How to Add a Background to a Video

Adding a background behind your footage can enhance its look and feel and make videos feel cohesive. It's also great for filling in space when you're publishing vertical footage in a horizontal format. This tutorial shows you how to add a background to any video in just a few steps.

How to Add a Background to a Video

Adding a background behind your footage can enhance the look and feel and make multiple videos feel cohesive. It's also great for filling in space when you're publishing vertical footage as a horizontal video. Simply layering the right image can go a long way.

Maybe you have an Instagram video campaign, and you want all the posts to have the same custom border. Or you have wedding footage, and you want to add a romantic backdrop. Perhaps you have shaky protest footage shot vertically on a phone, and you need to fill in the rest of a 16x9 frame.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to add a background to any video using a fully online video and image editing platform called Kapwing.

  1. Open Kapwing Studio and upload your footage
  2. Add your background image or footage
  3. Reframe and adjust your video and background
  4. Export to download and share

Step 1: Open the Kapwing Studio and upload your footage

Open the Kapwing Studio and click Start with a blank canvas. Determine the best aspect ratio for your social media platform and choose the output size.  You'll be able to change this later if you need to.

Click into the "Media" tab on the left side and add your footage using the "Add Media" button.

Within the upload window, you can import video directly from your device or drag and drop into the upload box. There are also options for importing videos not stored on your device. With the Google Drive and Google Photos integrations you can import footage stored in the cloud. You can also copy paste a link to import a video from somewhere online, like YouTube or TikTok.

Step 2: Add your background image or footage

Add your image to the project by clicking the Upload button or opening the Media tab. You can also search for an image by tapping the Images button.

Here's where to click to upload your footage

If you're doing an image search, my technique is to add the words "background, art, texture, or design" along with a feeling, color, or event. For the footage below, I saw the bride's dress was a rosy, champagne color, so I searched for "rose sparkle art," and found a design that perfectly matched the original image.

This is an example of a nice background video

After you add your background content, you may notice your original footage has disappeared. No fear, it's only hidden behind the new layer. Click on the background image that's sitting on top of the canvas and then, on the right-side panel, scroll down and click the Back button. This will push it the image to the background layer, behind your primary footage.

Next, set the duration for the background image. By default, it will only be a few seconds long, but you want a pretty background for the whole video. Drag the edge of the background layer in the timeline so that it lines up with the end of the video layer.

You can also set a solid color as your background. You can use any of the existing colors or add a custom color of your choice. Use the gradient slider or input a HEX code. You can also use the eyedropper tool to pick a color from the footage for your background.

You'll see the eyedropper icon on the right-hand panel under the words Background Color. Hover your mouse over your footage to find a color you want to use, then click. In this example, I chose the blue from her dress.

How to use the eyedropper tool to match your background to your footage

Adding background footage can make your video pop. You want to make sure it's not so busy that it competes with the primary video. If it does, I have some tips below in step 3 to help soften things up.

Step 3a: Add blur to your video background

If your background is pulling too much focus, try blurring it. Click on your background footage, then click Adjust in the right side panel. Use the slider tool to . Click Done adjusting to save your changes.

Blur and darken a background
Blur and darken a background

Step 3b: Replace the background from a video entirely (optional)

If you'd like to replace the background of your video, you can automatically remove the current background using the "Chroma key" or "Remove background" effect in Kapwing. When you upload your video, click on the layer and use the "Effects" tab to automatically remove the background behind you.

Then, you can design your own virtual background behind the subject of the video. Set a new color or upload an image for the background of the video. The same tool works well for removing a green screen or editing with Chroma key. Here's a video tutorial on removing the background of the video:

Alternately, you can simply blur the background of the video, using the Blur Background option in the Effects tab.

Step 4: Export to download and share

When you're all set, click on the Export Project button in the upper right corner and select your export format and resolution settings.

You'll be taken to a window with options to download and share. Download the video to upload it natively on social media. The video will also be hosted on Kapwing so that you can get a share link. Anyone who clicks that link will be taken to your final video page.

I hope this tutorial helps you create some incredibly aesthetic videos to share with your friends, family, and a wider audience. For more tutorials and guides, make sure to subscribe to Kapwing App on YouTube and follow us on Twitter at @KapwingApp.

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