What Are Overlays in Video Editing?

Video editing has become an essential skill for content creators, especially with the rise of social media platforms. One of the most important aspects of video editing is the use of overlays.

But what are overlays in video editing? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about overlays and how to use them effectively.

What are Overlays?

Overlays in video editing refer to any visual element that is added on top of a video clip. These elements can vary from simple shapes and text to more complex animations and visual effects. Overlays are used to add context, emphasis, or enhance the overall look and feel of a video.

Types of Overlays

There are several types of overlays that you can use in video editing. Below are some common types:

  • Text: Text overlays are used to display information such as titles, subtitles, and captions.
  • Shapes: Shapes overlays include lines, circles, squares, arrows and other geometric shapes that can be used to highlight or emphasize specific parts of a video.
  • Images: Image overlays refer to any graphics or logos that are added on top of a video clip.
  • VFX: Visual effects (VFX) overlays include animations such as explosions, lens flares, fire effects which can be used for dramatic effect.

How to Use Overlays

Using overlays effectively is all about choosing the right type for your video and placing them strategically throughout your footage. Here are some tips:

  • Add Context: If you’re making a tutorial or educational video, text overlays can be useful for providing context and explaining complex concepts.
  • Emphasize: Use shape overlays to draw attention to specific parts of the video. This can be useful for highlighting key points or emphasizing a particular aspect of a scene.
  • Branding: Image overlays are great for branding purposes.

    Adding your logo or other graphics can help promote your brand and make your videos more recognizable.

  • Add Drama: VFX overlays are perfect for adding drama and excitement to your videos. Explosions, fire effects, and other animations can create a cinematic look and feel.


Overlays are an essential tool in video editing. They can be used to add context, emphasis, branding, or even drama to your videos.

When used effectively, overlays can take your videos to the next level and make them more engaging for your audience. Remember to choose the right type of overlay for your video and place them strategically throughout your footage.