What is B Roll Video Footage? Definition + Guide for 2024

B roll performs an important position within the high quality and storytelling of video initiatives. Understanding what B roll video footage is and the way to use it properly, can actually add worth to your movies. On this article we’ll check out what B roll stands for, why it’s essential, and sensible purposes of it, from the fundamentals, to extra superior strategies!

What’s B Roll Video Footage?

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What Does B Roll Stand For?

‘B roll’ does not truly stand for something! It comes from the labelling of rolls of movie when the whole lot was achieved in an analogue approach.

B Roll That means and Origin

‘B roll’ comes from the early days of movie manufacturing the place the first footage was referred to as ‘A roll’. A roll was important content material, issues like interviews, the motion, or the primary story. So it is sensible that B roll meant the secondary footage that was used to enhance or assist A roll.

What’s B Roll Video? What Does it Embody?

B roll footage ought to seamlessly combine with A roll, and it helps break up a single shot that may in any other case must proceed for an prolonged interval. It can be demonstrative of what’s occurring within the A roll.

B roll can embody a variety of photographs, from close-ups of fingers performing a process, for instance, to photographs of a location, and the whole lot in between. These are used so as to add depth, context, and visible curiosity to a video. B roll may additionally embody folks, objects, landscapes, or any related visible materials that provides to the narrative or message of the video.

The Significance of B Roll

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We’ve established B roll’s which means and what B roll is, however why do we want it?

Enhancing Visuals

B roll provides visible curiosity to a video by offering a wide range of photographs, angles, and views. It stops a shot from turning into boring. Say you might have some interview footage, you would be wanting on the identical individual speaking for a very long time, which may grow to be a little bit stale. Popping B roll in there breaks up the shot and may also add context.

Offering Context

B roll will help clarify, illustrate, or reinforce the knowledge within the A roll. Like within the instance above, say we’ve a documentary a couple of career. The A roll could be an individual speaking about that specific career, and the B roll might be somebody performing the duties related to that position.

Clean Transitions and Protecting Errors

B roll is a good sticking plaster and is usually used to bridge gaps or transitions between totally different scenes or concepts in a video. It creates a seamless move between photographs and might cowl tough edits with out being jarring. In post-production, B roll could be a lifesaver. If there are issues with A roll footage, like background noise or digicam shake, B roll can be utilized to cowl it up, although be warned, it’s not a fix-all!


A bit like context, B roll can also be a robust device for storytelling. It could convey feelings, or set the temper. You can have B roll of the facial features of a personality for instance, to attempt to show what they’re feeling.

Tips on how to Shoot B Roll

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Okay, now that you just get what B roll footage is and the way it’s used, let’s have a look at how one can make your personal.

Gear and Gear

Some stuff is clear, however let’s cowl the whole lot simply to make certain.

  • Digital camera: A superb digicam is crucial. Skilled videographers largely use DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, however you possibly can obtain good outcomes with a high-quality smartphone as properly. Intention for the very best footage you possibly can and use the perfect instruments at your disposal.
  • Lenses: For those who can change lenses then you definately may wish to fluctuate what you’ve used in order that it seems to be totally different out of your A roll. For those who had a close-up of an individual for instance, you may wish to combine it up with some good extensive B roll, or vice versa.
  • Stabilisation: To keep away from shaky footage, use a tripod or Gimbal. For those who can’t use bodily stabilisation then you would strive including one thing like warp-stabilisation (in Adobe) in submit manufacturing. Most high-end enhancing suites can have their very own model of this.
  • Audio Recording: B roll footage usually does not require sound (it might need the audio from A roll working nonetheless) however having a conveyable audio recorder or microphone on the digicam you’re filming B roll, which may be helpful as a result of you may get scratch audio simply in case. While you present one thing, folks anticipate to listen to it, even quietly, so it is value getting some audio from no matter you are filming, simply in case. Or you should utilize acceptable SFX.
  • Lighting: Lighting is essential, simply as it’s for something you’re filming, so natural light or portable LED panels for instance, could make a giant distinction to the standard of your B roll. Deal with it simply as you’d your principal footage.
  • Extras: You may additionally wish to put money into a crane, Gimbal, or drone to get photographs that you could’t get with only a digicam and tripod. They’ll get fairly costly although. 

Planning Your B Roll Pictures

Simply because it’s B roll doesn’t imply you shouldn’t plan what you’re going to get. Take into consideration:

  • Making a Storyboard: Create a rough storyboard or a brief listing that outlines the B roll you want. This will help you keep organised and environment friendly. Embody the whole lot, and think about sub-dividing it into ‘important’ and ‘fascinating’. Begin with crucial issues after which if there’s time you may get the stuff that could be helpful to have too.
  • Location Scouting: If there’s time, go to the capturing areas prematurely to take a look at the lighting, potential issues, and angles to your photographs.
  • Selection: Plan for a various vary of photographs, together with extensive, close-ups, and inventive angles. Selection is vital to creating partaking B roll.
  • Sequencing: Take into consideration how your B roll footage will match into the general narrative and think about the transitions between A roll and B roll.

Composition and Framing

Composition is at all times essential for video and capturing B roll is not any totally different. Keep in mind the necessities:

  • Rule of Thirds: Divide your body into thirds each horizontally and vertically. Place key topics or factors of curiosity alongside these strains or at their intersections.
  • Main Traces: Use pure or architectural components to information the viewer’s eye by the body.
  • Foreground and Background: Incorporate components within the foreground so as to add depth to your photographs.
  • Depth of Area: Experiment with shallow and deep depth of area to regulate what’s in focus and what’s blurred.

And naturally, be ready to interrupt all of these guidelines when it’s essential to or creativity calls for it!

Filming Methods

To seize nice B roll, apply varied capturing strategies:

  • Regular Actions: Use clean digicam actions, like pans and tilts, so as to add cinematic high quality to your photographs.
  • Monitoring: Observe topics or objects with the digicam to create dynamic motion in your B roll.
  • Establishing Pictures: Start with extensive photographs often known as establishing photographs to set the scene and context for the viewers.
  • Element: Seize close-up photographs of related particulars that assist the story.
  • Rack Focus: Experiment with rack focus to shift consideration between foreground and background components.

Suggestions for Taking pictures Nice B Roll


Whereas the technical elements of capturing B roll are essential, the artwork of B roll is extra about inventive and storytelling choices.


B roll ought to contribute to the narrative of your video. You may take into consideration storytelling strategies like:

  1. Visible Metaphors: Use B roll to visually signify summary concepts or metaphors associated to your video’s message.
  2. Emotion and Temper: Regulate the tone of your B roll to match the temper or emotion you wish to convey.
  3. Character Focus: Seize B roll that highlights the personalities, traits, or feelings of your topics.


Each shot you embody in your B roll ought to contribute indirectly to the story or message you are conveying. Keep away from any pointless photographs that don’t add any worth – don’t simply pad it out for the sake of it.

Modifying B Roll

You’ve received numerous B roll, now what?

Organisation and Sorting

It at all times pays to be organised, so kind your clips into folders and take into consideration including data or sorting by location, topic, scene, and many others. Keep in mind so as to add metadata, descriptions and tags so to discover what you want simply.

Trimming and Chopping

Use in and out factors to pick out the perfect bits of every clip. Prepare these clips logically within the order that most closely fits along with your A roll.

Clean Transitions

Seamless transitions between A and B roll are key to a refined video. Attempt utilizing strategies like:

  • Match Cuts: Utilizing visible similarities between A roll and B roll photographs to maneuver from scene one to the subsequent.
  • Sound Bridge: Mixing the audio from the A roll into the B roll.
  • Cross Dissolves: Altering the opacity between overlapping scenes regularly to maneuver from one to the subsequent.
  • Lower on Motion/Movement: Make cuts on motion! This might be one thing like going from somebody kicking a soccer to a different individual catching it.

B Roll in Completely different Video Genres

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B roll can be utilized in varied video genres, listed below are just a few:


In documentaries, B roll will help present real-world occasions, areas, or characters. It offers context, helps interviews, and engages the viewers in order that they’ll maintain their curiosity.

Company Movies

B roll will help present merchandise, companies, or the tradition and values of the corporate. It could add enchantment to advertising and marketing supplies, displays, or coaching movies too.

Vlogs and Journey Movies

In vlogs and journey movies, B roll can get on the coronary heart of locations and experiences. It could set the scene, and add heat, humour, or no matter emotion you’re attempting to convey.

Information and Journalism

Information studies very often use B roll so as to add context with visuals associated to the tales being lined.


In story-based filmmaking, B roll could be a inventive factor, inventive or symbolic. It could add depth to characters, assist emphasise feelings, or assist to provide which means past what’s being stated in dialogue.

Potential Issues and Options

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Whereas capturing and enhancing B roll may be rewarding, it is not with out challenges. Frequent challenges embody:

  • Climate Situations: Climate can have an effect on outside B roll shoots. Have backup plans if issues are unhealthy. Visiting a location earlier than going there to shoot will help you with another if the climate is unhealthy on the day.
  • Consistency: Sustaining constant lighting, color, and temper all through B roll seize may be tough. Using LUTs, or learning to colour grade properly will help with consistency.
  • Time Constraints: Taking pictures B roll takes time. Plan your schedule correctly to provide you time to get the whole lot you want. Writing a shoot listing or making a storyboard will help with this.
  • Storage: For those who’re getting numerous high-quality video, you’ll need a lot of storage so be sure to’ve received sufficient!

Envato Parts

For those who’re searching for inventory footage to assist complement your A and B roll then strive Envato Elements. For a month-to-month subscription you’ll discover superior video templates, inventory pictures, inventory footage and a lot extra, that you should utilize as usually as you want. Right here’s an important instance of some inventory footage out there.

Aerial Korea Night Seoul City Establishing Shot

This aerial time-lapse of Seoul could be an important establishing shot.


B roll video footage is a necessary a part of video manufacturing. It performs an essential position within the visible high quality, storytelling, and engagement of your movies. Understanding what B roll is, its significance, and the way to shoot and edit it properly, can ramp your movies up a stage.

Right here’s a abstract of what we’ve discovered:

  • B roll is supplementary footage that enhances or helps the first content material (A roll) in video manufacturing.
  • It enhances visible enchantment, offers context, assists clean transitions, contributes to storytelling, and might cowl errors.
  • Taking pictures nice B roll requires the identical planning, composition expertise, data of digicam settings, and inventive storytelling strategies as capturing the primary footage.
  • B roll is appropriate for all kinds of video varieties, from documentaries to vlogs, and the whole lot in between.

So, seize your digicam and head out to movie some nice B roll footage to your subsequent video venture.

About This Web page

This web page was written by Marie Gardiner. Marie is a author, writer, and photographer. It was edited by Gonzalo Angulo. Gonzalo is an editor, author and illustrator.

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