Adding border around layers

Is there a way to add borders around pictures/videos using picture in picture?


  • Best one probably would be creating a plane behind it (and parenting it to the layer).  If the video is rectangular, then you would need to disable uniform scaling of the plane to ensure you can create something with an even border width "around" your layer.

    You could also play with the drop shadow effect, but I found that lacking somewhat as (as far as I can see) there's no way to scale Y and X-axis separately: so with (for instance) a 16:9 video, you'd end up with borders that are larger on the left & right compared to top & bottom. I may be missing something though.


  • There are several ways to add borders around pictures. What kind of border are you looking for? Something just a solid color, or more elaborate than that?


  • just a solid color

  • 1) You could create a plane layer of the proper color below your video layer and scale down the video using the Transform controls to the size you want.

    2) You could create a plane layer of the right color above your video layer and use masks to cut out the center.

    Both of these methods require composite shots. Method 1 can be done in the editor timeline if you've already created a colored plane elsewhere.

    3) Or, in a Composite shot OR Editor Timline. You could apply a Grid effect to the video layer--set the blend mode of the grid to "None," move the two points to frame around the area you want to show, set the grid color to the target, then crank up the border radius to fill the screen.

    4) Create a PNG file of a border in an outside program and import into Hitfilm.

    I'm sure there are other ways to do this as well.


  • edited November 2016

    Drop Shadows can be stacked, so although the default is to have the  shadow proportions the same as the image, which doesn't quite work on a 16:9, but is fine for a 1:1 (square), you can use two to get the shape you want with an even border all around.

    Drop one on the image, set Angle 0, Distance 0, Colour White, and Penumbra to 0. Then set Scale to about 1.1 (or as big as you want the border to be), Opacity to 1.0 and adjust Distance to get it looking the same on the the top as it does on the sides. It'll have a smaller border at the bottom.

    Duplicate the Effect (Ctrl+D), set the angle to 180, set the scale back to 1, then adjust the Distance to extend it so the bottom is now the same as the top.

    Then for an actual shadow, drop a new Shadow Effect below all of those , leave the colour as Black and adjust the Angle, Distance and Penumbra in the usual way.

    Ideally you'd then select all three, Right Click>Create Preset and save it as 'Photo Frame'.  You should be able to apply that to an image in the Editor, but you won't be able to because for some reason it decides the Preset is 'Layer Only'.

    No problem, recreate it in the Editor and overwrite the Preset with the same three Effects made on an image in the Editor.'s still Layer Only.... and you can't even reapply it back to the image you just took it from.

    So save it again with a new name: Photo Frame 2, which works fine, and you can apply it to images in the Editor and in a Composite Shot as it no longer says 'Layer Only'. Then, delete the 'Layer Only' version, rename 'Photo Frame 2' to 'Photo Frame' and chalk it up to "just because".  :D

    You can now just drop 'Photo Frame' on any image to get a white border and a shadow and you can rotate, scale etc. the image and the frame goes with it.

    Note: Because you made the top and bottom fit for the proportions of your specific photo shape, it might be necessary to adjust Distance on the first two Drop Shadows for equal sized top and bottom borders on photos with different aspect rations, like 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, 1:1 etc. Although with more squareish images, 1:1, 4:3 etc. you might not even notice the borders are different sizes and get away with just the one Drop Shadow and Scale it up with Distance 0.

  • @new3dmus @Palacono Drop Shadow! I didn't think of that! Very clever! 

    Snake, you now have 5 ways to do this. Let's see if anyone else has a sixth! 

  • @Triem23  I don't have a sixth, but of all those listed so far, I think I like the idea you mentioned of a PNG layer imported the best.  It seems to me that this would allow far more creative input by creating the frame in GIMP or what -have-you or even using some images of appropriate frames for the effect, but that's just my two-cents worth.

  • Create a plane (color of choice) then fit it to the frame. Then get a rectangular mask and draw around the area of the clip you wish to still have visible. If you want to add design to your birder you could just add things like color gradients or fractal noise effects to the plane that is your border

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