Whether you want to put together a family vacation montage, the perfect Instagram story or a YouTube reaction video for your budding channel, you've got a digital cornucopia of options for adding a photo to video projects. While iMovie dominates the home computer market for casual editing, gone are the days of Movie Maker layers – just bust out your phone and check out free photo overlay options.
Make an iMovie Overlay
To add an image to the video you're working with in iMovie for your Mac, first select a clip or range (a part of the clip) that you want to use as your overlay. You can use a photo or video. To add a photo that you're not working with yet, click the green "+" icon and choose a pic from your library. Now click the "Video Overlay Settings" button (which looks like two intersecting squares, one solid and one dotted), click the pop-up menu and choose "Picture in Picture."
To adjust the size and location of the picture or video-on-video overlay, drag it to a new location or drag the dots on its corners to resize it. Once you're happy with the effect, click the check-shaped "Apply" button in the picture-in-picture controls.
Insert a Photo in Premiere
If you're a slightly more savvy editor using Premiere Pro, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite on Mac and PC, you can place an image over your video by making use of the software's support for multiple audio and visual layers.
Once you've got the video you want to play under the image on your Timeline, use "Import" to bring the photo you'd like to use into your media bin. Now just drag the photo to any video layer above the video (so if your video is on track "V1," you can place the video on track "V2"). Use the selection tool to grab the photo's edges in or out to adjust its duration, or select it and choose "Video Options" and then "Scale" to change its size.
The App Option
If you're an iOS or Android user, you don't have to look beyond your phone to add a photo overlay to your video.
On Android, use PowerDirector and add your main video to the timeline. To add your photo, tap the effects button (represented by two overlapping diamonds), then "Image" and choose the pic from your phone's media library. Long-press and drag the ends of the photo on your timeline to change its placement or duration, and tap the photo and choose the pencil-shaped edit button to change its opacity or orientation. Hold and drag the photo in the preview window to change its size or location on the video.
Using KineMaster – available on both iOS and Android – tap the "Layer" segment of the wheel-shaped menu, then choose "Image" from the options that appear. Choose the photo from your phone and use long presses and drags to rotate, reposition or adjust the size of the pic in the preview window. KineMaster supports up to two images or videos over your baseline video.
The best part? Both apps are free to download.
- Apple: iMovie for Mac: Create a Picture-in-Picture Effect
- Adobe: Premiere Pro: Work With Graphics and Titles
- Adobe: Premiere Pro: Add Titles and Graphics to Your Video
- YouTube: CyberLink PowerDirector 14 Ultimate PIP Designer Tutorial by PowerDirector University
- YouTube: How to Make Picture-in-Picture Video with KineMaster by KineMaster