Tip #570: 3 Ways to Create Split Screens in FCP X

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #570: 3 Ways to Create Split Screens in FCP X

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key is to stack clips vertically, then scale and crop as needed.

A freeform split screen, courtesy of MotionArray.com.

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This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

Split screen videos can be a fun stylistic choice for a variety of video types, but they also allow you to display more information on-screen than a single clip. With split screens, you can create engaging motion graphics videos with just a little keyframing. In this tutorial, we are going to show you a variety of methods for creating dynamic split screen videos in Final Cut Pro X.

A split screen effect works by layering the footage and changing the shape and size of your video clips, so they are displayed alongside one another. Because of this, It’s helpful to know the layout you want to achieve so you can work out the sizes to make each video.

Option 1: Vertical & Horizontal Splits

Vertical and horizontal split screens are when the screen is divided into two sections, displaying a different clip on each side. For both of these types of split screen layouts, you can use the same method, but just change different cropping settings. For a vertical video, change the left and right crop controls. For horizontal, change the top and bottom crop controls.

Option 2: Multiple Video Splits

To create multiple splits, you can use the vertical/horizontal method above, but you’ll need to add more layers. Creating split screens with more than 2 layers of video can become a little complicated, especially if you want to be precise about your placement.

Option 3: Freeform Splits

Another style of split screen often used in music videos and motion graphics videos is the freehand split screen. Rather than neatly laid out in equal sizes, the freeform style consists of videos arranged in whichever way you want. It will take a bit of playing around to get right, but it’s worth it!


The article, linked at the top, has details and videos illustrating how to create and animate each of these effects.

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