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5 Best Video Overlay Software and Complete Editing Tips for 2022

Last Updated on Apr. 8, 2021 – by David Morgan
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Best Video Overlay Software and Complete Editing Tips

If you’ve ever seen an instructional video that features a small video clip in the corner of the larger screen, you’ve witnessed the overlay effect in action. Video overlay effects, or picture-in-picture (PiP) effects, allow you to insert a film clip or moving object on top of your video, allowing the two videos to play simultaneously.

Many creators utilize video overlay effects to:

  • showcase the person speaking in a voiceover
  • add light leaks or lens flares to cinematography
  • layer video footage into green screen clips
  • add masks over portions of a video for compositing

These effects can add clarity and professionalism to your footage, making them an easy solution to elevate your final product.

Adding overlay effects may sound tricky, but with the right software, you can create professional-looking PiP features with the click of a button. However, with so many excellent editing programs available on the market, you may have trouble determining which software is right for your needs and skill level.

We’ve tested dozens of editing programs across the web to identify the best software for overlay and PiP effects. We’ve named PowerDirector 365 as the top choice, followed by Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut X, and HitFilm.

Read ahead to learn more about each of these editing programs and how you can utilize them to create professional-quality videos. Then download PowerDirector to produce amazing overlay and PiP effects yourself.

Top 5 Video Overlay Software

1. PowerDirector 365

If you’ve never added overlay effects to a video before, you’d probably prefer to use a program that doesn’t require much training or experience to master. Cyberlink’s PowerDirector 365 is our top-choice overlay software because of its:

  • user-friendly interface
  • simple, straightforward tools
  • professional-looking effects

PowerDirector makes it easy to add picture-in-picture or overlay effects to any video clip. The program features a PiP and mask designer that allows you to add animated masks, objects, chroma-key effects, and image overlays to your videos in just a few easy steps. Here are 3 examples of overlay video effects a person of any editing skill level can do in PowerDirector.

Use Chroma Key Effects to Swap Out a Green Screen from Your Video

  1. Add green screen footage to Track 2.
  2. Add background footage to Track 1.
  3. Double click green screen clip to open PiP Designer.
  4. Check Chroma Key checkbox, then use the eyedropper to select the green in your green screen clip.
  5. If the green isn’t completely removed adjust the Color Range and Denoise sliders to remove any remaining green.

Utilize Blending Modes such as Old Film Overlays, TV Effects, and Lens Flares

You can follow these easy steps to add blending effects in PowerDirector:

  1. Add a video to your timeline.
  2. In the Effects Room open Blending Effect.
Blending Effect

You will see a selection of lens flares, light leaks, and other effects to add to your footage.

  1. Drag the blending effect you would like to use to the video and drop it on.

Overlay Sections of a Clip on Top of Another Clip with Built-in Masks

  1. Add a video clip to Track 2.
  2. Import your overlay clip and drag it to Track 1.
  3. With video clip in Track 2 selected, click the Tools dropdown, and then choose Mask Designer.
  4. On the left-hand side of the Mask Designer window, select the Mask Properties dropdown. You will see the built-in mask shapes that you can add to your clip.
  5. Select the mask shape you would like to overlay on your clip. You can drag the mask’s edges to create your desired size and placement.

All in all, PowerDirector is an excellent software that allows beginners to produce professional-quality overlay effects without any prior experience. You can download PowerDirector 365 today to begin using these tools to create incredible professional videos.

2. Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is another great editing program that allows you to make high-quality overlay adjustments to your film clips. Many creators use After Effects to add animations and visual effects to their videos, as the program features an impressive library of hundreds of built-in effects.

While After Effects can help you produce a top-quality video, it requires a steep learning curve that is better suited for professionals than beginners. If you’re new to video editing or just want to make a few quick changes every now and then, you’re better off with an easy-to-learn program like PowerDirector.

A few of After Effect’s best features include:

  • Camera-shake deblur
  • Motion graphics templates
  • Simulation effects
  • 3D camera tracker
  • Color correction

If you’re a professional editor looking to add a wide range of effects and graphics to your video, Adobe After Effects may be an excellent choice for your needs.

3. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is another top-quality editing program that provides a range of tools and features. While Adobe After Effects focuses on graphics and visual effects, Premiere Pro excels in the basic editing, trimming, and fine-detail tools necessary to create a clean final product. Overlays and PiP effects are some of this program’s specialties.

Like After Effects, Premiere Pro has a large learning curve, and amateur editors will find it too complicated for their needs. This program is best for professional, experienced editors who want to spend time learning its ins and outs.

Premiere Pro also works best in conjunction with other Adobe programs, like After Effects and Stock. If you plan to make Premiere Pro your primary editing tool, you should keep in mind that you will most likely want to get a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription which costs over $600 a year.

Some of the best features Premiere Pro has to offer include:

  • VR editing options
  • Video title tools
  • Motion graphics templates
  • Audio editing
  • Shared projects

Overall, Premiere Pro is an excellent editing software for professional editors who want a vast array of tools, effects, and features. However, if you are not a professional this highly expensive and complex program is likely not the right choice for you.

4. Final Cut X

Final Cut X

Final Cut X is an Apple-based editing program that offers a wealth of professional tools and features. You can think of this program as the iMovie for pros or semi-pros. If you are fully committed to the Mac platform and only comfortable with its unique user interface, Final Cut X is for you as it doesn’t follow the more standard workflow and UI of the other top solutions.

This program utilizes a similar interface to iMovie but all the additional features do have a large learning curve.

If you have more experience with other editing programs, such as Premiere Pro or PowerDirector, you may struggle to transition to Final Cut X’s interface. Final Cut X utilizes a nontraditional, trackless timeline that many professionals have trouble navigating.

A few of our favorite Final Cut X features include:

  • 360-degree footage support
  • Top-quality organization tools
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Trimming and arranging options

Altogether, Final Cut X is an excellent choice for Apple loyalists wanting to up their editing game within a familiar interface.

5. HitFilm


If you’re in the market for a full-feature, professional editing program, HitFilm Pro is an excellent option to try. HitFilm features a wide selection of tools and effects that mimic those of some of the most popular, advanced programs on the market.

Because HitFilm is a professional-level program, beginners will likely find it too complicated and dense for their needs. The software features a wide selection of editing tools, so if you’re only looking to add basic overlays or video blending effects, you may get lost in its vast, complicated interface.

But if you’re a professional, HitFilm offers all of the tools you’ll need to create a Hollywood-level film. A few of the best HitFilm features include:

  • Composite shot enhancements
  • PiP effects
  • Color correction tools
  • 3D model imports
  • 880+ specialized effects

If you’re into complex, fine-detail editing, HitFilm is a great option.

Comparison Chart

software comparison


Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Final Cut Pro X
Price $69.99/yr $239.88/yr $239.88/yr $299.99 $349
Beginner Friendly - - - -
Multi-Key Color Sampling
Video Masking
Blending Modes
Project Templates - - - -
Pre-Made Motion Graphics - -
Free Video, Photo and Music Stock for personal and commercial use - - - -

In Summary

You can find dozens of high-quality, top-performing editing programs and each of them will allow you to add overlays and PiP effects to any video. However, editing programs differ in how complex their interfaces are, and if you’re a beginner, you may want to opt for a more straightforward program designed with usability in mind while still being able to achieve exceptional results.

PowerDirector 365 is an excellent choice for beginners, professionals, and everyone in between. Along with the most user-friendly experience it has similar or the exact same overlay capabilities as the most professional softwares do. The program also features an impressive stock library perfect for royalty-free footage to use as overlays which no other editor on this list offers.

Determining which program is right for you ultimately comes down to personal preference. Once you find the best video editing software for your needs, you’ll be ready to start adding overlay effects like a pro. Try PowerDirector 365 today to experience this program’s incredible range of tools and features firsthand.

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