Compositing software: Creating VFX and finishing for video

From beginners to professionals, Autodesk has VFX and finishing software designed to meet your compositing needs.

©2017 Alcon Entertainment, LLC., Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Framestore.

Compositing software still of Leonardo DiCaprio against a winter sky from The Revenant

Compositing software allows filmmakers to combine separate visual elements into a cohesive whole. / Image courtesy of The Revenant © 2016 20th Century Fox.

What is compositing software?

VFX compositing software enables you to combine visual elements from separate sources, unifying them into a new visual product. The purpose of compositing software is to either enhance the overall look and feel of a visual element or to create an illusion that visual elements from multiple sources are in the same scene. The best compositing software will allow you to create truly breathtaking scenes for film or video. You can also use production tracking software to track each shot and asset throughout the compositing process.

Compositing software large scale projects scene of people in orange haz-mat suits from Arrival
Major motion pictures and other large-scale projects require compositing software that integrates with production management software. / Image © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

Handle large-scale projects with ease

Compositing capabilities in software such as Autodesk Flame can be used to deliver everything from TV episodes and films to commercials and online videos. Your team can use Flame’s 2D and 3D compositing tools to bring together computer-generated effects and characters, AI-enhanced backgrounds, and more. Production management software like Autodesk Flow Production Tracking (formerly ShotGrid) offers tools to keep your compositing projects organized and moving in the right direction.

Compositing software digital compositing techniques still of children in EV suits touching CGI alien plant life from KIA commercial by Soham Rawal
Modern compositing software allows artists to combine footage of live actors with CGI to create otherwordly images. / Image courtesy of “KIA Carens” by Soham Rawal, 2023 Flame Award Winner.

Digital compositing techniques

In the past, compositing—combining two or more images—was a physical process that used partial models to give the illusion of scale, rear projection of moving backgrounds, and matte paintings on glass. Today, sophisticated VFX compositing software makes the process much faster and more powerful. Layering on computer-generated imagery (CGI), combining multiple exposures, and replacing green screens with any background imagery are all possible using compositing software such as Flame. Because everything’s done digitally, there’s a lot more scope for experimenting with different elements than was possible in the past.

Our best-selling VFX compositing software

Tools for 3D visual effects, finishing, and 3D compositing—available as Flame, Flame Assist, Flare, Lustre

A review and production tracking toolset for VFX, games, and animation teams

Why choose Autodesk Flame for VFX compositing?

Autodesk Flame is a powerful VFX and finishing solution that contains creative tools that will aid each step of the compositing process. You can use it to incorporate 2D and 3D visual effects into your projects, generate camera tracking data, perform color grading, edit timelines, and more. With Flame’s AI-powered image segmentation, it’s easier to isolate individual elements of an image, such as skies and objects, so that they can be composited quickly and realistically.

VFX compositing features in Autodesk Flame

VFX compositing Flame Action feature

3D compositing tool: Action

Watch how Flame’s Action tool combines the interactive speed of traditional 2D compositing and powerful 3D visual effects.

VFX compositing Flame Batch feature

Node-based compositing: Batch

Flame’s Batch environment integrates with the timeline and desktop to combine 2D and 3D elements efficiently and iteratively.

VFX compositing Flame Cryptomatte feature

Render pass support: Cryptomatte

The Cryptomatte data pass in Flame allows you to automatically generate a variety of mattes even after the CGI has been rendered.

Real-time project tracking for compositing projects

By using Flow Production Tracking alongside your VFX compositing software, you can stay organized from start to finish—which is particularly useful on longer projects such as feature films. Flow Production Tracking helps you track each step of your project, such as individual shots and VFX assets, as they move through your production pipeline. This can help you plan and communicate effectively with artists, teams, and departments during the post-production process.

How is VFX compositing software used?

Compositing software still of jubilant young woman tennis player from Love 40 by 9th Street Films


9th Street Films creates high-end VFX on an indie budget

9th Street Films shares how a robust Flame-based post-production and finishing pipeline allows his team to produce high-caliber VFX.

Image courtesy of 9th Street Films

VFX compositing Untold Studios still from commercial goat hang-gliding


Untold Studios raises the visual bar with cloud workflows

Amaan Akram, head of VFX at Untold Studios, shares why Autodesk Flame is an indispensable part of their creative finishing pipeline.

Image courtesy of Untold Studios

VFX compositing software Autodesk Flame Award winner Renée Tymn


Flame Award winner Renée Tymn fires up VFX and finishing

Industry veteran Renée Tymn wins Autodesk’s Flame Award for compositing, finishing, and final delivery of Fiverr’s “Opportunity Knocks” Super Bowl LV commercial.

VFX compositing software image of woman in cloak produced with Flame
This quick start tutorial walks through the process of combining different visual elements to create a final composited scene.

Start using Flame in under 14 minutes

Want to learn how to use Flame video compositing software? Now you can, and in only 14 minutes! From set up to export, and everything in between, this video offers you the basic skills you need to get your quick start as a Flame artist.

Ready for anything with The-Artery

In the fast-paced New York post-production world you never know what challenges will arise. Every project has a unique set of problems to solve—it’s all just another day in the life of the best visual artists in the world. In this session, The-Artery founder and director, Vico Sharabani, shares his approach to the creative and the technical—balancing business and art within a career in media and entertainment that touches automotive, manufacturing, and architecture industries.

VFX compositing screenshot of Flame software interface
New developments and techniques in compositing software help artists bring impossible visions to life.

Impossible post-production with Firestorm VFX

Every Flame 3D compositing software artist can do something others would see as impossible—whether it's super accurate tracking, paint clean up, or coordinating a team of people and tools to finish a perfect episodic program. In this Vision Series presentation, see some of the latest developments in the best compositing software, to automate and enhance your VFX work using AI, and hear about new areas of research for the next tier of machine learning informed creative and technical tools.

Free resources for VFX compositing software, run by the Autodesk Flame artists’ community for their community, is home to content, career tools, forums, and more.

The Autodesk Flame Learning Channel provides free VFX and finishing software tutorials for all levels to help you learn VFX compositing in Flame.

Get inspired with articles featuring industry news, artist interviews, and more on the Autodesk Media and Entertainment blog.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Autodesk Flame

What platforms can I use Flame with?

Flame is suitable for use on both Mac and Linux-based systems. See the latest system requirements for more details.

Can I try out Autodesk’s compositing software before I buy?

Autodesk offers a free trial on Flame compositing software, so you can try it out free for 30 days without risk. If it’s not for you, simply cancel before your free trial ends.

Is it possible to do chroma keying in Flame?

Yes, Flame allows you to replace green screen backgrounds effortlessly, and you can create chroma keys directly on the timeline as needed.