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Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace

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Michael Garske
Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Oct 16, 2012 at 3:51:28 pm

I need to convert a shape layer into a mask.

I'm starting with an illustrator file and I then use "Create shapes from vector layer" to get a clean shape. I've tried auto-trace to generate masks, but I can't seem to get good results with that.

I found this documentation for masks and shapes:
http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/creating-shapes-masks.html

under the first section CREATING MASKS it says, "Convert a shape path to a mask path by copying the shape’s path to the Mask Path property."

How do I go about doing this exactly? And is this the simplest way to make a mask from a shape or vector layer?

Thanks in advance for your advice, if I can figure out a way to do this quickly and easily it's going to be a HUGE help. I'm still new to After Effects so I'm sure this is an easy one for someone out there.


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Stefan Hinze
Re: Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Oct 16, 2012 at 5:52:29 pm

Hey,

try this:
Illustrator / select Shape or Path / Copy / AE / new Solid / make a mask on it (any mask will do it) / selct the Mask / Paste

Maybe you need to scale to the right size...

Hope this helps!


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Oct 17, 2012 at 1:19:08 am

It's quite a simple process. The source for confusion could be that your target layer, should already have a Mask shape. Otherwise, the pasting procedure will not work.

Here's the workflow -
1) select the Path property from Shape Layer - ensure that you select the word Path, it has a stopwatch icon next to it

2) select the target layer. create a temporary mask if it doesn't already have one. select the Mask Path property and paste (CTRL+V)

Copying a Mask Path to a Shape Layer's Path property is accomplished analogously.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Michael Garske
Re: Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:55:00 pm

Thanks so much for your help!


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:35:27 pm

One important thing to take note with creating Shape Layers with one of the Quick Mask/Shape Tools is to depress the ALT (PC), Option (Mac) key when drawing. This creates paths that are interchangeable between a mask and shape path. Without the ALT/Option modifier key, a Shape Layer's path is fixed to its designated shape.

The trick is to notice the absence/existence of the Path property for a Shape Layer.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Michael Powers
Re: Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:16:27 pm

Great tip about the alt key. Thnx!

Michael Powers
Creative Director, Animation
Crameronline.com



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Michael Powers
Re: Convert a shape into a mask without auto-trace
on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:19:41 pm

Also try this script from the redefinery:

http://www.redefinery.com/ae/view.php?item=rd_ShapesToMasks

Michael Powers
Creative Director, Animation
Crameronline.com



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