12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2011 7:56 AM by the_wine_snob

    Footage above Footage


      I'm sure this question has already been asked, but I can't think of the right words to put in the search bar that would allow me to pinpoint any earlier threads. In the photo below, I have 2 layers of video. The Video 1 layer has been minimized to allow the Video 2 layer to appear on top so they could show and play at the same time, on the same screen (similar to how Photoshop works). The problem is that I cannot get them to play at once. The Video 1 layer plays, but gets completely replaced by the upper Video 2 layer. Any ideas on how I can play them both? Is there an alpha button or something?



        • 1. Re: Footage above Footage
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          First of all, it is not layers but tracks. Using the wrong terminology can confuse people.


          Say you have two sheets of paper, you put one sheet on the table and it is clearly visible. Put the second sheet of paper on top of the first sheet and all you will see is the second, top-most sheet of paper. That is what you do.


          You have two options: either put the sheets of paper next to each other (PIP, picture in picture) or use transparent paper  for the second sheet (use opacity in the effects control panel).

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Footage above Footage
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            I believe that the term that you want is PiP (Picture in Picture).This can take many forms, from side-by-side half-screen composites, to a matrix of several images, showing at the same time. PiP covers all those bases, and are most often created by adjusting the fixed Effect>Motion>Scale, and most probably Motion>Position. Note: these can both be Keyframed to animate over time.


            Harm's analogy of images on sheets of paper is a good one. I use similar, when talking about Layers in Photoshop, but substitute "clear acetate" for paper. In video, and with the Video Tracks, his is a better analogy here.


            Along with PiP, one could think of "punching a hole" in the paper of the upper Video Track, to see "through," or "around" the upper Clips, and allow the "hole(s)" to reveal what is below. One can also get closer to the "acetate" analogy, by altering the Opacity (another fixed Effect) of the upper Clips, on higher Video Tracks. When Opacity of those is 100%, you need to punch that hole, in one fashion, or another. By lowering that Opacity, one can see though that upper Clip, hence it being more akin to clear acetate, painted with transparent dyes/inks.


            Some similar variations to this are Greenscreen/Bluescreen Keying, Track Matte Keying, and the use of one of the Garbage Mattes on the upper Clips.


            The term "Layers" is applicable to PS, but not used in PrPro. While there are some similarities between the Tracks and Layers, there are some major differences, as well. One needs to understand those differences, when dealing with video. I also support Harm's suggestion to use the terms that apply to this program. Same thing, if one moves to AfterEffects - there can be similarities, but there can be differences, as well.


            If I read your request correctly, PiP (Picture in Picture) is what you need/want to do. After reading on PiP, if you still have questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. The processes are easy, but sometimes the concepts can be a tad abstract.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: Footage above Footage
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              First of all, it is not layers but tracks. Using the wrong terminology can confuse people.


              There must have been a ton of PS-users, who have started using PrPro. The term "Layers" has been everywhere recently. I agree that using the proper terms, relating to PrPro is the way to go. Having spent decades on PS, I probably read "between the lines" too much, and should do better to help others state things, using the proper terminology.


              BTW - I like the "images on paper" analogy. It makes more sense here, than my normal one, utilizing painted acetates, as was often done in analog animation days (cels) and with airbrushed images, plus the compositing of films for separations. Most of those uses are so "old-school," that the digital artists of today, wonder what the heck I am talking about. For them, "airbrush" is something that only exists as a Tool in Photoshop, and I am sure they ponder what that icon is supposed to be... With your permission, I'd like to borrow your analogy.



              • 4. Re: Footage above Footage
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                In addition, when doing PiP compositions, I will often rely in alignment grids. This ARTICLE will go into more detail, plus their use in Titler, as well.


                Good luck, and hope that this helps a bit,



                • 5. Re: Footage above Footage
                  KevinAM Level 1

                  Yes, I understand. Thank you both for clarifying that.

                  • 6. Re: Footage above Footage
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    You are most welcome.


                    Now, did PiP do what you needed and wanted?


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: Footage above Footage
                      KevinAM Level 1

                      It didn't necessarily work like I wanted it to.


                      This particular project I'm working on is mostly with AfterEffects. I wanted to project multiple videos on a single wall in AE and kinda have them appear simultaneously. I thought I could get away with compiling all the videos into 1 with Premiere before adding it into AE. Now, I may have to find other alternatives.

                      • 8. Re: Footage above Footage
                        SFL46 Level 3

                        Following with the same concept as the others have told you,


                        • click on one of the video clips,
                        • open the effect control,
                        • expand the motion effect.  You will see scale and position options.
                        • Reduce the scale to something like 25%,
                        • change the position (reduce X-position)  to move the scaled clip to the left portion of the screen.
                        • Do the above for the other clip but move it to the right side of the screen (increase X position).
                        • What you will now see are the two clips side by side
                        • Now, using the motion effect control options, adjust the scale and position of the clips to where you want them.
                        • You could conceivably do this to several stacked clips.  The motion effect als gives you the option to rotate the clips.


                        If you understand this experiment, you can do things like using the opacity effect to fade the images in and out using keyframes.  Also sorts of possibilities.


                        Note that you can cliick on the clip image in the program monitor and drag the clip to position it rather than typing in a new X,Y-position

                        • 9. Re: Footage above Footage
                          KevinAM Level 1

                          This is After Effects you're referring to, right?

                          • 10. Re: Footage above Footage
                            Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                            Premiere Pro CS5.


                            Here's the user manual...



                            • 11. Re: Footage above Footage
                              KevinAM Level 1

                              This particular discussion is answered already, but I just wanted to point something out (for the record). Premiere does have video and audio tracks, but AfterEffects actually does go by layers. I think this is why most of us (newbies to Adobe) get them mixed up because AfterEffects deals with video and audio, too. Thus, having us subconsciously calling Premiere tracks - layers. Even more so, if we use the dynamic link feature a lot.

                              • 12. Re: Footage above Footage
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                And add in the Layers from PS, and things can get very confusing.


                                It also does not help that different Adobe NLE programs call certain things by different names. As an example, it is Export in PrPro, and Share in PrElements (Export is only for Saving a Title, or still image now).


                                As Todd pointed out, the concept of "Layers" was taken from AE by PS, though, truth be known, the concept goes way back to before digital imaging to the graphics studio and to the commercial printing and separation houses, where acetate "layers" were used for many purposes. Because I came from that only analog workflow, used PS extensively for decades, and dabble a bit in AE, I usually know exactly what a poster is referring to, when the term "Layers" is used in reference to PrPro - and I just read between the lines a bit. It is good, however, to use the correct term, in the specific program to which one is referring. If I were to use "Tracks," in the PS forum, I'd get a bunch of "huhs?" Now, the AE folk would probably be a bit more lenient with me, as many come from an NLE background.


                                Good luck,