How to Make a Multitrack Video

By Colin Barrett

A multi-track video is the result of combining two or more streams of video in a single output. Examples of this technique can be seen in split-screen displays or picture-in-picture composites. The effect can be achieved by importing source clips into Microsoft Movie Maker (Windows) or Apple iMovie (Mac OS). Greater control is offered provided by commercial video editing programs that support multiple object manipulation.

Things You'll Need

  • Multi-track video editing program

Step 1

Open your multi-track video editing program and browse for two or more video clips of similar length. Click "Import" to add the files to the program's media assets folder.

Step 2

Drag one of the clips to the base track -- usually identified as "Video 1" -- on the editing timeline. Set the playhead to the beginning of the track and click "Play." Inspect the clip in the Preview window.

Step 3

Drag the second clip from the assets folder and drop it onto the "Video 2" track. Align it with the lower clip. Press "Play" to inspect its contents.

Step 4

Select one of the two video tracks. Open the clip's "Motion" dialog (or similar command) to modify its position and scale properties. This function varies according to the program but typically involves a combined "click-drag" action on one of the corners of the clip's rectangular wireframe to reduce its scale. Position the clip by dragging it within the frame as desired.

Step 5

Select the other video clip and repeat the previous step, placing the clip object in a complementary position within the frame. Select "Render" to create a temporary timeline render for smooth playback. Adjust the position of the clips in the frame and re-render if necessary.

Step 6

Inspect the timeline audio tracks and adjust each clip's sound levels to achieve a pleasing balance. Save the project after making any other necessary adjustments.