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Is it possible to hide Gmask outline without hiding Axis as well?

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Dustin Bowser
Is it possible to hide Gmask outline without hiding Axis as well?
on Apr 4, 2013 at 9:28:05 pm

I'm working on a shot where I need to take a certain little patch, freeze frame it, and then animate it as a piece over another part of the shot to cover up something. I need to be able to translate, rotate, and scale it, along with tweaking the mask vertices as I go so that it remains blended on top of the thing I'm trying to patch.

I'm trying to figure out a way to have the masking behave a bit more like how After Effects behaves, where, when you move your element, or scale or rotate, the mask shape comes along with it, so you can always make little adjustments to your patch in context.

One of the frustrations I've come across for such things in Flame and Smoke is that, I create my little patch by piping it into an Action, with a Gmask around my element as the matte. Then I can move it around within Action, but have to view my masking out of context outside of action, so my best bet is to do a 2-Up view with my Non-repositioned element with the Gmask on the left, and the Action output on the right where I try to eyeball where I should animate my mask to. What I end up getting is a weirdly animating Gmask on top of my freeze-framed element that is just sitting there. It seems that this is the case whether I do the Gmask outside of Action in BFX/CFX and pipe it in, or use a Gmask in the keyer in Action on my element. Either way my mask is just sitting on top of my freeze framed element.

I've tried to do the same thing outside of action, using just Gmasks, 2D transforms, and LogicOps, but it's the same problem, where when you go into the Gmask node, the FRONT that you have to look at in order to work with your curves and vertices is not at the same place as your element after it has been repositioned with a 2D transform.

A third method I've been trying to get to work, though this would work only in Flame, is by doing all the masking within Action with the Action Gmask node, and parenting the Axis of my element, to the Axis of my Action Gmask, that way when I animate my element's Axis, the mask follows along.

Of course now this comes with it's own frustrating feature, in that now I have to look at my element with the orange Gmask outline around it if I want to animate it, and can't find a way to toggle it off so that I can properly get a look at my comp, while still being able to manipulate and animate the Axis.

If I toggle Ctrl-i to get rid of the icons, it takes them all with it, and without being able to see the Axis, it won't let me reposition it, even if I'm using my Translate, Scale, or Rotate tools, but, at least my mask is following along with my element so that I can make little tweaks to the vertices IN CONTEXT of the actual positioning of the element within my comp.

It seems that this can't be the best way to work, and was wondering if anyone with much more experience can shine a light into this workflow, or into a better way to be working with this stuff.

Any help is really appreciated. Thanks!

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Aaron Neitz
Re: Is it possible to hide Gmask outline without hiding Axis as well?
on Apr 9, 2013 at 12:42:06 am

I don't think you can get it to work the way you want. It's one of those legacy idiosyncrasies of FFI.

What I'd do, in Action: live action is background layer. Media 1 is your freeze frame tracked onto the footage. Media 2 is the live action with a mask that cuts a hole out of it to reveal the freeze frame. That way when you're in Keyer for Media 2 you can view the gmask in Action (F6) and dynamically see the masking.

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