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What Does a VFX Compositor Do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The duties of a VFX compositor usually involve the use of editing software and hardware to ensure that visual special effects, also called FX or VFX, are properly edited into scenes in a film or television recording. This work can require a number of different skills, though it is typically done by someone who has experience working with both special effects and basic video editing, as this ensures the compositor understands the needs of other people working on a production. The work of a VFX compositor usually happens during post-production of a film or television program and can be crucial to the final overall appearance of a production.

A VFX compositor is typically an editor who works on movies or television shows and helps incorporate special effects elements into the final work. While this person may not necessarily edit the work in terms of pacing or choosing what shots to use, he or she often works with those editors and the director of a production. Compositing is a process by which various elements are combined into a final scene. A VFX compositor uses different effects elements and raw footage to compose a final scene.

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There are different types of software and hardware typically used by a VFX compositor, though some basic equipment is quite common. A computer workstation, including a powerful computer that can handle the requirements of video editing, is typically used. This workstation can include multiple monitors, which allow the compositor to view input and output separately, as well as the process of editing and compositing that he or she is performing. The compositor usually uses software developed for combining different shots and layers together to create a final scene.

A VFX compositor is usually given different types of raw video data, often consisting of special effects created by other artists and footage that was filmed on a set or location. The compositor then combines these assets to create the final scene through properly adjusting and layering these elements together. A VFX compositor can also make other adjustments to a scene, such as cropping and color correcting to ensure that the various elements come together seamlessly. This work is often done with input and reviews by other editors and the director of a project to ensure that the final work meets the requirements and vision of these individuals and to maintain an overall cohesion in the final product.

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