Translating Compositing into Layman’s Language

video editing in After Effects

Watching high fantasy and science-based films may make you feel you’re watching a magic show; you know all the impossible scenes are a trick, but you want to know how everything is done. The basics of one of the magic tricks in the film industry is called, compositing.

video editing in After Effects

Compositing is simply the way you put different graphical elements, video, text, and other auxiliary elements in one image. Look at it as a way of collating pictures and stacking on top of each other. In video editing, these “pictures” are usually raw film footage, stock videos, and Adobe After Effects templates.

Basics for Beginners

Compositing may be combining elements together or stacking images on one another, but it doesn’t absolutely go that way. When stacking clips over one another, you cut along the outline of the object closest to the screen and then paste it on the background image. You can do this by using tools, templates and software like After Effects.

Film professionals take a different approach, but still apply the same principles. They use a green screen that acts as a background for the character or object in the foreground. The editor will then apply the image to the green screen in the post-production phase. Why green? It’s because green produces the least noise and is shades further from the normal skin.