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This should be simple, but......

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Mark Frazier
This should be simple, but......
on Sep 18, 2006 at 8:44:00 pm

Hello all,

I am trying to do a "highlight" to draw attention to a spot on the video, and I'm not having the luck that I can easily get in After Effects. In A/E, I simply create a layer of black over the layer I want to highlight; adjust the opacity; make a mask and manipulate the shape of the mask to conceal/reveal the important stuff. I'd really like to do it in Boris, since I'm creating the rest of the graphic there.

All I've found in the manual is how to use the alpha channel of an imported file. Is there not a SIMPLE way to make a simple mask in RED? (I fully realize the answer is probably right in front of me in this book, I'm just not finding it yet - and the deadline is close and frustration factor is high.)

Thanks in advance for all of your help.


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Re: This should be simple, but......
on Sep 19, 2006 at 12:43:23 am

Not in front of my system, but you can generate a spline object and drop that into the mask track of your color track to generate your highlight. Probably have to invert the key and/or adjust the opacity as well. Or, drop a color correction filter onto your video track, drop the brightness a bit and use the pixel chooser to only affect an area inside a user definable space.

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Ben Heusner
Re: This should be simple, but......
on Sep 19, 2006 at 5:58:38 am

One other thing to be careful of is the concept of "Upstream" and "Downstream" masks, as there are two places where you can drop your mask.

Upstream masks are applied to the face track and are taken into account when defining alpha channels and any subsequent filter.

Downstream masks are applied to the track itself and work after any filters or transformations.

Any easy way to see the difference is to add an "upstream" mask to the face track of a layer. Then change the position of the main layer. The mask and fill move together. Reset your position and move the mask to the downstream mask area. Now do the same position change. Note how the fill moves but the mask stays stationary, effectively stenciling out the layer.

It's a gotcha at first, but a very effective and powerful feature.

I'll add another vote for Editz's suggestion of getting a grip on the Pixel Chooser. Again, a great feature to have on filters and a very effective way for doing effects on one layer that would otherwise take several.


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Re: This should be simple, but......
on Sep 20, 2006 at 1:03:02 am

Yeah, or you could just use the "spotlight" filter and be done with it.

Sorry, I have a lot of filters that came with ICE and Final Effects Complete, and several spotlight filters that do exactly this effect effect were amongst them.

Still, I used to just have a mask with feathered edges in After Effects.
The closest I've got to that effect in Boris is to add a new Gradient to the mask layer, and then set the gradient type to "radial". You choose this from the gradient face options, under "colour stops" and in this settings screen, you can also change the position of the circle, or how "feathered" it appears by dragging the black and white markers along the bar.
If you wish to change the size and position of the circle, you can adjust the position parameters which appear when you select "gradient" itself ( i.e. not the face layer, but the layer above ).

So in short,
I would use the "spotlight" filter.
However, if you don't have that filter, try adding a new gradient to the track, set it to radial, and resize and position it, adjusting the darkness of outside the circle, and lightness of inside the circle, using the colour stop settings.

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