Center/align videos in a grid format

colineccher Posts: 6 Just Starting Out*

Hi! I am making a video with highlights from a recent Zoom call. I have the separate videos of each person and would like to have it arranged in different grid formats. How can I align my videos so they are all the equal size? Is there a plugin with different ways to do this? Any advice helps!


  • EvilDaystar
    EvilDaystar Posts: 306 Enthusiast

    Simple math that depends on a lot of factors:

    Your final videos resolution? 4k, 2k, 1080p

    Your medias resolution? Are they all the same resolution or are they a mish mash of resolutions and aspect ratios?

    How many videos you are using?

    One thing to consider is that you will want to reduce the dimension / resolution of each video file BEFORE you import them into tour project.

    Having your computer chew through 9 or 12 or whatever 1080p or 720p streams all at once will bring your computer to its knees.

    So figure out what your output resolution will be (4k, 1080p ...) and how many rows and columns of videos you need. Than take your output height and divide it by the number of rows. That will be the height of the videos you want to import. Do the same with width and columns for the width.

    Next make copies of your zoom videos at those resolutions ... your CPU and GPU will thank you for it later. :)

    Import those in, set them ina grid and voila.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,689 Ambassador

    You have two ways to do this. One is free, the other will cost you a few dollars.

    Free version:

    • Create a new comp shot for every insert These will be "Media Holders." The purpose of creating these comps is for future re-use. For now each Media holder should have a colored plane and a unique number (Text Layer)
    • Create a new "Grid" Composite Shot for each grid layout (I assume you're loking at 3x3, 4x4, etc)
    • Drag all the "Media Holder" comps in the Grid comp.
    • Using the Layer Controls for each grid panel you will reduce the SCALE of each panel. For a 2x2 grid, 50%. 3x3=33.3%. 4x4=25%. These numbers leave no borders between panels. If you want a "border" we'll talk about that in a minute.
    • Using the Position controls in each layer's controls move each panel into place. You can eyeball this, or you can do some basic math.
    • Once all this is done, save your Project as "NxN Grid Setup." You can load this into any other Hitfilm project by using the "Import Composite Shot" option in the Media Import Menu and selecting the project file.
    • Now drag the desired video into the desired panel. (This is why you used the numbers earlier - for ease of reference)

    Or you could spend a little money on the Edit: Starter Pack and use the Split Screen Masking effect You'll just drag all your videos into the same shot, add the Split Screen Masking effect to a Grade Layer above the videos, select a grid preset the use the drop down menus for each panel to link to the correct layer.

  • EvilDaystar
    EvilDaystar Posts: 306 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 s version is much slicker than mine but comes down to the same idea and can help with weird aspect ratios if you don't mind the feeds being cropped a little if they don't follow a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    The Edit Starter pack actually has 2 effects you might be able to use: "split screen masking" or Picture in Picture (pip) and the add on only costs like 10$. Of course, if you have HitFilm Pro, you already have those effects.

    PiP can work well if you have only 9 videos total.

    But I really need to stress ... trying to render 9 (or more) full resolution videos on screen at the same time will make your editing and rendering painfully slow. save yourself some hassle and make a copy of the videos at a lower resolution.

    A good tool for this would be handbreak.

    There was someone else in here last week wondering why his export was taking over 10 hours to do for a 3 minute video. He was doing the same thing you were.

    These videos end up showing 20+ little faces ...  but I haven't been able to preview all my videos at once and my export for a 2min & 30sec video is over 10 hours

    Now, he was using a Surface Book 2 ... not exactly a editing powerhouse but still.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,689 Ambassador

    @EvilDaystar is correct. Transcoding your videos to a smaller size will make this whole thing render a lot faster. Since the chances are you'll be doing at least 2x2 grids it's probably smart to make your media holders half the size of your comp. 960x540 for a 1080p comp. Then transcode your files with Handbrake down to 960x540.

    Again, a little math will get you measurements for 3x3 and 4x4. It's extra steps, but, in the long run it's worth it whether you're using the "Media Comp/Grid Comp" method OR the Split Screen Masking/PIP effects.

    Reducing a 1920x1080 video to 960x540 removes 75% of the pixels. If you're stacking up 4, 9 or 16 layers that adds up REAL fast.