selected clip"


The full sequence should now play and be in synch after the insert has played.


It sounds a bit long winded but once you have given it a try with a couple of practice clips you will see it's quite straight forward. Just takes a bit to describe.




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