Blends are a new part of making maps with Pro.  Skye gives us a sense of how it works.

Hello everyone,

This blog is an introduction to the blend mode in ArcGIS Pro.

The blend mode is Pro is a useful tool that makes our GIS maps look great graphically without the help of Photoshop.

Here is a base map part of the Port Hills. We can easily tell the boundary of the land, but the map looks flat.

To give the map some depth and dimension, I will first try using a hillshade effect in them. Hillshades enhance the three-dimensional appearance of the terrain by using patterns of light and shadow to create a 3D representation of the surface that makes it easier to identify landscape features. To create this effect, I will use the digital elevation model (DEM) data.

After I got the DEM layer added to my map, I have used a raster function to apply the hillshade effect, by the following steps:

1. Open the Raster Functions pane.

2. Expand the Surface functions and select the Hillshade option (or search for Hillshade in the Raster Functions pane).

3. Set Raster to the DEM dataset.

4. There are two types of Hillshade, Traditional or Multidirectional.

5. Click the Create new layer button at the bottom of the Raster Functions pane to create a new layer in the current map.

The two map below shows the traditional hillshade (left) and the mutildirectional hillshade (right).

In this case, I will choose the traditional hillshade.

Now, I am going to use the blend mode, to blend the hillshade layer to the base map below.

To apply the blend mode, follow these steps.

  1. Click the Hillshade layer in the Contents pane to highlight it.

  1. Under the layer’s contextual tab, click the Appearance tab.
  2. Click the Layer Blend drop-down menu to choose a blend mode. There are 20 different modes as shown in the table below.

Normal mode

Lightening mode

Darkening mode


Divergent mode

Colour combination mode


Screen Multiply Difference Overlay Luminosity
Colour Dodge Colour Burn Exclusion Hard Light Saturation
Lighten Darken Soft Light Hue
Linear Dodge Linear Burn Linear Light Colour
Pin Light
Vivid Light

Here is an example of the multiply mode, the appearance of the blend mode can be adjusted by changing the parameters under the enhancement.

Here we go, now the base map has more depth by applying the blend mode.Thank you for reading my blog.