Compositing with blend modes


HitFilm includes multiple blend modes, which are used to determine how layers and effects are combined visually.

A layer's blend mode can be changed from its menu on the timeline or from the Control panel. Some effects have their own blend modes and masks also have a selection of blend modes.

Each blend mode combines pixels together in a unique manner, as explained below:

Normal

The standard blend mode. Layers are not mixed at all and are simply rendered one on top of the other.

Add

Pixel values are added together. This will usually result in a brighter resulting image. Useful for compositing light-based visual effects such as light flares, muzzle flashes and stock explosions. Adding high values together will result in white.

Color

Retains the hue and chroma of the bottom layer and the luma of the top layer.

Color burn

Divides the inverted bottom layer by the top layer, then inverts the result.

Color dodge

Divides the bottom layer by the inverted top layer.

Darken

Compares the pixel values of each layer and retains only the darkest one, for each pixel.

Difference

Subtracts the bottom layer from the top layer. Very useful for comparing identical layers to ensure correct alignment.

Dissolve

Pixels are taken randomly from each layer. High opacity will cause the top layer to be given priority. Will usually result in a grainy image.

Divide

Divides the pixel values of each layer with the other layers.

Exclusion

Similar to Difference blending but with lower contrast.

Hard light

A combination of Multiply and Screen blend modes. Similar to Overlay but with the layers swapped.

Hue

Retains the luma and chroma of the bottom layer and the hue of the top layer.

Lighten

Compares the pixel values of each layer and retains only the brightest one, for each pixel.

Luminosity

Retains the hue and chroma of the bottom layer and the luma of the top layer.

Multiply

Multiplies the pixel values of each layer.

Overlay

Combines Multiply and Screen blend modes.

Saturation

Retains the luma and hue of the bottom layer and the chroma of the top layer.

Screen

The pixel values of the layers are inverted, multiplied, then inverted again. Results in a brighter picture but with more subtlety than using an Add blend. Appropriate for compositing stock elements such as smoke and glows.

Soft light

A softer version of Hard Light.

Subtract

Subtracts the pixel values from each layer. If a negative value is reached, black is displayed.

For more information see this article on Wikipedia.