How to use light leaks in Avid Media Composer September 22 2013


1. Download your light leaks.

All of our collections are delivered digitally. Upon purchasing, you will receive a download link. You can then download your light leaks immediately.

2. Unzip your downloaded package.

To unzip on Mac - Double click on package to open.

To unzip on PC - Right-click zipped file and click 'Extract All…' or 'Extract Here'. 'Extract All' will allow you to set a path for the extracted folder to go, 'Extract Here' will uncompress the folder and leave it in the same location as the ZIP file.




3. Import light leaks into Avid Media Composer.

Import light leaks into Avid as per any other footage.
Simply right click within a bin and select import.

4. Choose a light leak to use.

Scrub through your range of light leaks until you find a part that suits your edit. Set in and out points to highlight the part of the light leak you wish to use and then lay it down on the layer above your original footage.

(you can see here I have example footage on V1 and then my light leak footage on V2)

5. Use an effect to help complete the look.

Currently your sequence vision will look something like this. You won't actually be able to see your original footage (that is on V1) under the light leak.

In order to see the original footage and complete the look we need to add an effect.

Option 1. Superimpose.

In your effects palette you will find an effect called "Superimpose", you will find it under "Blend". Apply this effect to your Light Leak Layer (on V2). Do this by dragging the effect onto your vision layer.

You will now see your footage under the light leak effect.

6. Color correcting.

The footage will most likely look a little darker now.
To compensate for that you have to grade the original footage slightly brighter.

My favorite way of doing this is to use the color correction mode.

To get there select Window > Workspaces > Color Correction from the menu bar.

There are a couple of different ways to increase the brightness of a shot but I use the master "curve".

(For more on using this mode here's a great tutorial on color grading in Avid).

Option 2. Third party composite effects.

If you have "Boris Effects" (a third party effect plugin) there is a great effect called "BCC Composite" - this will allow you many more composite modes.

(if you have it, you will likely find it here - BCC Keys & Blend > BCC Composite).

This allows you to select different composite modes for different looks.

I don't think it comes standard with Avid Media Composer MC6 though, so "Superimpose" is probably your best way to go.

Avid Media Composer 6 users - AVID FX comes standard with Media Composer 6 and this will allow you to composite light leaks as well. Look out for a stand alone How-To soon.

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If you've got any tips or tricks on how to use light leaks in 
Avid, we'd love to hear them. How do you make your light leaks stand out?