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Mask or shape layer or both?

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Josey Zadoria
Mask or shape layer or both?
on Nov 13, 2016 at 4:09:51 pm

Hello everyone.
I am currently working on a project that requires a simple reveal but I am stumped as to how to achieve this and need a nudge in the right direction to solve this problem.

In the attached image you will see a map with a red area with an encircled shape in red. It is the red part that I am trying to solve. The circle that surrounds the symbol is animated to close smaller around the symbol, which in this case is a Nazi Symbol that is surrounded on the 1945 map of Germany. Also the outer area of the circle which is also in red is feathered to give it a nice blend and of course it has a transparent effect such as a reduced opacity.

I tried several things such as creating a solid and tried using a mask by inverting it and using the expansion and feather options but that doesn't solve the problem, and I get border issues as well, as the area and the effect you see in the picture is much smaller than the entire composition. I also tried a shape layer by using the stroke effect but combining the feathering look of the outer area of the red and animating the hole so they are as one is where I am having problems solving. Also this is a separate comp that will used in a main comp in a 3D space with camera motion. So I need this to be animated in another comp, as I will be placing this in the main comp as a 3D object using a separate key frame in the main come by rotating the entire map.

1. My question is how do I achieve the outer feather technique of the red area so it blends nicely like in the photo?.
2. Notice in the picture the hole has sort of a stroke? How do I animated the hole to get smaller around the symbol and have a stroke effect as well?

This picture was taken from the history channel's program titled "Hunting Hitler Series" and I saw the graphics composition and liked it so I thought I could do something similar in style. This one aspect is driving me to pull my hair out of my head and would appreciate if anyone can give me some tips on solving this problem. Everything else I have figured out but this.



Thank you and will look forward to any help I can get with this.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Mask or shape layer or both?
on Nov 13, 2016 at 6:44:06 pm

Make a solid in your desired color. Put it above the layer to be affected. Make a mask on it in the design of your choice. Feather it to taste. Use the Color b;end mode. Done.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Mask or shape layer or both?
on Nov 13, 2016 at 10:01:51 pm

let's break it down. the round stroke is simple enough. a shape layer with just a stroke

the second shape is the outer red color. a solid layer with a mask and a feather. this is the first mask. the second mask is set to subtract and you take the path from the shape and paste it to the mask path so they would be the same. or better, link them by an expression (alt click on the shape mask path and drag the pickwhip to the mask path)

set the blend mode to linear light and reduce the opacity


Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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