Stacking Tracks

If you’re one of those "Bumstead" videographers who thinks a good video is like a Dagwood sandwich (the more layers, the better!), ordinary white-bread video just won’t do. You want to stack clips six or eight deep and add mustard and relish to create mouthwatering visual masterpieces.

Layering video clips and graphical elements is fairly easy the majority of today’s most timeline-based editing programs, but the results are somewhat limited. If all you need to do is squeeze some video into a box and position it around the screen, or set up a simple chromakey, your editing app and a little creativity may be all you ever need. If, on the other hand, you want to create high-quality Hollywood CGs, or wish to increase your control over the elements in your composites, you’ll need to invest in a specialized compositing program.

The companies listed here make and market compositing software to take your videos to the next level (pun intended). Check out their Web sites for information on their products, prices and performance. Adobe’s After Effects, an industry favorite, is available in two flavors, Standard ($699) and Professional ($999). Boris FX 6.1 ($595) offers hundreds of customizable compositing presets, including particle effects and lighting filters. DigiEffects’ Delirium ($695) plug-in works with After Effects to let you create fire, smoke, lens flares, motion graphic elements, gun muzzle flashes, snow, lighting effects and more. But don’t stop here, these products are just a few of the cold cuts on the platter. GeeThree, Media 100, Pinnacle, Alien Skin and the others in our manufacturer sidebar, offer a selection of layering tools to suit any taste.

So grab a plate and a hard roll! It’s time to stack up the layers.

Special Effects and Compositing Software Manufacturer Listing

  • Adobe www.adobe.com
  • Alien Skin www.alienskin.com
  • Boris FX www.borisfx.com
  • DigiEffects www.digieffects.com
  • Digital Anarchy www.digitalanarchy.com
  • Digital Film Tools www.digitalfilmtools.com
  • EyeOn www.eyeonline.com
  • GeeThree www.geethree.com
  • Media 100 www.media100.com
  • Pinnacle www.pinnaclesys.com
  • Pixelan www.pixelan.com
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