Final Cut Pro: Put Video Inside Video Using Nested Compound Clips

Posted on by Larry

[ I first wrote about this technique for The Inside (link), but, though I wrote it as a tip, it kept getting more complex. So I’m adding it here with more images and explanations. It isn’t a tip anymore, but it IS an interesting technique. ]

OK, this is tricky, but worth trying. Here’s how to create a logo or shape in Photoshop, fill it with moving video in Final Cut, then place it over a background.

Here’s where we are heading – video inside a still or video keyed over video.


NOTE: Be sure the part of the shape you want filled with video is set to black. You could use other colors, but that only makes the key more complex. Lines that you want to retain should be any color except black.


Cherry blossom image courtesy of Oleg Magni at

NOTE: Flower image taken by me on a nature walk many years ago.



This trick works with logos, text, custom shapes – the possibilities are endless.

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8 Responses to Final Cut Pro: Put Video Inside Video Using Nested Compound Clips

  1. Dirk Baumann says:

    Larry! Your knowledge is amazing. You are definitely the number one person
    for Final Cut Pro and other areas.

    I could not imagine the wold without Larry Jordan and many people and businesses would not be where they are because of you and your team.

    Thank You for all you and your team are doing for us.

    Best Wishes and Good Health

    Dirk Baumann

  2. Bob Schuster says:

    Your are a digital Rembrandt, Larry.

  3. James Gordon says:

    Honest kindness is never redundant sooooo,,,,
    ditto to what the others have said here.
    Thanks Larry for all your tips, tricks, techniques and good mojo!!

  4. Shaun says:

    Larry, I’m struggling with the transparency of Compound Clips. I had a title sequence with a full screen blue custom generator (connected to the main storyline, not directly in the main storyline) which has a dissolve transition to bring it on screen. Then the titles stacked on top of that.

    Once I took the background and all the titles and made them a compound clip, the fade is over black, and after complete, the main storyline image underneath suddenly pops back on.

    I had the same issue with a clip that had a draw mask to reveal a logo underneath. Once in a compound clip, the mask just reveals black, and not the contents of the main storyline below it.

    Any ideas? Is this a simple limitation of compound clips?

    • Larry says:


      I’m sorry for the delay in reading this. My guess – pending doing an experiment – is that you need to set the compound clip to render using Apple ProRes 4444. So, create an empty compound clip to configure the settings, then add your clips, then see what happens.


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