Another video technique question that's probably been asked a million times before


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 11, 2005
Bear with me, I'm learning!

Let's say I want to have two people in the same sequence in the same set, one on the left, one on the right, join together. So, the two actors will be taped at different times. Can I play one of them over the other at the same time and make it look like they were taped at the same time?

Thanks in advance!


macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2003
What is your point of doing this? Is the background the same? Can you simply not get the two actors together at the same time? Are the interacting? Is there any vocals?


macrumors 65816
May 6, 2005
Bay Area
Alright, It seems that these people aren't helping, but here is the way I'd do it (and I'm assuming the camera is in the exact same place as when you shot the other person).

There are two ways:

1) if the 2 ppl aren't going to interact with each other you can just create a simple mask in FC. do this by creating a black box/rectangle in PS that is the size of the amount that you want to subtract from the first shot so that it can be placed on top of the second shot (if you dont get it, see attached fig.). Lay it over shot 1 and in FC go to modify>compsite mode>subtract. Then render if necessary.

2) ugh, Im tired, but it involves after effects, try the 1st one :)

Sorry, but I find these things hard to explain.


Thomas Veil

macrumors 68030
Feb 14, 2004
Not sure if the question you're asking about is technical (i.e., layering video in an NLE) or aesthetic (how to make it look like they're together).

If the latter, I'd suggest that, at least half the time, you not cut directly from one person to the other, but cut in the video either just before or just after the other person starts talking. For example, if Person 1 is saying, "And now here's John Doe with the news," you can actually cut to John Doe on the word "with" or "the".

(This assumes, of course, that John is not looking at his fly or picking his nose or something when you cut to him a few frames early.)

If it's more of a scripted conversation between two people, you can visually cut to the second person after they've spoken a few words. This gives the illusion that you're cutting the show live, simply following the course of conversation.

The overall idea is, cut it so that the conversation sounds natural, and adjust the video later. Many programs let you "slide" the video cuts in the timeline independent of the audio, so that you can make the video flow a little more naturally.


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 11, 2005
Okay, I did leave out a lot of details:

1) I am using Final Cut Express 3.0.

2) Mr. Veil, thanks for the help, but I need both people in the same shot, meaning you'll see the two people at the same time, but they will be taped at different times. In other words, in stead of just cutting from Actor A and Actor B, Actor A would be on the left side of the screen, for example, and Actor B would be on the right side of the screen, but it will look like they're in the same room.

3) I cannot get both actors in the same room. There will be a dialogue.

4) blaskillet4, I don't have Photoshop, so I can't try your technique.

hope this helps.


macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
New York
2 actors on same stage shot at diferent times

I'm not sure what FCE lacks compared to FCP but in FCP, you would put the 2 images on 2 video layers, one above the other. Then, on the top layer video, you would crop the left or right side to make visible the actor on the clip on the video layer below. You do this in the cropping section of the motion tab. In FCP, you can feather the edge under the crop sliders so the line between the 2 sides of the stage is smoothed out.

Of course when shooting, you want to make sure each actor is only in one 1/2 of the image and the camera is locked -can't move, on a tripod in the same exact position and same lens settings for both shots, leaving the dead space on the appropriate side to later crop.
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