Stock media, captions, and effects

Enhancing your project with imagery, captions, music, or sound effects can significantly boost audience engagement, or at the very least, cleverly hide a messy apartment. In this article, you'll discover the difference between layers and script, how to add both your own files and stock media as layers, and how to customize layer properties for a polished, professional look.

Script vs. layers

Before we dive into adding media to your project, let's talk about to key concepts in Descript: your script and layers. Below is an image showing your script and all additional layers in the Timeline.

Script vs. layers shown in the Timeline

  1. Script: The script is the backbone of your project. It contains all your transcribed video and audio, allowing you to edit recordings just like text. This makes it easy to make precise edits and adjustments to your content. We have an entire article and video dedicated to adding in script content, so make sure to check out how to import and transcribe recordings.
  2. Layers: Layers are any visual or audio elements that aren't part of the script and is what we're discussing in this article. These can include background music, images, sound effects, captions, and more. Layers are added to enhance your final content and can be adjusted independently of the script.

Adding your own files as layers

You can add you own images, video, and audio as layers to your project. Below you can see how to add a background image by simply dragging and dropping it onto the Canvas.

adding computer files as layers

Avoid confusing layers and script content

You can drag files from your computer or the Project panel in the sidebar directly onto the Script Editor, Canvas, and Timeline. For new projects, script content will almost always be added before any layers. Just remember, there's a difference between layers and your script. Adding content to your script can easily be undone, but it may trigger automatic transcription depending on how it's added.

Customize properties

As you continue enhancing your project with layers, you can adjust and arrange your visuals in the Canvas. Make granular adjustments to visuals and audio from the Layer panel in the sidebar; from here, you can also add effects and create layer animations.

Adjusting layer properties

Adding stock visuals

Descript's premium stock libraries offer a wide range of images and videos that you can use to enhance your content. Simply browse, select, and add them to your project.

Adding stock media to your project

AI Green Screen effect

Remove unwanted backgrounds easily with Descript's AI Green Screen effect. Apply it to your videos and then add a polished, professional looking background image or video as a layer.

Adding and customizing captions

Captions are a great way to make your video more accessible and engaging. You can quickly apply fully designed caption styles from Captions panel the sidebar that you can also further customize to fit you own brand and style.

GIF showing how to add captions in Descript

Add captions in just a few clicks:

  1. Open Captions icon.png Captions in the sidebar; at the top of the panel, choose where you want to apply the captions:
    • All scenes: add the captions to your entire video.
    • This scene: display the captions only in the currently active scene.
  2. Select the style you want to apply. After adding the captions, you can fully customize them as needed.
Expand your audience with Translate

Descript makes it easy to break down language barriers and reach more viewers. Explore how to translate your captions and speech.

Adding music and SFX

Background music and sound effects can significantly improve the overall feel of your video. You can find an endless amount of stock audio in the Music panel of the sidebar.

Adding stock music.gif

Add a fade-In for professional sound

To create a smoother start or end, create a fade-in for your background music to gradually bring it in.

What's next: scenes and layouts

By understanding and adding layers in your project, you can transform your basic recordings into professional-quality content. As you create, remember the difference between the script and layers, incorporate your own media files as layers, and enhance your content with visual elements and music. Next, explore how you can create dynamic scenes and layouts through your videos.

 

 

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