How to use Light Leak effects in Final Cut Pro 7 (or earlier) August 25 2013

This is a step by step guide to using light leak effects in Final Cut Pro 7. The same steps also apply to older versions of Final Cut Pro.


1. Download your light leak purchase.

Once you have purchased a collection of ours you will receive a download link to your email.
If this doesn’t arrive please get in contact with us straight away!


2. Unzip downloaded light leaks.

To unzip on Mac - simply double click on the package.
To unzip on PC - right-click the Zip file and select “Extract All…” or “Extract Here”. Extract All will allow you to set a path for the extracted folder to go, and Extract Here will uncompress the folder and leave it in the same location as the ZIP file. 


3. Import light leaks into Final Cut Pro.

To import your new light leaks into FCP simply choose FILE > IMPORT > FILES… (or use keyboard shortcut ⌘I) and select the light leak files from the finder popup window.

import light leaks into final cut pro 6 and 7

You can also drag and drop the files directly from the finder.

drag and drop light leaks into Final Cut Pro 

4. Choose the light leak you want to use.

Simply treat your new light leaks like any other footage in Final Cut Pro. Scrub through the light leak ‘till you find the part you want to use.

Set in and out points around the part of the light leak you want to use.

set in and out points on your light leak


5. Position chosen light leak on layer above existing footage.

If your original footage is on V1 then you should position the light leak clip on V2, directly above the footage you want to influence.

position light leak layer directly over footage


6. Change the composite mode of the light leak.

Screen mode will give you the classic light leak look.
However, don’t be afraid to experiment with other composite modes - see this article for more info on what each of the different composite modes do.

change composite mode to screen for best results


7. Experiment, experiment, experiment.

Now you know how to apply a light leak to your footage you can spend time tweaking and experimenting to get the exact look you’re after. Here are a couple of things you can do to help craft an individual look.

- Change Color.

Playing with the light leak clip color will allow you to change the light leak from warm to cool and from saturated to monotone.

- Speed

Speeding up light leaks can give a frantic feel to your footage - this works well for action sports footage such as skateboarding or motocross. Slowing a light leak down can help give a relaxed vibe.

- Flip/Flop

Want the light leak to come from left of frame, not right? Thats easy, just flop the shot!

- Use multiple light leaks at once

Using more than one light leak can really help define the tone you’re going for. For a truly unique look use light leaks from different collections.


That's it!
If you have any questions about the process please contact us at



Check out our royalty free, video light leak collections here.