Overlays are a quick and simple way to jumpstart the design of any video. Featuring shapes, text, filters, and more, this kind of stock video asset gives you a quick way to upgrade any production: they’re effects that instantly transform the look and feel of any clip.
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The magic of these clips is that they work in practically any video app thanks to use of the alpha channel. You can think of this footage as the video equivalent of a transparent PNG.
How to Use Video Overlays (In Practically Any App)
use the app Screenflow for lightweight video editing. It’s a simple app
that’s targeted at screencasters like me, but it’s “good enough” for
basic video editing. It has the simple controls and effects to get work done. It’s all the more impressive that you can use with alpha channel video, with no plug-ins or tools needed—as is true for most basic video apps.
1. Choose Your Stock Footage
For my example, I’m going to work with stock footage from Envato Elements. The same subscription that unlocks the alpha channel overlays also gives you access to unlimited stock footage clips.
2. Add Your Stock Footage to Your Editor
you choose footage, it’s time to add it to your video editor. In my
case, I can just drag-and-drop footage onto the timeline. Make sure that
you can see multiple layers in your app, because we still need to add
our overlay layer.
I love this snowy, winter footage—but it feels like it needs a bit more. Let’s add an overlay layer.
3. Add Your Overlay Layer
In our case, I’m going to use Snow Overlay Layer. Again, download the asset from Envato
Elements and then open it up. This asset actually contains ten separate
video files, each ready for use as an overlay.
Choose one of the
video files, then drag and drop it into your video editing tool. Place
it on the layer above your stock footage. You might need to scale the
overlay to match your footage. In my case, I can just click and drag the
corners to match the size.
now, the snowy layer totally blocks out our stock footage. We need to
remove the overlay’s background so that we can see both the overlay and
the stock footage.
4.”Knock Out” the Background
After we add an overlay clip, we have to remove the background from the overlay layer. In Screenflow, this feature is called Mask to Alpha, and you can add it from the Video Filters dropdown.
step will vary depending on your tool of choice, but look for similarly
named features and options. The goal is to make your app recognize that
your footage has an alpha channel and adjusts for it accordingly.
5. Adjust the Opacity
Let’s say that you want your overlay to be a bit less
present. In its current state, it overwhelms the footage slightly. The
solution is to dial down the opacity. That fades it slightly so that it
In my case, I’ll pull the Opacity slider down. Now, the snow fits into the scene.
That’s it! We’ve added an overlay, then tweaked it to fit the original footage.
Every app will vary on the specifics, but remember these basic steps:
- Choose your stock footage
- Choose an overlay
- Layer the overlay on top of the stock footage
- Knock out the background
- Adjust opacity if needed
Alpha Channel Overlay Awesomeness: 25 Top Stock Video Packs
Envato Elements is an unlimited-download resource for creatives. Featuring
hundreds of thousands of creative templates, it’s an amazing asset
available for one low monthly fee. Elements features video templates,
stock photos, templates, fonts, and more, including plenty of cool overlays. Check out 25 of the top
video overlays on Elements below. And don’t forget to try out the previews
as you explore all Elements has to offer!
Grunge style is a gritty design suited for trailers and promos. Featuring burns, flares, glows and more, these fiery overlays are the perfect starter pack for your next production.
Confetti adds a celebration effect to any film. With this quick overlay, you can add excitement to your new video. Try it out for parties, promos, and more.
This bubble overlay pack is amazingly versatile, with fun elements built to suit any theme. Use it to add fun, quirky styling, without detracting from the video below.
Need a wide variety of overlays in a single pack? Start right here, with this 39-piece collection. It features all of your favorite cinematic effects in a single download.
These elegant particle overlays let you add elegant polish in a flash. Glittering sparkle effects illuminate your content, while the organic overlays smooth footage of all kinds.
Customized for wedding productions, this pack has everything you’ll need to capture your special day. With 36 total overlays, including veils, curtains, titles, and more, you’re sure to find the perfect overlay to fit every scene.
Use these no-nonsense overlays next time you’re building a film trailer or game promo. Featuring ethereal green light and sci-fi inspired graphics, they guarantee your videos that key second look.
Glitch styling is a gritty and edgy way to craft your video work. It’s a specific category, but also broad in reach. And with this pack, you can try out 100 amazing glitch options with just a few clicks.
Inspired by the early days of tech, this distortion overlay works as an amazing transition pack. It’s the perfect complement to modern productions of every kind.
Great for your next romantic production, these heart overlays are sure to bring out a smile. Try them out for Valentine’s Day videos, engagement films, weddings, and more.
Skiing, sledding, and dreams of a beautiful snowfall: no matter the winter scenes in your film, this frosty overlay makes them even cooler. Add it with just a few clicks, and bring brisk new style to your screen.
Versatile enough for use in any celebration video, this gold confetti overlay pack is the life of the party. Including a total of 24 clips, you can easily customize this template to match your project’s theme.
13. Bokeh Overlays
Bokeh is a photographic technique featuring the creative use of blurring. But with this overlay pack, you don’t have to capture it in your original video. Instead, add the amazing abstract effects after the fact with this fast template.
Dandelions drifting away on the breeze are a true symbol of spring. Harness that fun, fresh feeling with this sleek dandelion template, ideally used as a transition design.
15. Glitch Overlay
These block overlays bring stop-motion design to your next project. Made for grunge content of all kinds, these are also flexible enough to apply to nearly any video for a healthy dose of funky style.
Reminiscent of old movies and newsreels, retro overlays like this make any film timeless. Including burn, dust, and noise effects, you can dramatically shift the essence of a video in mere seconds with this template.
For intense designs, the Extreme Overlays Pack is tough to top. Heavily emphasizing optical effects, this one is a key choice for those building ad promos and marketing campaigns.
By distorting even the simplest video, this digital glitch pack is a top choice for turning boring into extraordinary. Warm static interference gives viewers the feeling of involvement and being right inside the scene.
Graphic overlays like this one channel natural light to highlight certain areas of the video. Callouts like this draw attention to specific items and help to keep even the toughest audiences engaged.
20. Old Film Overlay
Cinema purists love the warm look of old film. Fortunately for you, it’s easy to apply to even the newest videos, thanks to throwback templates like this one.
Butterflies symbolize growth and new life. For festive videos of all sorts, it’s hard to imagine a better symbol. Fly your transitions on-screen with these fresh butterfly overlays.
They might float, but feathers carry a lot of style with them. Dive into this feathers overlay and apply magical graphics in a heartbeat. There are four options in the pack to help you design your new video.
Light leaks involve overexposing parts of images to the light. When used right, they add a warm, sunlit vibe. If you can’t capture them live, no matter—this 20-piece light leak pack will quickly add the effect after the fact.
Perfect for intros and broadcasts, this TV camera overlay focuses on both sides of the lens. It’s simple enough to add in seconds, yet powerful enough to use on professional broadcast productions.
Doodles don’t just symbolize boredom—they’re also icons of abstract style. Add their fun unpredictability to your video canvas with this amazing collection of diverse doodle overlays.