Increase the visual interest of your title design by superimposing contrasting color overlays on your footage in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Mobile phone displays purple and orange duotone portrait of a woman.

What you'll need

This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file. Any reference to the singer/song information in the example is for demonstration purposes only and is not intended to refer to any actual organization, products, services, or creative work.

Duotones look best when the highlights and shadows in your source clip are exaggerated or starkly different. Starting in the Effects workspace (Window > Workspaces > Effects), expand the Lumetri Color panel. In the Basic Correction section, click Auto to quickly balance the contrast, highlights, and shadows. Adjust the Tone sliders individually, if necessary, to finesse the look.

Lumetri Color panel > Basic Correction > Auto is chosen to balance contrast, highlights, and shadows of portrait.

Create an adjustment layer (File > New > Adjustment Layer) and add it to the sequence. Expand the Effects panel and apply the Tint effect to it. Your clip will look black and white. In the Effect Controls panel, set Map Black and Map White to your duotone colors. For naturalistic results, make the “black” color darker than the “white” color. 

Adjustment layer is added to the sequence. Tint effect is added, then black and white are mapped to duotone colors.

For more eerie results, resembling a color negative, reverse the Map Black and Map White colors.

Black and white are reversed, causing the portrait to resemble a film negative.

Sticking with the naturalistic look, you can expand the tonal range by adding another adjustment layer above the other clips and applying the Ramp effect to it with an Opacity blend mode of Overlay. To complete the look, choose a Linear Ramp shape, leave the default colors, and blend it halfway with the original. 

A second adjustment layer with Ramp effect and Overlay blend mode is added, then blended halfway with the original.

From here, you could animate the duotone effect by keyframing the mapped colors or its amount over time.

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