(Last Updated: April 20, 2020)

The picture-in-picture effect (also called video overlay) lets you place a video clip in a small frame on top of another so that they play at the same time. You often see this effect in instructional videos where webcam videos are placed at the corner of the tutorial ones. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create the picture-in-picture effect in ActivePresenter 8.

Create picture-in-picture effect

Before getting into details, bear in mind that:

  • ActivePresenter enables you to record screen and webcam at the same time. What you get is a slide that displays both your screencast and webcam as two separate videos. The webcam video is smaller and placed at the bottom-right corner of the screencast, making a picture-in-picture (PIP) effect.
  • Alternatively, you can record your webcam separately and insert the webcam video into the main video slide.
  • It’s practical to combine the video overlay effect with the green screen effect. Use the latter to key out the background of the superimposed video to integrate two videos.

For more details about recording webcam, refer to How to Record Webcam

To create a video overlay, you need to:

  1. Insert the PIP video (the smaller video clip placed on top of another) into a slide.
  2. Resize and reposition the video and change its timing. You can also add animation effects to the video to make it more engaging.

Details about these steps are described in the following parts.

Insert Videos for Picture-in-Picture Effect

ActivePresenter allows you to insert videos by three ways:

  • Click the Insert tab > Video > From Files… or directly drag video from your computer and drop it into the Canvas.
  • Record webcam: Click the Insert tab > Video > Webcam Recording.
  • Record video: Click the Home tab > Record Screen > Record Video.

For details about inserting videos, see How to Insert Videos.

Modify PIP Videos

In a video overlay effect, the PIP video must be smaller than the background video/slide. It’s usually placed at any corner of the background video/slide. So, after inserting a PIP video, you should resize and reposition it if needed.

Resize Videos

PIP videos should not be either too big or too small because they may cover a large area of the background or look so tiny. To resize videos, do one of the following:

  • Click and drag the resizing handles (green dots).
Click and drag the resizing handles (green dots) to resize the PIP video.
  • Click the Properties pane > Size & Properties > Transform > Width and Height. You can also clear the Lock Aspect Ratio check box to freely change the video’s proportions. If you wish to go back to the original size, click Restore Original Size.
Change size of the video in the Properties pane.

Reposition Videos

Usually, PIP videos are placed at the corner of the screen so that they won’t cover important information in the center. Similar to resizing videos, do either of the following to reposition them:

  • Move the video to another position on the background video/slide.
  • Click the Properties pane > Size & Properties > Transform > Left and Top.

Change Videos’ Timing

In the Timeline pane, drag the video object along the timeline to change its start time. Alternatively, you can click the Properties pane > Size & Properties > Timing.

Change video timing in the Properties pane.

Animate Videos

Optionally, you can animate your video to make it more engaging. ActivePresenter provides four types of animation effects, namely entrance, exit, emphasis, and motion path. For more details, see the following tutorials:

Play PIP Videos over Multiple Slides

Play the PIP video over multiple slides if your project has more than one slide. To do so, right-click the video object on the Canvas or in the Timeline > Play over Multiple Slides. Then, choose to place the video in the Top Layer of the stack order of slide objects.

Play videos over multiple slides.

After that, in the Timeline pane, there is an icon that appears next to the object name to indicate that object is playing over multiple slides.

In the Timeline pane, there is an icon that appears next to the object name to indicate that object is playing over multiple slides.

Note: If you select Bottom Layer, your PIP video will be at the bottom of the stack order. That means, on the Canvas, it may be not shown due to being covered by other objects. Therefore, select the Top Layer to put it on top of other objects. You can see How to Order Objects to learn more about the stack order. 

So, that’s how to create a picture-in-picture effect or video overlay effect in ActivePresenter 8. Use this effect to create effective eLearning courses or how-to videos. Besides, you can use Green Screen effect to remove the background of the PIP video to make your presentations more professional. Stay tuned for the next useful tutorials. 

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