How to Overlay Videos in iMovie to Make Picture-in-Picture Effects and More

Last Updated: 2022. 08. 05

How do you overlay videos in iMovie?

How do you use the picture-in-picture effect in iMovie on iOS?

- Questions from Quora

Try to add effects like picture-in-picture in your iMovie project? With the iMovie overlay option, you can easily overlay a video or picture on another video in iMovie.

Wondering how to overlay videos in iMovie? Don't worry – We will introduce the iMovie video overlay options and show you how to add video clips and photos as overlays in your video here.


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Anniversary Photo Collage
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Also Read: Fix iMovie Horizon Problem: Rotate Video Slightly to Straighten Video >

Part 1 Introducing: iMovie Video Overlay Options

Before we dive into how to overlay videos for the picture-in-picture effects in iMovie, let’s take a quick peek at the iMovie video overlay options.

One of the great features of iMovie is the overlay, and there are four overlay options in iMovie:

Cutaway: the default overlay option in iMovie. If you choose the cutaway to overlay your video, then at points in the timeline when the video overlay added above the original track, the project will cut to that above footage, and your project will revert back to the main clip when the overlay video ends.

Green/Blue Screen: When you use the Green/Blue Screen option to overlay your video on the main clip, the video clip appears with the green-screen or blue-screen parts of the clip removed, and the remaining parts of the clip should be superimposed on the main clip in the timeline.

Split Screen: The Split Screen overlay allows you to display two videos/images side by side. Here you can also swap the orientation of the clips, so one clip appears above the other.

Picture in Picture: The Picture in Picture option allows you to add an image or video to a small section of the screen, and the clip appears in a smaller window, superimposed on the main clip in the timeline.

iMovie Overlay Options

iMovie Overlay Options

Part 2 How to Overlay Videos in iMovie for Picture in Picture Effects and More

Adding a video over a video is a great idea if you want to keep your audience engaged with your video, and keep reading to learn how to overlay videos in iMovie on Mac and iPhone/iPad.

2.1 How to Overlay Videos in iMovie on Mac

Step 1
Open your iMovie project on your Mac, and make sure you have your videos imported to work with.
Step 2
Drag and drop the main clip to the Timeline and then place the playhead where you want to insert the video overlay, and drag and drop the second video onto the timeline.
Step 3
Now, you should have two videos on the timeline, simply select the video overlay, go to the iMovie toolbar on the top of the screen, and click the Video Overlay Settings.
Step 4
Once you click the overlay setting, you’ll see the overlay types with a little download arrow, just click it and select different ways to position the video. Apart from picture-in-picture, you can also set up positions like split-screen, green/blue screens, or cutaways.
Step 5
Now, you can adjust your overlay on your screen as you wish. Once you have edited the video and worked on overlays in the iMovie video, you can export it on your Mac. Just go to its File Menu > Share > File and choose to save the video in a preferred format, resolution, and quality.

How to Overlay Videos in iMovie

2.2 How to Overlay Videos in iMovie on iPhone/iPad

The overlay options are also available on iPad and iPhone, check the steps below to learn how to overlay videos in iMovie on iOS.

Step 1
With your iMovie project open on your iPhone or iPad, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears where you want to add the overlay clip.
Step 2
Tap the "+" icon to add media, then do one of the following: add a video clip: tap Video, and then select a video; or you can add a photo overlay: tap Photos or Albums to select a photo.
Step 3
Tap the More Options button (three dots), then you will see the four video overlay options, select an overlay option you need.
How to Overlay Videos in iMovie on iPhone/iPad

How to Overlay Videos in iMovie on iPhone/iPad

Part 3 How to Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative

iMovie is exclusive to Apple devices and is not available on Windows, which can be inconvenient for Windows users. So what about overlaying videos on Windows without iMove?

Here is a better simpler alternative to iMovie for you to overlay videos with great ease. Just try FlexClip! In several clicks, you can upload your video clips & photos, then overlay them in your video using the picture-in-picture feature without any restrictions online for free. Besides, you can use numerous animations, transitions, and other effects to level up your video.

Click the Get Started Now button below to make overlay effects in your video. You are also welcomed to browse the beautiful templates and customize them freely, if necessary.

Get Started Now View Templates
Step 1
Upload your footage to FlexClip. You can drag and drop them to the media section directly or upload them from a local file on your computer or from your phone.
Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative - Upload

Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative - Upload

Step 2
Add the main clip to the timeline directly, and then add the second video or any other image that you want to create an overlay within your video to the canva with the picture-in-picture feature.
Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative - Add to Timeline

Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative - Add to Timeline

Step 3
Now, you can adjust the size and location of the overlay by dragging and dropping, and you can also customize the overlay with the tools on the top bar, including adding the filter, adjusting brightness, flipping, and cropping it to shapes.
Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative - Edit

Overlay Videos Online with iMovie Alternative - Edit

That's it! And now you can edit the video with overlays using FlexClip's powerful editing features to level up your video, such as adding title & captions, setting background music, doing voice over, etc.

Pro Tip:
Although FlexClip only allows you to add one video overlay in a scene, you can try as many as you can with picture overlays in your video to create stunning effects.

Final Words

That's all for how to overlay videos in iMovie. Hopefully, you can easily overlay videos in iMovie to create stunning effects like Picture in Picture after reading these detailed tutorials. For your convenience, especially for Windows users, we have also provided the best online iMovie alternative to easily overlaying videos. If you are looking for better and more user-friendly video editing features, then a professional tool like FlexClip would be ideal.

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