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Creating a PIP (Picture in Picture) with Premiere Pro

Creating a PIP effect, or even multiple PIPs for a collage effect, is easy to accomplish in Premiere Pro.

The background image or video should be on the V1 track, and any images or clips that you want to overlay as PIPs should be on higher tracks, V2 or above.

Select a clip on the timeline by left-clicking it to highlight it, then use the Adobe Motion effect, found in the Effect Controls bin, to change the Scale, Position and Rotation of the overlay clip. Any time you make the image smaller or reposition it to fill less than the full screen, the clip below will show through in the background area. If no background clip is present, the background is simply black.

An easy way to manipulate the PIP image is to use your mouse in the Program Monitor window. This provides a more natural way to work than dragging sliders or entering numeric values in the Motion controls interface.

Left-click and drag the image itself in the Program Monitor window to position your clip. Grabbing a node on any side or corner and dragging it will resize the image, and positioning the mouse pointer just outside any corner will display the rotation tool.

If you wish to animate the image to have it change size, rotate or otherwise move about the screen, you’ll need to use keyframes to change the parameters over time. Click the double arrow button at top right of Effects window to show the timeline view, where you can see the keyframes you create and work with them directly.

Position the play head on your clip at the point where you want to begin adding keyframes. Click the stopwatch icon in the Motion controls next to the parameter you wish to enable keyframes for, such as Position. A keyframe is added automatically at the current position with the current settings. Now move the play head to another point in the clip, and change the position of the clip with the interface controls or in the Program Monitor. Any time you change the position, another keyframe is added, or you can manually add keyframes by clicking on the keyframe button, a small diamond to the right of the effect.

Think of this like connect-the-dots, where you will define the points that need to be connected. Position the clip play head at the beginning of the clip, then scale it down and position it at the upper left corner of the screen. Enable keyframes for Position, move the play head to the end of the clip, and adjust the position to the bottom right of the screen.

You will then have two keyframes, representing a starting and ending position for your moving video clip, and it will move diagonally across the screen between the two keyframes upon playback. By adding additional keyframes at different points in time, in various positions, you can make the graphic zig-zag or whatever you want. Keyframes can be added for Scale and Rotation as well for more complex motion. Right-clicking a keyframe brings up options for Bezier curves and Ease In/Out which will add smoother motion to the animation if desired.

These techniques can easily be applied to titles and graphics as well to resize and animate them to enhance any video production.

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Creating a PIP (Picture in Picture) with Premiere Pro