The effect that comes up after adding two or more screens in a single frame is called split screen, and the tool that enables the users to do this is a split screen video editor. These split screens have significant importance in post-production tasks. That said, the following sections discuss about the tools that enable you to create split screen videos, and explain the process of doing so.
As mentioned above, the split screen effect lets you add two or more screens in a single frame. When multiple activities occur at the same time but at different locations, they all can be shown on one screen by placing their corresponding footages side-by-side or in any other arrangement that the split screen video maker allows.
Best Split Screen Video Editing Software for Windows and Mac [Free & Paid]
After understanding what split screen is, it becomes both obvious and mandatory to know about some of the most used split screen video editor applications, and how they help you in adding the effect to your movies. Following is a list of a couple of such programs:
A proprietary of Apple, iMovie is available for both iOS and macOS, and is absolutely free of cost. Even though the tool lacks some advanced options for fine editing, it still offers a good platform to those planning their career in post-production industry. With simple UI, it is easy to learn iMovie.
One of the most robust apps that is compared with post-production applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X, Wondershare Filmora is also a split screen video editor. The software is available for Windows and Mac computers, and provides prompt technical support to its consumers. Although Filmora Pro that packed with more advanced tools is also available, most of the times Filmora serves the purpose pretty well.
Launch Wondershare Filmora, click anywhere inside the Media window in the upper-left section, and import all the videos you want to use to create the split screen effect.
Step 2: Choose a Split Screen Preset
Click Split Screen from the standard toolbar at the top, click and drag your preferred preset to the Timeline, and then extend the duration of the effect in the Timeline by dragging its handle.
Step 3: Add Videos to Split Screen
Click ADVANCED from the bottom-right area of the Media pane, on the Advanced Split Screen Edit box, drag the first video from the left pane, and drop it on your preferred section in the right. Repeat the process to add all the other videos to their corresponding sections. Adjust their time of appearance by dragging their thumbnail in the Timeline of the box, and click OK.
Wondershare Filmora is lightweight and is less resource intensive
Allows as many as 6 videos to be added to create split screen effect
Has 30+ split screen presets
A couple of windows are required to be opened while working with split screen
3 . VSDC
VSDC is a free and efficient split screen video maker. In fact, the program is a full-fledged post-production application that can be used to edit the videos to prepare industry-standard clips for presentations, broadcasting, and commercial and private distribution. The best thing about VSDC is, it is absolutely free of cost, and doesn’t add any watermarks to the output files.
The instructions given below explain how to use the split screen feature in VSDC:
Step 1: Add Video Footages
Click Add object from the standard toolbar at the top, click Video, and select and add the first footage to the preview window. Repeat the process to add more video(s) as needed.
Step 2: Add Split Screen Effect
Grab any of the side handles of the video you added last, and drag it inward to reduce its size proportionally. Repeat the process to reduce the size of the other video(s) that is/are now revealed from beneath the one you just adjusted in order to create the split screen effect.
Absolutely free to use
Allows practically unlimited number of footages to be added to create the split screen videos
No presets for automatic video positioning are available for split screen effect
A free and opensource editing tool, Shotcut can also be used as a split screen video maker to produce industry-standard movies and documentaries. Shotcut is available for FreeBSD, Windows, Linux, and macOS, and comes in both x64 and x86 variants. Being a free program, Shotcut doesn’t require any activation or registration.
The procedure that follows explains how to use Shortcut as a free split screen video editor:
Step 1: Add Clips to the Timeline
Import the footages to the Shotcut’s media bin, drag one of the clips from the bin to the Timeline at the bottom, and then press Ctrl + I on your keyboard to add more video tracks. You can press this shortcut key for another couple of times depending on the number films you want to use for the split screen effect. Next, drag each film from the bin to their corresponding tracks. Note: Make sure NOT to place all the clips on the same track, and that each of them is on a different, its own, video layer.
Step 2: Adjust the First Video
Select the last video you added to the Timeline (it should be the topmost track), click Filters from above the Timeline, click the + button from the upper-left corner, click Size and Position from the list that appears next, and select the clip’s position from the Preset drop-down list.
Step 3: Adjust Other Videos
Select the second video in the Timeline and repeat the process to set its position, and do the same for all other footages that you added in order to create the split screen effect.
Available for FreeBSD, Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms
If using presets, as many as 4 videos can be added for split screen effect
Working with split screen manually may require practice and some calculations to position the clips on the screen correctly
Used by the professionals to edit and prepare movies like Pulp Fiction, The Cure, L.A. Confidential, Bruce Almighty, The Wolf of Wall Street, etc., Lightworks is, in true means, a complete and full-fledged post-production application to create industry-standard outputs. The main reason for the app’s wide userbase is that it is a cross-platform software that is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows computers.
To use Lightworks as split screen video maker, you can follow the instructions given below:
Step 1: Add Tracks in Timeline
After importing the clips to Lightworks, leave them in the Media Bin for now, right-click anywhere in the Timeline at the bottom, go to Tracks, click Add multiple, and from the Number to add drop-down list, choose the number of tracks you want to add to the Timeline. Click Add to confirm the changes.
Step 2: Disable Auto Sync
Right-click anywhere in the Timeline, and click to deselect Auto track sync.
Step 3: Add Clips to Timeline
Drag the clips from the Media Bin to the Timeline. Make sure to place each footage on a different track, and that all the tracks are on top of each other. Optionally, right-click the audio that was added along with the clips, and click Remove from the context menu. Use this method to remove all the audios or leave the one you want to have. Note: Removing the audio tracks ensures that they do not overlap during the playback.
Step 4: Enable Split Screen
Click VFX from above the preview window, click the + (Add new effects) icon from the top of the left pane, select the DVE category from the upper-right corner of the left pane, scroll down the left pane to the Split-screen Presets section, and double-click your preferred split screen preset to add the effect to the participating clips.
Even the free variant has split screen feature
A complete post-production tool that doesn’t require any other program for finalizing the things
One of the most appreciated and widely used post-production applications for Windows and Mac computers, Adobe Premiere Pro has been professionals’ first choice when it comes to video editing, irrespective of the fact that it has a steep learning curve, and is also a resource intensive software to work with.
The steps below explain how to use Adobe Premiere Pro as a split screen video maker:
Step 1: Add Videos to Timeline
After importing the clips to the Project window, drag each of them to the Timeline, and place them in their separate tracks one above the other.
Step 2: Position and Crop
Select the topmost video track in the Timeline, go to Effect Controls panel from the top of the upper-left pane, and use the Position slider to position the video to your preferred area of the screen. Repeat this process for all the clips in the Timeline you want to add to split screen.
Step 3: Crop the Clips
Search for the Crop effect in the Effects pane present at the lower-left corner, drag and drop the effect on each of the clips in the timeline, and use the Crop slider in the Effect Controls pane to crop the videos as needed. Optionally use the keyframes to add sliding animations to give more professional look to the split screen effect.
Most robust and efficient video editing tool
Allows practically unlimited number of videos to be used for split screen
Requires subscription that needs to be renewed regularly
Available only for Mac computers at the time of this writing, Final Cut Pro X or FCPX gives tough competition to Adobe Premiere Pro. Since Apple devices are famous for their speedy processing, professionals any day prefer FCPX over Adobe Premiere Pro if they own a Mac PC running macOS.
You can use FCPX as split screen video maker by following the steps given below:
Step 1: Place Footages in the Timeline
As mentioned earlier, add the clips on top of each other on separate tracks in the Timeline of FCPX.
Step 2: Position and Crop
Select the first clip in the Timeline, from the Transform section of the Video Inspector pane in the right, use the Position slider to move the clip to your preferred side of the screen, and use the sliders from the Crop section to crop the footage to adjust the portion of interest. Repeat the process for the other video tracks as well to get your desired split screen effect in Final Cut Pro X.
Offers quick and easy way to add split screen effect
Allows practically unlimited number of videos to be used for split screen
Doesn’t have any particular preset for split screen effect
Apart from the desktop programs discussed above, there are a couple of web tools that can be used as split screen video maker online free. Two of the most used ones are introduced below:
1. Kapwing Collage Maker
Although Kapwing offers several other online tools like video resizer, meme generator, slideshow maker, etc., the solution that can be considered split screen video editor is Kapwing Collage Maker. This web app allows you to select a template to get started, and the rest of the process is simple.
The following steps explain how to create a split screen video with Kapwing:
Step 1: Add Clips to Preset
Go to the https://www.kapwing.com/collage link, click to select your preferred split screen preset, click REPLACE on one of the segments of the split screen on the next page, and select and upload the first video. Next, click REPLACE on the other segment(s), and select and upload the other videos as well.
Step 2: Reposition and Publish
Click and drag each of the added clips to reposition them on the screen, use the other tools to crop and adjust the videos as needed, and click Publish from the top-right corner. Note: Optionally you can click Timeline from the top of the preview window, adjust the timings and other settings as needed on the next page, and click Done. After this, you can go ahead and hit Publish to create the split screen effect out of the uploaded videos.
Free to use
Allows as many as 4 videos to create split screen effect
Requires you to register and sign in to remove the watermark from the output file
Yet another split screen video maker online free solution, WeVideo offers almost desktop program-like experience while creating split screen effects. Even though all the subscription plans that the vendor offers are chargeable, the Education plan can be tried for 30 days for free, post which the teachers are required to pay to continue using the web tool.
The following steps explain how to get split screen effect with WeVideo:
Step 1: Import Videos
Visit https://www.wevideo.com and on the main window, click Video from under the Create a new section at the top, select a layout on the Let’s get started box, and click START EDITING from the bottom right corner. Next, click ADD in the My media window in the upper-left section, click BROWSE TO SELECT on the Import media box, and add the videos you want to use in the split screen effect.
Step 2: Add Clips to Timeline
As explained earlier, drag the videos from the My media pane and drop them in the Timeline. Make sure to place every video in its separate layer, and that all the layers are on top of each other.
Step 3: Create Split Screen Effect
Select any clip in the Timeline, and click the Open clip editor icon from the upper-left area of the track. On the next page, use the Scale slider to reduce the size of the selected clip, and from the preview window in the right, drag to reposition the video to your preferred location on the screen. Click SAVE CHANGES from the bottom of the left pane to confirm the settings. Repeat the process for the second clip in the Timeline to resize and reposition it on the screen. Click FINISH from the upper-right corner, on the next box, enter a name for the video in the available field, click SET, choose your preferred settings on the next page, and click EXPORT from the bottom-right corner to produce the split screen video.
Free to use
Allows multiple videos to be used for split screen
Paid subscription is needed to remove watermark from the outputs
FAQs About Split Screen Video Editors
Why you should use split screen effect in video?
There are a couple of reasons you may want to use split screen effect in your video. Some of the most common uses include:
Showing multiple actions by the same or different characters at the same time, without changing the screen
Comparing multiple objects or picture quality. This can be done only when the entities in question are placed side-by-side
Making your video look more professional
Showing different effects on the same screen
Can I create a split screen video with Windows Movie Maker or Windows 10 Photos app?
No, you cannot. Although these tools enable you to resize the videos, since they don’t allow multi-tracked Timelines, no video clips can be placed one above the other which is an essential part for any split screen video maker to create the effect. However, as discussed above, there are several post-production tools, offline and online, that allow you to make split screen videos easily and without any cost.
Split screen video editor tools are both paid and free. Regardless of the program you use to create the effect, the output files always look more professional and informative. Furthermore, things become way simpler if the split screen video maker has simple UI, is less resource intensive, and is easy to use as it is the case with Wondershare Filmora.
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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