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Problems With Track Matte and Set Matte for Precomp with Collapse Transformations toggled

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Cameron Pinegar
Problems With Track Matte and Set Matte for Precomp with Collapse Transformations toggled
on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:19:06 pm

Hi, I'm stumped with a simple issue but I can't find a workaround on any existing forums.

I'm building a mouth for a character that exists inside a precomp. I need to be able to scale the mouth infinitely, so I have to keep the collapse transformations button toggled for my mouth precomp.

My mouth is a simple set up, but for reasons I won't get into now, I have to keep my mouth in a separate precomp from the head. The precomp is made up of three layers, including a shape layer for the tongue and a shape layer with a path for the teeth, and then a shape layer for the overall shape of the mouth. The teeth and tongue need to use the mouth shape as a clipping mask. To accomplish this, I have used the set matte effect on the teeth layer and the tongue layer with the alpha of the mouth layer selected. The set up is simple and works great.

*THE PROBLEM* is, when I return to my main comp and toggle the Collapse Transformations button on the mouth precomp, the track mattes used in the precomp are fixed and won't scale or move with my character's head layer.

Is there any way to use track mattes and still have continuous rasterization? Or is the only solution to create a giant rasterized version of the mouth?

Here's a link the basic version of my problem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3v1vuy3850sfw9j/Head%20Problem.aep?dl=0


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Problems With Track Matte and Set Matte for Precomp with Collapse Transformations toggled
on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:45:44 pm

Hey Cameron,

do the following:

1. Duplicate 'Mouth_Shape' layer twice. Call it 'Mouth Matte'
2. Link its 'rectangle size' to original 'Mouth_Shape' (in case you distort it, duplicate mattes will follow.)
3. Turn off 'Set Matte' effects.
4. Place each of 'Mouth Matte's' above 'Tongue_Shape' and 'Teeth_Stroke'
5. Set their layer 'Track Matte' to Alpha.

Scaling now will be possible in pre-comps.

If I am not mistaken, with 'Set Matte' effect, rasterization does not work due to processing order of effects/pre-comps.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.


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Cameron Pinegar
Re: Problems With Track Matte and Set Matte for Precomp with Collapse Transformations toggled
on Feb 15, 2019 at 9:32:15 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond Tomas! Nice solution.

I've used that method before and It does help me accomplish what I'm going for. The file I shared is a really dumbed down version of what I'm actually doing. The reason I wanted to use Set Matte is that I need to mask out 10-15 layers using that base mouth shape. So the solution feels a little clunky in my scenario because I will just have to duplicate the mouth matte 10-15 times for my final result. However, based on what you said about the render order and some other things I've now read, I think you're right. This is probably the only way to do it.

Thanks again.


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