In video production, understanding the terminology and tools at your disposal is crucial to creating captivating visual content. One key aspect of video editing involves working with video elements and objects. In this article, we’ll dive into the definitions and applications of these terms, shedding light on how they contribute to the magic of making videos.
What is a Video Element?
While “video element” has multiple meanings in the context of web development, UI design, and interactive design, in the context of video production, it typically refers to discrete video assets used to increase the production value of a video. Specifically, “video elements” refer to real footage or digitally created imagery incorporated into live-action footage. These video elements could be any number of things, such as lens flares, light rays, or dust particles.
Video editors usually overlay elements like these on top of footage during post-production. Therefore, they are commonly referred to as “overlays”. Often, these types of video elements will have a black or white background, so they must be overlaid on top of video footage and set to a specific blending mode to look correct. (Typically, Screen or Add blending modes for footage with a black background and Multiply blending modes for footage with a white background.)
Video Elements Enhance Visual Storytelling
As mentioned, video elements can take various forms, but they all aim to enhance visual storytelling. Here are a few essential points about different uses for video elements.
Enhancing Visuals: These video elements are frequently employed to enhance visuals on screen. These elements may be real visuals or digital imagery incorporated into live-action footage. Think of video elements such as smoke atmospheres, dust particles, or weather effects such as rain or fog. All these types of video elements enhance the visuals of your footage.
Transitions: Video elements can also serve as a natural way to combine scenes or shots. Realistic lens flares and light leaks are a popular way to transition from one shot to the next. Bokeh video elements are also popular for transitions or just to enhance the styling of a shot.
Information: Video elements also serve the practical purpose of conveying information to the viewer. For example, we use motion graphics to display statistics or infographics, seamlessly blending with the overall narrative. Think of assets like camera viewfinders or HUD overlays.
Adding Creativity: Video elements also provide a canvas for creative expression. Filmmakers and video editors can use them to add a unique touch to their projects. You can add stylish aesthetics to a shot by adding vintage film overlays or VHS static effects.
What is a Video Object?
Now, let’s learn about video objects and how they differ from video elements. In the context of stock video footage, a “video object” typically refers to a digital representation of a physical object, such as a tree, a light bulb, or a smartphone. These may be footage of real-life assets or digital CGI creations. And they aren’t limited to everyday objects. They can be assets like spaceships, animals, monsters, people, or explosions.
These video objects are meticulously isolated using techniques such as chroma keying (green screen) or rotoscoping, making them easily insertable into different video scenes. Combining multiple video objects and elements into a single scene is known as “compositing.”
Video objects can be anything you can imagine. Often, they are objects that are impossible to film practically or not available at the exact location where you are filming. One huge advantage of using video elements and objects from a stock library like Pond5 is that the expert filmmakers and animators who created these assets already included an alpha channel or green screen background. So you can use them immediately without going through the laborious rotoscoping process! This benefit saves you time and speeds up your production workflow.
What is Video Compositing?
As mentioned earlier, video compositing combines multiple visual elements, such as video objects, images, graphics, and special effects, to create a seamless and cohesive final video. The goal of video compositing is to make it appear that all the elements in the video were captured together in a single shot, even though they may have been recorded separately or are composed of multiple video elements and objects.
Video compositing is an essential technique in modern filmmaking, advertising, and video production. It allows filmmakers and video editors to bring their creative visions to life, create realistic or fantastical scenes, and enhance the visual storytelling in their projects.
Where to Learn Video Compositing Techniques?
If you want to learn the basics of video compositing techniques, many resources and tutorials are available online to help you. Adobe After Effects is one of the most popular applications used for video compositing. If the video object you are working with has a green background, you must key the footage in a program like After Effects to remove it. Check out this video tutorial to learn how to key green screen footage fast in After Effects.
Once you’ve mastered keying your footage, you can learn some compositing basics, such as color correcting your video objects, using the tint effect to blend objects into a scene, and using blur and camera effects. Check out this tutorial for compositing basics in After Effects.
Mastering the use of video elements and objects is a valuable video editing skill. These components open up a world of possibilities for creating fresh content. Whether enhancing visual effects, adding to a compelling story, or saving valuable time by using stock assets, understanding and leveraging video elements can easily elevate your video projects!