Besides using complex camera movements and unconventional angles, having stellar visual effects and eye-catching graphics can also go a long way in capturing the attention of your audience. One interesting graphics technique commonly used by filmmakers is playing video within a shape or block of text. As complicated as this trick may initially look, it is actually very simple to pull off inside of Adobe After Effects.
So, if you’re someone who’s looking to try this technique in one of your next projects, don’t miss the following video tutorial by video editor Justin Odisho, who will walk us through the process of compositing a video into the frame of a shape or text.
To start off, you’ll need to create a new composition inside of After Effects according to your own project/video specifications. Afterward, continue by adding a new solid layer while choosing a suitable color to use for the background.
Next, create a shape or text layer of your choosing, just make sure that the element you’ve created is on a separate track (i.e., don’t create a masked shaped on your background layer). As a side note, if you want to align your newly created graphic to the center, head over to the align panel on the right-hand side where you can adjust the desired position accordingly.
Once you’re done with your graphical element, import your video clip into After Effects and place it into the composition, positioned below your shape/text layer.
On the timeline, navigate to the Track Matte settings and click the drop-down menu on your video layer’s Track Matte Properties. Of the available options there, you’ll want to select the Alpha Matte “[shape layer name here]”. As a result, your footage will automatically take on the form of your shape/text layer.
If you want to go further with this effect, you can experiment with other Track Matte options. For example, if you add a simple black-to-white ramp on your shape, you can select the Luma Matte instead of Alpha Matte. That way, not only will your video take on the form of your shape/text, but the luminance of the shape/text layer will affect the video as well.
Optionally, you can link all your layers by using the Parent & Link feature which can be pretty handy when you want to animate the graphics and make your video more visually appealing by adding motion to your entire composition. Just be patient, take your time, get creative and see what else you can bring to the table by utilizing this simple, yet extremely effective compositing technique.