Using After Effects blend modes to stencil text and create color effects

Published by | Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Blending modes in Photoshop and After Effects are often taken for granted, but neither application started out with these features. When blend modes were introduced into After Effects around Version 3, they literally blew my mind. The idea that you could mix still images together had been long established in Photoshop, and the thought of being able to do that with animation and video was incredible.

Flash forward to the present and blend modes are incredibly well documented, but even with all this documentation, I’m often asked “what can I do with them?” In this week’s edition of Design in Motion, I’ll show you some of my favorite blend modes and how you can use them for type effects and color correction.

After watching this, if you’re ready to learn a lot more, After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control from Chris and Trish Meyer is filled with tips and ideas on how to get the most out of blend modes in After Effects.

Don’t forget that you can also watch Photoshop courses on, and the blend mode information there directly translates to After Effects.

Interested in more?
• The full Design in Motion series on
• All video courses on
• All courses on After Effects
• Courses by Chris Meyer on

Suggested courses to watch next:
After Effects CS5.5 New Features
After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control
After Effects CS5 Essential Training
CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects

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2 Responses to “Using After Effects blend modes to stencil text and create color effects”

  1. Freddy says:

    If the effects literally blew your mind, how did you write the article?

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