If you've seen reality TV, then at some point you've probably see a split-screen effect. Displaying two perspectives at once can be a great technique in many situations, including video tutorials, product introductions, or even cheesy infomercials. It's not hard to use FCP X's Transform panel to make these effects by hand, but it's even easier to use a free generator instead. The two options we'll look at today are all slightly different, and each has its own strengths.
Fordee TV's SplitScreen Lite
First, Fordee TV SplitScreen Lite offers 3 generators, with a vertical split, a diagonal split, and a 3-triangle diagonal split. Once installed, find it in Generators, add it to your timeline, then look in the Generator tab of the Inspector.
Click on each drop zone in turn, assigning a clip from your Event Browser to each one, and tweak each drop zone's position and scale. You can also animate Opacity for each drop zone so that each one fades in separately, change the thickness of the separator lines, add a background, and rotate the whole thing by 180°.
CrumplePop SplitScreen X Lite
Our second option, CrumplePop SplitScreen X Lite, also offers 3 generators, including a vertical split, a vertical split with two clips on one side, and a 3-way diagonal split that's positioned a little higher than the Fordee option.
Different this time is that each drop zone has an on-screen control for more convenient access to scale and position, and the "Rotate Screens" slider allows you to create more unusual compositions. You might have to get your hands a little dirty with the transform panel if you want to play with rotation, and to change the bar color, add a solid Custom generator lower down.
Both of these options are solid choices for Final Cut Pro editors. If you have to choose, pick CrumplePop for both straightforward vertical splits and more unusual compositions, or Fordee for a simple 2-way diagonal. But since they're free? Grab both.
Iain Anderson is an Apple Certified Trainer, videographer, editor, animator, writer, designer and occasional coder based in Brisbane, Australia. http://www.trainingbrisbane.com
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