After Effects- Blend Nodes

When looking into After Effects compositing blend nodes is the main of adding the elements together. Alec talked about these briefly in class and I wanted to explore what each of these meant.

Screen- a blending mode to get rid of the dark parts of the image. The screen blending mode allows us to composite elements on a black BG in the scene. You will typically use this blending mode in a VFX context as most VFX elements usually come either pre-keyed or on a black background.

Multiply– the opposite of the screen. It takes out the light parts of your image.

Add– this mode is like screen, leaving the highlights of the image while removing the dark parts. However, adds its colour values to the image below causing the image to greatly increase in brightness.

Colour Burn– these transfer modes darken images. However, colour burn differentiates itself in a way that it blends with the background. As the name implies it creates a burned look, making it great for grunge and vintage looks. Highlights are retained when using the color burn effect. Color Burn is typically used to add a dirty vintage effect.

Overlay– Overlay changes the color of the mid-tones while preserving the light and dark parts of your image. Overlay is typically used to add stylized elements into your composition.

Soft Light-very similar to the Overlay transfer mode. However, Soft Light tends to be very subtle whereas Overlay is more noticeable.


The Beat: A Blog by PremiumBeat. (2017). 6 Useful Blending Modes in After Effects. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Jan. 2017].


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s