What software programs and techniques do you need to learn to get a job as a compositor for feature films?

Software Programs:

What you need to know:

  • Knowledge of film resolution and aspect ratios
  • Understanding of color, contrast and lighting design 
  • Knowledge of projection mapping
  • Node based compositing using Nuke, Shake, Fusion
  • Blue screen green screen extractions
  • Keying in Keylight, Primatte or Ultimatte
  • Integrate elements into live action plates
  • Using matte paintings and live action plates
  • Matte extensions from blue/green screen Photography
  • Use scripts (programming experience a plus)
  • Transform elements
  • 2D/D Camera Tracking Stabilization
  • Grain & Degrain
  • Plate speed up/slow down manipulation
  • Matte edge processing and integration
  • QC black levels, grain, color and mattes
  • Paint fixes and Rotoscoping
  • Integration of live action, miniature and CGI Sources
  • Composite design
  • Photography
  • Lighting
  • Color Grading
  • Multi-platform environment
  • Matte paining & texture painting is always good too
  • Real world understanding of physics, math, proportion, depth, light and color

What you should have on your demo reel:

  • Artistic Skills
  • Knowledge of color
  • Knowledge of lighting
  • Knowledge of perspective
  • Knowledge of scale
  • Knowledge of composition


A compositor for feature film makes approximately between $55,000 to $100,000, depending on experience.  A compositor will normally work under a contract which will expire in a set period of time.