The term compositing comes from the English and means “composition”. It denotes an important step in every film production. The footage is combined into the finished film using many techniques and different layers thanks to the skills of the compositor. This merging ensures that a uniform shot is created from an image that was put together from several different categories. Compositing covers a large area of film production today. Techniques such as keying and rotoscopy allow for visual effects editing. They allow the insertion of objects and create an overall picture from many elements. For example, effects such as dust, clouds, fire, explosions and other effects are created in a fantasy film. They are designed in such a way that they form a unified whole.

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The first visual effects (VFX) emerged in the 1930s. Back then, an optical printer was used to copy film material. The film was reflected by a projector and a camera filmed the film.

Today's compositing

Nowadays it is about connecting computer-generated image representations and real recordings. Color corrections, paintings or key functions are used, supported by cookies. Other design elements such as contrast, colors, reflections, light and shadow as well as sharpness and blurriness are used. All of these factors must fit together as an overall result in order to create a complete picture.

Compositing elements and examples

With the technique of cutting out, scenes and images can be edited individually, combined or combined. Keying and rotoscopy are used.

Photorealistic integration incorporates new visual elements into the footage. This includes free image compositions, paintings or animations in 3D. Elements such as perspective, colors and brightness are also important. The film is then edited as part of post-production. The aim is to present all image effects as realistically as possible.

The most well-known applications for compositing today are the backgrounds against which newscasters or weather forecasters appear on television. They are perceived by the viewer in front of an event or a weather map. However, the presenters are in a studio, while technicians allow time to fit into the appropriate background.

However, compositing is not just limited to study recordings. Different picture elements can be realized with simple means. This happens during the subsequent film cut. The video editing software available today has corresponding compositing functions.

With the split screen method, the image area of a film or video is divided by merging several film frames. With the split screen, the overall image is deliberately divided into several areas. This technique allows different actions to be shown in parallel.

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