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This ATEM (mini) Tips” series of short video tutorials for your Blackmagic ATEM hardware includes tips for all users, from beginner to advanced. Scroll down to see more in the series!

This is a collection of all PhotoJoseph LIVE shows, now featured on the PhotoJoseph LIVE YouTube channel. Additional episodes are listed below!

Custom Picture in Picture in the ATEM Mini

Photo Moment - April 01, 2021

Taking control and customizing your Picture in Picture, or PiP, on the ATEM Mini, ATEM Mini Pro, ATEM Mini Pro ISO, or ATEM Mini Extreme (wow this list is getting long!) is easy to do — but if you're not careful, all of your hard work can be wiped away in an instant! Learn how to customize — and protect — your custom Picture in Picture layouts.

Need an ATEM Mini?

What this tip is about…

Your ATEM Mini has a set of buttons called PICTURE IN PICTURE. When you enable it, a small box appears in the top right corner with another input in it. Press one of the four preset corner buttons next the on/off buttons, and the PiP (abbreviation for “Picture in Picture”) moves to that corner. Neat!

While useful in its own sense, the real power is in positioning, scaling, and cropping those PiP layouts wherever you want. The Picture in Picture is actually something called an “upstream key”, or a USK. That Upstream Key can be created four different ways — Luma, Chroma, Pattern, or DVE. I'll cover Luma and Chroma in other videos, as those are quite advanced, however the Pattern and DVE ones are simpler to use and are what are covered in this video.

The “DVE” option — or “Digital Video Effect” — is what the default Picture in Picture is made from. It is quite simply an “overlay” of another source being fed into the ATEM, which you can scale, crop, and position anywhere you want. Think of it like a layer in Photoshop, where you just put the top layer anywhere you like.

The problem with modifying the DVE effects is that if you accidentally press one of those four Picture in Picture preset buttons, not only will it move your DVE Upstream Key layout to that position, but there's no “undo” — no way to get back to where you were! (We'll solve that with a macro though; don't worry!)

The “Pattern” option is another way to build your Picture in Picture, using a shape like a circle, diamond, triangle, or even multiple squares and rectangles to “crop” or “mask” your Upstream Key! While some of these shapes are seemingly useless, they do allow you to easily do things like create a circle mask — quite a cool option. So, in this video I'll give you a tour of those.

Finally we get to the complicated job of saving these Upstream Key positions so we can recall them later. You guessed it — time for a macro! I'll remind you how to build a macro, and create one to save (and then restore) a circle Picture in Picture. It's pretty cool!

📄 Full Video Transcript


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Thank you for this video. So, after having created this macro, how do we activate it? It can not be triggered by those PiP knobs?
is it possible to have more than 2 inputs on-screen on at once?
Is it possible to scale into a PIP? If I have a wide shot, can I scale into the shot to make the subject larger?
Excellent video. Thank you so much for sharing your information.
Is this pip have to be on usk1?
Hi! Thanks for this, very helpful. Does anyone know whether it's possible to set one scene to always use picture in picture, and on no others? For example, if I used scene 1 it would always have pip on, but if I switch back to scene 2 it will not be?
You need to use macros for that. You can have the PiP always on as you switch main inputs, or turn off when you change inputs, but not have it come back on automatically. But with macros you can make anything happen! I’ve done a few videos on those if you aren’t familiar.
Thanks for the video
Hi Joseph, thank you very much for your great content. I have been practicing with Macros for a while now. In a few days I have a streaming event and I would like to know:
I need to create a PIP that appears during the event alternately. This means: on the same camera, activate and deactivate the PIP several times during the show.
The questions would be: 1) How do I "deactivate" the Macro? (PIP) 2) Would it be necessary to "call" the Macro every time I have to use the PIP, or would the first time be enough? Thanks in advance!
Thank you for the video and I, for one, would love to find out more about chroma keys where I can place a presenter (that is standing in front of a green screen) and put just their image over another camera angle (just like a meteorologist in front of a map). Could you help with this in a future video?
It's definitely on the list. Unfortunately (well, not for me, but for the channel!) it's a busy summer with two trips and a couple of commercial gigs in-between. I really want to shoot another one this week but I don't think I'll be able to, so it'll be September until I pick up the series again! Sorry :(
Thanks for your explanation. I managed to create my own Picture in Picture macros. I’m pleasantly surprised 😌
Thank you for this video! Once I've saved my settings into a macro, is there a way to replay that macro (and restore my custom PIP) if the ATEM Mini is not connected to a PC?
Hi, thanks for a great clear video. I would like to set up a camera background with a PowerPoint Slide in the PIP which I can easily expand out to the full screen. Thanks to your video I know how to set up the PIP of the PowerPoint slide in the bottom corner. What I now want to be able to do is to switch from the PIP to the PowerPoint slide full screen and then back again to it being in the PIP..
You’re actually already set up for it… just load that input! So if your camera is in input 1 and the PowerPoint slides are on input 2, just press the 2 key to load that full screen. You can choose in the setup app to have the PiP dropped when you change inputs, or it can hold. You’ll probably want it to drop. Load the input 1 again and re-enable PiP, and you’re back. Or you could write macros for the switch as well, saving a step. Watch my videos here on doing macros to learn how!
Thank you for covering this! Is there a way to change the default settings of the hardware DVE buttons? I am typically streaming solo, just setting/saving the default DVE would be ideal- at least for me.
There is not, unfortunately. There Extreme Mierlo has six programmable macro buttons but that’s it. — Choosing Which ATEM Macro is Triggered by the ATEM Mini Extreme Macro Buttons - ATEM Mini Tips 10
Great video. Thanks. Can the PIP fade in rather than a sharp cut?
Yes, you have to build it into the Preview first, then fade from Preview to Program
Hi Joseph. Quick question: I'm looking to use the Atem Mini for a fixed setup, with a large picture-in-picture in one corner. Will the Atem Mini remember my custom PIP settings after turning it off and on again?
If you have the original ATEM Mini, no, it won't. That one didn't have enough memory to save the settings. I'm pretty sure every model above that does, as long as you choose the "save startup state" menu in the ATEM Software Control app. And of course, don't hit any of those little positioning shortcuts, or it'll override your settings!
great video, clear and easy to understand 👍
Joseph, these videos are a huge help. The macro's in the ATEM aren't very intuitive, but your videos are very helpful in understanding them better. My struggle is I'd like to have a persistent greenscreen background for one camera, and when I switch to other cameras without that greenscreen, that the green screen returns on that one camera. The current way I'm writing the macro, there doesn't seem to be a way to always make this one camera with the croma-key always show me with the greenscreened background. It seems to be dependent on the previous state. Is there some way to force a particular state for the ATEM so that the cromakey'd image always appears over the greenscreened background image?
you would definitely need a Macro for that. You'd build a macro for, say, CAM 2 that loads all the pieces you need, and you'd have to trigger the macro with either the macro window or using a third party app.
Can you show us how to sync cameras to the edit? Especially if we aren't using Pocket Cameras.
are you talking about syncing the audio and video in live? No, you said in the edit… I'm don't follow. Are you asking about recording to a USB drive using the ISO model? Please elaborate, thanks.
@PhotoJoseph I have Sony cameras and want to record 4K on them internally and replace the HD edit from the Atem Mini Pro ISO. Similar to if I was shooting on Pocket Cameras. I’ve looked up ways of using timecode and such but I can’t work out a way. Any thoughts?
Ah I see. Timecode won't work unfortunately, because TC from the cameras is not read by the ATEM. However, as long as all cameras have mics on them, you should be able to easily do an audio sync. And worst cast, you're talking about one long take (the nature of a live event), so even if you have to sync four files by hand, it won't be hard.
Thanks Joseph... appreciated.
you're quite welcome!
Hi Photo Joseph, Thanks for your contents they were a great help to me as a beginner....I just got an Atem Extreme and I found out that this device tends to get hot....Is it normal? Is it advisable to use an external cooling fan along with the atem? If it is can you recommend a good cooling fan and in which vent of the atem Extreme should I put it on. Thanks
You do not need external cooling. It has its own fans, and yes the hardware gets hot — that's normal. Your car engine, your computer, your light bulbs get hot too — perfectly normal!
@PhotoJoseph Thank you very much for your reply.. :)
Why don't you give the Roland V-1HD + a try. Made in Japan and a great Switcher. All buttons, switches, knobes are usable, 8 memories, 4 layers etc. Super equipped for sound. 2 XLR etc. etc. 4 HDMI in and 2 HDMI out. Multiview and so.
Because for the same $1000 I can get 8 inputs, recording, and a built in encoder (ATEM Mini Extreme). The Roland just isn’t interesting.
Clearly, it is impossible to reconfigure the physical buttons of the PIP ... not good.
Correct. None of the buttons are configurable. Even on the new ATEM extreme, technically the macro buttons are not configurable. They just trigger the first six macros.
@PhotoJoseph OK. It's a shame, because there aren't a lot of buyers who own 8 BlackMagic Cameras. Blackmagic should release a firmware that would allow us to reconfigure all those unnecessary buttons ... (via an xml file). In the meantime, we'll still need the Elgato Stream Deck.
At this point I have to assume it’s not possible. We’ve been asking for this since the first ATEM Mini in 2019.
Yea, that's great and all, but how do we assign our setting to the hot keys on the unit itself? That, is the question!
You can’t. (The ATEM Mini Extreme is the only one with programmable dedicated macro keys)
Another excellent video, Joseph (I love your style!). Just to clarify: on the mini pro, the only way to execute the macro is to have the ATEM software panel open and to manually click the macro to execute the customized PIP, correct? I know the new Extremes have physical macro keys but have they made any of the Pro keys programmable? It's quite a bit to manage to select the macro while ensuring you're in "Pattern" in the Upstream and then turning it off and going into "DVE" to access the PIP buttons on the ATEM. Everything you've shown works perfectly, it's just the execution seems very cumbersome. Any thoughts? Thanks again.
You are correct on all counts. There are third party integrations though, like iOS apps or physical programmable buttons that can trigger macros, too.
@PhotoJoseph Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. Sorry to bug with one more, but do you know know if I can trigger ATEM Mini Pro Macros using the Stream Deck? That might resolve this issue, thanks again!
Stream Deck and Companion.
Ok. That was outstanding! Thank you
How do you get the Pattern Key to stay on screen when you do a hardware input switch? On special occasions we have a camera dedicated to an ASL interpreter, and I prefer the circle pattern instead of the DVE box, so it doesn't overlap the onscreen text as much, but I have to turn it back on after every switch.
There’s a setting in the ATEM Setup app to toggle that drop
I don't comment often. But these tips made me an instant subscriber and I am loving these videos!
Thank you man, I appreciate that!
Nicely done. Looks great and is easy to follow. Thank you.
Thank you 🙏
Would love to see mini tip vids on both the Luma & Chroma Key fuctions.
No one would be able enxplain it like you do Sir.
Thanks again!
They’re on the list! ☺️
the default sizes for the PIP corner buttons are too small on screen. I know I can save a macro to save PIP settings, but is there a way to "overwrite" the corner PIP buttons? This will be more helpful for volunteers using unit without explaining macros
There is not. I wish there were.
@PhotoJoseph Thanks
Great, thanx for this, I'm really going to use it!
Can't wait for the LUMA and CROMA videos!
Excellent! They won’t be too far behind this.
Luma and Chroma keys NEXT..... please please please.... this series should be linked on the BM website... thanks for this. :-)
Haha thanks; you should tell them that ☺️
Nice explanation!
Thank you!
Thanks for sharing. I have a question about recording the Pip in the Mini ISO. Last time I recorded an event none of my Pip came across with the recording. Is it possible to record the pip? What did I do wrong please?
Recording the program, or recording the ISOs and opening in Resolve? If the program, then the only thing I can think of is that you were loading the PiP into the preview, and not the program? I don’t think it’s possible to record the preview, so I don’t know what else it’d be. If the ISOs, then make sure both your ISO and Resolve are fully up to date.
@PhotoJoseph thank you so much. Yes I am using resolve 16. I’ll try again and do a test recording before my next event and see what happens.

Thank you for sharing your channel.
There are always dot-releases. Make sure you’re full up-to-date on both hardware and software. Video 6 in this series shows how to update the ATEM.
Thank you for the tips on how to better use our atem mini. Keep producing more content like this please so that I may learn more was to use my atem.
I shall!
Thanks for providing a good in-depth tutorial of this feature. And yes, I would be interested in tutorials of the other keyers.
Right on, they are on the list!
This mini tips are becoming a classic series for the ones who work with the atem mini switchers.
Your help is priceless, thank you so much for this information, excellent teacher.
Thank you Gerson, I appreciate that!
Really useful mini tip and yes, please do let us have tips on chroma, luma keys. Also, I'm interested in doing something similar to PiP with green screen, so that I can have a mini me tucked into a corner. I can manage the green screen bit but I suspect positioning and re-sizing is done using the DVE tab and flying key.
Actually Gerry the Chroma tab also has a “flying key”, which is what is used to position and scale. You’re 90% of the way there if you’ve already set up a chroma key!
What I learned from this video: The border stays on even if you push the PIP buttons on the ATEM. Which is just cruel, when all the other settings are thrown away...

Another thing, I was surprised to find that the audio in ports were all in perfect sync with the picture the other day, maybe the HDMI latency-gods smiled on me or something. Today I'm doing my first long stream (six hours), now, Will It Drift™?
If you find inputs out of sync on your atem, reboot the devices and the ATEM, while connected.
Did a live stream today exactly this way! Thanks for the great tips 🤩
Right on!
Thanks so much for covering this!
Thank you so much for watching! 😊
Great video Joseph, please keep making them I'm learning so much.
You got it!
Thank you for your explicit, too the point and concise explanations. Loving this series.
Glad you’re enjoying!
Great video. Great series. And I am looking forward for the chroma key
Coming soon!
Thank you Joseph, so helpful and so clear explication, really appreciate.
You are very welcome
I really need to start using macros. My streams have been simple affairs so far, but I would hate to be in a position where I need to suddenly learn how to customize something on the day of a stream.
haha yep. Once you start with macros, you realize the true potential of your switcher!
@christian I suggest you also look at ways to easily start macros at the same time, e.g. StreamDeck and Companion software (I think PhotoJoseph has some videos on this). I now do this, and would highly recommend it.
+1 what Matt said!
Nice tip!
Is it possible fade in an upstream keys (PiP) smoothly like a Transition?!
yep, just click the AUTO button
Alain, I previously setup macros exactly as PhotoJoseph showed, but have changed them to just go into preview so I can check them and fade them in as required.
Great approach!
Another great 👍 tip. You are improving with each segment. Question, after creating the macro do I need to run a file save on the software's control panel? Or do these macros get stored locally in the hardware configuration?
Thanks, and no you don't have to save them, but it's always advisable. Your ATEM should store it internally, but I've seen ATEMs load up empty before.
Thank you for you time and dedication! Great source for resources 👍
Glad you like them!
Great use of supersource! Excellent tip.
Haha nice description :-)
​@PhotoJoseph I'm intrigued how you produced this presentation. Did you do it live and tweak it after, or post-produce in the NLE of your choice?
Oh gosh no… these aren’t live. These are all recorded and edited. I am doing these almost entirely in Screenflow actually, although I have to use another system to record a second video feed (the Program) and have had to fix sync on the final output in FCP a few times… working with Telestream to figure out what’s happening there. Audio keeps slipping at the end. Super weird.
@PhotoJoseph Thanks for that. I also use Screenflow for short pieces although I haven't quite mastered the choreography that you achieve in your Tips.
haha years and years and years of doing this ;-)
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