How To Use Light Leaks In Final Cut Pro X September 05 2013

how to use light leaks in final cut pro xWatch this quick video...


...or read on for a step by step guide to using light leaks in Final Cut Pro X.

If you want to test this guide out but have no light leaks of your own, head over here for a free set of light leaks to test out and experiment with.


1. Download your light leak purchase.

All of our products are delivered by digital download, so upon purchasing a collection of ours you will receive a download link on the very next page after checkout (It will also get sent straight to your email).


2. Unzip downloaded light leak files.

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 X.

To import your new light leaks into FCP simply choose FILE > IMPORT > MEDIA… (or use keyboard shortcut ⌘I) and select the light leak files from the finder popup window. You can also just click the import media button displayed here.


4. Choose light leak you want to use.

Simply treat your new light leaks like any other footage in Final Cut Pro X. Scrub through the light leak ‘till you find the part you think will work best.


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


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

In Final Cut Pro X, 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.

6. Change the composite mode of the light leak.

To do this first click on the light leak layer in the sequence to select that layer.

Open the inspector window by clicking this button on the far right of FCPX layout.


Then in the inspector window look for "Compositing" and click "show".

From the "Blend Mode" drop down menu choose the composite mode you wish to use.



For a classic light leak look, try screen mode. 
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.


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.


There you have it!
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If you have any questions about the process please contact us at


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