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Using Blending Modes in Premiere Pro


Blending modes aren’t just for Photoshop. Learn how to use blending modes in this three step Premiere Pro tutorial.

Every video editor should at least have a working knowledge of how to use blending modes, but I’m surprised to hear that many people think you can only use blending modes in After Effects and Photoshop. In this quick tutorial we’ll take a look at how to use blending modes in your Premiere Pro video editing projects. The process is incredibly easy. Let’s dive in:

1. Layer Your Footage

Blending Modes Step 1

The point of a blending mode (or transfer mode) is to have pixel information transferred or blended with another layer. So, you need more than one layer to be present. If you don’t have more than one layer in your timeline you won’t be able to apply a transfer mode. In the example above I have two layers….the bottom clip is video footage and the top clip is a light leak:

Layer Examples

2. Select the Appropriate Layer

Blending Mode Step 2

Select the layer which you want to apply the blending mode to.

3. Change the Blending Mode

Blending Mode Step 3

Navigate to the effects control panel (Shift+5) and select the arrow next to Opacity. You should see ‘Blend Mode’ and ‘Normal’ in the dropdown menu. You can now select your desired blending mode by clicking the arrow next to “Normal”.

In the case of this tutorial I am selecting “Screen” which will leave the light parts of the light leak footage and ‘remove’ the dark parts. Here’s the end result.

Blending Modes in Premiere Pro


Experiment with different blending modes when you overlay textures, grains and light effects over your video footage.