Jason Boone. Animated masks are my favorite of all the great features inside of Adobe After Effects. With only a handful of customizable attributes, an animated mask can pack a punch. When working with motion graphics, think of it as your Swiss Army Knife. The Adobe help page for animated masks can be a little overwhelming. The spot will consist of two different text elements and a handful of other graphics and illustrations.
I want both of these words to have a similar minimalist look—something simple yet sleek. Each word will come on and off screen via a reveal animation effect. First off, let me quickly explain how the tools work because this can be a bit confusing. These two tools help you create various shapes, but there are two different types of shakes that we create in AE.
If you draw a shape with a layer selectedthen you will create a mask. If you draw a shape with no layer selectedthen AE will create a new shape layer. I can create the horizontal line using the Pen tool this will be a shape layer, not a mask.
Once I have the Pen tool selected I will choose a white stroke with a width of 5 pixels and no fill. Two clicks one shift-click to keep things straight will give me my line, along with a new shape layer in the timeline panel. This horizontal line will serve as the object I can use to reveal my text layer. To create the illusion that the horizontal line is revealing the text, I need to apply an animated mask to the text layer. I can add a mask to a layer with the same Pen tool that I used to create my line object.
In this case, though, I will use the Rectangle tool to get a more symmetrical mask. This will give the illusion that the line is revealing the text. Again, this is what I came up with. Now that my text is in place and ready to go, I can begin to focus on a few of the other shots.In addition, an image can include an invisible fourth channel, called an alpha channelthat contains transparency information.
Sometimes, such an image is referred to as an RGBA image, indicating that it contains an alpha channel. Similarly, choosing to output to 32 bits per pixel implies an output depth of 8 bits per channel for each of four channels: RGBA.
Some programs can store multiple alpha channels in one image, but After Effects only interprets the fourth channel as an alpha channel. Note: The term alpha channel technically refers to the fourth A channel in an RGBA image file, regardless of whether that channel is used for communicating transparency information. However, since that fourth channel is used so often to communicate transparency information, the terms alpha and transparency have become nearly synonymous in common usage.
It's important to remember, though, that this connection is arbitrary. Some formats may use other channels for transparency information, and other formats may use the fourth channel for something other than transparency information. The Knoll Unmult plug-in can be used to create an alpha channel from the dark areas of a layer. This works well for a layer with a light effect such as a lens flare or fire that you want to composite on top of another layer.
For information, see the Red Giant Software website. When you view an alpha channel in the Composition panel, white indicates complete opacity, black indicates complete transparency, and shades of gray indicate partial transparency. A matte is a layer or any of its channels that defines the transparent areas of that layer or another layer.
White defines opaque areas, and black defines transparent areas. A mask in After Effects is a path that is used as a parameter to modify layer attributes, effects, and properties. The most common use of a mask is the modification of an alpha channel of a layer, which determines the transparency of the layer at each pixel.
Another common use of a mask is as a path along which to animate text. See Creating and animating text on a path. For more information on paths in general, see About paths. Closed-path masks can create transparent areas for a layer.
Open paths cannot create transparent areas for a layer but are useful as parameters for an effect. You can draw masks in common geometric shapes—including polygons, ellipses, and stars—with the shape tools, or you can use the Pen tool to draw an arbitrary path. In most ways, drawing mask paths is the same as drawing shape paths on shape layers, though the editing and interpolation of mask paths have a few additional features. You can link a mask path to a shape path using expressions, which allows you to bring the benefits of masks into shape layers, and vice versa.
See Creating shapes and masks and Editing and animating shape paths and masks. The position of a mask in the stacking order in the Timeline panel affects how it interacts with other masks. You can drag a mask to different positions within the Masks property group in the Timeline panel. The Mask Opacity property for a mask determines the influence that a closed mask has on the alpha channel of the layer inside the mask area.
The area outside the mask is always transparent. To invert what is considered inside and what is considered outside for a specific mask, select Invert next to the mask name in the Timeline panel. Mask paths are stored inside a composition in a project file. Note: When working with a mask path—rather than the entire mask, including its other properties—select the Mask Path property.
This is especially important when transferring mask paths to shape paths, motion paths, and so on. Note: Create a project with compositions just for storing complex masks.
When you want to use a mask from another project, import that project into your current project. Note: You can also save masks as animation presets. See Animation presets.
To help you identify and work with masks, the Composition and Layer panels outline a mask path with color, and the Timeline panel displays that same color next to the name of the mask. By default, After Effects uses the color yellow for all masks.
To make each mask more distinctive, you can manually change the color of a mask using the Timeline panel, or you can set After Effects to cycle through mask colors for new masks.You create a shape layer by drawing in the Composition panel with a shape tool or the Pen tool.
You can then add shape attributes to existing shapes or create shapes within that shape layer. By default, if you draw in the Composition panel when a shape layer is selected, you create a shape within that shape layer, above the selected shapes or group of shapes.
If you draw in the Composition panel using a shape tool or Pen tool when an image layer other than a shape layer is selected, you create a mask.
For more information, see Create masks in After Effects. Note: Before drawing in the Composition panel to create a shape layer, press F2 and deselect all layers.
Usually, a new shape has a fill and a stroke that correspond to the Fill and Stroke settings in the Tools panel at the time that the shape is drawn. You can use the same controls in the Tools panel to change these attributes for a selected shape after it has been drawn.
Adobe After Effects: Masks & Track Mattes
Shapes created from text are created with fills and strokes that match the fills and strokes of the original text. You can create a shape layer from a vector art footage layer, and then modify it. With the ability to bevel and extrude objects in After Effects, you can extrude the artwork, for example, extruded logos.
For more information, see Extruding text and shape layers. A matching shape layer appears above the footage layer, and the footage layer is muted. Note: To activate and cycle through the shape tools, press Q. A polygon is a star without an Inner Radius or Inner Roundness property. So, the name of the shape created for a polygon or a star is the same: polystar. You can create a mask by dragging with a shape tool on a selected layer in the Composition panel or Layer panel.
You can create a shape by dragging with a shape tool on a selected shape layer in the Composition panel. If you drag with a shape tool in the Composition panel with no layer selected, you create a shape on a new shape layer. Note: To draw a mask on a shape layer, click the Tool Creates Mask button in the Tools panel with a shape tool active. When you create a shape by dragging with a shape tool in the Composition panel, you create a parametric shape path.
You can release the key before you complete the drag operation. All mask paths are Bezier paths. See About shapes and shape layers. Dragging starts when you click in the Composition panel or Layer panel to begin drawing, and ends when you release the mouse button.
Pressing modifier keys at different times during a single dragging operation achieves different results:. To reposition a shape or mask as you are drawing, hold the spacebar or the middle mouse button while dragging. To scale a circle, ellipse, square, rounded square, rectangle, or rounded rectangle around its center while drawing, hold the Ctrl Windows or Command Mac OS key after you begin dragging. Note: Each shape tool retains the settings of the most recent drawing operation with that tool.
For example, if you draw a star and modify the number of points to be 10, then the next star that you draw will also have 10 points. To reset settings for a tool and create a shape with the default settings, double-click the tool in the Tools panel. See Create a shape or mask the size of the layer. Optional If drawing a rounded rectangle or rounded square, do the following before releasing the mouse button:.Creating and using masks is a fundamental aspect of getting the best from After Effects, here we will look at the process for creating masks from the shape menu, which is the most straightforward way to implement a mask.
This is a basic tutorial about the professional video editing software After Effects. However, if you still think it is difficult to use, consider Wondershare FilmoraProwhich is a professional video editor for intermediate users who want to enter a higher video editing level.
You can mask video with it to unleash your creativity. It supports rectangle, ellipse and freehand masking mode. Download it now to have a try. This is purely to illustrate the technique, you can use a mask on any type of layer you wish in your projects, as we will discuss later on. It is important to understand how the shape tool works for effective masking, the tool is dual purpose and as such it is important to follow the correct steps to get the effect you want. Using the shape tool will create a mask ONLY if the layer you wish to mask is selected in the timeline, if nothing is selected, the tool will create a shape layer.
Inverted works in reverse, everything is visible but what is inside the mask. This is the foundation of creativity within After Effects, but we now have our text and our mask, what can we actually do with it? As with most things in After Effects, creating movement using masks is based around the keyframe function.
We set our keyframes in the timeline, and After Effects animates the points in between for us. This allows us to create some interesting effects with just a simple rectangular mask and a single word of text. We start off with our first keyframe.
Within the text layer on the timeline we selects the Mask and then click the stopwatch next to Mask Path to create our first keyframe at the start of this clip. Now we have our start position we can create our movement by advancing the time cursor and then adjusting the mask for the next keyframe.
As the below shot shows, the controls for the mask extend beyond simply moving it, you can adjust the opacity, feather the mask to blend it, even change its shape as part of the movement. In this case though, I have simply advanced the timeline 5 seconds and shrunk the mask to one corner, and created the second keyframe. The next keyframe is created in the same manner, here I have advanced the time cursor and moved the mask upwards to the right of the text.
So what we have so far is the mask starting off revealing the whole word, then shrinking into one corner, then moving up to the top left, I will now create two more keyframes to move it across to the top right of the text, and final the bottom right. Whilst obviously, such a simple sequence is not going to win any awards, it does illustrate the basic steps of manipulating masks created from the shape tool and I am sure you can begin to see the possibilities, add in movement in the layer under the mask and you can produce some amazing effects very quickly indeed.
However, as we have seen, there are further options to adjust the mask effects so now it is time to look at these in a little detail as well. Then using the shape tool with the blue layer selected, I created 3 separate rectangular masks as we can see here. This shows all three masks in the default form, I have overlapped them to illustrate how you can change the various mask modes for different effects.
We can change this to seven different modes, as we can see here. As we can see, it negates the mask that is underneath it, but has no effect on the one that is above it.
Changing to Intersect inverts the mask it overlaps apart from the area of intersection, and finally. These 4 are the main modes that will be used in mask work, the others can have their uses, experimenting with them is the best way to understand their effects in various situations. Masking forms the basic building block of many techniques that are used in After Effects to create spectacular effects, and understanding the workflow and possibilities at the base level is an important step in using the full extent of After Effects, although our simple movement is quite a basic clip, it features the fundamentals of movement and mask adjustment that all aspects of masking require.
Whilst many try and jump in at the deep end with all the advanced techniques, it is important to have a good understanding of the underlying processes and how they interact to be successful in the long term. Generally rated 4. Wondershare FilmoraPro. Benjamin Arango. Other Recommend Products. Benjamin Arango staff Editor.Ideally, the mask would follow a path that would be imported from Illustrator as would the vector artwork. Look up old "swirl design", "growing network" or logo reveal tutorials.
This used to be all the rage ten years ago and there are tons of videos. The techniques still apply - anything from indeed animating masks to using duplicate layers as track mattes with animated strokes as wipes to using all sorts of conventional wipes here and there. Hello, have done alot of searching but still have not found anything that describes what I'm looking to achieve.
Trim paths come close, but that only works on a simple path. The vector shape below is more complex:. Turn on suggestions. Auto-suggest helps you quickly narrow down your search results by suggesting possible matches as you type. Showing results for. Did you mean:. How to animate a mask reveal? New HereJan 05, Copy link to clipboard Copied.
Do any tutorials for this exist online? Thanks in advance, Anthony. Bookmark Follow Report. Community Guidelines. Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more. Preview Exit Preview. You must be signed in to add attachments.
Jump to latest reply. Reply Loading New HereJan 06, Copy link to clipboard Copied. Thanks for the reply, I'll do some digging around. New HereJan 13, Copy link to clipboard Copied. Install the app.At some point in any motion graphic project, you will need to use one or multiple After Effects mask on your composition and I have to say even after 10 years of motion graphic experience I am still learning new tips and tricks to work with masks. Essentially a mask in After Effect is a shape that hide or show a specific area of a layer or multiple layers on your composition.
There are 2 type of masks you can use in After Effects — regular mask — shape layer mask. Regular mask are often used for rotoscoping and morphing because you can quickly mask multiple frame. There are many ways to modify after effects masks I will go over the essential below.
If you move you cursor further more on the corner you should also see the rotate cursor which will allow you to rotate your mask.
Tips: Once you have created you shape layer mask you can quickly change the fill color and stroke color — Just hold ALT then Click on the fill color or the stroke color, demo below. Uncheck Rotobezier to have more control on your points vertices with Bezier handles.
Suppose you wish the face of the cat as is and the outside in flames, so I may want to apply fire particles effect in the outside layer only. Thanks for your feedback Pablo, Not sure what you mean, would you be able to send me an example on info motionisland.
I am a beginner with AE, i would like to know how i can add a border on a movie! And i would like to know, if is possible, to know how i can add a particle border that follows that special shape with 2 rounded and 2 square corners! In Photoshop is easy to create that special shape, but in AE, no! Many thanks in advance! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. View Larger Image. Type of masks in After Effects? How to create a mask in After Effects? How to modify a mask in after effects? How to use the Mask Modes in After Effects? Uncheck Rotobezier to have more control on your points vertices with Bezier handles How to edit and modify a shape layer mask?
How to Create a Mask from a Shape with After Effects
Related Posts. Leave A Comment Cancel reply Comment. Go to Top.You animate mask paths and shape paths in much the same way that you animate other properties: set keyframes for the Mask Path or Path property, set paths at each keyframe, and After Effects will interpolate between these specified values. Rotoscoping or just roto in casual usage is the drawing or painting on frames of a movie, using visual elements in the movie as a reference.
A common kind of rotoscoping is tracing a path around an object in a movie and using that path as a mask to separate the object from its background. This allows you to work with the object and the background separately, so you can do things like apply different effects to the object than to its background or replace the background. Note: After Effects includes the Roto Brush and Refine Edge tools, which can be used to accomplish many of the same tasks as conventional rotoscoping, but in far less time.
Note: If a background or foreground object is a consistent, distinct color, you can use color keying instead of rotoscoping to remove the background or object. If the footage was shot with color keying in mind, color keying is much easier than rotoscoping. See Keying introduction and workflow. Rotoscoping in After Effects is mostly a matter of drawing masks, animating the mask path, and then using these masks to define a matte.
Many additional tasks and techniques make this job easier, such as using motion tracking on the object before you begin drawing masks, and then using the motion tracking data to make a mask or matte automatically follow the object. This video from the After Effects CS5: Learn By Video series shows how to combine motion tracking and rotoscoping to isolate and selectively color-correct an actor's face. Scott Squires provides a pair of movies on his Effects Corner website that show how to rotoscope, both painting and masking:.
With KeyTweak, you can modify a few keyframes manually, and the script modifies the remaining keyframes in between accordingly. KeyTweak is especially useful for Mask Path keyframes in a rotoscoping workflow. Rich Young provides several resources for rotoscoping on his After Effects Portal website. You can select shape layers and their components at any of four levels of selection, referred to as selection modes :. Layer selection mode. The entire shape layer is selected.
Transformations apply to the transform properties for the layer, in the Transform property group that is at the same level as the Contents property group. An entire shape group is selected. Transformations apply to the transform properties for the group, in the Transform property group within the shape group in the Timeline panel. Multiple vertices on one or more Bezier paths are selected. A free-transform bounding box is shown around the vertices in the Composition panel.
By operating on this box, you can move multiple vertices with a single transformation. Transformations apply to the vertices themselves, which are contained within the Path property in the Timeline panel. Only vertices are selected.
In this mode, you can perform path-editing operations, such as adding vertices to a path and moving individual vertices. Note: When a pen tool is active, path-editing mode is active.
For information on selecting masks, see Select masks, segments, and vertices. Press again to select all shapes. Press again to select all layers. Unlike layers, masks can have more than one level of selection. You can select a mask as a whole path, which is appropriate when you want to move or resize a mask. However, if you want to change the path of a mask, select one or more points on it.