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cannot animate layer mask on a video layer

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Ben Weinstein
cannot animate layer mask on a video layer
on Jul 28, 2012 at 8:52:41 am

I realize this is a job for aftereffects however I would like to use photoshop CS5 Extended's video capabilities to make it happen. I have two video layers, and I want to use a layer mask on the top layer. I must change the layer mask every few frames, and I cannot figure a way out to animate it. I do not need photoshop to create tween frames, in fact I do not mind tweaking each frame but I cannot seem to add keyframes for a layer mask. So anytime I change the layer mask, it becomes the one layer mask for the entire video layer. It seems like if I can apply a layer mask to video, I would be able to change that layer mask frame to frame. The only peramaters I can change using keyframes are layer mask position and layer mask enable.However I do not want to change its position. I want it to stay where it is and I want to adjust it using the brush tool/black and white paint, frame to frame. Any guidance would be hugely appreciated. Some more details: I imported the 1920X1080 QTs into photoshop by choosing LAYER>VIDEO LAYERS>NEW VIDEO LAYER FROM FILE. There are two video files. Thanks in advance!

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Erik Waluska
Re: cannot animate layer mask on a video layer
on Jul 29, 2012 at 4:41:37 pm

This may help:

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Michael Colarik
Re: cannot animate layer mask on a video layer
on May 10, 2016 at 11:41:58 pm

Was looking for answer on this to. I wish Adobe would add in, but will most likely take a long time to implement. I'm posting 4 years later from original. =^D

Thought of this approach and tested quickly. Works! But may not be as easy as black/white painting on linked mask.

CONS: May not be 100%...pending on complexity of what you're trying to create. For me...doing a hand animation in PS Blank Video Layer in Timeline mode. Be mindful of setup too. A bit tricky to comprehend WHY to do in this order.

Step 1: Create Blank Video Layer — Name is "Art"
Step 2: Create Animation on "Art" video layer
Step 3: DUPLICATE (Ctrl+J) on "Art" video layer — Rename to "Ani_Clip_Mask" — Now move below the "Art" Video Layer.
**NOTE: It's worth explaining why to duplicate after the animation is created. You must understand how clipping masks work. Please do some exploration. Basically the Layer on the bottom will become the CLIPPING MASK, and whatever pixel/vector art data is present will reveal the layer linked above it.

Step 4: Create a Clipping Mask. To LINK a layer to be CLIPPED by the layer below it: Right click top layer > Create Clipping Mask
**NOTE: I prefer much easier shortcut: Press & Hold the ALT key. Now hover mouse between the 2 layers you want to create clipping mask'll see an icon appear with downward arrow and square — LEFT CLICK to assign. (You can LEFT CLICK again while holding ALT to unlink clipping mask).

Step 5: Use Erase tool on "Ani_Clip_Mask" layer on desired frames thus MASKING the "Art" Video Layer.

Hopefully, you understand why to duplicate artwork after animated. Otherwise, it's much more work to get desired result. This is my present work-around until Adobe decides to add in Animated Layer Masks into the Timeline.

(Hope this helps others...I've gotten so much help over years on here)

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