I have seen a number of students in Moving Image Arts painstakingly overlay and position video footage in FCP to achieve the split screen effect. It takes hours and the time is spent not in being creative but in nudging, adjusting and aligning. Things just might be getting easier with a plugin effect called SplitScreen.
SplitScreen, an effect for Final Cut Pro that lets busy editors create complex split-screen shapes by just dragging and dropping. SplitScreen works right on the Final Cut Pro timeline, without requiring a trip to another application.
With SplitScreen, you can choose from among 35 different pre-made split-screens, or mix and match a set of smaller split-screen components to create your own. SplitScreen allows you to easily draw any custom split-screen shape, drop in video clips, and re-center, all within Final Cut Pro.
Because SplitScreen is based on Apple’s Master Template architecture, busy editors can use SplitScreen right inside of Final Cut Pro, saving the time and expense of a visit to a VFX shop.
CrumplePop SplitScreen let you grab any video clip in your project and drop it into whatever part of the split-screen you like. Then, you just click and drag to re-center your clip, framing just your subject’s eyes, hands, or whatever part of the frame you want. That’s it – render and you’re done.
SplitScreen supports 35 different video codecs, resolutions, and framerates including XDCAMEX, XDCAMHD, DVCProHD, HDV, DV, PAL, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480i, 24fps, 30fps, 25fps, 50fps, and 60fps. SplitScreen works with both Final Cut Pro 6 and Final Cut Pro 7.
The plugin costs $69 (USD) but given the time it will save I would say that is a bit of a bargain. The plugin is by CrumblePop who also have a range of free downloads available.