Mastering The Art Of VFX Compositing: Techniques And Tips


Visual effects represent a final step before you can finish your project and set it for release. It is an inescapable part of every movie since that is the only way to properly fit all those special effects. However, using modern tools to create something more attractive and unique requires proper skills and experience.

The proper vfx compositing is essential, and if you don’t have enough experience, the best solution is to hire an expert in this area. On the other hand, there are some techniques that will help you on your journey to becoming a better creator of effects. We will introduce you to some tips and techniques in the following article.

Learn the Basics


Before you focus on various models of setting special environments in movies, you will have to learn more about the essentials. Some of the most important parts of compositing are the use of proper tools, green screens, motion tracking, and 3D modeling.

The common misconception is that this process is required only when you are making a movie that includes a lot of CGI. Keep in mind that all movies need at least some level of additional editing and visual effects.

There are many other important factors that can affect this process. For example, the background lights, shadows, perspective of the camera, lighting, and more. In that matter, becoming a pro is not something that you could manage to achieve overnight.

Start with a Plan

Creativity is the key because you must have a clear imagination of what you want to achieve before you even start using all those tools and effects. Advanced knowledge about all available techniques will help you make a better plan during filming. The best part is that it will help you complete the editing process much faster.

While modern tools are capable of providing amazing results, keep in mind that the goal is to create something more realistic. You will be able to do that only if you choose the right angles for cameras, along with all other details. In the end, you can add all those special effects while keeping it realistic for viewers.

The situation can be even more complicated when you are not filming sci-fi or other genres where the use of CGI is expected. For example, a typical action movie with car crashes, fire, and explosions. Learning to add these elements by using special effects will save you a lot of money and time.

Keep it Real


We already mentioned that it is a great feature that you can add explosions and other special effects by using digital tools. However, the goal is to make them look real. People will easily notice that you added CGI instead of making a real explosion if you don’t use these tools correctly.

Therefore, you should research the appearance and other details related to all those special effects. For example, the processing of bullets or fire, car crashes, smoke, and more. With VFX tools, you can create a realistic fire or smoke and then add it to your video, but the point is to make this effect blend in in the right way.

Another essential technique that you must use when adding effects is the green screen. It is one of the most common options used in the movie industry, and the main advantage is flexibility. For example, you can easily change the background, or allow an actor to play a more demanding role that requires stunts.

Furthermore, adding 3D elements is also quite common. However, if you miss adding the right shade to such elements, people will easily notice it’s fake. Motion tracking is also essential for implementing all those elements.

Choose the Right Tools

There is a wide selection of platforms that you can use to create special effects. However, not all of them will fit your needs. There are complex software options where you can implement all kinds of special effects, or even design one according to your needs. A great example of that is Houdini.

On the other hand, there are some simple platforms that are better for beginners and movies that require less VFX, and one of the best choices in that case would be to use After Effects. Also, we have to mention that developers are constantly working on new tools and plugins that will provide improved capabilities of the software, or make it easier to use them.

Pay Attention to All Details


There are numerous techniques you can use to make a special effect look more realistic. It depends on your needs when It comes to the proper selection of them. When it comes to the basic ones, we have to mention leveling, motion blur, use of proper color tones, saturation, and more.

Keep in mind that even small details can make a huge difference. For example, the lens distortion, or a different focus. The light plays a huge role, especially when it comes to added elements. If you don’t set the right saturation and contrast, it will be easily noticeable that the object is added with editing.

Work With Professionals

As you can see, the implementation of special effects is a challenging process that requires advanced skills and experience. Also, bigger projects often require a team of people to work on VFX. On the other side, if you are a beginner, and you are making your first movie, messing with effects can be a problem. Therefore, you should consider hiring an expert in this area who will help you ensure that all elements and details are well-balanced.

The Bottom Line

With the wide selection of options available, VFX is essential for making videos. Before you start adding various elements, the key is to learn more about the process of editing and how to implement digital elements while making the movie realistic at the same time. That is the essential part where you must create a detailed plan, and focus on the editing before you even start using the camera.