Merge & Apply – In-Depth Alpha Channel Operations and Blend Modes

When compositing, you need to know about blend modes!

The building blocks of a composite are your merge nodes. But they do a lot more than just putting one thing on top of the other.

The method of the merge is often the difference between something that looks real and something that looks off.

You should be aware of what the merge is doing, and how your Red/Green/Blue/Alpha channels are being composited.

Now there’s a lot of blend modes, so don’t feel like you need to have them all memorized, but there’s a few that are good to be more familiar with.

In a Fusion Merge node, you’ll find these under “Apply Mode”.

A merge tool also has lots of tools for adjusting your alpha channel.

I don’t always remember all the details of how these work either… Keep this video handy so you can reference as needed!

In this video from VFXstudy, you’ll learn about:

  • Merge node basics
  • Transform tools in a merge node
  • Manipulating alpha channel
  • Over / In / Held Out / Atop / XOr operators
  • Subtractive/Additive
  • Burn In
  • Apply mode examples

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