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Using Mask To 'Zoom' In On Photo?!

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Lindsay SimpsonUsing Mask To 'Zoom' In On Photo?!
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 4:43:01 pm

Hi all,

I'm struggling a bit to produce a smooth outcome for an effect I am trying to achieve. I am currently working on an awards show video presentation featuring a variety of photos which I would like to animate. My main strife comes when I mask a photo with the intention of the size of the mask remaining the same while the image within the mask is scaled up or down and perhaps moves using the Anchor Point to shift the focus of the image. Another way to describe this would be that I would like to zoom in/out on an image that is constrained by a frame which does not change size or position.

One method I have attempted is to draw a rectangular mask around the image at the point when it first enters the composition. This first mask is the exact size of the 'frame' I want to preserve. I then duplicate the image layer/mask, move forward in time on the original image layer and animate the scale and perhaps anchor point. Then using the duplicated image as a guide, I animate the original mask path to match the duplicated size, which is done by sight. I leave the key frames linear, but still can';t get it right as the mask still appears to grow and then reduce again. Take a look at this example below.

Masked Zoom Test

I have attempted to copy the exact values of the original 'frame' mask size, but those values scale with the layer itself and the frame does not retain it's original size.

I have feeling I am missing a trick in terms of perhaps pre-comping this or parenting, etc. Can anybody point me to a tutorial or tip that can help me smooth this out?

Please let me know if you require any other information, etc. I am running CS5 on a Windows 7 PC.

Thank you,


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Walter SoykaRe: Using Mask To 'Zoom' In On Photo?!
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 4:46:14 pm

You could create a shape layer with a rectangle of the size, shape, and position that you want (instead of the mask), then use it as an alpha matte [link] over your photo.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Chris ButtacoliRe: Using Mask To 'Zoom' In On Photo?!
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 5:23:16 pm

I would like to zoom in/out on an image that is constrained by a frame which does not change size or position

Think of it this way... The frame layer will be your top layer, like a solid color with a mask hole cut out. Your pictures will be layers underneath this frame, which you can animate size and/or position, all without touching the static frame.

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Lindsay SimpsonRe: Using Mask To 'Zoom' In On Photo?!
by on Jun 19, 2012 at 6:04:35 pm

Thanks to you both for pointing me in the right direction. I've got it sorted out and of course it's rather easy. I figured the issue was my lack of knowledge of the proper tool.

Thanks again,


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Using Mask To 'Zoom' In On Photo?!
by on Jun 20, 2012 at 1:42:08 am

IF you are going to have multiple photos animating within the same area then the Stencil Alpha Blending Mode is ideal.

You first create a Solid and use one of the Quick Mask tools to create your 'video/image' area. Place this Solid at the top of the Timeline hierarchy. Then set it's Blending Mode to Stencil Alpha. With this setup, all layers below the Solid will appear within the 'video/image' area.

To insert a background or other imagery such as text, you nest this composition and place the other footage items into this new comp.


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