Blending Modes in After Effects Ep23/48 [Adobe After Effects for Beginners]


(gentle synth music) – Hello, and welcome to the 23rd video in this Beginner’s Guide
to Adobe After Effects. In this tutorial, we’re going to look at blending modes and how
they work in After Effects. In the previous episode, we looked at how we can make color adjustments using some of the effects and presets. Now, in After Effects we can also use what are called blending modes which can be used to
add more dynamic color and video effects to your compositions. So, in this video, we’re going to be covering the following topics. What are blending modes,
and how to use them. By the end of this tutorial, you will have a good understanding of
how to use blending modes. So, let’s get into it. So here I am in After Effects and I have a project open here that I’m going to use to demonstrate how blending modes work. So, what exactly are blending modes? Well, blending modes are the ability to visually blend layers together, and we do this in the timeline panel. We can use blending modes to
create various visual effects. Now for those of you that are experienced with Adobe Photoshop, you
may already be familiar with blending modes as
they work much the same in After Effects as they do in Photoshop. In After Effects, when we want to use blending modes, we can locate
them in the timeline panel over on the left, near the layer names. Now notice we have some small buttons in the bottom left corner. These are here to toggle the visibility of the controls and
switches for our layers. When focusing on blending
modes, we will want to make sure we have the
middle one highlighted in blue, or simply checked in earlier
versions of After Effects. This will allow us to see our blending mode options for each layer. Now, if we click on the mode dropdown, we will see a big list. This is a list of all the possible blending modes we can use. So, looking at this, we can see the list is divided into eight sections. Each of these sections applies a particular type of blending mode. So the top section applies normal modes. The second section applies darken modes. The third section applies lighten modes. The fourth section applies contrast modes. The fifth section applies
comparative modes. The sixth section applies color modes. The seventh section applies matte modes, and the last section
applies utility modes. Now, if you want to take a look and refer to this diagram in more depth, you can check out the blending mode page on the course PDF that
comes free with this course. Download link is in description. Now, at this stage, this list may mean nothing to you, but after
a little experimentation, you will soon learn what these mean and the effects each blending mode has, and which one will be right
to use in the right instance. Now there does seem to
be a lot of modes here, but there are only a few
that are commonly used. So let’s take a quick
look at a few examples. Now if you have the project folder, you can open the document I have here. With the project folder
open, click into the S2, Essential Practice
folder, enter folder 23, Blending Modes and open the Blending Modes After Effects file and you will have the same document I have open here. This is a document you can
use to quickly experiment with blending modes with me in this video. Now if you don’t have the project folder and wish to follow
along with this tutorial using this document I have
prepared especially for you, you can download the project
folder for a small fee. The download link with
instructions is in the description. The download folder comes with lots of exercise documents we will be using on this course that have
been carefully developed to aid your learning experience. The folder also comes
with document resources such as videos, graphics
and images you can use to build your first video presentation from scratch later on in this course. To get the full learning experience, I recommend you get the project folder. Download link with instructions
is in the description. With the project folder
open, click into the S2, Essential Practice folder enter folder 23, Blending Modes and open the Blending Modes After Effects file and you will have the same document I have open here. So now I want to draw your attention over to the project panel. Here you can see I have a folder called, Blending Mode Examples,
and one called, Worksheets. For now, I need you to pay attention to the Blending Mode Examples folder. So double click on the
first composition here, Dreamy, and it will open
in the composition panel. So, I’ll make sure the time indicator is at the start of the timeline, and I’ll press space
bar to activate preview. So what we have here is a video playing on top of another video
with a blending mode applied which creates this dreamy effect. So I’ll press space bar
to stop the preview, and if we look at the timeline panel, we can see we have two video layers. The top layer has a linear dodge blending mode applied in
the lighten mode section and the layer has an opacity of 50%. Now, if I change the
blending mode to normal at the top, we can see the
effect without the blending mode. Now if we applied the linear dodge blending mode back, we can see the video blends more subtly with the video below. So back in the project
panel, this time I want you to double click on the
second comp, Old History. I’ll make sure the time indicator is set to the start of the timeline, and I’ll press space
bar to activate preview. Now, what we have here is a video playing, but this time with a
series of static layers on top creating this old
history look and feel. So I’ll press space bar
to stop the preview, and if we look in the timeline panel, we have one video layer at the bottom, an image layer above that,
and a shape layer at the top. So I’ll toggle the visibility
of these layers off by clicking the eye
icons and to create this, we started with a normal video layer. With the video layer selected, over in the project panel, I click on the effects controls tab at the top and to this video I applied a toner effect from the color correction
effects and presets panel. This is to give it an old
monotone look and feel. Now, on top of this video layer, we have a jpeg image of some paper texture. To this we have a hard
light blending mode applied in the contrast modes section. And the layer has an opacity of 80%. If I change the blending mode to normal, we can see the effect
without the blending mode. Now if we apply the hard
light blending mode back, we can see that blends much
better with the video below. Next we have a shape layer
with a gradient color fill with a multiply blending mode
applied in the darken mode section and the layer
has an opacity of 70%. If I change the blending mode to normal, we can see the effect
without the blending mode which is much lighter. Now, if we apply the
multiply blending mode back, we can see that has a much richer effect. So back in the project panel, I’ll click on the project panel tab at the top and this time I want you to double click on the third comp, Vivid. I’ll make sure the time indicator’s at the start of the
timeline and I’ll press space bar to activate the preview. So, what we have here is a video playing on top of a still image
creating a vivid look and feel. So I’ll press space bar
to stop the preview, and if we look in the timeline panel, we have one video layer at the
top and an image layer below. To create this, we start
with a normal image layer. On top of this, we have a video layer which has been modified
with a auto-levels preset from the effects and controls panel. To this layer, a screen blending mode has been applied from
the lighten mode section. If I change the blending mode to normal, we can see the effect
without the blending mode. Now if we apply the
screen blending mode back, we can see that blends much
better with the image below. So back in the project
panel, next I want you to double click on the
fourth comp, Gritty. So I’ll make sure the time indicator’s at the start of the
timeline and I’ll press space bar to activate preview. Now what we have here is a
combination of both image and video layers creating
a gritty look and feel. So I’ll press space
bar to stop the preview and if we look at the
timeline panel, we have two video layers at the bottom
and two image layers above. So, to create this, we
started with a normal video layer at the
bottom, and then the same video layer is duplicated on top. With the layer selected, if we look over in the effect controls
panel, to this layer we have a ramp and levels effect applied. This is creating the vignette effect and adding contrast to the video. To this video layer,
we then have an overlay blending mode applied in
the contrast mode section and the video layer has an opacity of 50%. If I change the blending mode to normal, we can see the effect
without the blending mode. Now, if we apply the
overlay blending mode back, we can see that blends much better with the video below,
creating the richer effect. Next, I have an image layer adding these splash marks to
the side of the video. This layer has a multiply
blending mode applied in the darken mode section. If I change the blending mode to normal, we can see the effect
without the blending mode where we have a lot of
white in the image layer. Now, if we apply the
multiply blending mode back, we can see that blends easily. Now the next layer is the opposite. Again, we have an image
layer, but this time adding white splash marks
to the side of the video. This layer has a screen
blending mode applied in the lighten modes section. If I change the blending mode to normal, we can see the effect
without the blending mode where we have a lot of
black in the image layer. Now, if we apply the
screen blending mode back, we can see that blends easily. So those are a few examples of the types of effects that could be achieved using blending modes in After Effects. So back in the project panel, I want to show you one last example. Next, I want you to double click on the fifth comp, Wish You Were Here. I’ll make sure the time indicator is at the start of the
timeline and I’ll press space bar to activate preview. So what we have here is a combination of both image and video layers creating a moving image postcard. This is a composition
a designer could create for a social media post or as
part of a video presentation. This example is using some
basic effects and presets and the same blending techniques
as the previous examples. So let’s see how we can
create an example like this. So back in the project panel,
notice under the blending mode examples folder we
have a worksheet folder. Well, in here you should
see a comp called Postcard. Now, I have put this together for you to follow along with me. So let’s begin by double
clicking on this postcard comp. So here in the timeline we can see a number of layers, and these have just been placed in here
ready for you to work with. So let’s start by toggling
off the visibility of these layers. So from the bottom, we
have an image layer. So this is a photograph of a tabletop with a blank postcard that we want to superimpose our video onto. On top of this we have a video layer. This is the video we want
to place into the postcard. On top of this, we have an image layer which appears to be a
sample of old paper texture and we’re going to put
this on top of the video. On top of this, we have
another image layer. This is a piece of type we are, again, going to place on top
of the video postcard. So, these image layers are layers that any designer may create
and prepare in Photoshop or perhaps purchase from
royalty-free websites. In this instance, I have
created these images myself. So by now we are pretty much familiar with the way layers work
in the timeline panel. The timeline panel works in a
hierarchy from top to bottom. The layers at the top will have the most visibility than any layer below. So to begin, I’m going to
toggle off the visibility of the top image layer as we
will not need this until later. So what I want to do here
is place the video layer on top of the image below
into the postcard area. So with the video layer selected, I’ll press S on the
keyboard to activate scale, and I’ll click and drag on the scale value to scale the video down a little, like so, to roughly the same size as the postcard, then I’ll press R on the keyboard to activate rotation and
I’ll rotate the video until it’s roughly on top of the postcard. Now I want to place the
video into the postcard, but with some white borders around. So here is a quick tip. To place the video perfectly,
we can use a preset. So, up in the effect and presets panel, we are going to come up to the top, click into the search
field and type corner. In the distort folder, we will see a preset called corner pin. If we drag that onto
the layer, we will see corner pins applied to
the edge of the video. So next I can simply click and drag each corner pin to where
I want it, like so. Easy. So now my video is how I want it placed inside the postcard area
with white borders around. So right now the outline of the video is looking too sharp. I want to roughen the
edges here so it looks a little bit more convincing,
like it’s part of the card. So again, up in the
effects and presets panel. This time I’ll type in roughen. In a style folder below, we will see a preset called roughen edges. If we drag that onto the layer, we will see the settings appear in the effect controls over on the left. So I’ll set the border to eight, and push the complexity up to about 10. So now we can see we have a roughened edge around the video which looks more like it has been printed onto the card behind. Perfect! So next I’m going to
come up to the effects and presets panel, click the X to reset the folders below, and in the color correct folder I will click and drag the photo filter effect
onto the video layer, and in the effect controls, I will click on the filter dropdown,
select the warming filter eight one and then push up
the density to about 50%. So now we have a bit of a vintage feel applied to the postcard image, great. So next I’ll toggle back
the old paper texture, and here I can use the same process I used to place the video. I’ll press S to activate the
scale and scale the image down. I’ll press R to activate rotation, and rotate the image so it’s
in line with the postcard. Up in the effects and presets panel, we’re going to come up to the top, click into the search
field and type in corner. In the distort folder below, we will see a preset called corner pin. If we drag that onto the image layer, we will see drag points appear
on the edge of the image. So now I can zoom in here by scrolling on the mouse wheel and I can simply click and drag a point into each
corner of the postcard, then press and hold space bar, and click and drag across the frame, and then drag the next
pin into the corner. Hold space bar, click
to drag along the frame to the next pin, then
drag that into the corner until all four pins are in position. So in this instance, I’ll
click the magnification pop-up at the top of the
composition panel, and click fit. So now my old paper texture is in place. I can come down into the layer and click on the blending mode
option and select multiply. Upon click, the paper
layer above has blended with the video and image layer below, and that looks a lot more convincing. So, why did we use the
multiply blending mode? Well, let’s change the blending mode currently applied to the paper layer. So, let’s come back up
to the blending mode and this time come down
and click on overlay. So, upon click, this is having a completely different effect. This is making our image way too bright. If we come back to the
blending mode categories, we can see that the
overlay blending mode is part of the contrast category, thus creating a contrasting bright effect. So if we come back to apply the multiply, we can see that this is the right effect for us to make the paper look like it’s part of the video layer below. This is because the multiply layer is part of the darken modes. All the whites in the paper layer image will become transparent,
and the black tones in the image will blend
with the layer below, thus darkening the image,
giving us this effect. And if that is looking a little too much, I can simply press T to activate opacity, and bring it down to about 65%. So next I’ll toggle back the type layer, and to finish off this composition, we want to place this white
type over the postcard. So with the layer selected, I can press R to activate rotation. I’ll rotate until the image
is in line with the postcard. Then I’ll come down on the
blending mode and select screen. This will then blend nicely
with the layers below. Now the screen blending mode exists in the lightening category. So all the black will disappear and we will only see the white. So I’ll make sure the time indicator is at the start of the timeline, and I’ll press space
bar to activate preview, and that is looking pretty good. So now we have three layers
on top of the original video layer, all with
their own unique blending modes applied, creating this
interesting visual effect. So we must keep in mind
that blending modes work to the usual layer hierarchy
system, from the top down. So when using blending modes, you must pay close attention to the layer
structure, and the hierarchy. As you use various layers
and blending modes, it’s all about the
combination and the structure that can determine the overall effect. You will come to realize that there are endless possibilities of the combinations of layers and blending
modes you can explore to create various visual effects. So, be sure to take
some time to experiment and explore the blending modes on offer. Keep in mind the various
categories of blending modes on offer so you can apply
the right blending mode to capture the right
effect you’re looking for. (upbeat music) Now, as you start to use After Effect, more and more there are
going to be times where you’ll want to cut
something out or only see a certain part of the video
to create a certain effect. To do this, we can use
what is called masking. In the next video, I’ll be introducing you to masking and showing you how to use it. So, see you in the next video. (upbeat synth music)

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