Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Softening wrinkled skin with blend modes, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Blending Mode Secrets.
I like to use blending modes to stylize my footage or solve minor problems. Remember, blending modes can be quite subtle and that's a good thing. For this particular shot, I'd like to lighten up some of the skin issues. Now, our subject here is very attractive, but the lighting is not as good as it could be and it's creating some harsher shadows and lines. So I'd like to clean that up. Now, this can be done by duplicating the footage, or an Adjustment layer. But I'm going to use a duplicate shot in this case. And essentially, it's just a blurred clip, with a blend, and then some color correction.
Here's how. Alt+drag the footage on top of itself. And then apply a healthy blur. Remember, you can access this from the Effects panel. Just type in blur and grab your Gaussian Blur. Always check Repeat Edge Pixel, and then bloom it up. Essentially, you're creating a soft overlay that'll be laid over the skin tones. When using a blending mode like Screen, it really starts to blend that in nicely. Hiding some of the small blemishes in the skin.
However, you'll that things got quite a bit brighter. So, rather than lowering the opacity to back it down, which gets rid of some of the masking properties, I'll simply apply Color Correction. With the Fast Color Corrector, I can essentially darken this overlay layer. So, by pulling the mid-tones, I could take that back, so it starts to match the original exposure. And it's pretty easy here. If you're having a hard time knowing what you're doing, what I would recommend is apply a crop.
By typing crop in, you could place a crop before the Gaussian blur, and simply crop from the right edge. By cropping this effect, I have essentially cropped the Adjustment layer, making it easier to see the before and after as well as match the shots. This helps me dial in, the right settings for the Gaussian blur, as well as the Opacity settings for the layer. And then it's really a matter of the Fast Color Corrector, and using my controls here it's very easy to adjust my input levels.
You see there that I've matched the general tonality. And could back off the saturation slightly. Adding, or subtracting. And in doing so, if we look at the original layer here, putting it back to Normal Mode, you'll see that essentially, we have a blurred and darkened copy. So by adjusting that layer, and using the split screen here as a match, it's pretty easy to preserve the tonality and saturation values.
Now I'll simply remove the crop, so the effect applies evenly to the whole clip. And if we compare that between the shots you'll see it's done a very nice job of improving the skin. Which is something most people could benefit from.
- Identifying blend modes
- Using blend modes in files from After Effects and Photoshop
- Color correcting with blend modes
- Softening skin
- Hiding noise and grain
- Creating high-contrast or cartoon looks
- Relighting a shot with blend modes