Join Chris Meyer for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying modes, part of Premiere Pro and After Effects: Enhancing Production Value.
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A lot of the techniques in this course rely on blending modes to mix together multiple layers of footage. I call blending modes the secret sauce to give you far more interesting composites of footage than just normal opacity fades, and opacity mixes. For example, here I have a pretty nice shot of this woman having coffee with friends. And I'd like to add this lighting layer on top, just to make it have much more interesting and exciting.
If I select this clip, go to its Effect Controls tab, and then troll down opacity. I can go ahead and blend this background over the existing footage of the woman, but the result is kind of washed out and murky. It doesn't look so interesting. Well, inside Premier Pro, underneath opacity is a blend mode pop-up, and that is where you choose a blend mode to use different math calculations to mix the pixels of this image on top of those underneath. For example, if I pick Overlay, now I get a much richer, nicer, more colorful looking combination of these two pieces of footage, compared to just using a straight opacity mix.
The thing to remember inside Premiere Pro is that blend modes are accessed in the Effects Controls tab, underneath the Opacity tool down section. Inside After Effects move your access directly inside the timeline. I'm going to select my layer on top that I want to get the blending mode. And Shift select the layer underneath that I want to mix the footage on top of. Right click and say Replace with After Effects composition. This will use dynamic link to open up those two clips in the After Effects comp which will then automatically be linked live back into Premier Pro.
I'll select that option, give this a name such as Production Values Working. It'll open up After Effects for me, and here is my composition. And there's my current opacity mix. I'll select the layer on top, press T to reveal it's opacity, and fades it up to 100%. I see it's keyframed right now, I don't necessarily want that. So I'll turn keyframing off. In this case my Modes panel is already visible inside After Effects. If you don't see it, there's a few different ways to reveal it.
One, is that there is a Toggle Switches/Modes button here at the bottom of the Timeline panel. Clicking on it, we'll switch between different settings for our layers such as its quality, frame blending, motion blur, 3D, et cetera, or modes. The second way is to use the shortcut key F4. That's the easiest way to quickly switch between those two columns. And the third approach is to right click on any column header and choose Columns > Modes. You can even have switches and modes open at the same time if you desire.
Once you have the modes column open, go ahead and click on that pop-up and choose One Mode. This is the overlay mode we were using back in premiere. Another nice shortcut in After Effects is if you have a layer selected, you can press Shift and use the plus and minus keys to quickly switch between which between different modes. But personally I tend to open up this menu and go straight for the mode that I want. And how do you know which mode you do want? Well, that's a subject of the next movie while I demystify these groupings to help you go to the correct mode a lot faster.
This course was created and produced by Chris and Trish Meyer. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Compositing footage shot on black
- Tinting and color-balancing footage to change its mood and unify multiple clips
- Adding a filmic glow
- Introducing artificial lighting to add mystery and interest to a scene
- Relighting existing footage
- Using the Warp Stabilizer and Rolling Shutter Repair to smooth out wobbly shots