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Is it possible to make a stroke around an object that occludes every layer underneath EXCEPT the background?

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Nick Ha
Is it possible to make a stroke around an object that occludes every layer underneath EXCEPT the background?
on Nov 19, 2016 at 5:04:39 am
Last Edited By Nick Ha on Nov 19, 2016 at 5:21:27 am

I'm making some relatively simple motion graphics animations using nothing but static white icons and text on a purple background. Problem is, whenever these objects cross paths during the animation, they all kinda blend together since they're all the same color.

I was curious if there was a way to make it so that all of these objects had a stroke around it that "knocked out" the layers underneath so that you could see the background.

Right now I've just resorted to giving all of them a colored stroke that matches the background. Only problem is, this looks weird if the background is a different color, like a gradient.

Here's an example:

Without stroke. Can't distinguish objects from each other.
https://i1.someimage.com/M4ptWGs.png

With matching stroke and background. Intended effect, but limits the background to one color.
https://i1.someimage.com/Zt8Q3W7.png

With stroke and gradient background. Stroke is visible against background.
https://i1.someimage.com/xTrsKj3.png

Any tips?


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Is it possible to make a stroke around an object that occludes every layer underneath EXCEPT the background?
on Nov 19, 2016 at 2:11:05 pm

the solution you offered seems good enough for me ☺ but if you want to get fancy, this could be done with a little precomposing.

here's how I would approach this:

assuming these are shape layers (the same principle can work for any layer) I would create this setup for the object layer: bottom layer is the fill, upper layer is the stroke.



then I would set the stroke layer blend mode to silhouette alpha mode. it will knock out all opaque layers underneathe



I will precompose this and press the collapse switch so it will respect this setup in my animation comp



now I can duplicate the man layer and its stroke will knock out all layers underneath



after I am done I can pre-compose again, this time not setting the collapse switch. I will add my background layer:



Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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