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Animating multiple masks simultaneously

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Mike MacKenzie
Animating multiple masks simultaneously
on Nov 5, 2015 at 5:08:24 am

I have a client request, and I know how to do this the hard way, but I am hoping there's a better way.

Picture a frame split into quads, with different sources in each quad. The quads are but up to each other, but the borders between them are in constant motion, as well as changing proportion slightly. A better way of saying this might be, imagine the screen split down the middle both vertically and horizontally, creating four windows. The borders between the windows are constantly shifting so that each individual window is a rectangle of dynamically varying proportions. There is no visible background, the edges of all the frames are touching.

The only way I can think to do this is by animating each of the four masks individually, but there has to be a better way (this is a long format project with a lot of content). I feel like there is an obvious solution that I am just not seeing. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Animating multiple masks simultaneously
on Nov 5, 2015 at 3:19:21 pm

You could do this with two white solids, one which is half the width but full height (plus some extra for the motion) and covers half the screen vertically (left or right), then another solid half the height but full width (plus room for motion) and covers half the screen horizontally (top or bottom). If you put wiggle expressions to the solids and precomp the two (as separate precomps) with a black background (a black static solid in each precomp for background), you can then combine them in lighten/darken blend modes for a total of four different track mattes for the four quadrants of the screen.

Since you are using the same two precomps as the basis for all quadrants, the animations will match up.

I hope that is understandable...

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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Animating multiple masks simultaneously
on Nov 5, 2015 at 3:23:42 pm

Scratch that, there is a much easier method: Use a Null with a wiggle for the position and draw the four quadrants solids (track mattes) with some extra on the outside to account for motion, then link them all to the same Null.

Of course you can animate the Null in some other way, doesn't have to be wiggled.

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