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Set Matte doesn't work

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Will Eccleston
Set Matte doesn't work
on Feb 26, 2013 at 5:28:51 pm

The Set Matte effect seems very straightforward. Direct a layer or layers to use the alpha of another layer, so you can use the latter as a track matte for as many layers as you want without precomping, right?

Except that it never works for me. Doesn't do anything. I always wind up copying a matte layer a billion times or begrudgingly precomping to achieve something that it seems this effect would do easily.

Where am I going wrong?

Thanks!

Will Eccleston
Kinetiscape Films


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Paul Roper
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Feb 26, 2013 at 6:12:30 pm

Hmmm....I just tried using it, and couldn't get it to NOT work.

Forgive me for possibly stating the bleedin' obvious, but:

I assume that your "take matte from layer" layer does actually have an alpha channel?

Have you switched off the layer with the matte, so you can see the "good" layer which might be hidden behind it?

The effect works differently from the usual track matte, in that it makes the matte move WITH the layer.

Have you randomly tried switching on/off the Invert Matte, Stretch Matte options?

- Paul


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Darby Edelen
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Feb 26, 2013 at 6:13:05 pm

[Will Eccleston] "The Set Matte effect seems very straightforward. Direct a layer or layers to use the alpha of another layer, so you can use the latter as a track matte for as many layers as you want without precomping, right?"

Since the Set Matte effect is an effect it sees the matte layer as it exists before taking effects on the matte layer into account. Another thing to consider is that any transformations of the matte layer will not affect the transparency on the layer that has the Set Matte effect applied. Which is different than the Track Matte.

Those are 2 big differences between a Track Matte and the Set Matte effect. They can both be overcome by pre-composing your matte layer (for the pre-effects problem) and your matted layer (for the transformations problem) and setting both pre-comps to collapse transformations. This is extremely useful, but can cause other shortfalls in the workflow.

Sometimes you have to use a Track Matte, but with the above collapse transformations technique you should get a little more flexibility in your tool belt. I use Set Matte on almost every project I work on :)

If you upload a sample project with the issue I can diagnose exactly what the problem is and possibly give you a 'fixed' file back.

Darby Edelen


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Will Eccleston
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Feb 26, 2013 at 6:30:57 pm

You guys nailed it. What I need, almost every day, is to use one layer as a TRACK MATTE for multiple layers, and I thought that was what Set Matte WAS. I am flabbergasted that this doesn't exist. The ultimate would be for AE to just have a pickwhip like the one for parenting, and the ability to drag it to ANY layer ANYWHERE to set the Track Matte, allowing multiple layers to use one matte.

Darby, I'll try your workarounds, and thank you!

Will Eccleston
Kinetiscape Films


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:51:20 pm

> What I need, almost every day, is to use one layer as a TRACK MATTE for multiple layers, and I thought that was what Set Matte WAS


That's essentially what it is.

Darby described a couple of things to keep in mind, but Set Matte does do what you seem to be asking for.

There are more resources about this effect here that should make things more clear:
http://provideocoalition.com/ryoung/story/set_matte_a_32-bpc_matte_node/

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Jan Vork
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Oct 1, 2015 at 8:28:30 am

Same here - I was excited when I read about the effect (after not being aware of it for years....) Looked to me as a sort of node based compositing tool that prevented my Comp from cluttering with copies for all layers that had to be masked with the same matte. But unfortunately this effect only works with precomped stuff. Maybe we should make a feature request of this. But I think AE's architecture, (where everything has a strict order of rendering) does not allow this.

http://www.jaydude.nl


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:57:40 pm

No need to make that feature request. It's at the top of the list for work to be done for the first half of 2016.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects product manager and curmudgeon
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Will Eccleston
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:01:28 pm

Awesome!!!!! It has been in Motion since the very first release, and I used it a TON. It would cut the number of layers in some of my After Effects comps almost in half, and make so many things soooooo much easier. I'd Precomp a lot less too.

Thank you!

Will Eccleston
Kinetiscape Films
http://vimeo.com/album/132368


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Jan Vork
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Oct 18, 2016 at 12:46:21 pm

Hi Todd, I think it's still not there in AE 13.8.1.38.
Today I was writen a feature request, and checked the web if I wasn't wrong in understanding the feature.
And guess what: I came across my own comment, hahaha!

So now, here is the request:
http://jaydude-featurerequests.blogspot.nl/2016/10/after-effects-set-matte_...

Set Matte is a very powerfull effect: it allows to use the Alpha (or other channel) of a second layer somewhere in the Comp for a matte.
No need for the matte layer to be above the matted layer!

BUT
Set Matte is not looking at the layer at full Comp size, but to the bounding box of the layer content. Which makes it less valuable in many cases.

My request:
Add a switch called 'Use full Comp size as layer size', which does just what it says, without the need for precomping.

http://www.jaydude.nl


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Oct 18, 2016 at 8:51:51 pm

For the others who are part of this thread or who will stumble across it in the future, this is the link to file feature requests with Adobe: http://www.adobe.com/products/wishform.html

The more votes something gets, the more likely it will get done.

Todd no longer works for Adobe, so he's not going to be able to explain why nothing happened with Set Matte, but the upgrade for it still isn't here and it doesn't look to be coming in the next version either, so FILE THOSE REQUESTS, Y'ALL!

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Jan Vork
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Oct 26, 2016 at 11:49:45 am

Thanks - that's the place I dump my requests all the time. Besides that unidirectional channel, I like to share my thoughts with the community, just to prioritize things :-)

http://www.jaydude.nl


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Dean Mellis
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Apr 28, 2017 at 8:47:39 pm

I don't know if I've ever said this about an aspect of After Effects but I find this effect so extremely unreliable that it's not worth using. I wish Adobe would enhance this since it would be so beneficial.


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Jan Vork
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Apr 29, 2017 at 2:34:40 pm

It's rather unusable than unreliable.
That's because it does look at the size of a layer and stretches that to the comp, which I never need.
(Same problem with the built-in Particle effect - unusable because of an exotic positioning system.)

http://www.jaydude.nl


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on Apr 29, 2017 at 5:08:56 pm

Don't forget to file feature requests to get Set Matte fixed. As the team turns their focus towards improving AE now that the bugs of CC 2015 are (mostly) squashed, this would be a good time to fix it. It's already more useful in that we can choose Effects and Masks of layers to reference in last week's release, time for the next step! http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Matthew Woods
Re: Set Matte doesn't work
on May 1, 2017 at 3:40:04 pm

This has something that has been on my wish list for years. While you are waiting for Adobe to implement it, check out the plugin I created in FX-Factory to work around it. The plug-in was created with Premiere in mind, and doesn't work work quite the same as track matte, but it does work in AE. It might be of some help some help to you all.
All plugins created with FX-Factory are Mac only, sorry Windows users.

http://monadnock.org/1matte/

-Matt

Check out my plugins for AE, Premiere, Motion and FCP.

http://monadnock.org/plugins/


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