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How to Replace the Background in a Video With RunwayML Editor

RunwayML is browser-based video editor that uses machine learning and a user-friendly interface to achieve impressive results; outcomes that would usually take much longer and require a significant amount of hard earned know-how. We covered the basics of Runway in a previous article, where we went over the amazing masking feature. In this tutorial we'll be adding simple effects and a new background to the clip.

How to Add a New Background to a Video With Runway 

Once you've masked your video, effects can be added from the main editor along the right hand side of the app. There is no limit to have many effects you stack on top of each other.

Mask the Video

For fun, in this example we're going to try and make a classic iPod commercial from around 15 years ago. We'll take the cut-out video or the speaker and add a new background. Go ahead and mask out your video.

Add a New Background

The first thing to try is to put a new background on your masked image. I used a party image from Envato Elements, "House Party." Go ahead and upload an image of your own and place it beneath your clip on the timeline.

Refine the Edges

Next, select your masked clip, and open up at the Effects tab. Scroll through the options until you find Edge Detection. From here, simply add it to your clip and adjust the amount you'd like to have on your clip. I think aiming between 10-20 yields the best result, but this depends on your clip.

Add Effects

The next step is to add an effect. Let's add lens flare to the stock footage to give the background some movement and life.

You'll notice that the editable parameters for this effect has options, and there are no right on wrong answers here for how much or little you'd like to apply, it's really depends on your taste and the clip your using. I decided to go a bit heavier than I normally would to see how far you can push it without it becoming too artificial. I found -.61 for Sensibility to be that threshold for this example. 

Add More Effects

Adding and managing effects using RunwayML is simple, and you can add as many as you like. The program is filled with interesting and fun effects that can used to create engaging content or as a tool that you can implement with another NLE.

The software is also constantly being updated with new features to make complex editing more accessible. The latest addition is the beta launch of inpainting, which allows users to remove unwanted objects from a clip.

Thanks for following along! If you'd like to learn more about other browser based services make sure to check out these articles.

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