Final Cut Pro Split Screen PIP Effect Video tutorial

Yo what’s up everybody this is and today I’m gonna be showin’ you how to create a split screen effect using Final Cut Pro, kind of like what you would see in 24 if Jack Bauer was after you asking you where the bomb was.

So I got a new project open in Final Cut Pro and I’m gonna take a couple of these clips that I got on my desktop and drag them into my browser. And then I’ll open up clip 1 in the viewer here. And this is some dude that’s all tattooed up. He’s getting his head shaved here and we got a little pan of his backside and then uh… actually, you know in clip 2 here, if I load it into the viewer, there’s another clip with his face getting shaved. So what I want to do is have a clip like this on one half of the screen and then the first clip here of the pan up of his body on the second half of the screen. At once. A pitcher-in-picture effect.

So anyway here let me, um, grab this and actually I’ll start right before the pan up. Maybe right there go – use the arrow key and go up or back a couple frames and I’ll press I to set an in point and then let me scrub ahead just before we come up and reveal his hand there. You see his hand on his ear? I don’t want to see that. Cause I want to cut the clip right before that. So I’ll go right before that and press O to set and in and out point for this clip. And then actually let me come down here to the timeline and I’ll detach the source audio so that when I drag the clip to the timeline only the video will appear, not the audio. So, I’ll load up the clip to her, and I think I do a couple takes of this so we’ll find the best one here but she likes shaves his head and then looks at the camera. That looks good. Oh they’re having fun afterwards there. Maybe I’ll go right before that, right about there, and I’ll set an out point, and let me scrub to before… right about there I guess and we’ll set an in point. Okay. I’ll just drag it up here on top of the first clip.

So we have clip 1 and then clip 2 directly on top of it. But when you scrub the playhead over these clips in the timeline you’ll only see clips 2 in the canvas and, um, that is because it’s completely covering over clip 1. And what we could do here is select this clip from the timeline or just click inside the canvas and a wireframe will appear. If it doesn’t you can come up here to this little drop-down and select image and wireframe to display the image and the wireframe for the image inside of the canvas. And with a wireframe selected you can come up to one of these corners click and drag to adjust the scale of the clips so you see if I drag inwards here, as I click and drag on a corner with a wireframe displayed, it will make the clip smaller in the timeline and reveal the clip beneath it on the canvas. And then I can click and drag inside the middle here and reposition it. So I can position it over here in this corner.

Now another way that I can manually adjust these parameters is by using the motion tab up here inside of the viewer. So that if I double-click this clip and loaded it into the viewer then I can come up here to the motion tab and adjust the numerical parameters for the clip. Let’s work on a little bit of editing here.

Maybe… hmm, I dunno. I’ll have this pan up be full screen and maybe have this appear into it after like five frames. So I’ll come up here about five frames, double-click this first clip bring it into the motion tab, and then I’ll set a keyframe for the scale and the center position and for this I’ll have it at zero for everything.

There we go. Actually you know what… let me bring this to 10, and then I’ll click and drag it into a corner here in the viewer. and then I’ll go to up to about, I dunno… I maybe 20-25 frames . Let’s do 25 and we’ll set another key frame for this clip. Click the clip from the canvas up a little bit. Maybe make it bigger here… 50%. There we go. So in-between 5 and 25 frames here since we set keyframes at five frames in and then another keyframe at 25 frames to have it move from the scale and position of that bottom right corner to the larger scale for the clip.

So then we can have it be full-screen for this first clip underneath and at five frames we’ll go in, set a keyframe for the scale and position of the first clip on the first layer and then we’ll go up to 20 frames here or what was it, 25, and we’ll set another keyframe for the scale and position and then scale this other clip down a little bit and move up into this other corner.

Whoop… let me do a command-Z and go back. I accidentally clipped a different clip there.

So we’ll scale this one down to I dunno 50% and move the scale of it over. Let’s move it over, out here. Tweak with this a little bit. Make it a little bigger. There we go. See now look if we go back then we can have this one be full screen and from 5 seconds to 25… (chuckles) FRAMES I mean, not seconds

Then you will be able to see it go from fullscreen to a smaller screen into the corner and then have the second clip reveal from a smaller scale to a larger scale from the right-hand bottom corner.

So let’s watch that little effect: bam, there you go. So and then maybe I’ll go, when this other clip ends, instead of it just abruptly ending there in the timeline I can have it keyframe out kind of like how the other clip was revealed. So I dunno let’s go to about 2 seconds in the timeline, double-click this first clip and then go up to the motion tab and set a keyframe and for the scale and center position. And then I can go back the timeline and click and hold on the playhead here and drag it to the end of the clip with snapping enabled. Press the arrow key backwards one frame so that I’m on the last frame of that clip and then I can set another keyframe for the center and scale position. Click on the clip in the canvas and drag outwards and then click and drag on one of the corners to have it scale smaller so it kinda gets smaller and disappear off from the screen. Up into the corner like that. Then I can double-click on this second clip in the other later and since the playhead is already on the last frame I can set keyframes for that and then drag it back to 2 seconds and set keyframes there too. Let’s go back to that last keyframe at 2 seconds and 14 frames and I can, uh, double-click this clip again in the motion tab and then with the keyframe set I can have the scale go to 100% and the center position go to zero on both. So that that clip will become full screen.

So now we have our effect setup. Full screen to a split screen and into a full screen for the second clip.

And that’s pretty much how it’s done! You can, uh, mess around with it. You know, the animation of a going from full screen to a smaller screen to reveal the second clip inside of the split screen is a matter of using keyframes. You can use direct cuts also, but slow smoother transition if you use the keyframes. So that’s pretty much the effect you would do. And have fun!

Jasper Thayer is the developer of

He has over 15 Apple Pro Certifications for video editing and special effects including Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro X and Apple Certified Trainer for Motion 5. Jasper is also an AWS Certified Developer and AWS Certified Solutions Architect. is known worldwide for its unmatched excellence in providing top-quality Final Cut Pro X tutorials. Subscribe to our mailing list to remain updated on the latest info about Final Cut Pro X tips, tricks, and tutorials.