Layer texture and style with light leaks

Add vintage flair or a vibrant flare to your next video with Runway’s light leaks feature, which mimics soft light leaking through the lens. This video effect is ideal for when you are shooting a video with a retro look. With countless effects and intuitive AI tools built for precision editing, Runway lightens your editing load and empowers you to hone your creative process—in a flash.

Create ambiance with a click

Whether you want to bring an ambient element to a music video or forge a creative transition between scenes, Runway can help you bring your style—and story—to life in mere moments. Just tap into our all-in-one, intelligent editing suite from your browser and enjoy an editing process that’s hyper-fast, convenient, and designed for instant collaboration.

How To Use

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Upload your video file directly to the cloud and don’t worry about computer storage ever again. From ProRes to MOV, we've got you covered.
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Add Light Leak
Find Runway’s “Light Leaks” effect in our effects library on the right-hand side of the editor. After applying, refine with sliders like coloration, angle, and scale, until you achieve your desired look.
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Once you’re satisfied with the applied effect, you can continue editing or export your finished creation in a variety of resolution and formatting options.


Capture the magic of traditional light leaks without any of the traditional unpredictability. Take control of this captivating effect by harnessing Runway’s precision tools and AI-powered suite. With overlays that range from natural to surreal, it’s never been easier to bring dynamism and depth to your video—and arrive at your signature style.

Achieve vibrant visuals

Create stunning prisms, subtle rainbows, or golden hour glow with the touch of a button.

Make an ode to old-school style

Craft an homage to vintage films and old home movies by emulating unintentional—but unforgettable—light leaks on film.

Get colorful

Add a creative touch to mundane moments or generic transitions with light leaks set in eye-catching hues.

Why Runway?

We’ve built Runway’s streamlined, powerful editing suite on the premise that your editing process should never come at the cost of your creativity. With AI magic and a simplified, cloud-based workflow, you can explore, experiment, and innovate—together, all the time. Whether you’re delivering next-level content for clients or finally developing your feature film, Runway’s customizable, convenient features save you time so you can focus on your craft.

Edit on the go with our cloud-based software

Whether you’re shifting aspect ratios or experimenting with light leaks, Runway moves with you. Create from anywhere, thanks to in-browser access and cloud-based saving. Feel free to forget your hard-drive—access everything you need to work whenever you can get online.

Cut technical ramp-up time; create right away

Produce polished, professional content using video templates without spending weeks, months, or years perfecting time-consuming techniques. Whether you have decades of in-depth technical experience or are launching into a new creative venture, let our fast AI tools such as Green Screen and Inpaint eliminate hassle and time waste so you can bring your artistic vision to screen faster. FIlters and templates are just the beginning—enjoy a fully equipped audio editor, CGI green screen, built-in effects, and more intuitive tools.

Collaborate in real-time, wherever you are

Work across spaces (and even continents) with Runway, where you can gather and edit with co-creators simultaneously, all with a simple invite link. Trade feedback, share ideas, and perfect your projects together thanks to real-time collaboration capabilities. Streamlined workflows, amplified inspiration—that’s Runway magic.
What is a light leak overlay?
A light leak overlay is a digital, flexible filter that mimics a natural light leak, or unintentional over-exposure, for artistic purposes. Light leaks traditionally occur with film cameras when stray light penetrates the light-tight chambers of the camera and exposes the film. Even a pinprick of light through a camera’s interior can result in anomalies: flares, flashes, streaks, halos.
Although light leaks in the film are technical glitches—the unintentional results of an error in the filming process—these “accidents” can sometimes bring a certain otherworldly style and vintage ambiance that can be difficult to replicate. (Unless, of course, you’re working with an intelligent editing suite like Runway.)
If you’re working with a digital camera, you can harness the impact of natural light leaks (without any of the unpredictability or overblown distortions) in post-production, thanks to light leak overlays. With a light leak overlay tool at your disposal, you can determine where and when to apply these entrancing glitches—adding a warm, comforting dimension to make your work an instant classic or cleverly distorting a subject to imply a shift in character or narrative.
With Runway, it’s never been simpler to manipulate light leaks in order to achieve your desired aesthetic and surpass the unreliability of traditional film light leaks. Whether you seek flashes of light or a subtle glow, our AI can make your vision a reality.
What are some uses for a light leak overlay?
Generally speaking, a light leak overlay can be used to add dimension to your image and engage audiences with eye-catching movement and shimmer. Runway’s AI-backed light leak overlay is designed to fit your footage flexibly, meaning you can apply it to certain clips or the whole video. Consider using this tool to:
  • Add a warm, sunlit glow to a beach scene or vacation footage
  • Transport your audience to a surreal, rave-like setting with multi-hued flashes
  • Boost motion by adding flickers of pulsing light at the edge of your frame
  • Give sentimental scenes (like birthday party scenes or wedding montages) a nostalgic tone and vintage aesthetic
  • Signify shifts in time or subjectivity with intentional glitches and mind-bending streaks
The point is there are different ways to use this effect to your advantage. No matter how you use Runway’s light leak overlay, you’ll enjoy more creative control than you would by trying to create traditional light leaks. Add this element in post-production to capture all of the magic and surprise that comes with film without obscuring your key images.
Why should you add a light leak overlay to your video?
Applying filters and effects like a light leak overlay to your footage has myriad benefits, especially when it comes to helping you:
  • Engage your audience – A light leak overlay adds motion and texture to your frame without burying the original image. With just enough flare, a light leak overlay can evoke nostalgia or splendor—and draw emotional responses from your viewers. Whether the effect is subtle or brilliant, your audience will have difficulty looking away.
  • Switch it up – Moody, monotone visuals can certainly serve a purpose, but variety keeps viewers engaged. The subtle distortion from a light leak overlay can add a layer of dynamism to your footage post-production. Use our light leak overlay strategically to grab your audience’s attention at various moments throughout or to signify key transitions between narrative arcs or scenes.
  • Set the scene – Worldbuilding immerses viewers in your creation, and our light leak overlay can efficiently foster a sense of setting. Let viewers know they’ve gone back in time with gentle, delicate leaks that allude to memories and the past. Or, mirror your protagonist’s state of mind with light leaks representing everything from infatuation to intoxication. Whether you’re crafting a commercial or developing a feature-length film, this artistic filter only adds to your narrative’s power.
Whether you’re looking for rainbows or a subtle flash, a light leak overlay empowers you to spend less energy worrying about an unpredictable technique and achieve your dream aesthetic on your terms. Control where, when, and how you’d like to apply the effect without over-exposing key shots or damaging your prime footage.
Interested in leveraging more tricks and tools—risk-free? Browse our versatile filters and effects to customize every aspect of your content.
What other video editing techniques can you use with Runway?
When it comes to perfecting your footage with Runway, a light leak overlay is just one thrilling asset in your editing software toolkit. Each of our filters and effects brings distinct energy and verve to your video—and, thanks to in-browser ease, you can experiment with them anywhere, anytime, with anyone.
Our adaptive AI tech makes it simple to:
  • Add closed captioning and subtitles – Looking to make your video universally accessible? Our AI-powered subtitle generator transforms your spoken dialogue into accurate, timely text blocks in various languages. Or take it a step further and create closed captions with a press of your keyboard. Engage viewers with hearing impairments, those in loud public spaces, and non-native English speakers to widen your audience. You can even generate video-to-text transcripts to share when posting media and boost SEO.
  • Edit audio – Runway’s audio editing suite is fully stocked with all the tools you need for pristine, professional-grade sound. With full multi-track audio editing and keyframe control, silence background noise, manipulate tone, and fine-tune every aspect of your video’s sonic quality. Whether you’re adding a score, filling in voiceovers, or building up the environment with natural noise like traffic or wind, tap into endless, user-friendly audio features.
  • Explore filters – Light leak overlays aren’t the only effect in the Runway arsenal. Mimic old VHS tape grain, doctor your colors for a psychedelic landscape, soften backgrounds with Gaussian blur, add texture with scan lines and hatching or even change the background by utilizing a green screen; a whole visual playground awaits you and your team. Start experimenting today and discover effects designed to help you craft your signature style and captivate your viewers.
With Runway, you can spruce up your wedding video, social media video, commercial, short film, or any other retro video.
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