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Masking on one layer, then keeping it still in another

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Sam LanesMasking on one layer, then keeping it still in another
by on Jan 17, 2014 at 5:05:40 pm

I am trying to take a small element of a video clip, and play it in another at the corner. The subject moves around the frame a little, but I want to keep him 'centred' in a shape on the new later.

I created a square mask around the area of the clip I want to use, and have keyframed the mask to adjust for the subject moving outside of the mask frame to keep him in the middle of the mask throughout.

What is my next step to take that mask and place it in one position on a new layer, without the mask continuing to move around the new layer?

I hope I am explaining myself clearly (though I suspect I am not!). I think I may need to use some tracking somewhere, but I can't quite get my head around where!

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Darby EdelenRe: Masking on one layer, then keeping it still in another
by on Jan 17, 2014 at 6:03:25 pm

You'd need to track the subject and stabilize the footage. It would probably be best to do this with a tool like Mocha, but you could use AE's built-in point tracker if necessary. The Warp Stabilizer probably wouldn't work in this case as it analyzes the entire frame to stabilize rather than a local subject.

Once you've stabilized the footage that the easiest thing to do would use a solid layer with a mask as a track matte for it.

Alternatively you could do this all manually if instead of keyframing just the mask after you've drawn it out you could keyframe the mask path as well as the position of the layer and use the Pan Behind Tool (shortcut: y) to move the layer under the mask.

Darby Edelen


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Sam LanesRe: Masking on one layer, then keeping it still in another
by on Jan 20, 2014 at 6:59:25 am

A-ha! You've pointed me in the right direction.

After masking the footage and manually keyframing (the movement was massive, or the clip very long!) I was able to 'Stabilize Motion' which held the footage still exactly as I wanted.

Thank you for the pointers Darby!

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