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How to Overlay Videos in iMovie: Mac and iPhone Solutions

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Jun 25, 2021• Proven solutions

Have you ever seen effects like picture-in-picture on any video? Well, to attain these effects, a lot of professionals use the iMovie overlay option for media files. If you want, you can easily overlay a video or picture on another video using iMovie. Since it can be tough to learn how to overlay videos in iMovie, it can be a bit confusing for beginners. Don’t worry – I will clear your doubts about iMovie video overlay options and teach you about its picture-in-picture mode here.

Part 1: How to Overlay Videos in iMovie on Mac?

Since iMovie is a freely available video editing tool, a lot of Mac users take its assistance to meet their requirements. If you want, you can learn how to overlay a picture on a video in iMovie or overlay another video via its picture-in-picture setting. Besides that, iMovie can also let you work on cutaways, green screen, and split-screen for advanced editing.

Without much ado, let’s learn how to overlay videos in iMovie by following these steps:

Step 1: Import Videos in iMovie and Start Editing

To begin with, you can just launch iMovie on your Mac and choose to work on a new project. Now, click on the “Import Media” button to load your videos or just drag-and-drop them to iMovie.

Once that is done, you can drag the video to the working timeline at the bottom so that you can start editing.

Step 2: Overlay Pictures or Videos in iMovie

You can now view all the added videos and images on the timeline in iMovie. Here, you can select the picture or video of your choice and drop it on the original clip. For instance, to learn how to overlay a picture on a video in iMovie, you can just drag the picture and drop it on the video.

Afterward, you can view that the source video would be at the base of the timeline while the overlayed photo/video would be placed at the top.

To further customize the iMovie overlay for video option, you can go to the viewer at the top and click on the Overlay Settings button. Here, you can choose to reposition the overlayed photo/video, dissolve it, add borders, shadows, and make further edits.

You can also click on the overlay type here and select different ways to position the picture/video. Apart from green/blue screens, you can also set up positions like split-screen, picture-in-picture, or cutaways.

Step 3: Export the Edited Video from iMovie

That’s it! 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.

Part 2: How to Overlay Videos in iMovie on iPhone?

Just like learning how to overlay videos in iMovie on Mac, you can also do the same on its iOS app. Since the overall interface can be a bit different, you might encounter a few issues navigating the iMovie overlay option for videos. Don’t worry – to learn how to overlay videos in iMovie on iPhone, you can follow this simple drill.

Step 1: Load the Videos/Photos in the iMovie App

Firstly, you can just launch the iMovie app on your iPhone and click on the “+” icon from its home. Now, choose to work on a new iMovie project and simply load the media files (like photos or videos) to the iMovie app.

Step 2: Overlay Videos in the iMovie iOS App

Great! Once the media files are loaded, you can drag and drop the original clip to the working timeline on the app.

Afterward, you can just click on the “+” icon to add another photo or video to the original clip. You can tap on the three-dot icon adjacent to it to select the “Picture-in-Picture” or any other way for the overlay’s appearance.

This will further let you customize the video overlay on iMovie and you can later export the edited video however you like.

Part 3: 3 Best Alternatives to iMovie to Add Overlays in Videos

Since it can be tough to add overlays on a video in iMovie, I would recommend considering the following options.

1. Wondershare Filmora

Developed by Wondershare, Filmora is a professional video editing tool for Windows and Mac that is known for its user-friendly interface. It has several advanced editing options and numerous effects that you can readily use and customize.

  • Filmora offers dedicated overlay options like picture-in-picture that would let you get customized results.
  • You can find hundreds of effects, filters, transitions, captions, etc. to make your videos more appealing.
  • Filmora users can also access an inbuilt stock of photos, videos, and soundtracks that they can readily import to their projects.
  • There are tons of other editing options like pan and zoom, motion tracking, green screen, reverse playback, video stabilization, audio ducking, and more.

2. Final Cut Pro

Even though Final Cut Pro is also developed by Apple, it provides more advanced editing options (and is not free like iMovie).

  • It offers a unique magnetic timeline-based editing to work on numerous clips at the same time.
  • With simple drag-and-drop options, you can overlay clips and use its inbuilt picture-in-picture mode.
  • There are all kinds of effects, transitions, filters, and presets that you can readily use in Final Cut Pro.
  • You can also find tons of templates for social media to edit platform-specific videos.

3. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe has also come up with an advanced video editing tool that has tons of professional features in one place.

  • You can load multiple media files in the timeline and overlay them via its picture-in-picture feature.
  • Besides that, you can also work on different sets like split-screen or cutaways.
  • There are tons of transitions, effects, and other presets that you can explore and customize in Premiere Pro.
  • Other advanced features related to Adobe Stock, motion tracking, keyframing, etc. can also be explored.

Now when you know how to overlay videos in iMovie, you can easily meet your editing needs. For your convenience, I have provided detailed tutorials on how to overlay videos in iMovie on iPhone and Mac using their iOS and desktop apps. Though, if you are looking for better and user-friendly video editing features, then a professional tool like Wondershare Filmora would be an ideal pick.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.