Combine videos side by side in QuickTime Pro

It’s fun to compare where an animation shot began and where it ended up. One way to do this is to create a video that plays the different stages side by side. QuickTime Pro can do this, although the menus are a little hidden.

Here’s one I prepared earlier:

Here is how I made it!

Open all the videos in QuickTime. Each will open in a separate window.

Screenshot of 4 videos open in QuickTime Pro

You will need to copy all the videos into a single file. In this tutorial, I’m going to copy them into the reference video. Let’s start by copying the finished shot. Go to the video you want to copy and select all. You can select all by dragging the handles, using ‘Select All’ in the ‘Edit menu, or with the keyboard shortcut: ‘Ctrl+A‘ (Windows) or ‘⌘+A‘ (Mac).

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing selection handles on time slider

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing Select All command in Edit menu

Got it selected? Now copy it. You know the keyboard shortcuts for copy? ‘Ctrl+C‘ (Windows) or ‘⌘+C‘ (Mac). They work in almost every program. If you like menus, ‘Copy’ is in the ‘Edit’ menu again.

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing Copy command in Edit menu

Go back to your first video (the reference video in this example). Do not use paste (anyone know what Paste does?) There’s a fancy option named ‘Add to Selection and Scale’. That’s the one we want. I’m not 100% sure here, but I suspect you want to make sure that (1) nothing in this movie is selected and (2) the movie you are adding is a similar size and length. Otherwise, you might need to tweak this step to suit.

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing the add to selection and scale command in the Edit menu

The ‘Add to Selection and Scale’ will drop the copied movie right on top of the original one.

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing one video pasted over the top of the original

Wait, that’s not what we want. We’ll need to move it so they are presented side by side. To do that, we need to edit the movie properties (found in the ‘Window’ menu as ‘Show Movie Properties’).

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing movie properties command in window menu

Click the second video to select it and go to the ‘Visual Settings’ tab.

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing the track selection in movie properties

The ‘Offset’ values are how you move the video tracks around in 2D space. In this example, both videos are 720 × 405 pixels in size.

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing the offset properties

Now, in my example I had the original video (reference) offset on right. We’ll actually need to select ‘Video Track 1’ for that. Let’s offset it 720px from the left. That’s how many pixels we need so we can see all of the other video (it’s 720px wide, so we leave a 720px offset for it).

You should see your movie shoot out to twice the size in the background (you may need to press ‘Tab‘ first).

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing editing the offset properties for a second video

Just close the properties box when you’re done. To add the other videos, you need to repeat the ‘Select All’, ‘Copy’ and ‘Add to Selection and Scale’ steps for each video. Open the properties and offset the video tracks.

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing editing the offset properties for a third video

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing editing the offset properties for a fourth video

You can do all the copying first and the offsets last, or offset each video as you add it. You can also scale (for insets), flip, make semi-transparent and more. Who knew so much power was tucked away in QuickTime?

To finish up, export your movie! (You probably don’t want to save over the original file.)

QuickTime Pro screenshot showing Export command in File menu

This tutorial was done with QuickTime Pro 7.7.6 on Windows. The ‘Pro’ version is a paid unlock for the free QuickTime player.

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Published by

Ben Boyle

Web developer, Dad, gamer, mentor, animator, universal design advocate, fan of gadgets and sunshine!

One thought on “Combine videos side by side in QuickTime Pro”

  1. Thank you for this tutorial. I read and watched a bunch of them how to put two videos side by side and this is the first one which I understand. 🙂

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