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How to Duplicate an Actor Using Split Screen or Green Screen

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Jul 17, 2024• Proven solutions

When making a video or movie, there are many times when it may be necessary to duplicate an actor (or actress) in a scene. With the high-tech tools available today, what was once possible only in a high-end, fully equipped film studio has now become possible in the hands of anyone with the right software. It may not be necessary to even be a professional to know how to do this successfully. Most of the software tools available today are easy to use and even easier to understand, making it possible for anyone with a desire to learn to duplicate an actor be able to do so in no time at all!

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There are basically two ways in which an actor can be duplicated in a scene, which are by using a split-screen and using a green screen (which is also called keying). Here is how to do it step by step:

To duplicate an actor in the video production, you need a right video editing software. Wondershare Filmora is such easy to use and powerful video editor which can not only help you cut, crop, split, and rotate videos, but also allows you realize some advanced video editing tips like green screen, PIP, color correction and audio mixing, etc.

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Duplicate an Actor using Split Screen

Check this video tutorial on how to duplicate an actor using splite screen:

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This is the fastest and easiest methods of the two listed above. This is most useful when you need two different versions of the actor being at a distance from each other. To make this possible, the same scene would have to be shot twice with the same actor, but in different segments of the frame. These would later be joined to give the illusion of being in the same scene. The video-editing software would have to have a split-screen feature in it to make this possible. Either the cropping tool or the wipe transition feature can be used.

Before you start shooting, make sure that there is no change in the background. There must also be no camera movement, which can be achieved with the use of a tripod. To ensure that the auto-focus or auto-iris does not change, keep the settings constant using the manual functions feature.

Take a recording of the actor the way you want it in the first position and move on to recording him in the second position. If the two versions appear as if they are talking to each other, this would need to be practiced beforehand so that the timing is synchronized.

After this is done, open the two clips in your editing software in the timeline. Place one clip above the other in the timeline. You would need to use the transition effects of your editing software, such as the Linear Wipe in Adobe Premier, to make both the versions appear in the same frame. The cropping tool is used to make specified parts transparent. After applying the wipe effect to the clip you want, move the Transition Slider across the frame until you reach the part of the other frame that you wish to see. The transition between the two scenes can be made smooth using the Feather feature and setting the value to high. If you do not want a vertical split, you can change it using the Wipe Angle. Once you see both the versions of the actor in one frame, adjust the positioning of the clips by dragging them either to the left or to the right. This also helps to sync the timings.

Duplicate an Actor using Green Screen (Keying)

Check this video tutorial to see how to clone an actor using Chroma Key

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This more advanced version achieves the same effect as the split screen but using a different method. The actor in any one of the shots is first isolated and then superimposed into the other shot. As before, the same scene is shot two times and then joined. In this method, you can also have changing backgrounds or cameras that move. The camera still has to be kept steady at first and the settings have to be kept the same.

You could also shoot the second video using a green screen. It is important to ensure that the lighting and other factors remain the same in both the scenes, even if you are using a green screen.

A green screen enables you to include any kind of background image that you want, while shooting in front of a green screen. This green screen needs to remain the same lighting, color, and texture as possible, with nothing in the foreground having the same color as the green screen.

When you place both the clips in the timeline of your editing software, the green screen clip has to be placed above. Using the key effect feature, remove the background from the green screen. The actor will automatically get inserted into the clip at the bottom.

There are some ways to help you get better green screen shots. One is to use a green screen for both the versions and then key both of them later against a background that is empty. You could also take a still image of your background (without any actors) and then use it as a matte in the difference matte key feature of your editing software.

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