Compositing and Blending Level 1

W3C Candidate Recommendation, 26 November 2014

This version:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2014/CR-compositing-1-20141126/
Latest version:
http://www.w3.org/TR/compositing-1/
Editor's Draft:
http://dev.w3.org/fxtf/compositing-1/
Previous Versions:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2014/CR-compositing-1-20140220/
Feedback:
public-fx@w3.org with subject line “[compositing] … message topic …” (archives)
Test Suite:
http://test.csswg.org/suites/compositing-1_dev/nightly-unstable/
Editors:
(Adobe Systems Inc.)
(Canon Information Systems Research Australia)

Abstract

Compositing describes how shapes of different elements are combined into a single image. There are various possible approaches for compositing. Previous versions of SVG and CSS used Simple Alpha Compositing. In this model, each element is rendered into its own buffer and is then merged with its backdrop using the Porter Duff source-over operator. This specification will define a new compositing model that expands upon the Simple Alpha Compositing model by offering:

In addition, this specification will define CSS properties for blending and group isolation and the properties of the ‘globalcompositeoperation’ attribute as defined in [2DCONTEXT2].

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

This document was produced by the CSS Working Group (part of the Style Activity) and the SVG Working Group (part of the Graphics Activity) as a Candidate Recommendation.

A Candidate Recommendation is a document that has been widely reviewed and is ready for implementation. W3C encourages everybody to implement this specification and return comments to the (archived) public mailing list public-fx@w3.org (see instructions). When sending e-mail, please put the text “compositing” in the subject, preferably like this: “[compositing] …summary of comment…

Publication as a Candidate Recommendation does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by groups operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures (CSS) and a public list of any patent disclosures (SVG) made in connection with the deliverables of each group; these pages also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

A test suite and implementation report for Compositing and Blending Level 1 will be developed during the Candidate Recommendation phase, which will last a minimum of six months, and at least until 17 August 2014. See the section “CR exit criteria” for more details.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This subsection is non-normative.
The first part of this document describes the properties used to control the compositing in CSS. The second part will describe the algorithms of Porter Duff compositing and blending.

2. Reading This Document

Each section of this document is normative unless otherwise specified.

2.1. Module interactions

This specification defines a set of CSS properties that affect the visual rendering of elements to which those properties are applied; these effects are applied after elements have been sized and positioned according to the Visual formatting model from [CSS21]. Some values of these properties result in the creation of a containing block, and/or the creation of a stacking context.

The background-blend-mode property also builds upon the properties defined in the CSS Backgrounds and Borders module [CSS3BG].

This specification also enhances the rules as specified in Section 14.2 Simple alpha compositing of [SVG11] and simple alpha compositing of [CSS3COLOR].

This module also extends the ‘globalcompositeoperation’ as defined in [2DCONTEXT2].

2.2. Values

This specification follows the CSS property definition conventions from [CSS21]. Value types not defined in this specification are defined in CSS Level 2 Revision 1 [CSS21]. Other CSS modules may expand the definitions of these value types: for example [CSS3COLOR], when combined with this module, expands the definition of the <color> value type as used in this specification.

In addition to the property-specific values listed in their definitions, all properties defined in this specification also accept the inherit keyword as their property value. For readability it has not been repeated explicitly.

3. Specifying Blending in CSS

3.1. Order of graphical operations

The compositing model must follow the SVG compositing model [SVG11]: first any filter effect is applied, then any clipping, masking, blending and compositing.

3.2. Behavior specific to HTML

Everything in CSS that creates a stacking context must be considered an ‘isolated’ group. HTML elements themselves should not create groups.

An element that has blending applied, must blend with all the underlying content of the stacking context [CSS21] that that element belongs to.

3.3. Behavior specific to SVG

By default, every element must create a non-isolated group.

However, certain operations in SVG will create isolated groups. If one of the following features is used, the group must become isolated:

3.4. CSS Properties

3.4.1. The mix-blend-mode property

The blend mode defines the formula that must be used to mix the colors with the backdrop. This behavior is described in more detail in Blending.

Name:mix-blend-mode
Value:<blend-mode>
Initial:normal
Applies to:All elements. In SVG, it applies to container elements, graphics elements and graphics referencing elements. [SVG11]
Inherited:no
Percentages:N/A
Media:visual
Computed value:as specified
Animatable:no

The syntax of the property of <blend-mode> is given with:

<blend-mode> = normal | multiply | screen | overlay | darken | lighten | color-dodge |color-burn | hard-light | soft-light | difference | exclusion | hue | 
saturation | color | luminosity

Note: Applying a blendmode other than normal to the element must establish a new stacking context [CSS21]. This group must then be blended and composited with the stacking context that contains the element.

Given the following sample markup:

<body>
   <img src="ducky.png"/>
</body>"

And the following style rule:

body { background-color: green; }

... will produce the following result:

example of an image of duck with the green color of the document

Partially transparent image on a green backdrop

If we change the style rule to include blending:

body { background-color: green; }
img { mix-blend-mode: multiply; }

... the output will be the image blending with the green background of the <body> element.

example of an image of duck blending with the green color of the document

Blending of a transparent image on a green backdrop.

Given the following svg code:

<svg>
  <circle cx="40" cy="40" r="40" fill="red"/>
  <circle cx="80" cy="40" r="40" fill="green"/>
  <circle cx="60" cy="80" r="40" fill="blue"/>
</svg>

And the following style rule:

circle { mix-blend-mode: screen; }

... the output will be blending of the 3 circles. Each circle is rendered from bottom to top. Where the elements overlap, the blend mode produces a change in color.

example of 3 circles blending with a screen blend mode

Example of 3 circles blending with a screen blend mode

In the following style sheet and document fragment:

body { background-color: green; }
div { background-color: red; width: 200px; opacity: .95}
img { mix-blend-mode: difference; }

<body>
  <div>
     <img src="ducky.png"/>
  </div>
</body>

... the opacity on the <div> element is causing the creation of a stacking context. This causes the creation of a new group so the image doesn’t blend with the color of the <body>.

example of an image of duck blending with the green color of the document

Example of blending within a stacking context.

Note how the image is not blending with the green color.

Given the following sample markup:

<body>
   <div>
     <p>'overlay' blending on text</p>
   </div>
</body>

And the following style rule:

div { background-image: url('texture.png'); }
@font-face {
  font-family: "Mythos Std";
  src: url("http://myfontvendor.com/mythos.otf");
}
p {
  mix-blend-mode: overlay;
  font-family: "Mythos Std" 
}
example of text that has an overlay blend on top of a texture

Text with a blend overlay on top of an image.

3.4.2. The isolation property

In SVG, this defines whether an element is isolated or not.
For CSS, setting isolation to isolate will turn the element into a stacking context.

By default, elements use the auto keyword which implies that they are not isolated. However operations that cause the creation of stacking context [CSS21] must cause a group to be isolated. These operations are described in 'behavior specific to HTML' and 'behavior specific to SVG'.

Name:isolation
Value:<isolation-mode>
Initial:auto
Applies to:All elements. In SVG, it applies to container elements, graphics elements and graphics referencing elements. [SVG11]
Inherited:no
Percentages:N/A
Media:visual
Computed value:as specified
Animatable:no

The syntax of the property of <isolation-mode> is given with:

<isolation-mode> = auto | isolate

In CSS, a background image or the content of an img must always be rendered into an isolated group.
For instance, if you link to an SVG file through the img tag, the artwork of that SVG will not blend with the backdrop of the content.

In SVG, mask always creates an isolated group.

3.4.3. The background-blend-mode property

Defines the blending mode of each background layer.

Each background layer must blend with the element’s background layer that is below it and the element’s background color. Background layers must not blend with the content that is behind the element, instead they must act as if they are rendered into an isolated group.

The description of the background-blend-mode property is as follows:

Name:background-blend-mode
Value:<blend-mode>
Initial:normal
Applies to:All HTML elements
Inherited:no
Percentages:N/A
Media:visual
Computed value:as specified
Animatable:no

The background-blend-mode list must be applied in the same order as background-image [CSS3BG]. This means that the first element in the list will apply to the layer that is on top. If a property doesn’t have enough comma-separated values to match the number of layers, the UA must calculate its used value by repeating the list of values until there are enough.

If the background [CSS3BG] shorthand is used, the background-blend-mode property for that element must be reset to its initial value.

Given the following sample markup:

<body>
   <div></div>
</body>

And the following style rule:

body { background-color: green; }
div { 
  width: 200px;
  height: 200px;
  background-size: 200px 200px;
  background-repeat:no-repeat;
  background-image: linear-gradient(to right, #000000 0%,#ffffff 100%), url('ducky.png');
  background-blend-mode: difference, normal;
}
example of div that has an image of a duck and a gradient that is blending

Blending of 2 background images.

Note that the gradient is not blending with the color of body. Instead it retains its original color.

4. Specifying Compositing and Blending in Canvas 2D

The canvas 2d context defines the ‘globalCompositeOperation’ attribute that is used to set the current compositing and blending operator.

This property takes the following value:

‘globalCompositeOperation’
Value:   <blend-mode> | <composite-mode>
Initial:   source-over

The syntax of the property of <composite-mode> is given with:

<composite-mode> = clear | copy | source-over | destination-over | source-in | 
destination-in | source-out | destination-out | source-atop |
destination-atop | xor | lighter

5. Introduction to compositing

Compositing is the combining of a graphic element with its backdrop.

In the model described in this specification there are two steps to the overall compositing operation - Porter-Duff compositing and blending.

The blending step determines how the colors from the graphic element and the backdrop interact.

Typically, the blending step is performed first, followed by the Porter-Duff compositing step. In the blending step, the resultant color from the mix of the element and the the backdrop is calculated. The graphic element’s color is replaced with this resultant color. The graphic element is then composited with the backdrop using the specified compositing operator.

Note: Shape is defined by the mathematical description of the shape. A particular point is either inside the shape or it is not. There are no gradations.

Note: Opacity is described using an alpha value, stored alongside the color value for each particular point. The alpha value is between 0 and 1, inclusive. A value of 0 means that the pixel has no coverage at that point, and is therefore transparent; i.e. there is no color contribution from any geometry because the geometry does not overlap this pixel. A value of 1 means that the pixel is fully opaque; the geometry completely overlaps the pixel.

5.1. Simple alpha compositing

The formula for simple alpha compositing is

co = Cs x αs + Cb x αb x (1 - αs)

Where

Note: All values are between 0 and 1 inclusive.

The pixel value after compositing (co) is given by adding the contributions from the source graphic element [Cs x αs] and the backdrop [Cb x αb x (1 - αs)]. For both the graphic element and the backdrop, the color values are multiplied by the alpha to determine the amount of color that contributes. With zero alpha meaning that the color does not contribute and partial alpha means that some percentage of the color contributes. The contribution of the backdrop is further reduced based on the opacity of the graphic element. Conceptually, (1 - αs) of the backdrop shows through the graphic element, meaning that if the graphic element is fully opaque (αs=1) then no backdrop shows through.

The simple alpha compositing formula listed above gives a resultant color which is the result of the weighted average of the backdrop color and graphic element color, with the weighting determined by the backdrop and graphic element alphas. The resultant alpha value of the composite is simply the sum of the contributed alpha of the composited elements. The formula for the resultant alpha of the composite is

αo = αs + αb x (1 - αs)

Where

Often, it can be more efficient to store a pre-multiplied value for the color and opacity. The pre-multiplied value is given by

cs = Cs x αs

with

Thus the formula for simple alpha compositing using pre-multiplied values becomes

co = cs + cb x (1 - αs)

To extract the color component of a pre-multiplied value, the formula is reversed:

Co = co / αo

5.1.1. Examples of simple alpha compositing

Simple box showing alpha compositing

This describes the most basic case. It consists of 1 shape that is filled with a solid color (α = 1). The shape is composited with an empty background. The empty background has no effect on the resultant composite.

Cs = RGB(1,0,0)
αs = 1
Cb = RGB(0,0,0)
αb = 0

co = Cs x αs + Cb x αb x (1 - αs)
co = RGB(1,0,0) x 1 + RGB(0,0,0) x 0 x (1 - 1)
co = RGB(1,0,0) x 1
co = RGB(1,0,0)

simple shape

This is a more complex example. There is no transparency, but the 2 shapes intersect.

Applying the compositing formula in the area of intersection, gives:

Cs = RGB(0,0,1)
αs = 1
Cb = RGB(1,0,0)
αb = 1

co = Cs x αs + Cb x αb x (1 - αs)
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 1 + RGB(1,0,0) x 1 x (1 - 1)
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 1 + RGB(1,0,0) x 1 x 0
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 1
co = RGB(0,0,1)

Calculating the alpha of the resultant composite

αo = αs + αb x (1 - αs)
αo = 1 + 1 x (1 - 1)
αo = 1

Calculating the color component of the resultant composite

Co = co / αo
Co = RGB(0, 0, 1) / 1
Co = RGB(0, 0, 1)

interaction of a solid box with a transparent box on top

This is an example where the shape has some transparency, but the backdrop is fully opaque.

Applying the compositing formula in the area of intersection, gives:

Cs = RGB(0,0,1)
αs = 0.5
Cb = RGB(1,0,0)
αb = 1

co = Cs x αs + Cb x αb x (1 - αs)
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 0.5 + RGB(1,0,0) x 1 x (1 - 0.5)
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 0.5 + RGB(1,0,0) x 0.5
co = RGB(0.5,0,0.5)

Calculating the alpha of the resultant composite

αo = αs + αb x (1 - αs)
αo = 0.5 + 1 x (1 - 0.5)
αo = 1

Calculating the color component of the resultant composite

Co = co / αo
Co = RGB(0.5, 0, 0.5) / 1
Co = RGB(0.5, 0, 0.5)

interaction of 2 transparent boxes

Figure 4 shows an example where both the shape and the backdrop are transparent.

Applying the compositing formula in the area of intersection, gives:

Cs = RGB(0,0,1)
αs = 0.5
Cb = RGB(1,0,0)
αb = 0.5

co = Cs x αs + Cb x αb x (1 - αs)
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 0.5 + RGB(1,0,0) x 0.5 x (1 - 0.5)
co = RGB(0,0,1) x 0.5 + RGB(1,0,0) x 0.25
co = RGB(0.25, 0, 0.5)

Calculating the alpha of the resultant composite

αo = αs + αb x (1 - αs)
αo = 0.5 + 0.5 x (1 - 0.5)
αo = 0.75

Calculating the color component of the resultant composite

Co = co / αo
Co = RGB(0.25, 0, 0.5) / 0.75
Co = RGB(0.33, 0, 0.66)

6. General Formula for Compositing and Blending

The general formula for compositing and blending which allows for selection of the compositing operator and blending function comprises two steps. The terms used in these functions will be described in detail in the following sections.

Apply the blend in place

Cs = (1 - αb) x Cs + αb x B(Cb, Cs)

Composite

Co = αs x Fa x Cs + αb x Fb x Cb

Where:

7. Backdrop calculation

The backdrop is the content behind the element and is what the element is composited with. This means that the backdrop is the result of compositing all previous elements.

7.1. Examples of backdrop calculation

example of a simple backdrop calculation

This example has 2 simple shapes. The backdrop for the blue shape includes the bottom right corner of the red shape . The dotted line shows the area that is examined during compositing of the blue shape.

example of a backdrop with alpha

The shape in the backdrop has an alpha value. The alpha value of the backdrop shape is preserved when the backdrop is calculated.

8. Compositing Groups

Compositing groups allow more control over the interaction of compositing with the backdrop. Groups can be used to specify how a compositing effect within a group will interact with the content that is already in the scene (the backdrop).

Compositing groups may be made up of any number of elements, and may contain other compositing groups.

The default properties of a compositing group shall cause no visual difference compared to having no group. See Group Invariance.

A compositing group is rendered by first compositing the elements of the group onto the initial backdrop. The result of this is a single element containing color and alpha information. This element is then composited onto the group backdrop. Steps shall be taken to ensure the group backdrop makes only a single contribution to the final composite.

initial backdrop
The initial backdrop is the backdrop used for compositing the group’s first element. This will be the same as the group backdrop in a non-isolated group, or a fully transparent backdrop for an isolated group.
group backdrop
The group backdrop is the result of compositing all elements up to but not including the first element in the group.

8.1. Group invariance

An important property of simple alpha compositing is its group invariance. This behavior is preserved in the more complex model described in this specification. Adding or removing grouping with default attributes shall not show visual differences.

so: A + B + C = A + (B + C) = (A + B) + C

When adding attributes to the group such as isolate, blending modes other than normal or Porter Duff compositing operators other than source-over, groups may no longer be invariant.

8.2. Isolated Groups

In an isolated group, the initial backdrop shall be black and fully transparent.

In this instance, the initial backdrop is different than the group backdrop. The only interaction with the group backdrop shall occur when the group’s computed color, shape and alpha are composited with it.

See 'Isolated groups and Porter Duff modes' for a description of the effect of isolated groups on compositing. See 'Effect of group isolation on blending' for a description of the effect of isolated groups on blending.

8.3. The Page Group

The top level group is the page group. All other elements and groups are composited into this group. The page group is an isolated group.

The page group is composited with a backdrop color of white with 100% opacity.

9. Advanced compositing features

Simple alpha compositing uses the source-over Porter Duff compositing operator.

Porter Duff compositing is based on a model of a pixel in which two shapes (source and destination) may contribute to the final color of the pixel. The pixel is divided into 4 sub-pixel regions and each region represents a possible combination of source and destination. [PORTERDUFF]

The four regions are:

Source Only
Where only the source contributes to the pixel color
Destination only
where only the destination contributes to the pixel color
Both
Source and Destination – where both the source and destination may combine to define the pixel color
None
No source or Destination – where neither make a contribution to the final pixel color

Note: Destination is synonymous with backdrop. The term destination is used in this section as this is considered the standard when working with Porter Duff compositing. Additionally, the compositing operators use destination in their names.

overview of the regions affected by porter duff

The contribution from each region to the final pixel color is defined by the coverage of the shape at that pixel, and the operator in use. Coverage is specified in terms of alpha. Full alpha (1) implies full coverage, while zero alpha (0) implies no coverage. This means that the area of each region within the sub-pixel is dependent on the coverage of each shape contributing to the pixel. The area of each region can be calculated with the following equations:
Both αs x αb
Source only αs x (1 – αb)
Destination only αb x (1 – αs)
None (1 – αs) x (1 – αb)

The figure above represents coverage of 0.5 for both source and destination.

Both = 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.25 
Source Only = 0.5 (1 – 0.5) = 0.25
Destination Only = 0.5(1 – 0.5) = 0.25
None = (1 – 0.5)(1 – 0.5) = 0.25

Therefore, the coverage of each region is 0.25 in this example.

9.1. The Porter Duff Compositing Operators

The landmark paper by Thomas Porter and Tom Duff, who worked for Lucasfilm, defined the algebra of compositing and developed the twelve "Porter Duff" operators. These operators control the results of mixing the four sub-pixel regions formed by the overlapping of graphical objects that have an alpha or pixel coverage channel/value. The operators use all practical combinations of the four regions.

There are 12 basic Porter Duff operators, satisfying all possible combinations of source and destination.

From the geometric representation of each operator, the contribution of each shape can be seen to be expressed as a fraction of the total coverage of the output. For example, in source over, the possible contribution of source is full (1) and the possible contribution of destination is whatever is remaining (1 – αs). This is modified by the coverage of source and destination to give the equation for the final coverage of the pixel:

αo = αs x 1 + αb x (1 – αs)

The fractional terms Fa (1 in this example) and Fb (1 – αs in this example) are defined for each operator and specify the fraction of the shapes that may contribute to the final pixel value. The general form of the equation for coverage is:

αs x Fa + αb x Fb

and incorporating color gives the general Porter Duff equation

co = αs x Fa x Cs + αb x Fb x Cb

Where:

9.1.1. Clear

No regions are enabled.

example of porter duff clear

Fa = 0; Fb = 0
co = 0
αo = 0

9.1.2. Copy

Only the source will be present.

example of porter duff copy

Fa = 1; Fb = 0
co = αs x Cs
αo = αs

9.1.3. Destination

Only the destination will be present.

example of porter duff destination

Fa = 0; Fb = 1
co = αb x Cb
αo = αb

9.1.4. Source Over

Source is placed over the destination.

example of porter duff source over

Fa = 1; Fb = 1 – αs
co = αs x Cs + αb x Cb x (1 – αs)
αo = αs + αb x (1 – αs)

9.1.5. Destination Over

Destination is placed over the source.

example of porter duff destination over

Fa = 1 – αb; Fb = 1
co = αs x Cs x (1 – αb) + αb x Cb
αo = αs x (1 – αb) + αb

9.1.6. Source In

The source that overlaps the destination, replaces the destination.

example of porter duff source in

Fa = αb; Fb = 0
co = αs x Cs x αb
αo = αs x αb

9.1.7. Destination In

Destination which overlaps the source, replaces the source.
example of porter duff destination in

Fa = 0; Fb = αs
co = αb x Cb x αs 
αo = αb x αs

9.1.8. Source Out

Source is placed, where it falls outside of the destination.

example of porter duff source out

Fa = 1 – αb; Fb = 0
co = αs x Cs x (1 – αb)
αo = αs x (1 – αb)

9.1.9. Destination Out

Destination is placed, where it falls outside of the source.

example of porter duff destination out

Fa = 0; Fb = 1 – αs
co = αb x Cb x (1 – αs)
αo = αb x (1 – αs)

9.1.10. Source Atop

Source which overlaps the destination, replaces the destination. Destination is placed elsewhere.

example of porter duff source atop

Fa = αb; Fb = 1 – αs
co = αs x Cs x αb + αb x Cb x (1 – αs)
αo = αs x αb + αb x (1 – αs)

9.1.11. Destination Atop

Destination which overlaps the source replaces the source. Source is placed elsewhere.

example of porter duff destination atop

Fa = 1 - αb; Fb = αs
co = αs x Cs x (1 - αb) + αb x Cb x αs
αo = αs x (1 - αb) + αb x αs

9.1.12. XOR

The non-overlapping regions of source and destination are combined.

example of porter duff xor

Fa = 1 - αb; Fb = 1 – αs
co = αs x Cs x (1 - αb) + αb x Cb x (1 – αs)
αo = αs x (1 - αb) + αb x (1 – αs)

9.1.13. Lighter

Display the sum of the source image and destination image. It is defined in the Porter Duff paper as the plus operator [PORTERDUFF].
Fa = 1; Fb = 1
co = αs x Cs + αb x Cb;
αo = αs + αb

9.2. Group compositing behavior with Porter Duff modes

When compositing the elements within an isolated group, the elements are composited over a transparent black initial backdrop. If the bottom element in the group uses a Porter Duff compositing operator which is dependent on the backdrop, such as destination, source-in, destination-in, destination-out or source-atop, then the result of the composite will be empty. Subsequent elements within the group are composited with the result of the first composite.

10. Blending

Blending is the aspect of compositing that calculates the mixing of colors where the source element and backdrop overlap.
Conceptually, the colors in the source element are blended in place with the backdrop. After blending, the modified source element is composited with the backdrop. In practice, this is usually all performed in one step.
The blending calculations must not use pre-multiplied color values.

The "mixing" formula is defined as:

Cm = B(Cb, Cs)

with:

The result of the mixing formula must be clamped to the minimum and maximum values of the color range.

The result of the mixing function is modulated by the backdrop alpha. A fully opaque backdrop allows the mixing function to be fully realized. A transparent backdrop will cause the final result to be a weighted average between the source color and mixed color with the weight controlled by the backdrop alpha. The value of the new color becomes:

Cr = (1 - αb) x Cs + αb x B(Cb, Cs)

with:

example of blending with opacity

This example has a red rectangle with a blending mode that is placed on top of a set of green rectangles that have different levels of opacity.

Note how the top rectangle shifts more toward red as the opacity of the backdrop gets smaller.

Note: The following formula gives the color value in the area where the source and backdrop intersects and then composites with the specified Porter Duff compositing formula. For simple alpha blending, the formula thus becomes:

simple alpha compositing:
  co = cs + cb x (1 - αs)
written as non-premultiplied:
  αo x Co = αs x Cs + (1 - αs) x αb x Cb
now substitute the result of blending for Cs:
    αo x Co = αs x ((1 - αb) x Cs + αb x B(Cb, Cs)) + (1 - αs) x αb x Cb
            = αs x (1 - αb) x Cs + αs x αb x B(Cb, Cs) + (1 - αs) x αb x Cb

10.1. Separable blend modes

A blend mode is termed separable if each component of the result color is completely determined by the corresponding components of the constituent backdrop and source colors — that is, if the mixing formula is applied separately to each set of corresponding components.

Each of the following blend modes will apply the blending function B(Cb, Cs) on each of the color components. For simplicity, all the examples in this chapter use source-over compositing.

10.1.1. normal blend mode

This is the default attribute which specifies no blending. The blending formula simply selects the source color.

B(Cb, Cs) = Cs
example of normal blending

10.1.2. multiply blend mode

The source color is multiplied by the destination color and replaces the destination.

The resultant color is always at least as dark as either the source or destination color. Multiplying any color with black results in black. Multiplying any color with white preserves the original color.

B(Cb, Cs) = Cb x Cs

example of multiply blending

10.1.3. screen blend mode

Multiplies the complements of the backdrop and source color values, then complements the result.

The result color is always at least as light as either of the two constituent colors. Screening any color with white produces white; screening with black leaves the original color unchanged. The effect is similar to projecting multiple photographic slides simultaneously onto a single screen.

B(Cb, Cs) = 1 - [(1 - Cb) x (1 - Cs)]
          = Cb + Cs -(Cb x Cs)

example of screen blending

10.1.4. overlay blend mode

Multiplies or screens the colors, depending on the backdrop color value.

Source colors overlay the backdrop while preserving its highlights and shadows. The backdrop color is not replaced but is mixed with the source color to reflect the lightness or darkness of the backdrop.

B(Cb, Cs) = HardLight(Cs, Cb)

Overlay is the inverse of the hard-light blend mode. See the definition of hard-light for the formula.

example of overlay blending

10.1.5. darken blend mode

Selects the darker of the backdrop and source colors.

The backdrop is replaced with the source where the source is darker; otherwise, it is left unchanged.

B(Cb, Cs) = min(Cb, Cs)
example of darken blending

10.1.6. lighten blend mode

Selects the lighter of the backdrop and source colors.

The backdrop is replaced with the source where the source is lighter; otherwise, it is left unchanged.

B(Cb, Cs) = max(Cb, Cs)

Note: The result must be rounded down if it exceeds the range.

example of lighten blending

10.1.7. color-dodge blend mode

Brightens the backdrop color to reflect the source color. Painting with black produces no changes.

if(Cb == 0)
    B(Cb, Cs) = 0
else if(Cs == 1)
    B(Cb, Cs) = 1
else
    B(Cb, Cs) = min(1, Cb / (1 - Cs))
example of color dodge blending

10.1.8. color-burn blend mode

Darkens the backdrop color to reflect the source color. Painting with white produces no change.

if(Cb == 1)
    B(Cb, Cs) = 1
else if(Cs == 0)
    B(Cb, Cs) = 0
else
    B(Cb, Cs) = 1 - min(1, (1 - Cb) / Cs)
example of color burn blending

10.1.9. hard-light blend mode

Multiplies or screens the colors, depending on the source color value. The effect is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the backdrop.

if(Cs <= 0.5)
    B(Cb, Cs) = Multiply(Cb, 2 x Cs)
else
    B(Cb, Cs) = Screen(Cb, 2 x Cs -1)  

See the definition of multiply and screen for their formulas.

example of hard light blending

10.1.10. soft-light blend mode

Darkens or lightens the colors, depending on the source color value. The effect is similar to shining a diffused spotlight on the backdrop.

    if(Cs <= 0.5)
        B(Cb, Cs) = Cb - (1 - 2 x Cs) x Cb x (1 - Cb)
    else
        B(Cb, Cs) = Cb + (2 x Cs - 1) x (D(Cb) - Cb)
with
    if(Cb <= 0.25)
        D(Cb) = ((16 * Cb - 12) x Cb + 4) x Cb
    else
        D(Cb) = sqrt(Cb)
example of soft light blending

10.1.11. difference blend mode

Subtracts the darker of the two constituent colors from the lighter color.

Painting with white inverts the backdrop color; painting with black produces no change.

B(Cb, Cs) = | Cb - Cs |

example of difference blending

10.1.12. exclusion blend mode

Produces an effect similar to that of the Difference mode but lower in contrast. Painting with white inverts the backdrop color; painting with black produces no change

B(Cb, Cs) = Cb + Cs - 2 x Cb x Cs

example of exclusion blending

10.2. Non-separable blend modes

Nonseparable blend modes consider all color components in combination as opposed to the separable ones that look at each component individually. All of these blend modes conceptually entail the following steps:

  1. Convert the backdrop and source colors from the blending color space to an intermediate hue-saturation-luminosity representation.
  2. Create a new color from some combination of hue, saturation, and luminosity components selected from the backdrop and source colors.
  3. Convert the result back to the original color space.

The nonseparable blend mode formulas make use of several auxiliary functions:

    Lum(C) = 0.3 x Cred + 0.59 x Cgreen + 0.11 x Cblue
    
    ClipColor(C)
        L = Lum(C)
        n = min(Cred, Cgreen, Cblue)
        x = max(Cred, Cgreen, Cblue)
        if(n < 0)
            C = L + (((C - L) * L) / (L - n))
                      
        if(x > 1)
            C = L + (((C - L) * (1 - L)) / (x - L))
        
        return C
    
    SetLum(C, l)
        d = l - Lum(C)
        Cred = Cred + d
        Cgreen = Cgreen + d
        Cblue = Cblue + d
        return ClipColor(C)
        
    Sat(C) = max(Cred, Cgreen, Cblue) - min(Cred, Cgreen, Cblue)
        
The subscripts min, mid, and max in the next function refer to the color
components having the minimum, middle, and maximum values upon entry to the function.

    SetSat(C, s)
        if(Cmax > Cmin)
            Cmid = (((Cmid - Cmin) x s) / (Cmax - Cmin))
            Cmax = s
        else
            Cmid = Cmax = 0
        Cmin = 0
        return C;

10.2.1. hue blend mode

Creates a color with the hue of the source color and the saturation and luminosity of the backdrop color.

B(Cb, Cs) = SetLum(SetSat(Cs, Sat(Cb)), Lum(Cb))
example of hue blending

10.2.2. saturation blend mode

Creates a color with the saturation of the source color and the hue and luminosity of the backdrop color. Painting with this mode in an area of the backdrop that is a pure gray (no saturation) produces no change.

B(Cb, Cs) = SetLum(SetSat(Cb, Sat(Cs)), Lum(Cb))
example of saturation blending

10.2.3. color blend mode

Creates a color with the hue and saturation of the source color and the luminosity of the backdrop color. This preserves the gray levels of the backdrop and is useful for coloring monochrome images or tinting color images.

B(Cb, Cs) = SetLum(Cs, Lum(Cb))
example of color blending

10.2.4. luminosity blend mode

Creates a color with the luminosity of the source color and the hue and saturation of the backdrop color. This produces an inverse effect to that of the Color mode.

B(Cb, Cs) = SetLum(Cb, Lum(Cs))
example of luminosity blending

10.3. Effect of group isolation on blending

Note: In the following example, the elements used to construct the paper airplane are within a group. Each of these elements has their blend mode set to multiply.

The airplane on the left is a normal group, the airplane on the right is an isolated group.

In the isolated group, the elements within the group are composited onto an empty initial backdrop, this stops the elements within the group multiplying with the backdrop. In the normal group, the elements within the group are composited onto the initial backdrop containing the land and sky. Therefore the elements of the airplane multiply with the land and sky. In both instances, the result of the group composite is composited onto the land and sky using the normal mix-blend-mode (the default mix-blend-mode applied to the group).

example of isolated group blending

11. Security issues with compositing and blending

It is important that the timing to the blending and compositing operations is independent of the source and destination pixel. Operations must be implemented in such a way that they always take the same amount of time regardless of the pixel values.

If this rule is not followed, an attacker could infer information and mount a timing attack.

A timing attack is a method of obtaining information about content that is otherwise protected, based on studying the amount of time it takes for an operation to occur. If, for example, red pixels took longer to draw than green pixels, one might be able to reconstruct a rough image of the element being rendered, without ever having access to the content of the element.

12. Changes

The following changes were made relative to the Candidate Recommendation of 20 February 2014:

The following changes were made relative to the Last Call Working draft of 7 January 2014:

The following changes were made relative to the Last Call Working draft of 10 October 2013:

The following changes were made relative to the Working Draft of 2013-06-25:

Conformance

Document conventions

Conformance requirements are expressed with a combination of descriptive assertions and RFC 2119 terminology. The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in the normative parts of this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119. However, for readability, these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification.

All of the text of this specification is normative except sections explicitly marked as non-normative, examples, and notes. [RFC2119]

Examples in this specification are introduced with the words "for example" or are set apart from the normative text with class="example", like this:

This is an example of an informative example.

Informative notes begin with the word "Note" and are set apart from the normative text with class="note", like this:

Note, this is an informative note.

Advisements are normative sections styled to evoke special attention and are set apart from other normative text with <strong class="advisement">, like this: UAs MUST provide an accessible alternative.

Conformance classes

Conformance to this specification is defined for three conformance classes:

style sheet
A CSS style sheet.
renderer
A UA that interprets the semantics of a style sheet and renders documents that use them.
authoring tool
A UA that writes a style sheet.

A style sheet is conformant to this specification if all of its statements that use syntax defined in this module are valid according to the generic CSS grammar and the individual grammars of each feature defined in this module.

A renderer is conformant to this specification if, in addition to interpreting the style sheet as defined by the appropriate specifications, it supports all the features defined by this specification by parsing them correctly and rendering the document accordingly. However, the inability of a UA to correctly render a document due to limitations of the device does not make the UA non-conformant. (For example, a UA is not required to render color on a monochrome monitor.)

An authoring tool is conformant to this specification if it writes style sheets that are syntactically correct according to the generic CSS grammar and the individual grammars of each feature in this module, and meet all other conformance requirements of style sheets as described in this module.

Partial implementations

So that authors can exploit the forward-compatible parsing rules to assign fallback values, CSS renderers must treat as invalid (and ignore as appropriate) any at-rules, properties, property values, keywords, and other syntactic constructs for which they have no usable level of support. In particular, user agents must not selectively ignore unsupported component values and honor supported values in a single multi-value property declaration: if any value is considered invalid (as unsupported values must be), CSS requires that the entire declaration be ignored.

Experimental implementations

To avoid clashes with future CSS features, the CSS2.1 specification reserves a prefixed syntax for proprietary and experimental extensions to CSS.

Prior to a specification reaching the Candidate Recommendation stage in the W3C process, all implementations of a CSS feature are considered experimental. The CSS Working Group recommends that implementations use a vendor-prefixed syntax for such features, including those in W3C Working Drafts. This avoids incompatibilities with future changes in the draft.

Non-experimental implementations

Once a specification reaches the Candidate Recommendation stage, non-experimental implementations are possible, and implementors should release an unprefixed implementation of any CR-level feature they can demonstrate to be correctly implemented according to spec.

To establish and maintain the interoperability of CSS across implementations, the CSS Working Group requests that non-experimental CSS renderers submit an implementation report (and, if necessary, the testcases used for that implementation report) to the W3C before releasing an unprefixed implementation of any CSS features. Testcases submitted to W3C are subject to review and correction by the CSS Working Group.

Further information on submitting testcases and implementation reports can be found from on the CSS Working Group’s website at http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/. Questions should be directed to the public-css-testsuite@w3.org mailing list.

CR exit criteria

For this specification to be advanced to Proposed Recommendation, there must be at least two independent, interoperable implementations of each feature. Each feature may be implemented by a different set of products, there is no requirement that all features be implemented by a single product. For the purposes of this criterion, we define the following terms:

independent
each implementation must be developed by a different party and cannot share, reuse, or derive from code used by another qualifying implementation. Sections of code that have no bearing on the implementation of this specification are exempt from this requirement.
interoperable
passing the respective test case(s) in the official CSS test suite, or, if the implementation is not a Web browser, an equivalent test. Every relevant test in the test suite should have an equivalent test created if such a user agent (UA) is to be used to claim interoperability. In addition if such a UA is to be used to claim interoperability, then there must one or more additional UAs which can also pass those equivalent tests in the same way for the purpose of interoperability. The equivalent tests must be made publicly available for the purposes of peer review.
implementation
a user agent which:
  1. implements the specification.
  2. is available to the general public. The implementation may be a shipping product or other publicly available version (i.e., beta version, preview release, or "nightly build"). Non-shipping product releases must have implemented the feature(s) for a period of at least one month in order to demonstrate stability.
  3. is not experimental (i.e., a version specifically designed to pass the test suite and is not intended for normal usage going forward).

The specification will remain Candidate Recommendation for at least six months.

References

Normative References

[2dcontext2]
Rik Cabanier; et al. HTML Canvas 2D Context, Level 2. 28 August 2014. WD. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2dcontext2/
[CSS21]
Bert Bos; et al. Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1) Specification. 7 June 2011. W3C Recommendation. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/REC-CSS2-20110607
[CSS3BG]
Bert Bos; Elika J. Etemad; Brad Kemper. CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3. 24 July 2012. W3C Candidate Recommendation. (Work in progress.) URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/CR-css3-background-20120724/
[CSS3COLOR]
Tantek Çelik; Chris Lilley; L. David Baron. CSS Color Module Level 3. 7 June 2011. W3C Recommendation. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/REC-css3-color-20110607
[SVG11]
Erik Dahlström; et al. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 (Second Edition). 16 August 2011. REC. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG11/
[rfc2119]
S. Bradner. Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119

Informative References

[PORTERDUFF]
Thomas Porter; Tom Duff. Compositing digital images. July 1984. ISSN 0097-8930

Index

Property Index

NameValueInitialApplies toInh.%agesMediaAnimatableComputed value
mix-blend-mode<blend-mode>normalAll elements. In SVG, it applies to container elements, graphics elements and graphics referencing elements. [SVG11]noN/Avisualnoas specified
isolation<isolation-mode>autoAll elements. In SVG, it applies to container elements, graphics elements and graphics referencing elements. [SVG11]noN/Avisualnoas specified
background-blend-mode<blend-mode>normalAll HTML elementsnoN/Avisualnoas specified