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make a psd layer into a mask for layer below in AE

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katherine clark
make a psd layer into a mask for layer below in AE
on Sep 5, 2012 at 4:29:50 am

I have a black layer with transparency where I want to mask out the layer below. I can reverse this if needed. I remember using luma matte to mask a layer underneath a solid black or solid white layer, but I cannot seem to remember the right way to do this. So how can I us a psd layer to mask a layer or comp that is below it?


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Jeff Hinkle
Re: make a psd layer into a mask for layer below in AE
on Sep 5, 2012 at 2:05:41 pm

Put your black and white layer (we'll call it A) above the layer you want to mask (B). Set the Track Matte (shows up as TrkMat in the timeline panel; you may need to hit the "Toggle Switches/Modes" button if you don't see it) on layer B to Luma Matte. Anyplace that's black in A will be transparent in B, anyplace white will be visible. Anything gray will give partial transparency.

Now, if A is a black layer with transparency, you'll want to use an Alpha Matte. Same principle, but anyplace that's opaque will be visible in B and anything transparent will likewise be transparent. If you're going Alpha Matte, the opaque area color is irrelevant. It could be black, white, rainbow colored, a lovely photo of a sunset, doesn't matter. All After Effects looks at is opacity.

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