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Is there any way to achieve a double-role effect using Blender?

By double-role, I mean the effect used in films for showing the same object (most likely a person) two or more times in a single frame.

I have two footage scenes and want to merge them, like if I shoot a video when I am at the left end of the frame and then again when I am at the right end of the frame (camera is steady and has not moved), then I want to merge it into a single clip where I am seen two times, once at the right end once at the left end.

I know that Blender is not suited for such kinds of video editing, but still, is there any technique or a workaround that can achieve by editing video footage through the VSE.

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    $\begingroup$ please show a screenshot how the effect should look like $\endgroup$ – Chris Jun 16 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ So why can't you just copy the object and move it a bit...!? then you have two times the same object.... $\endgroup$ – Chris Jun 16 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ I think they mean in the VSE/Composite $\endgroup$ – Allen Simpson Jun 16 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ Another example of a dual role is the tv series Orphan Black in which the main actress plays a dozen clone characters. How is this related to the VSE? Do you have 2 footage scenes and want to merge them? $\endgroup$ – Blunder Jun 16 at 15:24
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    $\begingroup$ Have a look here: Default Cube: Master of hide and seek. It's basically what Markus von Broady and batFINGER described: Split screen, steady camera, masking, and merging (frozen frame + actor). In your case there would be "two" actors. $\endgroup$ – Blunder Jun 16 at 16:50
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I finally found out a way! It is mainly based on this video by Default Cube and the discussion in the comments, thanks to @Blunder and @batFINGER.

(For the explanation, I have used rendered video clips as I did not have any actual footage lying around.)

Basically, the process of double-role would be to have two video clips with the duplicate person once in each clip, and they should be confined two a particular area, such that they are not to be overlapped or interacting in any way.

The two clips I used: (Please forgive my art skills)

enter image description here

enter image description here

Now, we add both the videos into the compositing tab and use the following node setup:

enter image description here

Remember to set the value of the number of frames to the total number of frames of the video clips (in my case, this is 50).

Now, open the Image Editor and go the Viewer Node the following way:

enter image description here

You will now see the output of the viewer node in the Image Editor tab.

Then go to the Mask mode here:

enter image description here

Then click the + New button.
Now Ctrl-Click on the image to select an area where the other-duplicate-character-of-the-other-clip-is-confined-to and remember to check the Cyclic option.

enter image description here

Finally, go back to the compositing tab and then in the Mask node, select the F Mask option.

All the work is now done!!
Just render the final video and you are good to go!

My final output:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Consider an edit, IMO split screen is the name of one "technique" used to have actors playing a dual / double role in same frame. Can be in a dual role without ever appearing in same frame. $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Jun 17 at 14:14
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In the VSE, you place the two clips on top of each other and then in the top one you crop it and change compositing to Alpha Over: enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ An excellent technique if we want to apply the effect extremely quickly! But a drawback is that if the the area confined of the characters is not exactly rectangular, then this method fails... $\endgroup$ – CoolCoder Jun 18 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, I just wanted to answer how it could be done in the VSE, since you asked about that specifically. Btw. you can also use masks in the VSE to get a non-linear split area. Anyway, hopefully some day it'll be possible to just roundtrip a vse strip in the compositor, so the workflows can be merged. $\endgroup$ – tintwotin Jun 18 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ .. well worth a UV $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Jul 9 at 17:37

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