Using blending modes

You can select the way in which Premiere Pro blends, or superimposes, a clip on a track in a Timeline with the clip or clips on lower tracks.

  1. In a Timeline, place a clip on a track higher than a track where another clip is located. Premiere Pro superimposes, or blends, the clip in the higher track over the clip in the lower track.
  2. Select the clip in the higher track, and select the Effect Controls panel to make it active.
  3. In the Effect Controls panel, click the triangle next to Opacity.
  4. Drag the Opacity value to the left to set the opacity to less than 100%.
  5. Click the triangle in the Blend Mode menu.
  6. Select a blend mode from the list of blend modes.

Blend mode reference

For in-depth information about the concepts and algorithms behind these blend modes as implemented in several Adobe applications, see the PDF reference material on the Adobe website.

The Blend Mode menu is subdivided into six categories based on similarities between the results of the blend modes. The category names do not appear in the interface; the categories are simply separated by dividing lines in the menu.

Normal category

Normal, Dissolve. The result color of a pixel is not affected by the color of the underlying pixel unless Opacity is less than 100% for the source layer. The Dissolve blend modes turn some of the pixels of the source layer transparent.

Subtractive category

Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn, Darker Color. These blend modes tend to darken colors, some by mixing colors in much the same way as mixing colored pigments in paint.

Additive category

Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge, Linear Dodge (Add), Lighter Color. These blend modes tend to lighten colors, some by mixing colors in much the same way as mixing projected light.

Complex category

Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, Hard Mix. These blend modes perform different operations on the source and underlying colors depending on whether one of the colors is lighter than 50% gray.

Difference category

Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, Divide. These blend modes create colors based on the differences between the values of the source color and the underlying color.

HSL category

Hue, Saturation, Color, Luminosity. These blend modes transfer one or more of the components of the HSL representation of color (hue, saturation, and luminosity) from the underlying color to the result color.

Blending mode descriptions

In the following descriptions, these terms are used:

  • The source color is the color of the layer to which the blend mode is applied.

  • The underlying color is the color of the composited layers below the source layer in the Timeline panel.

  • The result color is the output of the blending operation; the color of the composite.

Normal

The result color is the source color. This mode ignores the underlying color. Normal is the default mode.

Dissolve

The result color for each pixel is either the source color or the underlying color. The probability that the result color is the source color depends on the opacity of the source. If opacity of the source is 100%, then the result color is the source color. If opacity of the source is 0%, then the result color is the underlying color.

Darken

Each result color channel value is the lower (darker) of the source color channel value and the corresponding underlying color channel value.

Multiply

For each color channel, multiplies source color channel value with underlying color channel value and divides by maximum value for 8-bpc, 16-bpc, or 32-bpc pixels, depending on the color depth of the project. The result color is never brighter than the original. If either input color is black, the result color is black. If either input color is white, the result color is the other input color. This blend mode simulates drawing with multiple marking pens on paper or placing multiple gels in front of a light. When blending with a color other than black or white, each layer or paint stroke with this blend mode results in a darker color.

Color Burn

The result color is a darkening of the source color to reflect the underlying layer color by increasing the contrast. Pure white in the original layer does not change the underlying color.

Linear Burn

The result color is a darkening of the source color to reflect the underlying color. Pure white produces no change.

Darker Color

Each result pixel is the color of darker of the source color value and the corresponding underlying color value. Darker Color is similar to Darken, but Darker Color does not operate on individual color channels.

Linear Dodge (Add)

Each result color channel value is the sum of the corresponding color channel values of the source color and underlying color. The result color is never darker than either input color.

Lighten

Each result color channel value is the higher (lighter) of the source color channel value and the corresponding underlying color channel value.

Screen

Multiplies the complements of the channel values, and then takes the complement of the result. The result color is never darker than either input color. Using the Screen mode is similar to projecting multiple photographic slides simultaneously onto a single screen.

Color Dodge

The result color is a lightening of the source color to reflect the underlying layer color by decreasing the contrast. If the source color is pure black, the result color is the underlying color.

Linear Dodge (Add)

The result color is a lightening of the source color to reflect the underlying color by increasing the brightness. If the source color is pure black, the result color is the underlying color.

Lighter Color

Each result pixel is the color of lighter of the source color value and the corresponding underlying color value. Lighter Color is similar to Lighten, but Lighter Color does not operate on individual color channels.

Overlay

Multiplies or screens the input color channel values, depending on whether or not the underlying color is lighter than 50% gray. The result preserves highlights and shadows in the underlying layer.

Soft Light

Darkens or lightens the color channel values of the underlying layer, depending on the source color. The result is similar to shining a diffused spotlight on the underlying layer. For each color channel value, if the source color is lighter than 50% gray, the result color is lighter than the underlying color, as if dodged. If the source color is darker than 50% gray, the result color is darker than the underlying color, as if burned. A layer with pure black or white becomes markedly darker or lighter, but does not become pure black or white.

Hard Light

Multiplies or screens the input color channel value, depending on the original source color. The result is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the layer. For each color channel value, if the underlying color is lighter than 50% gray, the layer lightens as if it were screened. If the underlying color is darker than 50% gray, the layer darkens as if it were multiplied. This mode is useful for creating the appearance of shadows on a layer.

Vivid Light

Burns or dodges the colors by increasing or decreasing the contrast, depending on the underlying color. If the underlying color is lighter than 50% gray, the layer is lightened because the contrast is decreased. If the underlying color is darker than 50% gray, the layer is darkened because the contrast is increased.

Linear Light

Burns or dodges the colors by decreasing or increasing the brightness, depending on the underlying color. If the underlying color is lighter than 50% gray, the layer is lightened because the brightness is increased. If the underlying color is darker than 50% gray, the layer is darkened because the brightness is decreased.

Pin Light

Replaces the colors, depending on the underlying color. If the underlying color is lighter than 50% gray, pixels darker than the underlying color are replaced, and pixels lighter than the underlying color do not change. If the underlying color is darker than 50% gray, pixels lighter than the underlying color are replaced, and pixels darker than the underlying color do not change.

Hard Mix

Enhances the contrast of the underlying layer that is visible beneath a mask on the source layer. The mask size determines the contrasted area; the inverted source layer determines the center of the contrasted area.

Difference

For each color channel, subtracts the darker of the input values from the lighter. Painting with white inverts the backdrop color; painting with black produces no change.

Note:

If you have two layers with an identical visual element that you want to align, place one layer on top of the other and set the blend mode of the top layer to Difference. Then, you can move one layer or the other until the pixels of the visual element that you want to line up are all black—meaning that the differences between the pixels are zero and therefore the elements are stacked exactly on top of one another.

Exclusion

Creates a result similar to but lower in contrast than the Difference mode. If the source color is white, the result color is the complement of the underlying color. If the source color is black, the result color is the underlying color.

Subtract

Subtracts the source file from the underlying color. If the source color is black, the result color is the underlying color. Result color values can be less than 0 in 32-bpc projects.

Divide

Divides underlying color by source color. If the source color is white, the result color is the underlying color. Result color values can be greater than 1.0 in 32-bpc projects.

Hue

Result color has luminosity and saturation of the underlying color, and the hue of the source color.

Saturation

Result color has luminosity and hue of the underlying color, and the saturation of the source color.

Color

Result color has luminosity of the underlying color, and hue and saturation of the source color. This blend mode preserves the gray levels in the underlying color. This blend mode is useful for coloring grayscale images and for tinting color images.

Luminosity

Result color has hue and saturation of the underlying color, and luminosity of the source color. This mode is the opposite of the Color mode.

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