Soft Light mix mode for compositor

In case anyone finds this useful, I’ve added a new type of blending to the Mix node in the compositor. It’s a standard from Photoshop, called Soft Light. It’s particularly adept at color grading.

I used it (among other things) to try to achieve a stylized film-like effect from the renders from an animation. Click the low res for 720p HD:


Comp’ed (making heavy use of Soft Light):

Much more about it at

And in case you’re wondering, this mix method is not something that can easily simulated or faked with other nodes and mixes. It’s pretty specific. And, once again, since it’s a patch, it would need support to make it to trunk. Let me know what you think.

I’ve used soft light before in post production of some of my still images, it’s very useful for several things, and I like the effect.

This will be just as good an addition to Blender as the colored shadows.

BTW: Since you’re now experienced with developing Blender features, do you think Ton will allow you to have commit rights to the rendering and compositing areas?

Oh, and put ‘soft light mix mode’ in the title of the thread so people know what the name is.

Interesting, and great work. Adobe had better watch out… :wink:

1 Like

so there’s a fundamental difference between soft light/overlay/hard light? I’ve always thought soft light = “overlay lite”

hard light is a harsh mix filter, I haven’t found much use for that mix mode in PSP 7, soft light is much better.

Ahh, great, You have my vote.

I once started to create a soft light node group using the existing nodes especially the math node, but finally gave up, as it was to clumsy and slow. I wanted to implement the tone mapping method used in lightzone, which gives quit nice results.

So hopefully this gets included into trunk.

ps: you mentioned a method found the give renders a more film like appearance. Could you post a link to this article ?

So is a poll in order?
Soft light is indeed very useful. Anyone with After Effects / Photoshop experience probably uses it a fair bit.
FWIW, it’d get my vote for the trunk…

Softlight… is very usefull…thanks for making this. Making some NOISE for it to get into trunk… the more blending modes the better.

Soft Light is so important for compositing, thank you.

I’m working on Linear Light today, which allows you to do a High Pass filter right in the compositor.

Linear Light mode is done. I find it pretty useless with the major exception of now being able to make a true High Pass filter with only three node (blur->RGBInvert->LinearLight mix at 50%). And we all know how awesome High Pass can be. :slight_smile:
BTW, right hand image is Photoshop High Pass, the left side is Blender with nodes.

wow, cool! thanks harkyman!

What’s the high pass filter used for, PSP 7 doesn’t have that so I never have used something like that.

High Pass is used primarily to add or enhance details in an image without using the sharpen filter. An image processed with high pass using a radius of 10 pixels will produce a mostly gray image that retains only details less then 10 pixels in size. Smaller values will discard comparatively smaller details. This high-passed image can then be blended back into the original to enhance edges or detail at the level of your choice.

High Pass is also used for removing lighting or gradations from texture photographs for use in seamless tiling, or just for “delighting” photography for texture map use.

that’s some great work!

Dude, why isn’t this getting accepted? Put me in for all these wonderful things. I got really upset when Blender didn’t have named layers in 2.47. Hell, at least we can have a little taste of PS :frowning:
Really, any improvements to the compositor is great and it makes your first render with the baby look much more natural.
Rock on!
Oh, did you ever implement that thing with the vertex groups?

Way to go, Harkyman!!! Awesome work there, especially on the examples showing PS output compared to Blender’s.

Casting my vote for trunk as well!!
Good going,

great work!

a very good node but
which one ?about the patch
mixmodes.patch or softlight.patch

Yeah, Soft Light is a great mix mode. 't would be useful.

But being able to do proper High Pass is even more exciting. Alternatively, you could perhaps also just do a High Pass node, no? Like you say, Linear Light is mostly useful for that one thing anyway…