A couple of months ago, we released a video training course titled Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects: Enhancing Production Value. Some of the tricks in that course relied on using blending modes to add lighting effects from second footage layers that had color, abstract patterns and movements. There is a lot of stock footage available with these patterns; in the following video, we share some tips on creating your own:
An assumption underlying the above is that you want to create calm, out of focus backgrounds. Although they are not as immediately eye-catching as frenetic, highly detailed “background” footage, in the long run detail or fast movement in that background will distract the viewer from the foreground elements (text, your main video layer, etc.) you actually want the viewer to focus on. We expand on this philosophy a bit in this article we wrote for Artbeats.com several years ago on creating backgrounds such as these.
By now you should be in the habit of shooting “B-roll” (secondary footage to help set a scene or capture an environment, without focusing on an actor etc.) whenever you’re out with your camera. With the above in mind, add to that regiment shooting moving shadows, colors, and lights with your camera out of focus – preferably at a high frame rate, to make it easier to slow down the footage later. It also makes for a relaxing afternoon to head out on a hike or visit a lake, fountain, or pool, and so forth with the intention of just shooting these abstract movements.