Overlaying a Photo... and a video...

I am a very new user of Kdenlive, but my searching and googling hasn't come up with this likely-simple answer.

I am publishing a life history of a friend of my family. I have a camera on him, and I want to display photos, while he is still talking... a photo overlay of a video - simple I know. I can't get it to work - unless you have to render your video before you can see the effects work...

Can I also show a box in the corner of of the main screen, displaying other videos, overlayed on the first video. I have seem some examples, but not the method. Please show me how!

Seems like a great tool, so far... Thanks for your help.


From what I have played with, you can simply add the photos into your clips window, then drag them into an open 'video' track. If your main video is on track 'video 1' then drag and drop the photo from the clips window onto 'video 2' time line. It works for me. You may have to put the main video on a track below the main video track. This way 'video 2' is playing the movie of your subject, then when you want a pic to appear, place it in the appropriate time area on 'video 1' track.

As for the 'picture-in-picture' question, I haven't a clue.

I hope I have helped at least a little.


What you need is a composite transition. With a still image and a video, there are two ways to do it. Either use a luma file which defines the area to be occupied by the photo, or create an image with a transparent background in an image program (such as the GIMP) which is sized to the entire frame size of your video.

Here's some detail on the second method -- the first method is necessary if you have two videos, but this works well for still images (and I haven't really used two videos very much like this in the past):

Scale the still image to the appropriate dimensions (i.e. it will be smaller than the entire frame size) and copy & paste it into the transparent background. Save the whole thing in PNG format or some other image format which supports alpha layers (i.e. transparency).

When you import that into the project clips in Kdenlive, right-click on it in the clip list and select "Clip properties" from the context menu. Make sure that "Transparent background" is checked.

Add a new video track above (not below) your original video and drag the image into the new track, position and size it to the appropriate length. Right-click on it and choose "Add transition->composite" from the menu. Select the transition and drag it to the entire length of the photo clip. Next, you can play with keyframes and opacity/transparency percentages until it appears the way you like.

The drawback to this method is that the position and size of the picture within the video is fixed. Only the transparency can be adjusted. But you could also apply other effects (pan & zoom, for example) to the photo clip which will be combined with the transition.

You can also use this technique to create subtitles, which is how I usually use it.