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Pre-comps, adjustment layers, collapse transformations and masks/track mattes - nothing seems to work!

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Theo BuchinskasPre-comps, adjustment layers, collapse transformations and masks/track mattes - nothing seems to work!
by on Feb 6, 2016 at 12:38:45 am

I have been desperately searching the forums to figure out a solution to my problem, and just can't seem to figure this out.

I have a project, where I have several pre-comps to build the final look. This is to be a template for something I need to replicate with edits 35 times. (awards show, these are the 'and the nominees are' video rolls)

I have a base layer, that is essentially a pane of glass, that needs to have text overtop it. In that base layer, I built an adjustment layer to get the glass to blur/distort everything underneath it, and then have collapse transformation applied to all compositions stacked above it. (there are 4 layers of compositions : 1. glass layer> 2. glass with text and a video file, I'll call this NOM COMP> 3. composition with 5 NOM COMP put together, title, audio etc> 4. final comp with background animation)

I can get the above to work. In the final composition, the glass comes out just the way I want it to, blurring out both the video file and the background layer underneath it, making my text nice and clean on top.

What keeps tripping me up, is as soon as I need to transition between two of the NOM COMPs in composition level 3. I first built an overlaying animation with some animated diamond shapes, and a matching alpha/luma mask animation using the same shapes as a track matte (luma inverted), essentially doing a diamond wipe from one nom comp to the other with some other fancy shapes and motion. Looked and worked great, exactly what I wanted, except then my glass adjustment layer was no longer working. Bit of research on here, apparently that isn't possible. So I tried using the alpha mask layer as a stencil luma blend mode. Works, but now I see the alpha mask layer in the final comp, and my underlying background dissapears. Okay... Maybe just manually keyframing a diamond shaped mask will work and apply it to each pre-comp. Nope.

So now I am at a dead end. Is there no way I can do what I want? My only remaining option I can think of is to take that adjustment layer off the glass layer, build a pre-comp that matches the glass layers, and put that pre-comp over my final composition... That is going to be an absolute nightmare, as each NOM COMP has different text, so the size/position of the glass layer could change 5x35 times to build this show out.... I am at wits end. Someone please tell me that there is another way?


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Theo BuchinskasRe: Pre-comps, adjustment layers, collapse transformations and masks/track mattes - nothing seems to work!
by on Feb 6, 2016 at 1:26:11 am

Okay, so I have found a way to fudge what I wanted to do. In my final comp(4), I built an adjustment layer, to get the glass effect, and then I took comp 3 and added a fill effect and duplicated it 10 times in a precomp (to make up for transparency/alpha) and then used that as a luma matte for the adjustment layer. It works, although it certainly isn't elegant, and is killing me for RAM preview and will on the final render as well...

Sure wish there was a better way, if anyone has a suggestion I would love to hear it.


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Kalle KannistoRe: Pre-comps, adjustment layers, collapse transformations and masks/track mattes - nothing seems to work!
by on Feb 6, 2016 at 2:33:10 pm

Rather than duplicating your comp 10 times, you can add a Curves effect and curve the alpha channel to get the right level of opaqueness.


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